I have grown to dislike it, hate it even when people say to others regarding bullies, “oh just ignore them”. I remember being told “sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me”, but words do hurt and they can leave scars that run deep and last a lifetime. It was a lazy response from people who were either unwilling or ill-equipped to genuinely help.
Telling me to “ignore the bullies” put no value on how the bullying made me feel it also made it my job to solve the problem by soldiering on regardless of what was dished out to me, it implied I was the one who had to change my behaviour not the bully.
What I really needed was somebody to listen without judging me.
When a friend confides in you that they are being bullied or when you notice somebody you care about being picked on, how you react can be just as hurtful as the bullying. Telling them to “suck it up and move on” will only result in them not talking to you about it again.
When a friend confides in you about being bullied listen and offer support. Remind them that it’s not their fault and they have done nothing wrong. When I was being bullied the thing that helped me the most was understanding why bullies do what they do. It’s the same reason anybody puts another person down or makes a sarcastic comment, and we are all guilty of it. Simply put, it makes us feel better about ourselves. Realising this helped, but it was the help and support of the people around me that was the key to finding the strength to resist. Bullies are cowards, they feel shit about themselves so but put others down to feel better.
Remind them that they do not have to “put up” with it or just soldier on. Remind them that there are people like you who care about them enough to help and importantly, don’t allow them to become isolated. A person who is being bullied may begin to withdraw from their friends and family and that isolation can lead to depression.
If you are being bullied or know somebody who is being bullied click the link below to get advice and help.