As much as I like this definition of the word “bully” from Dictionary.com (a blustering, quarrelsome, overbearing person who habitually badgers and intimidates smaller or weaker people), I’d best talk about bullying rather than bullies in this post.
Bullying is defined as “to act the bully toward; intimidate; domineer” or “to be loudly arrogant and overbearing.”
I have been bullied. Have you?
I have been bullied as an adult. I have even been bullied in the recent past as an adult, by another adult, if you can believe it. (I bet some of you cannot believe it.)
Eventually, I stood up to the bully. I told her, over e-mail, that I’d had enough, and she needed to get out of my face.
And so she finally did.
I made a few mistakes before I confronted the person who was bullying me. Initially, I tried to appease her instead of standing up to her. She had been kinder to me once upon a time and, for too long, I tried to focus on that instead of how she was making me feel, which was bullied.
I did not feel indebted to her but I felt like she wanted me to feel indebted to her. Like many women, I sometimes have trouble with being “nice” to people whose behavior does not merit niceness, or at least no longer merits niceness. She had been good to me and I had been good to her; we’re even as far as I’m concerned.
Another reason I was so slow to boil was that her behavior towards me put me in a bad position. If she was so hostile and demanding towards me in private, what was she saying about me in public? I could only imagine. But today, I couldn’t care less.
I got a valuable lesson out of all this: that you should always stand up to bullying. You should stand up as swiftly and fearlessly as you can, because letting a person who is bullying you think, for even one second, that she holds power over you, is going to cost you energy that is going to drain immediately right out of your body.
So, yes, I lost some valuable energy in the short run. I got bullied. She had me in a corner. Intimidating me was her intention.
But I got all my energy back instantly, eventually, when I stood up to her.
And I would stand up to her again in a heartbeat, if she ever tried to bully me again.