The hardest thing about being a target of bullying was not the bullies themselves, but the people who were in positions of power to stop them and didn’t. I’m not referring to the bully’s followers or the people watching from the sidelines, but the people who betrayed me. It was more upsetting when someone who I thought was my friend started believing the false rumors about me, or when my boss knew a staff member in my department had a history of bullying and tried to cover it up. The list goes on and on.
It hurt when future friendship prospects flopped due to connecting with the bully. I felt like I had a big, invisible red R on my forehead for reject. When I tried moving past a bad situation, it felt impossible finding a way out. I became very wary about trusting other people around me.
Bullying is isolating, lonely, and shameful. It took years for me to find the bright side, but there are some positives to getting bullied:
- I can spot even the slightest and most subtle forms of bullying. I am not shy about taking action because I never want someone else to suffer what I did.
- I don’t gossip, listen to rumors or spread rumors.
- I have strong, deep empathy for outcasts.
- I have become more open-minded. I form my opinions of people based on my own experience with them.
- I am grateful to the few people who stuck up for me and supported me during this low point. I owe them my deepest gratitude and respect.
How has bullying changed you? Were you able to find the bright side? I would love to hear about your experiences!