Thursday, May 17, 2012

Guest Post - The Bully In You - Anne Tibbets

If you haven't already, check out Anne's book, Shut Up available now. It was really awesome! You can read my review HERE Thank you Anne for your wonderful post today!

The Bully in You by Anne Tibbets

I think it’s a fair statement to say that everybody at some point in their life has been bullied. This is by no means an argument for accepting that being bullied is a natural part of life, and something we should all expect and endure. I do not see how being cruel to another living creature helps in any way shape or form, and it should not be shoved off as “boys being boys” or “you know how girls are,” that’s bull-puckies.

But I can also admit that after having been bullied myself, and after having watched my own children be bullied, that how we deal with it makes or breaks your character. Are you the type to pass it along? Or, are you the type to fight back? Or, worse still, are you the type to swallow it whole and make it a part of who you are, or who you will become?

There is no benefit to being a victim, and staying as one. Once you are bullied, and have accepted it as a part of you, it opens the door for others to see your weakness, and it invites others to join in – to add their part to your hole. I think it’s one of the saddest parts of human nature, one we must have learned from our animal relatives. The weak don’t survive. The strongest do. The ones who show weakness are then singled out, and broken down, their power stolen and passed around – and the shell of a person left standing will have a lifelong struggle to get not just their power back, but their self respect for having taken it to begin with.

Believe me, I’ve been there. I’ve tried all sorts of means to get back my self respect. I’ve been broken, the victim, I’ve lashed out and passed around my hurt for others to endure – all methods of self preservation I don’t recommend. In my effort to make myself whole again, I’ve stolen self worth from others. Even I, one who understood the hurt from being bullied, have bullied.

So, what does one do then? What’s the solution?

It took me years, and the help of some very good friends, a therapist, an understanding spouse, and a lot of personal struggle before I found that every human, even the weakest, has a strength within them they have not found, or have not used. This strength, this character, is taken from the knowledge that every human being – every one (!) – even the bullies, even the cruelest people you know, are all in the same boat. We’re all scared. We all don’t want to be the victim. We all wish better for ourselves.

We have to protect our core. No one can take your soul. No matter how awful your life has been, you are still here. You are surviving. That’s something to be proud of! And since I fully believe and will preach until my dying day that a victim can never win, you must stop believing the bullies. They are lying! They deceive you in an attempt to steal your power, but they can’t – no matter what they say. It’s the truth. Stop it. Just stop!

Dig in your heels. Stand your ground. Let them talk. Let them say whatever they want, because inside – your core is yours, not theirs. Own it.
Guess what? I’m chubby. Oh well. I’m also pretty good with words.
Guess what? I suck at games. I lose almost every time! Oh well. I’m also well read and can quote movies at random.
Guess what? I’m a horrible athlete. Oh well. I’m also wicked smooth in a crisis and can think on my feet.

I’m also clumsy, I can’t talk when I’m angry, and I can be pretty moody at times.
That’s me.
That’s my core.

You want to make fun of me? Do you want to mock me?

I suppose some of you will. It might make you feel better about yourself.
And I’m not saying whatever you tell me won’t hurt – for a moment.

But I don’t believe you anymore.
And if you are in the position where all you hear is lies, it can be pretty easy to believe it.
But, I’m telling you, it’s not true.

You are worthy.
You are better than that.

Now pick yourself up, and carry on – because I know you can.

With all my love and sincerity,
Anne Tibbets


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