Bullying is something that some of us are all too familiar with. Bullying can affect someone’s life in a way that is so incredibly hurtful that it is almost incomprehensible. Bullying stays with someone for a very long time. It is possible to get through it but it always stays with us. Individuals and groups of people (the bullies) have no idea about the ramifications of their behavior. They are in a state of mind where all they want to do is tear down others and they don’t care how much pain they cause. These people have a story to tell. There is something currently in their life or something in their developmental years that has caused them to go out of their way to hurt people. As a therapist, I want to look at the history of those individuals. I’m sure that once we dig into their past we can see why they behave the way they do. My guess is that they are in pain just like the people whom they are hurting, but this does not excuse their behavior.

Now, on to those who are being bullied. Some of us cannot even imagine the hurt and pain that some people have gone through. Bullies tend to go for the sucker punch. They hurt us in the areas where we are most vulnerable. Those wounds become deeper and deeper. To those of you out there who have gone through bullying or are going through bullying I want you to know a few things:

First, you are strong. You are stronger than you could imagine. Those bullies who think they are strong and maybe even look strong, they are not. They are fighting an internal battle in one of the worst ways possible and hurting you in the process. When you rise above the hurt and continue to live your life you are showing your strength.

Second, you are more than your bully. What I mean by that is if you are constantly being torn down, made fun of, or beaten up, that does not define you. Do not believe for one second anything that a bully has said to or will say to you. They, for some godforsaken reason, are trying to hurt you in the most effective way they know how. Don’t believe what they say – you are awesome just the way you are.

Third, you hold the power. Typically we think the bullies are the ones who hold the power because they have such an effect on us with just a few words or punches. In actuality, they are the weak ones. They are doing the bullying to make themselves look strong. You, on the other hand, hold all the power. You have the power to react or not react. The most powerful thing you can do to a bully is not react. I’m not speaking to those who are being physical, I’m talking to those of you who are constantly being torn down by words. If you respond in the exact opposite way the bully thinks you will respond, the power is in your hands. I can’t tell you how to respond. I just know that if the bully doesn’t get the reaction they were looking for, they will lose their battle.

You are in control of you. You can control how your bully affects you. You are resilient. Not everyone can take being bullied but if you are here, that means you can. You can control your happiness, sadness and everything in between. Don’t let those bullies think they can control you. You are the superhero. Now it’s just time for you to believe it.

If you are being affected by bullying in any way and want help healing and navigating through it we here at New Hope would love to help you. Contact us today to speak with a counselor who can help you learn to control your reactions.