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Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Beating the Bullies


I always considered myself strong. And in many ways I am. But I'm recently discovering just how susceptible I am to bullies. I cower and cave-in and feel threatened and scared and lose my ground under such threat. Not when it's from a stranger. I've stood up to strangers. But when it's from someone close to me. When someone I have invested my love and care into turns on me, and turns everything around to make me the bad guy, I start to doubt and question myself. I start to wonder if maybe something is wrong with me, even when the truth is in black and white where everyone else can see but me.

I'm not going to let this keep happening. I don't want to be bullied. Or threatened. Or abused. Or hurt. Or controlled. Or manipulated by those who turn it around and make it sound like I'm the one doing all of this. It's a tricky situation. Both parties probably feel in the right and justified. And both parties probably have friends and family who will agree with them and side with them. I guess the proof is in the pudding, as they say, though I don't really know what that means. What does pudding prove exactly?

But the point is, results. Reality. Truth. It's self-evident in a hundred different ways if I get my head out of the sand and care to look. All aspects of life, from self-care, to money, to diet, to child care, to home care, to responsibilities, to emotional health, all can be seen through a relatively impartial light in many ways. And it's this and many other things that keep me from getting sucked in. Of course, the fact that my best friend gives me a figurative kick in the butt whenever I wander down the path of hysteria and self-pity doesn't hurt either.

After all, bullies can only be bullies when they have a victim. Well, I'm officially retiring from that role in life. They do what they do to asuage their guilt and try to make themselves look right in the face of all the ways they hurt and manipulate the people around them. They can't admit what assholes they are, so they turn the table on their victims. But only if the victims allow it. And fighting back by throwing mud isn't usually the best way to handle them. Then you're playing their game and it will just go back and forth, getting no where fast.

Sometimes, the best response to bullies is to step back, say nothing, and let them blow their hot air at themselves for awhile. And then go dancing.

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