Being a reject was an unspoken label I internalized in every social situation because of the bullying I endured throughout my life.
In particular, my peers at school teased me for being too weird, too awkward, too sensitive, and too loud, so they excluded me. At first, I was ashamed of this label because it was hard to make friends and believed there was something wrong with me. Realizing I was a reject became a catalyst for my low self-esteem and social anxiety that started in fourth grade.
The defining incident in fourth-grade happened when the bully laughed at me for being a crybaby after my teacher yelled at me in front of the class. I didn’t understand why someone could treat another so horribly and what I did to deserve such treatment. I was confused by the change in his behavior, felt ashamed of my inability to assert myself and say the right things, and hoped someone would help me. Some people attempted to help me, but the problem didn’t get solved. Fortunately, the bully eventually moved to another state, and I never saw him again.
So many people have stories about bullying that defined them. Some of these stories are similar to the one I just shared, if not worse. Some people are prone to anxiety because they are highly sensitive and are therefore susceptible to bullying. More information exists about the issue, and there are more policies put in place, yet bullying continues to be a silent problem that isn’t taken seriously in many schools and organizations. We can promote more awareness by helping others who may be struggling with bullying and developing a community of people like myself who have been targets of bullying and never had the support they needed.
What have been your experiences with bullying and rejection? Please comment below.