I don’t know which came first for me…the low self esteem or the bullies that pulled at the little bit of self esteem I did have. I spent a great deal of time thinking that I was the problem because I was surrounded by people who put me down. It has only been in recent years I can accept a compliment from anyone. And has taken even longer to believe the person actually meant it…I usually think they are just being nice or are taking pity on me -so had to find something nice to say.
I am not sure that bullies actually realize the affect they have on people. Individuals develop eating disorders, depression, anxiety and their lives are affected by the words and actions of bullies. And by the silence of others.
You can find a bully in every area of life. School, Work, relationships, social groups, churches and in businesses. I have sat in my car more than once building up the inner strength to face co workers who intimidate or put me down. I spent many days crying in the bathroom at school or into my pillow at night because of the cruel things other kids said….not because they said them, but because I thought they were true. Another piece of my confidence and self esteem was chipped away and the little voice in my head said “see I told you that you’re fat, or stupid or whatever.” Then I would repeat what was said until it was just part of what I thought about myself.
I eventually learned my self worth was not tied to what others thought of me, but happiness and being fulfilled comes in the love and support I give to others. I learned to love who I am and to find a way to turn negative experiences into growing opportunities. I would have missed so many incredible blessings and amazing experiences if my life had ended back when everything seemed dim, lonely and hopeless. I wouldn’t have known the incredible power that one person can have to make a positive change.
If we each went about life as the Anti-Bully we could ensure every single person knew they were important, that they matter. People wouldn’t feel alone in a world filled with billions of others.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), someone around the globe commits suicide every 40 seconds. In the year 2000, 815,000 people lost their lives to suicide — more than double the number of people who die as a direct result of armed conflict every year (306,600). suicide is the fourth leading cause of death and the sixth leading cause of disability in the world for people between 15 and 44.
Many of these suicides or the thoughts and hopelessness that leads to them are due to the cruel and bullying actions of another. Often when one bully starts, a group will follow…or will just stand there and say nothing, saying nothing in the mind of a person being bullied is like you are agreeing with what the bully says…We could all stand to be a little kinder, a little more accepting, a little more pro active in making a difference and changing the world for someone who sees it at a dark and lonely place. If you don’t have something nice to say, don’t say anything at all….then search your soul til you can see the light in others. You can change a life…you decide if it is positive or negative