Lately, I have been thinking about bullying, not because of my friends project, You Will Rise Project, but because of something a little closer to home.
I thought when we grew up the bullying would stop. Alas, I see this is not true. The pitiful thing is that I didn't see it as bullying, until it was pointed out to me. If your self-esteem suffers from the efforts of another that is bullying. You might choose to ignore it, and maybe one incident can be ignored. If the problem persists then maybe, just maybe, you are dealing with a bully.
If words make you uncomfortable, examine them to find out why. Do they challenge your beliefs? This is not necessarily a bad thing. If you feel threatened this may be due to bullying. Some bullies hide behind words, trying to be innocuous. They take secret pleasure in killing you off... Is this a threat even if veiled in fiction? Definitely. Do I think this person is going to kill me in reality? No, but what they are doing is way worse than the actual act.
Why? Because this is the bullies way. They seek to make you uncomfortable, to doubt yourself, to hurt. Sticks and stones... These things can wound physically, but the words stay with the bullied for much longer.
I have been taking a Zen-like approach to the bully who has presented in my life. Deep breaths, letting the hurt and anger go. When this does not rid me of that feeling in the pit of my stomach, I try the Serenity Prayer to remind myself to let go of the things I cannot change.
How can I stop the bully? By speaking out! By not letting the words destroy me! Maybe, by dissociating myself from any activities the bully participates in. Ignoring the bully may have been easy for me, but when others begin to feel the effects than it's time to do something. I need to be a leader and take care of my peers (friends). How should I handle the bully in my life?