Thursday, July 19, 2012

How to Deal with Bullies

"Don't let me catch you.  You'll be sorry!"  That was my retort with a matching glare that could contend with a microwave oven in thawing a frozen meatball in seconds.  Inside my head, "you're dead!".  Coming from the mouth of a 10-year old holding a rather pointy tree branch to an aggressor a year his senior, my classmates who were in a safe distance behind me knew I was dead serious.  My message was loud and clear.  So, he ran so fast like his life depended on it.  It was a triumphant day, indeed!  It was eons ago but quite oddly, it's as if it just happened yesterday.  It was the day!… the first time that I stood up against a BULLY!

I actually play that little incident in my mind on occasions with that bully pitted in a race against a charged particle propelled by a linear particle accelerator nearing the speed of light.  He'd always win but would eventually disintegrate.  (He-he-he.)  I could not forget that day and the fright on his face.  I felt like I have done something right!  Do you ever get that fuzzy feeling?

I have been reading quite a lot of articles which are actual personal experiences of people who have been bullied.  The focus on such unwelcome situations of bullying have been lately retold in blogs, talked about as trending topics in social networking sites, and documented in the news.  There were even some extreme cases that ended in the unfortunate and unnecessary loss of lives.  Bullies are difficult situations for anyone.  Bullies are difficult for children, adult men and women, gays, heterosexuals, and not surprisingly even for some countries.  How we effectively deal with these acts of intimidation, aggression, and oppression is the key in saving ourselves from suffering a long list of unwanted negative emotions, and living a seemingly protracted bitter life of degradation. 

I am not going to lie.  My existence has been plagued with bullies.  Unlike many kids nowadays, which I hope I am wrong about, I was however, fortunate to have learned to stand up against bullies at a very young age.  Bullies are everywhere.  But because I knew how to deal with them, they don't seem to be existing within my "firing" range.  So, how does one effectively deal with a bully?  Ahh, let me tell you a couple of ways…

1.  GRAB THE BULLY BY THE BALLS (Oh, I think it's "grab the bull by the horns".  Well, I like the former better.) When face to face with a bully who harms you by humiliating you in public, grab him in the nuts, twist them like it's the very last thing you do on Earth, and give him an elastic collision with a gargantuan head-butt.  Just kidding.  

What you should do is directly face him.  Focus on his defects.  Nobody's perfect, you know.  Tell everybody how he peed his pants in first grade.  Tell everybody how he liked to tuck his pee-pee between his legs and wanted to always play the role of mommy.  Oops, really I am just kidding.

Whew!, our topic is so serious that I can't help but inject these funny ideas which you won't believe but were actually useful to me in fending off bully attacks back in the day.  Okay, focus...  Do not simply ignore the bully.  Tell him that what he is saying are all part of his act to feed his ego or hide his insecurities.  Most bullies are insecure, hiding something that they don't want others to find out, or just acting out because of the problems he has been probably dealing with in school or at home.

One way bullies operate is that they use words to shame their preys.  Fight fire with fire.  Words are your allies.  You can dispense the hard truth about those bullies.  In most times, the truth hurts!  You can seriously inflict damage with words.  So, be very careful, and guard from turning yourself into a bully.  Use words to defend yourself.  Be truthful.  Everyone would always side with the person who tells the truth.

2.  YOU ARE NOT ALONE.  You should seek the help of others when faced with a difficult situation, especially with bullying.  This is not cowardice.  This is "right thinking"!  You should not be afraid nor ashamed in doing so.  If you do not have the strength nor the resources to counter the bullying, let those people who have the authority and power to help you out.

Tell your mom about the bullying so she can help you deal with the situation.  Tell your advisor, guidance counsellor, or principal about the bullying of a classmate, schoolmate, or coach.  Tell your supervisor, manager, or boss, about the bullying of a coworker or client.  These people have the power to actually stop the bullying.  They are in the position to resolve the problem.

Tell your friends about the bully neighbor.  There is safety in numbers.  Report incidents of physical abuse (even verbal abuse) of bullies to the police.  File a blotter.  Ask the courts for a temporary order of protection if needed.  You actually have the power.  All you have to do is reach out.   Remember, you are not alone!

There are other effective ways in dealing with bullies.   More often than not, the approach is on a case-to-case basis.  For me, it's important to know two things:  first is that bullies have no right whatsoever, to harm any person; and second, that we should bravely face bullies armed with the knowledge that we have people behind us and that we can actually put an end to their despicable acts.

(Thank you to  I got the pictures from their Running of the Bulls archive.  Mabuhay!)

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