General Question

kalrbing's avatar

Can someone who has attracted bullies all of their life come out of it in adulthood? I have never been able to combat it correctly?

Asked by kalrbing (287points) December 13th, 2017 from iPhone

Back in 7th grade, I was bullied by my whole basketball team. All I ever wanted to do was be nice to people and make friends. This was the beginning of a never ending episode of bullies. I cried a great deal all through out middle and high school about it. The crazy thing is, I am outgoing and can make friend, but I have so many people who ridicule me. Once I went to college, I knew that a fresh start would help me redeem myself. Little did I know, it was more than just the kids I went to secondary school who felt this way about me. As an adult, I have been in so many situations where people talk down to me and I have no idea how to combat it. Even when I try to defend myself, I look like an idiot. How can I get over this. It has gotten so bad that even my boss has joined in. My abundance of mistakes (mainly meeting deadlines or being too involved with my students) gives her leverage to report me if I report her. I am a very caring teacher, and my students confide in me. She mistakes this for trying to pry into their personal lives. I have gotten to the point where I am starting to wish I wasn’t here. I just want to disappear. Trying to be friendly has worked for me in some cases, but I can never stick up for myself when I am confronted. Please help. I’m at my wits end. These tears are getting so old.

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13 Answers

Zaku's avatar

People can, but it sounds like you might need to work on whatever it is that people are bullying you about. Do you have a good idea what that’s about, or is it still mysterious? Sounds like you could probably use a coach and/or some outside perspectives.

snowberry's avatar

You really need to buddy up with another teacher. My daughter’s school alway pairs a younger teacher with a willing more experienced teacher. It’s a great help. Is something like that possible?

RedDeerGuy1's avatar

I was bullied since kindergarten it only stopped because I got 6’5” and built. There are some of my childhood buillies who got tall too and I am scared of to this day. Now when ever get scared I call the cops or at least tell someone.

MrGrimm888's avatar

Low self esteem is like blood in the water, for bully types. The way some people carry themselves, can make self esteem issues obvious.

Sometimes, we can inadvertently train others to talk, or act a certain way around us. If you don’t stick up for yourself, it gets worse. You don’t necessarily have to have witty comebacks, or need to get physical. Next time you feel someone is talking down to you, try stopping what you’re doing, make eye contact with the person, and say “please don’t talk to me like that.” Or something similar. If it’s a coworker, make an appointment with both of your superiors. Explain to the superior, that this person is making your working environment hostile. If the other person doesn’t like you for this, FUCK them. They were a jerk anyway.

Many people mistake kindness, for weakness. If you stick up for yourself, you won’t be perceived as weak.

Make it a big deal.
If someone is being a bully in public, be loud, or obvious about your displeasure with that person. They may tire of causing a scene, and looking like a ass every time they want to get a rise out of you.

Maybe take a self defense course. Not necessarily to fight anyone. But such things are great for self esteem.

If you don’t already, start working out, or exercising.

Having a healthy appearance. Having confident posture. Sticking up for yourself, and even others. These things can help a LOT…

You sound like a good person. This world, sadly, isn’t really a place for good people. You need the camouflage of a slightly different person. I’m sorry people are mean to you. People are ass holes. Try not to take it personally.

Keep your chin up.

Keep hope alive.

Good luck.

Peace n love.

Aethelwine's avatar

You need confidence and allies. Bullies are everywhere. I’m so sorry you have to deal with this.

Mr. Grimm gave a great response. Don’t be afraid to speak your mind. What do you have to lose? If you are quiet you look weak. If you are loud you make noise and people notice. Someone will find fault in whatever you do, but speaking your mind will give you more respect than staying silent.

seawulf575's avatar

Unfortunately, bullies are a part of life. It comes with being human. Often, they perceive kindness as weakness and awkwardness as a big target to shoot at. Sometimes it just takes pushing back to stop it. I don’t suggest that one day you just blow up…that would come off really odd. Nice all the time and then just blowing up? But for instance, if your boss is doing something that seems like bullying you, take her aside and tell her. You don’t have to yell, you don’t have to threaten…you just have to be firm. If she doesn’t get the hint, I would suggest filing a complaint on her. Here’s a clue on that…if you file a complaint and she tries to take action against you, that makes her look even worse.
One of the things I used to do was to learn to laugh at myself. If a bully tries picking on you and sees it bothers you, it breeds more attempts. If you take it more light heartedly, you can defuse a lot of it. Step into the joke. Maybe even turn it around on them. But don’t be mean out about it…that’s no who you are, apparently. Don’t change your core.
Bullies pick on people because they want to make themselves feel more important…higher on the food chain so to speak. If you have good standards and hold to them, that will generally put them off.

LornaLove's avatar

I really feel your pain, I know someone who was bullied and to my mind has ruined his life.

Like @seawulf575 said there will always be bullies in life not just at school, however, the damage during our formative years can be lasting.

Here are some ideas that may help you put an end to bullying but I believe that this would be a journey for you, not a quick fix.

