It’s been a tough year for me. It’s taken almost a year for me to admit it. I’ve been trying to come to grips with why, how, what. It happened out of the blue.
It never really occurred to me that I could be bullied by another adult. I’m a grandma for goodness sake. I’m strong. I’m smart. I’m successful. I’m independent. I’m even nice, usually. The bullying was subtle at first. It took me a while to realize it was happening. Then gradually, slowly, it became less subtle.
I tried to make nice with the bully because that’s what you’re supposed to do, right? I tried to ignore it – pretend it wasn’t happening. I tried really hard. I did everything you’d tell your child who is being bullied. “Ignore it” “You’re better than that” “They’re not worth it” “Don’t let it get to you”…
It was lonely. You see the bully bullied others. So if you (the “onlooker”) wanted to avoid being bullied, you stayed on the safe side of the bully. Pretended to be their friend. Don’t cause any waves. Just stay under the radar and you’ll be fine. AND if you really wanted to stay on the safe side of the bully, for goodness sake, DO NOT stand up for the bullied (insert eye roll here).
I needed a break from the bullying so I took a break from putting myself in places where I could be bullied. I took a break from people who in my mind cared more about staying on the good side of the bully than taking care of the bully’s bullied. Whether that was true or not, didn’t matter because in my bullied mind it was true. And the break helped a lot.
I won’t even begin to compare my experience with bullying to that of a child. There is no comparison. And heaven help the person who EVER … I mean EVER bullies one of my littles! I’m simply pointing out that bullying can happen with adults too. Sometimes in the work place. Sometimes (a lot) on social media. And even sometimes it can happen in the places you should feel the most safe – like church.
So let’s just be nice. There’s a lot of pain and hurt in this world. There’s a lot of hate. I just listened to this great podcast called Why We Hate. I’m not saying you have to agree with every opinion out there, but if you disagree, just be nice. Listen a little. Ask some honest and sincere questions. I bet you’ll find more common ground with those that you disagree with than you think.
And just don’t be a bully.
There is one thing I’ve learned over the past year. If you continue to harbor the pain that the bully has unfairly inflicted on you, then the bully wins. I refuse to let that happen. So I will forgive and move on. I’ll hold my head high. I’ll be more aware of those that are bullied. I’ll be more courageous and stand with them. I’ll do my part to stop the hate and keep the peace, at least in my little corner of the world.
I hope you will tell me the ways that I can be a better advocate for the bullied and how you have been an advocate for stopping the hate.
Here are a few resources I found on bullying. If you see a child or know of a child being bullied, say something. Do something. It’s not going to go away. If you are a bully, then stop it.
This is a website put out by the federal government that is a great resource for identifyig bulling and ways to stop it.
A great video put out by the LDS church that really gets to heart of how hurtful bullying can be and the difference you can make as you stand up for the bullied – coming from the perspective of teenagers.
I great link to tons of resources on bullying.