Anytime a target is bullied in school or college, adults can give some of the most ridiculous, downright ludicrous advice that, in most cases, has no chance of ever producing positive results. This isn’t to say that the people who give the advice don’t mean well, because most of the time, they do. It only comes from a lack of knowledge.
However, other adults, like a few teachers and school officials will often give the same advice not only out of laziness, but also hoping the target will forget about the bullying he/she suffers and let the bullies off the hook. I write this from personal experience.
I can tell you that I got lots of advice back in the day that was not only ineffective, but counterproductive, from a few well-meaning family members who didn’t know better, lazy teachers, and not-to-be-bothered principals. And when I did take their advice and found that it produced no results, I felt let down to say the least.
Here are some things that were suggested to me years ago when I was in the battle of my life:
1.Ignore them. I’m sure everyone who has ever battled bullies has gotten this advice. Here are a few reasons why this almost never works.
a. Bullies seek attention. And they are relentless in that pursuit. If one thing doesn’t get your attention, they will try something else, and they won’t stop until they’ve worn you down and caused you to react out of exhaustion. Even then, they won’t stop.
b. Bullies think they’re entitled to unearned respect. Many of these bullies get extremely angry when you ignore them because they see it as disrespect. Then, they will retaliate and continue to make you pay from that day forward.
c. Bullies mistake your ignoring them for fear- these bullies are like wild animals. When they smell fear (or think they do), look out! Because they’ll take full advantage until they either crush you underfoot, or you blow your top, knock the taste out of their mouths, and land in trouble with school authorities or police.
The best thing to do is to come back at the bullies with something witty to throw them off balance, or initiate a good burn to humiliate them and make them think twice about ever coming for you again.
2. Just Overlook Them. Right! It’s hard to overlook a bully who’s in your face, screaming curses and obscenities at you, daring you to say something back to them or to hit them. It’s also difficult to ignore a bully who’s beating the crap out of you after school every other day. How can you overlook or ignore that?
The best thing to do here is to tell them to back the hell off or if need be, defend yourself by putting up your dukes and fighting back like your life depends on it.
3. Kill them with kindness. Shh-yeah! Although it may work with bully-victims who bully you, it will never in this lifetime work with narcissistic bullies. Narcissists see kindness as weakness and will use it to their own ends and to crush you. Also, they’ll come back at you much harder because they see kindness as a bad reflection on them and they can’t handle anyone who naturally makes them look like scumbags.
The best thing to do with narcissists is to avoid contact with them altogether. Instead of killing them with kindness, kill them with indifference instead.
If you’re reading this, and you’ve ever been a target of bullying, feel free to comment about the bad advice you got from others in the below.