Bully For You!
I don’t know how many of you out there have ever had to deal with bullying but if you have, you'll know just how crushing it can be for someone. Maybe some of you have experienced it indirectly, someone you know was bullied as a child, your child is being bullied, you see it happening to a work colleague. Maybe some of you have no experience whatsoever and can’t quite grasp the problem or understand how people can find themselves becoming the victim of bullying. In this article, I want to show you how, if you have experienced it, you can make being bullied work to your advantage.
I experienced bullying from a young age. My first memory was of a girl in our class, who was quite big in stature, picking on another girl because she had a hole in her cardigan, mud on her face and her hair was a little bit messy. I told her to leave her alone but she kept saying nasty things until the other girl was weeping. Unfortunately, as my words hadn’t helped, I resorted to throwing some sand at this girl to make her stop talking and leave us alone. Which had the desired effect, as she screamed and ran off crying. Needless to say, I was the one that got in trouble. I tried to explain why I had done it but it fell on deaf ears and left me with the feeling that there would be no help from adults when it came to this sort of thing.
Throughout growing up I was forever on the receiving end of bullying. I was bullied by both boys and girls. It was mainly hateful words about how ugly I was and how I should have been 'born a man' but occasionally it got physical and I was punched, slapped or, on one particular occasion, battered with a tennis racket. As I’m sure some of you know, the old saying about ‘Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me’ is a load of bollocks. Bones mend, grazes heal and bruises fade but the words cut deep into your heart and mind and remain in places that are hard to reach and cover with a sticky plaster.
So, why am I telling you all this? Not for sympathy (I neither want that or need it thank you) nor do I wish to upset anyone but I do need to make it quite clear I have first hand experience and truly know what it is like to deal with bullies and be bullied over many, many years. Hopefully then, if you too have been the focus of a bully's attention, you will believe me when I say how it is possible to make it work for you. Firstly, you need to take that abuse that they throw at you and turn it into the driving force that pushes you forward. Use it to make you stronger, not just mentally but physically. Let the hurt and anger that they invoke well up inside and explode out of you when you're trying to complete another rep. Picture their faces to help you focus your punches on the pads or punchbag and sharpen your techniques. Wash away all the negativity that they produced in a tide of positivity because you are striving towards and achieving the goals you've set yourself. Through small steps, you can build the foundations upon which you can stand, head held high, safe in the knowledge that they were built on the words and actions of those bullies and they are truly beneath you!
I HATE bullying, I hold no truck with it and I wouldn’t wish it upon anyone, however, I’m not sure I would be where I am today if I hadn’t been bullied. They made me stronger. They made me want to be better. They made me strive to improve my body. They helped me build up my defences for when I need them. They showed me what it feels like to fail. They showed me that I can fall but rise again with renewed vigour. They made me a fighter and you can be one too!
Bullying - Let it build you up, not break you down!