Jess: Diversity…to me bullying is everywhere and it isn’t just about diversity. Bullies seem to attack on anything and everything that is different or unknown to them. When I was in school I was bullied a lot, from the way I looked to what my family do. When you’re at school you learn the rhyme ‘sticks and stones may break my bones, but names will never hurt me’, that seems such a powerful saying until those words come back and bite us.
For me, I had enough and threw these words at my bullies. Well that’s exactly what they did, threw sticks and stones. But where do you go from here?? Self-esteem and confidence gone, how do you get back from there? It is a hard journey, but life gets better.
Do what you love and ignore the haters. It is easier to say than do, but it is worth it. You will get bullies throughout your entire life, but it’s how we deal with it that makes the difference. Show them how much you have changed, and how much of a better person you are. Just never go over the line. We know how bad bullies are so don’t fall on that side.
Let’s stand together and unite against bullies.
Has that sunk in? I wanted to start with Jess’ story, as it instantly makes you think. Why do our unique traits make us a target for bullies?
Don’t they realise that they have traits different to ours and to those in their gang.
Eleisha: When I was in high school we had the token bully in our class. You know the one select group of friends who follow his every move, makes life hard for anyone and everyone he can.
The guy that no one likes, but still hope that he chooses to not bother them today. Do you want to know the best moment of my high school life? When one kid had enough!
This kid was sitting front row in a fairly quiet maths lesson right next to the bully (not by choice). The bully had been giving him grief and just being mean through the whole lesson and this kid had enough. He calmly stood up, turned to face the bully and told him what he thought of him! He did not hold back. The look on the bullies face was priceless, but what was even better was the feeling in the room, especially when the kid walked back in after calming down and was met by a huge round of applause!
No matter who the bullies are in life, know that the other side is more powerful, more united and just waiting for someone to be brave enough and stand up to them (please don’t copy this kid and punch them though!) Be the brave one!
Imagine a day like Eleisha has mentioned. I remember a time at school the exact same situation happened to me. I was sat on my 6-person table and a bully wasn’t happy where I was sitting, so pulled my chair away. The second after, I stood up and confronted him. That was the last time he bothered me.
It’s a puzzling thought; diversity. Why are our unique traits a target?
You might be reading Jess’ and Eleisha’s stories and thinking the exact same thing, but there’s no real answer to this. Many point the finger at the bully’s personal life, but how can we ever truly know?
The one thing I learned is don’t think about it, act on it.
Bullying isn’t an easy thing to go through, so if you’re at school and reading this or you’re experiencing bullying in the workplace, reach out to someone.
Share what’s on your mind and look to the future.
Like Jess said, “You will get bullies throughout your entire life, but it’s how we deal with it that makes the difference”.
Don’t regret your decisions. Speak up and take control of your life. Until you take control, the bullying will continue.