Build your own self-esteem (find out what your strengths and weaknesses are)
Understand your boundaries, what behavior is acceptable and that which is not.
Learn how to be assertive, to say no in a none threatening way.
Start seeing yourself as a survivor, not a victim and be careful of the victim role.
Start small, meaning say no to people who seem less threatening to you.
Build a network of caring friends or people who share your passion.
Work on your body language, acquiring more assertive and confident looking postures.
Talk to a therapist.

Also, try and write down the good positive things that happen to you, since often we tend to focus on the bad relationships and things that happen.

LostInParadise's avatar

One thing that might help is to try role playing. If you can find someone to work with you, that would be great. If it is too awkward, you can do it alone. Imagine yourself in a situation with one of your tormentors. Speak the words that they would use. Then answer back assertively without getting rattled or aggressive.

Unofficial_Member's avatar

“Ignorance is bliss”, to state the obvious. Unless they’ll go for a great length to bully you or if it’s physical you’ll have no benefit to deal with these people. The most polite method to avoid bloodshed with them is to ecxuse yourself out of the bullying situation. Give your boss and coworkers a boring look and a cold shoulder whenever they make fun of you. Show them “I don’t care” personality. Their words will simply get in one ear and and out of the other. There’s no need to tell them that they’ve done hurtful things to you, they’re adults and they’re obviously not so naive as to not recognizing the effect of their action on you. Just curious, though, you didn’t mentioned what they have done to you that might qualify as bullying… but I’ll trust that it might pass as bullying.

kalrbing's avatar

Thank you all for responding. I want to apologize for my thrown together description. If I ever post about something that hurts, I throw all of my writing abilities out the window and just type.
I will have to get my thoughts together to explain some of the situations.
As for the big picture, I appreciate you all for giving your input. I believe it is a self esteem issue from reading your responses. I go to a therapist, but I’m starting to feel that we haven’t been talking about the right things.
I will give a good synopsis of my issues when I get to my computer in the a.m.

AGRSAV8R's avatar

Bullies are like sharks, except the “blood in the water” that they can sense from miles away is actually fear. They thrive on causing others fear, usually because they themselves are afraid.

I grew up in Texas, where men are supposed to act like men. I was bullied in the 4th grade, and I couldn’t get any help. Teachers were sympathetic but would not intervene- I was very angry with them.

But it turned out to be the best possible thing they could have done. I was bullied by a lot of kids, but they were led by one, a boy named Walter. One day, on the playground, I just snapped. I had had enough, and I went after Walter with everything I had. I wouldn’t say I “kicked his ass”, because I couldn’t catch him…but I landed one good punch, and he retreated “in all haste” from my onslaught, robbing him of his power.

After that the bullying stopped. Walter and I became good friends the next year, in fact.

The liberal mindset wants everyone to just get along, to love each other, blah blah blah…We are predators, and we will always be predators. It is in human nature to attack the weak- the community is only as strong as the weakest person in it. As adults, most folks can overcome this instinct, but many children- and many adults- cannot. It is within your best interests to “toughen up” is the best thing for you, and the best thing for humanity as a whole. There will ALWAYS be bullies out there, whether on the playground, as your supervisor, as a bad cop, as a criminal…doesn’t matter. You will never change them, so you must change yourself so you can deal with them.

If nothing else, learn martial arts- it’s very healthy, great exercise, and you’ll meet great people. I teach and hold a second dan black belt in Krav Maga, and I highly recommend it. It isn’t about learning to beat people up- it’s about self discipline and self confidence, and being ready if you are faced with a bully in life.

I hope I have been of some help.


kruger_d's avatar

I am a teacher and also find confrontations very stressful. It really does get better. Clearly your students trust and care for you or they would not share the details of their lives. If admin is not supportive, seek out a peer you can go to for counsel.
Also, please share this post with your therapist. I am very concerned when you say you don’t was want to be here or want to disappear.

Inspired_2write's avatar

A Bully does not care to attack a weak person, as it makes a mockery of him/her by picking on someone that could not fight back.
Apparently you “HAVE” something that they are chipping at that seems to attract attention that THEY DO NOT HAVE..and that is your Personal it compassion,friendliness,openness,agreeable personality..everything that these Bullies DON“T have and want.
You have no problem attracting people even the bullies, and they are the weak ones not you.
They want your power of attraction and personality but instead of discovering how you do it , they attack you instead to push down your attractiveness..and in their eyes cut the competition down.
Its like a robber..who checks out the area for those that have valuables to rob from.
Those that have nothing he/she leaves alone, but those that have something valuable..they try to take and if they can’t take it , they diminish it or try to rid it out of there sight as it stands as a problem that They cannot solve…so that is why they bully you.
Keep doing what you are doing and ignore them as if THEY WERE not valuable enough to even notice. Talk to a qualified counsellor if necessary in how to handle inferiority complex that they have chipped away for you to have this complex, now.
The problem was theirs , but now its turned out to be yours in that they had chipped at your confidence..but not permanently! Once you understand the dynamics of Human Behaviour then you realize your real worth IS much higher.

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