Facing down a bully!
Facing down a Bully!
This week I was reminded of what it feels like to be the target of a bully.
A few weeks ago I wrote a piece on bullying and the Conquering Life approach to it, this week I had the chance to put these approaches and tools into action. During a class, I had a classmate insult my laugh. I was so surprised that it took me a moment to realize what was happening. My immediate reaction was, probably much to her annoyance, to laugh it off. “Is that really necessary?” she had asked of my laugh and I responded, “Of course my laugh is necessary, it’s part of who I am.” before the teacher stepped in and shut her down.
I couldn’t see this person, I could only hear her voice coming from the back of the room and class resumed after the teacher had spoken. I was left sitting, pondering. My first thought was, I’m not crying. In fact I hadn’t actually taken the comment personally I realized, my self esteem is at all time high and I love my distinctive laugh. I was however, affected by the sheer viciousness of the person. It took me a moment, I must admit, to breathe through the hurt. It didn’t destroy me like it once might have done, but there was a sting.
I then glanced back, and saw her. She did not look like a happy person. I realized that I had probably triggered some kind of pain for her, my laugh and enjoyment of the class had felt in some way like an attack on her, which doesn’t justify her reaction but it put it into perspective. Hopefully next time, if there is a next time, I’ll be able to let go quicker and come to understanding faster but the mere fact that I didn’t let it wound me up is so incredible.
Before Conquering Life I probably wouldn’t have wanted to return to class, I would have left in tears or at least on the brink of them and I would have avoided going back to that class. I feel secure in myself today, I love myself, and although I can sympathize with her pain, I also know that I will not stand for that kind of treatment.
Too many people seek refuge from their own pain by making others suffer as well. Spreading the misery doesn’t make it better and hurting other people’s self esteem never boosts your own. I hope that she comes to find that working through her issues could help her lead a happier and more fulfilling life, I truly do, but I will not tolerate being a verbal punching bag.
I can have understanding while also standing up for myself, as can anyone, because regardless of her suffering neither I, nor anyone else, deserves that kind of treatment. Nobody deserves to be mistreated and neither does anyone deserve to live in pain. We get to choose our own reactions and I’m proud of the reaction I had, Conquering Life has helped me to grow so much and these occurrences just serve to remind me, nothing can stop me unless I choose to let it.