Hello Readers! Today you will be reading a Q&A interview I did with a very close friend of mine who has been a victim of bullying. My guest has requested to remain anonymous, but I will give you a brief introduction.
Anyonmous is a minnesotan born, world traveler who has visited a whopping 11 countries! One of those including Malaysia. She is a friendly, energetic girl who loves to sketch and finds joy in her crazy life as she is the oldest sister of four siblings (including disabilities).
I hope you will enjoy this interview. Without further ado, let us begin…
When did you first become a victim of bullying?
When I was about nine.
What forms did the bullying take?
It was a lot of just verbal bullying.
Why do you think people targeted you?
I actually still don’t know. Maybe it was just the way I acted in class. When I was younger I was more quiet and reserved. People saw me as “weak” I was just trying to be nice and maybe the people didn’t want someone nice as much as they wanted them to be mean with them. Sometimes I stood up for people and said things like, “That’s not great to be gossiping about people.” And that was probably another reason why they didn’t like me, because they didn’t want someone pointing out what they did wrong.
Did anyone try to intervene?
Not exactly, but I just remember this one time when my friend sort of did but then gave up.
How did the bullying affect you?
I just really didn’t understand why it had to be me, that was basically my only question. But I’m very thankful that my mom has always been supportive and always there, that it didn’t affect me too strongly. But there are times, when you’re having a bad day and you remember those words and it does feel sad. It feels sort of like “Oh the world’s against me” but that’s unrealistic. However, that’s how you feel. One good thing that came out of it, according to my mom, is that I’ve been more empathetic toward kids who have no friends or seem lonely. Even though it wasn’t a fun experience being bullied, the “good” side of it was that I now understand people better.
Do you think some children are more likely to be bullied than others?
Definitely. I think it’s more of the kids who tend to be quieter or the kind who are trying to follow the rules. Also people with different sizes, skin colors, and disabilities.
Why do you think bullies bully?
I think the root of the problem is that the bullies stood out at one point, got bullied and so they took it personally and felt really bad about it. The other bullies kept making assumptions and it’s sort of this bad thing of their taking it personally and thinking it’s all their fault when a lot of the time bullies bully because of other bullies in their past. It’s hard to realize that it’s not a reflection of you but a reflection of them and what’s happened in the past. Self–esteem is one of the key factors, too. If you feel really bad about yourself but your not the kind of person who hides it, but the kind of person who would feel aggressive about it… You might start thinking, ‘Hey, I can make myself feel better about myself by putting everyone else down.’ All in all, a lot of the time kids become bullies because of their past experience being bullied. But bullies are the ones who took that past experience the wrong way.
What solution do you think would stop bullying?
I think that there’s not one solution. I think it’s more that we just have to keep learning from our mistakes. There’s always going to be bad things and I don’t necessarily think you can fix the fact that there are bullies. I think that instead of trying to eliminate that, we should try to educate the victims on why this is happening to them and teach them about correct responses. Because even if we can help the bullying situation, which would be great, you can never totally get rid of evil stuff with good stuff. There’s always going to be both. So, I think it would be really good if people learn more about why bullies are tormenting kids.
What advice would you give to children who are being bullied?
Be aware that this not a reflection of yourself or what you’ve done. It’s not your fault. You’re being yourself and don’t stop that just because someone trying to make it hard for you to be yourself. Or trying to make it seem like you’re not good enough. Be different and keep that unique personality of yours.
Wow! That was an eye-opening interview for me. Especially the part where she said we shouldn’t focus on getting rid of bullies, but instead, educate the victims. If you’re being bullied or have friends who are being bullied, please take this advice to heart. It is not a reflection of who you are! Whatever names they call you isn’t the person with the big heart God sees. If you’re fortunate enough to not experience this, please do stand up for your friends or classmates. I’ll wrap up with a verse:
1 Samuel 2:8
Let those victims know that they are never alone. Raise them up from their ash heap. Show them that there is a God infinitely bigger than any nasty bully anyone is ever going to meet.
Thanks for reading! I would love to hear your insight, comments, or questions. 😀