How to Handle Bullies

Bullies are a part of life. Always have been, always will be.

I encountered my first one in elementary school. I encountered my last at a small college in Virginia.

I suppose bullies exist because their tactics often work. You can even get elected president of the United States by bullying people.

Why society rewards such behavior is perplexing to me. But we do.

I wish I could share with you some effective defenses for dealing with such people, Vera. But I can’t.

Perhaps if I hadn’t been reared in a church that preached nonviolence, my perspective might be different. Perhaps I would have been taught to put an end to such behavior by flattening them with a hard right hook. But that’s not who I am.

Or perhaps I would have learned to become skilled at turning the situation against them. But I lack such skills.

Rather, I tend to prefer simply to put distance between myself and the bully. The problem with that is, it gives the bully what he wants, or at least it removes some opposition. And it allows the bully to victimize others.

Sometimes I wonder whether I should have stood up to certain bullies and fought the battle (not physically, but tactically). But usually I’m just glad the bully isn’t part of my life anymore.

I suppose it could have been worse. I suppose I could have submitted to the bullying and stayed in the environment as a submissive, compliant tool. That’s what some people do. But that’s never been in the cards for me. I am not going to allow a bullies to use me.

I’m not going to vote for one either, whether he’s running for president or any other public office. Rewarding a bully only fuels the fire. Before it’s all said and done, I fear we’ll all pay a steep price for rewarding the bully called The Donald.

I’m sorry I haven’t been a better student of this subject in life, Vera. I know it’s likely you’ll encounter bullies at various points in your life. I hope you’re lucky enough to avoid them, but know that’s probably expecting too much. My hope is you’ll be a better student of this problem than I.

The only advice I can give you is this (which, as with anything I say or write, you should feel free to reject):

Don’t allow bullies to intimidate you, and don’t succumb to their tactics or submit to their desires.

In other words, don’t be afraid, for once you yield to fear, it’s impossible to be the person you’re meant to be.

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