There has been a lot of talk about bullying and schoolyard trauma contributing to violence in schools and in the workplace. Speaking from the experience of having been bullied and teased, I would like to offer up a little advice on how to turn this negative into a positive:
1. Never let it get you down. I know, I know, easier said than done. I’m a prime example of this. Strangely enough, I find that when I get into a depressed cycle thinking about my schoolyard days, it motivates me to do the next point.
2. Success is the best revenge. Having that bully or jerk who once teased your weight, ears and nose look at you in astonishment at your achievements is worth all the barbs flung your way early in life. The song from Glee really is true: you wanna be a loser like me.
3. Don’t let the pain define, or redefine you. “To thy own self be true” isn’t just a fluffy, feel-good saying. It’s absolutely essential to overcoming the days of emotional and mental pain wrought by schoolyard meanies. Be who you are and nobody else. To be something you are not actually cheapens your experience, and reinforces self doubt.
4. Offer to mentor and guide a fellow recipient of this issue. Note I did not use “victim” because we are better than that world. Those of us on the receiving end are most certainly not victims. We are survivors and we should be proud that we survived that playground jungle. Because of our experiences, we have unique insights for parents and children who are suffering, and we can offer hope and a promise a better tomorrow.
5. Forgive, then don’t just be good, be great. Nothing says “you’ll never win” to a bully or teaser better than taking back your own power by forgiveness, then showing the world the person you truly are and what you have to offer.
6. Find your faith. It doesn’t have to be church, or bible school, or a cult or any sort. Just finding where your faith lies can help heal the pain. Meditation, prayer, even a support group can be he key to getting past one’s pain.
7. Learn what love really is. Forrest Gump said it best; “I may not be a smart man, but I know what love is.” Learn the difference between love and lust and, above all, never miss an opportunity to tell someone that you love “I love you.”. Most important of all: learn how to love yourself.
8. Live and laugh. It may sound touchy feely, but find something you are good at or love to do and, for goodness sakes, DO IT!!! Who cares if you blog like crazy, or love taking silly cat pictures, or Simon Cowell thinks your audition was dreadful…what matters is you do what you love and/or what you are good at (within reason, of course.)
I hope this helps! I’m no hero, or a guru about this subject. I simply experienced it all and learned through a LOT of trial and error. Hell, I’m still learning, so I welcome your thoughts.