Wednesday, September 7, 2011

You Big Bully

Bryan Reo after his gender reassignment surgery
Dealing with a bully isn’t fun. As a misfit, a social outcast…the list goes on…I’ve dealt with my fair share of bullying. While I have learned to embrace my “uniqueness,” unfortunately the bullies in my life haven’t. And one thing I have learned is that bullies aren’t only in high school. The bullies in my life are different now and they come dressed in adult clothing.

While you can’t take that bully and beat his a$$ no matter how much you may want to, here are some of the ways you can deal with that big bully in your life:

1)   Confront them. People often tell you to ignore the bully, but I heard the best advice ever given from a specialist: don’t ignore bullying because it only gets worse. Some of us want to bury our head in the sand and pretend it doesn’t exist. That’s the worst thing you can do. Confront the person head on. Tell them you do not like what they are doing. And do so as many times as it takes to get them to back off.
2)   Get it off your chest. While I highly advocate doing #1, some people are not going to do that, no matter how much they should. For those people who are afraid of confrontation, you need to get it off your chest. Write a poem or a letter to yourself reaffirming your worth and air out your feelings about that bully or being bullied.
3)   Tell someone in power. In dealing with co-worker bullies, you may need to go to the Human Resources department to air out your grievances should you chose not to confront the hellion in your life. If you’re in school, tell your counselor or a teacher. Oftentimes, a young person doesn’t want to tell their parent(s) because they are embarrassed that they are the victim of a bully. If this is your situation, go to someone on the school front. Always remember, telling does not make you a snitch. It makes you a stand-up guy or gal who is willing to defend the person who deserves it most: yourself.

I don’t know why bullies do what they do, but they need to stop. If you are the bully, you need to take a look at yourself and figure out what is causing you to act out and hurt other people. What is it in you that makes you less compassionate for someone who is trying to navigate the world the same way you are? What is lacking in your life that you feel the need to make someone feel inferior?

Here’s to all the misfits and outcasts of the world! You may not know it now, but your uniqueness could one day be your selling point. Embrace you. Love yourself. As Adele says, “No one treats me as well as I do.” Let that become your truth and stand up for yourself.

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