The other day I was sitting around with some local authors at an Author Showcase hosted by the St. Joseph library. It was nice to chat with others about my novel and get to know their work as well. Of course, at some point we started talking about other subjects and bullying came up.
Now, I was bullied in elementary school and remember several instances where my mother’s advice came in quite handy. She always said that I need to either ignore them or use my brains to “put them in their place”. Mom was not telling me to call them names or be mean back, but she wanted me to use my words to make the bully understand they had no power over me.
One incident that I talk about quite often is the time I was on the bus in second grade and was called a “bitch” for sitting in this kid’s seat. Well, I was so taken aback by this foreign word that I just moved out of the way without speaking. Even without knowing the meaning of the new word, I felt like they had hit me in the face.
When I arrived home, I asked my mom what that word meant since I had never heard that word at school or at home. “Well, it technically means a female dog. It is also used as an insult.” This is when she told me I had two options to solve this problem if it came up again.
So, the next day I made sure to sit in the exact same spot and waited to see if the mean spirited child wanted the seat again. Sure enough, he came back and said the exact same thing to me. This time, I was prepared and said, “If you would like to see a female dog, you can go look in a mirror!” I smiled as I watched the boy just stand there, gaping like a wide-mouth bass. To this day, I do not remember his name, but I can remember his face and the way he just walked away from me.
This was a fun story with advice to anyone out there who needs help with bullies. Whether you ignore them or stand up for yourself, you must be in charge of your own destiny. They will do everything they can to tear you down if they think they can get away with it. Prove to them that you are stronger. Prove to yourself you are stronger than what anyone says about you.
(photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/26332965@N00/16264268923″>School Bus</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/”>(license)</a>photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/26332965@N00/16264268923″>School Bus</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/”>(license)</a>)