Saturday, April 22, 2017

Bullies: What to Do

Teens sometimes ask me about Bullies. What should they do? This guy has been making fun of them, they are embarrassed, they don't know if they should tell, if they should fight, if they should jump off a building.

Well, here is what I say: 
Don’t let any of his words have power.
Him: “Look at you, you are such an idiot! Look at those stupid shoes you are wearing!”
You: “Yeah bro. My shoes are sooooooo stupid.” (yawn.)
Him: “What? Are you trying to start something with me?! Let’s go!”
You: “Calm down. You must be overdoing your protein powder. no one is trying to fight you.” (calm face, bored eyes.)
Him: “Are you talking sh*t?! Look at you, you must weigh 80 pounds! I could bench more than you!”
You: “Right. 80 pounds. This is so tiring.”

You can’t really stop people, I have found. We all got teased for various things— and I am not even kidding— they will find something, even if you are the most attractive person in the world— they will say you have big ears or a weird chin or you walk funny. There is no escaping the cruelty of bullying really, you just let it fly right over you and don’t absorb it. You can always say something back. If they are making fun of you for being short and too quiet, you can say “Yep, I’m short and quiet, what about it?” and shrug like you don’t even care. It can go like this (not that you would want to do this, but an example:)
Them: “ Hey, where are you going shortie? Going to be quiet somewhere?”
You: Look them in eye and say “Yep, that’s me. The quietest, shortest guy/girl in the world” and look bored and unamused.
Them: ‘Why are you so quiet? Why don’t you talk?”
You: “Guess I don’t have much to say. Must be because I’m so short, huh?”
You basically repeat what they say back to them in a bored manner. When you parrot someone like this, it makes them look like they don’t have good material. You continue this with any and all rude remarks, and it knocks the fun out of it for them.

Another thing that happens to kids is that they are made fun of for liking something "different", which is why a lot of them hide their likes. But I think you should take the power out of that, also. 


Your rude friend: “You like____? How stupid! I can’t believe you like that!”
You: *shrug, look bored* “Yeah, I do. Call me crazy. I just like it for some reason.” *yawn*
Your friend: “But…I can’t BELIEVE YOU LIKE THAT! (laughs hysterically and points at you)
You: *still bored looking* “Just a quirk of mine I guess. So, what are we doing on Saturday?”

It makes some of us a little tougher. There are bullies everywhere, even when you get out of school. There are co-worker bullies. A boss can be a bully. And sometimes, you know how to better deal with that type of person if you have been bullied when you were younger. It gives you a thicker skin, so you don’t fall apart when it happens later in life.