Are you being bullied?

(First appeared in my column, Inspire and Equip!, Tempo/Manila Bulletin Publishing Corp., August 21, 2016)

Not all of them hurt their targets physically. Many of them use other means to show power over their victims: name-calling (using hurting/unfair labels and terms in order to make other people feel/look inferior and unacceptable. There are also those who take or hide other people’s personal things, including food and money. Bullies also exclude their victims in activities and conversations to make them feel lost and alone.

Have you experienced any of these? Adults employ such unfair means. What is even more alarming is that more and more children are reportedly bullying neighbors, classmates, and schoolmates. Physical absence is never a hindrance. Bullies also use the internet to make other people feel powerless and hopeless.

60 Marilyn Arayata_Are you being bullied Aug. 21, 2016 Inspire and Equip

Psychologists say that bullies were also victims of bullying themselves. (The trouble with not seeking proper counseling is that wounds do not get healed even many years after the bullying incident, so beware!) They relish the fact that another individual is hurt, inconvenienced, and afraid due to their actions. In making another person feel powerless, they feel powerful. How pathetic!

What physical or emotional wounds were inflicted upon you by a bully? Have you at least talked about it?

If you know where the other person is coming from, it will be easy for you to understand his/her behavior. However, this should not stop you from protecting yourself and asserting your rights as an individual. The support of your family, your friends, and concerned authorities is very much needed. Seek help from trained counselors, too. Join a support group.

Be strong and confident. If people are intentionally trying to hurt you and pester you, they are only exposing their true color. Their words and actions tell the world that they are actually the ones who have a problem.  Sometimes you do not need to react to them. Choose your battles.

Keep calm. All of us will be held accountable for our words and actions.

You are here to accomplish great things. Focus your time and your energy on things that will make you better, not bitter.

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