Friday, February 17, 2012

I am my own worst enemy...

Do you remember an adult figure in your life ever teaching you how to deal with a bully? They would always say "the best way to get rid of a bully is to ignore them." I think that is the biggest pile of crap someone has ever tried to feed me.

Before you go and get all mad about how I just took a shot at one of the biggest pieces of advice we were given as kids, please allow me to explain myself. Yes, the occasional verbal insult from an insignificant person is something we can easily ignore and then continue on with our lives. Minimal to moderate verbal bullying is something that we can brush off. This is high school, it's something we've taught ourselves (I hope) to put up with. What about extreme verbal bullying? People say that if you ignore a bully eventually they'll get tired of teasing you and move on. Now, maybe I just have bad luck, but I've rarely experienced a situation where this is true. To me (because I am a very prideful person), extreme verbal bullying is worse than even physical bullying. I've found that words can hurt far more than fists (I'm ashamed to admit that I have used this to my advantage) in some cases, and I think I can easily say that it sucks. Being degraded by another human being really, truly, and forever will suck. Does this make me a hypocrite? Probably, and I wish people would call me out when I say things that are truly mean, because I'm too narrow minded to realize when I say it.

Better question: What if the person bullying you is you? Has a teacher or parent taught you how to deal with the bullying that comes from yourself? Can you truly ever ignore yourself? I know I can't. I frequently tell myself things like "you're annoying," "your friends are only hanging out with you to be nice," or, my favorite (sarcasm) "your friends are getting sick of you because you're so annoying, and only stay around you because they're too nice to ditch you." When it comes to me, I am by far my own biggest bully. I constantly put myself down and tell myself I'm not good enough for something. If you haven't experienced that... let me tell you, fighting against yourself... now THAT sucks. It hurts more than any punch or hurtful word you could receive from another person. If you have experienced this before, please know that you are by no means alone. One thing I've found that helps me stay positive is to make a list of ten things I genuinely like about myself. The list can consist of anything. My love for music, my awesome friends, and my can't give up attitude are all on my list. Keep this list in a place where it's easy to access and you'll see it every day (in your wallet, on your mirror, etc.). Those ten little items can make it so much easier for you to tell the bully inside of you to "shut the f*** up."