Bullying Revisited: Taking Personal Power

I was bullied growing up; I’ve written about it at length.

Go ahead and read it if you haven’t; I’ll wait…

You’re back? Great! I’ve had a few additional thoughts about it since writing it, some of them coming to mind after watching Ender’s Game (good flick, by the way).

First of all, I despise the whole “I don’t want to get in trouble” factor almost as much as I hate the apathetic “I don’t want to get involved” ideal. YOU ARE IN TROUBLE; you’re being picked on. This “punishment avoidance” thing used to be the go-to pre-emptive tactic employed by school administrators; the reason that bullying in school has gone under the radar for so long is because administrators sweep it under the carpet. ANYONE causing a disruption, whether pickee or picker, is held responsible no matter who started it. My most recent Spooky Chronicles book, “Greene Square Middle,” was absolutely based on the relationship I had with my own Vice Principal in Junior High when I decided to fight back; I told him that if he didn’t do his job to keep me safe, then he’d better get used to seeing me around since I had to do his job for him.

The second is about taking personal power. Feeling powerless is bad enough without others reminding you of it, but if you have power, even if it isn’t the same as someone else, it’s still empowering. Not everyone can be the sports star or naturally athletic; not everyone can be the prettiest or most attractive. If you want these things, you might be able to achieve them through other means, but it’s more likely you have other talents, things that make you relevant to yourself: you’re NOT worthless.

Maybe you can create art or write. Maybe you can fix engines or design vehicles. Whatever it is, navigating social circles isn’t about letting everyone know who you are and what you can do; it’s the natural presence you exude when you draw on the self-confidence from believing in your own personal power. Others will feel it even if they don’t know what the source of it is, and when everyone has that, they have nothing to pick on you for because that belongs to you and you alone.

Only YOU can allow yourself to feel worthless; never give your personal power away.

P.S. And if you have personal power, don’t abuse it and become what you hate. Remember: with great personal power… yada yada yada. 🙂