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    The scars of being bullied as a kid run deep. You move on, and it’s something you manage, like depression. Maybe it’s totally healed when you reach a certain level of enlightenment. I’m not there yet.

    Bullies are cowards by nature. Their bravado is a smoke screen. They inflate themselves with physical, verbal, and emotional aggression. I wish I had somebody to tell me that as a kid, but I didn’t. I figured that out, on my own, as I grew up. Which is why these days I eat bullies for lunch. And breakfast. And even dinner. Although they don’t usually work for dinner. Too much fat and unnecessary calories so late in the day.

    I became a target because I was a fat, quiet kid (hard to believe now, I know), and because I had bullies in my family. That’s how it works. You attract what you are surrounded by. Most of us don’t receive any coaching on how to handle bullies. When we get older, we gain the opportunity to learn how to deal with them. 

    I started to develop physically about the same time I got into psychology, which was late high school. Gaining some physical stature, along with gaining insight into the mind of the bully proved a synergistic dynamic. I gained a confidence of both body and mind. 

    The way you deal with bullies who won’t back off is to get up in their fucking face and challenge them. With all you have. Push the envelope. They will back down. Because, again, they are cowards. By Nature. 

    And, even of you are once more beaten down by the bully, you have a rare and precious feather in your cap: You stuck up for yourself. You met the demon head on. It may not feel good in the beginning, if you lost that battle, but it will give you the juice to win the war. You are parlaying that into a victory of self. 

    I’m not promoting violence. I’m promoting self care. Sometimes that means ignoring an asshole. And sometimes it means backing him or her off. In that case, a quick wit and calm demeanor will usually be enough. 

    And I have this fantasy, where I meet each one of my bullies, one at a time. Then I kick the crap out of them. I utilize any unresolved pain as fuel. This is a fantasy. It’s not something I’ll ever act on. Because the best way to heal being bullied, or any other wound, is to be happy in life. To love yourself. To be kind, loving, supportive, and generous with your feelings. I want to lift people up. Not beat them down. I live that way most of the time. And sometimes, I think about how good it would feel to nail their sorry ass. That’s just being human.

    The higher road is to have compassion for the bully. Because they were most likely bullied themselves, and they choose to bully others as a way of dealing with their own pain. Sometimes, I have compassion for them. Right at this moment, I don’t. Which is why I’m writing about sticking it to them.

    And, ultimately, standing up to a bully is all about you, not them. Handling yourself in hostile situations is a life skill that needs constant honing. Being able to take care of yourself is something that children need to learn, as soon as possible. That starts with fostering self esteem and self love. The more of that the child has, the more equipped they are are to deal with hostility. I didn’t have much of either as a kid, so I was ill suited for any sort of attack. I would also teach my kid, boy or girl, how to physically defend themselves. If push comes to shove in the schoolyard, you want it to end quickly and in your favor. Don’t ever be the offender. But if you suddenly find yourself on the defense, you need to be a bad ass linebacker. Not a tackling dummy.


    ©2018 Clint Piatelli, MuscleHeart LLC, and Red F Publishing. All rights reserved. 

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