Advice for my Son: Bullies

Today, I want to talk to you about bullies. Bullies come in all shapes and sizes, ages and backgrounds. At times, it will feel as though the bullies you face will make your life unbearable.

I’m here to tell you that no matter how powerful a bully appears, you are stronger. You have every tool you need to overcome them inside you.

What Bullies Won’t Tell You

Bullies won’t tell you things that they deal with. They won’t tell you about their terrible home lives.

They won’t speak about their absentee or abusive parents.

They won’t open up to you about growing up poor or feeling disadvantaged.

They won’t tell you about how deep inside they feel like a loser, and the only win bullies receive is the balancing of the scales they perceive when they put you down and make you feel even worse than they do.

Bullies won’t sit down and explain that they feel trapped by their limitations. They won’t tell you about their difficulty getting by day-to-day.

Bullies won’t share their experiences with bullying. The helplessness they feel against the bullies in their lives that drag them down until the only way out they see is to pass the pain along to you.

Bullies won’t tell you about their insecurities. The emptiness they feel inside every time they see you and your friends getting along while they either sit alone or have to surround themselves with people that bully them just to feel a sense of belonging.

Bullies won’t say these things, but they’re true.

How to Overcome a Bully

The secret to overcoming a bully is simple. Love and understanding.

Show them the compassion they never received in life. Push back anger with empathy. Offer kindness in exchange for negativity. Show them that hate is not a pathway to victory, but part of an endless loop of defeat.

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. once said, “Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.”

There are times when you have to walk away. Not everyone is ready to be helped. Do so knowing that you didn’t feed into the problem. Instead, you broke the cycle so that one day he or she will be open to change.

When times are tough, don’t be afraid to ask for help. It is easy to feel trapped or ashamed. Turn to your friends and loved ones for support. There is no shame in asking. Everyone needs a support system in their lives, sometimes.

I’m not saying you should answer a fist with a hug. I’m not telling you that you have to accept abuse. You have every right and reason to stand up for yourself. To defend and protect yourself from harm.

Bullies can be rich or poor, young or old. They can be classmates, relatives, authority figures, and even total strangers. You will encounter bullies throughout your life.

But the moment you realize that there is nothing they can do to make you change your heart, you’ve already beaten them all.

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