You would be amazed at what you can learn from bullies. This may sound a bit strange to some, but bullies can teach us so much about human nature and the evils of the world. Although they can hurt us, they can also teach us some of the most powerful lessons.
Here’s what bullies and bullying taught me.
1. That everyone, including the bully, has problems. Bullies always put on a front of having a perfect life. They use arrogance and cockiness to mask their feelings of hurt, insecurity, and inferiority. Many of my bullies had alcoholic fathers, drug-addicted mothers, fathers who cheated on or beat their mothers, or single mothers who had a different man in her bed every night. Many had parents who neglected or abused them, and others had an older sibling who bullied them. Several had a parent dealing drugs, a parent in and out of jail, or were sexually abused. So, is it any wonder most of my classmates were so full of pee and vinegar?
2. How to spot a liar or fake. If you’ve dealt with bullies and bullying long enough, you learn very quickly how to spot liars and fakes before you even talk to them. And you learn it because your survival depends on it.
3. To grow a thick skin. Have you ever noticed how redundant bullies are? Have you noticed how they repeat the same stupid insults, taunts, and negative statements over and over again? It’s true that the crap they talk can hurt and hurt badly. However, they can repeat the same rubbish so much and for so long that, after a while, it loses its effectiveness and potency. Then it just gets boring and your bullies can become one big yawn.
4. Empathy and compassion for others. When you know what it is to be a target of bullying and alone. It teaches you empathy and compassion for others- especially the underdog who is downtrodden. You’ll more likely reach out and protect those who are bullied because you were there, and you can’t stand the thought of anyone else enduring such pain.
5. The evils humans are capable of and their predatory nature. Having been a target of bullying will teach you this if nothing else! Anytime you’re a target of bullying, you can end up seeing the darkest side of humanity possible if you’re unlucky enough- things that people who aren’t targets would never see. And they will be things you won’t forget.
6. To never take anyone for granted. I’m no longer a victim of bullying and I have such an awesome family and the most positive and fun circle of friends you’d ever want to meet. But because I know what it is to be a target of bullying and to be excluded and isolated, I don’t take my familial relationships or friendships for granted. I make it a point to be loyal to all of them and to stand behind them when the chips are down. I consider my family, blood, and non-blood, wonderful blessings to my life and I cherish all of them.
7. To appreciate the people in your life. Again, I value all my family and closest friends and I appreciate the qualities they bring to my life. Words cannot express how blessed I am to know them and to have them in my life.
8. To take care of, value, and love yourself. I learned the hard way that if you don’t love yourself, no one else will either. I make it a point to take care of myself and to treat myself kindly. How do I treat myself kindly, you may ask? By how I allow others to treat me. By what I tolerate and the people I let in my life, and by not being afraid to walk away if a person doesn’t treat me well.
9. That’s it’s okay, and in your best interests, to say, “no.” If something (or someone) doesn’t feel right to me, I no longer hesitate to say “no” and I do it guilt-free. I now know that saying “no” is saying “yes” to my rights and my dignity and that’s the best feeling ever!
10. To stand up for the underdog. Because you know what it’s like to be mistreated, you wouldn’t want to see anyone else endure what you have. So, you take the opportunity to be someone’s hero and friend for life. This is one of the greatest lessons bullying can teach you.
Being the object of bullies is never fun. But if you look for the lessons in it, it can teach you so much about the crazy world we live in, about the dark side of human nature, and that it’s of the utmost importance that you keep the faith, believe in yourself, love yourself enough to take care of yourself, appreciate the people who love you, and stand up for the people who aren’t able to defend themselves.
Know that you have the power to turn the abuse you suffer around for good and to turn the negatives into positives. Your pain can become your power! I guarantee it!