Everyone, and we mean everyone, has had some experience with bullying in some way or another. Whether you’ve been on the giving or receiving end, or were simply a bystander at any point in your life, you should have enough knowledge of the topic to be closely intimate with the things it entails.
Being bullied is never a pleasant experience, but as the saying goes, what doesn’t kill us makes us stronger. There is a massive potential for positive growth due to bullying, for both bullies and the bullied.
Many can overcome these challenges and drawn from this negative experience to actually become a great leader and successful in the future. Too many people focus on, who is the victim in a bullying scenario failing to see that, everyone is a victim.
No, that doesn’t mean the bully is a victim because of the things that occur in their personal life, which may cause them to act out against others in an aggressive manner, but rather they are victims of their own choices.
Everyone can learn something from an experience with bullying, whether it strengthens their character or otherwise, including bullies and even bystanders. That being said, here are some ways that you can overcome a situation where you are either being bullied, seeing someone is being bullied or… are the bully.
Identify a Bullying Scenario
Sometimes people may do or say things without the intention of hurting you or others. This may be simply mindless acts, but all the same, it can cause you to feel bad about your situation.
If this is the case, identifying whether or not you are being bullied or the person simply is not realising that the way they are treating you is having a negative toll is crucial in deciding how you will approach the person to reach a compromise.
Often times, asking the person directly is the best way to find out. A simple “Do you notice that the way you treat me is hurting me?” will often bring the true answer to light. Other times, it boils down to analysing the situation to draw your conclusion.
Do they very obviously single you out? Do they make personal attacks? The trick is simply being mindful of their actions, even if they are not. Most people should be fully aware of how to identify whether or not they are being bullied, but it doesn’t hurt to ensure you are correct before taking action.
This is the scariest part of bullying. Approaching the other person. Whether you are the bullied or the bully, and you want to make amends for your actions, then speaking to the other person may be one of the most daunting things you can ever prepare for.
Not knowing how the other person will react before you approach them is equally terrifying on both ends. For the bully looking to apologise, they may very well be terrified that their attempt at compromise will not be accepted and therefore they will live with the guilt on their shoulders for a while.
On the other end of that spectrum, you have the bullied, who is terrified that having put themselves out there will result in more bullying, if not possibly more intense bullying. Don’t worry your counterpart is not going to end the world.
Without putting yourself out there and trying, you will never receive the closure that you deserve. No one walks out of a bullying scenario without some scars, but speaking to the other person either to confront them verbally or to apologise for your behaviour is the best way to minimise the damage caused to your relationship and move on.
We all know the saying “there is always someone bigger out there than us”, who will come back and embody what we like to think of as “karma” for whoever is hurting us. Whether if it’s a bigger bully for your own bully or otherwise.
A better way to look at this is that there is always someone that can help, who has either power or higher status than your bully. It could be a boss at work, a teacher in school or an authority. There is always someone you can reach out to who will hear your plight and try to help.
The best thing to remember when you are in a bullying scenario is that you are never alone. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. It doesn’t make you a coward. It makes you the mature one who, instead of responding to fire with a gasoline pump, went straight to the firefighters.
You Are Often That “Someone Bigger”
It can be a strange realisation, but you often are the bigger person in the scenario. If you are the one who is not responding to violence with more violence, you can already consider yourself a bigger person than your bully.
On the other end, if you are the bully and you are seeking to rectify the wrongs you’ve done, you’ve already taken the step to help yourself grow. Bear that in mind. You have power to better yourself and you alone. If you choose not to do it, remember that you are much smaller a person than whoever it is you victimise.
Bullying isn’t an easy thing to deal with for anyone. It is uncomfortable and often can destroy lives. Dealing with the problem early is the best course of action rather than allowing the immature behavior to become a routine day-to-day thing.
The power is yours to change your situation. All you have to do is take that first step.