The Gift of Bullying

Bullying is an age-old worldwide phenomenon. To not be exposed to bullying in some form during an average lifetime is nigh on impossible.

If you are feeling isolated, unwanted, rejected or unworthy simply because you are being bullied, now would be a really good time to recognise that you, in fact, belong to a somewhat unwilling but rather vast majority.

There is no aloneness in the bullying and victimisation story, members of this non-exclusive club have some truly great company.

The question isn’t so much who is being bullied and why. The question is how do the people that overcome bullying do so and, more importantly, if it is you that is being bullied, how are you handling it?

“Mastering others is strength.

Mastering yourself is true power”

Lao Tzu

A multitude of admirable people throughout history have found themselves facing bullying, abuse and intimidation. Strategies to overcome bullying depend partly on the ability to accept that at times we will find ourselves under fire regardless of how ‘nice’ we are as a person or how well we treat others.

When a bully does show up in your life, perhaps consider whether their presence could in fact be an opportunity to learn about yourself, your capacity to cope with difficulties and your ability to create a better experience in the future.

Although it is fairly probable that you will initially take any abuse personally especially if it is particularly cruel or hostile, instead of remaining stuck in the problem and focusing on the words and actions of bully, a more life enhancing strategy would be to turn your attention to the people, places and pastimes that do support you, and the creative opportunities, plans, dreams and goals that are in your scope.

The world provides us with all kinds of experiences and a great measure of success or failure depends on our willingness and ability to respond effectively to the challenges we face. It is not what happens to us that defines us, it is how we respond.

1. lion and mouse when friends their backs

When friends turn their backs

Perhaps, like the processes of giving birth, running a marathon, passing important exams, learning a new skill or in fact any great achievement in life, bullying gives you an opportunity to face and overcome the challenge of not being supported, not being loved and not being understood.

Akin to a rite of passage, perhaps this very experience helps you to discover your own sense of self and move beyond the desire to please others.

Is bullying potentially a great gift that pushes you to step away from limiting patterns and follow your own heart?

Is it possible that bullying itself is paradoxically the very thing that causes a catalyst for personal growth and development?

Does learning how to overcome and manage bullying actually make you stronger?

“Nobody can hurt me without my permission”

Mahatma Gandhi

You may not have control over whether or not a bully shows up in your life and you may never truly understand why they chose to bully you, but you certainly do have control over how you feel and what you do about it.

Why do bullies bully?… Because they can.

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Why do bullies bully? Because they can.

To receive negative, unwanted aggressive, derisory, unpleasant, or hurtful attention, is not an indication of your value or worth.

Perhaps this very attention is instead more an indication of your latent talents and the seeds of greatness that lie within you.

Maybe this is the reminder you need that you have the potential to differentiate and step into your own power.

Could it be the bullying will give you some space and time to figure out who you are and what you really want?

Perhaps the bullying is a gift.