Is it possible to turn bullying into a gift??
Spoiler alert: yes
Yesterday I shared a YouTube Short on a subreddit.
Two phrases, 10 words, that can help people keep control when someone says something unsolicited or rude.
The link didn’t carry over to the post, & when I jumped back in to correct it one Redditor had already responded that my post didn’t matter because I didn’t list out the two phrases & whatever I had to say was meaningless anyway – then disparaged the subreddit itself.
This is bullying
In case you’re not sure – this is #bullying in a very benign form that often goes unaddressed: Someone using verbal tactics to bring down someone else’s #confidence & #selfesteem for their own enjoyment.
He was not alone.
A couple more jagged comments trolled in.
I responded back, wished them a lovely day & went about my own.
Hurt people try to hurt people.
Bullying is a fear-based control move.
I am not an expert in bullying. I leave that to the Alexander N. Andrews‘ of the world.
I am an expert on living with the effects of bullying.
And I have learned how to turn bullying into a gift.
In 2014, my niece hung herself after months of unrelenting bullying she couldn’t escape & didn’t have the resources to cope with at the tender age of 14.
She is why I believe it’s important to be open & talk about things like this.
Who knows how things might be different now if she had been able to do that?
We will never know.
How I turn bullying into a gift
So, I talk about it because
▸That first, unsolicited response shocked me, it was so unnecessarily rude.
▸It made me wonder if I was good enough, cool enough even to post on Reddit.
▸I was embarrassed that my post was publicly stomped on before it was even seen.
👆Those are all things I need to examine & understand for myself.
Because telling myself it was all ok, just rude people being rude, & that I wasn’t bothered is neither true nor helpful.
Talking it through – exploring it – with myself is my power move.
Because, ultimately, I have control over only one thing – myself.
And I have to be ok with that.
❓Why was I bothered, embarrassed, shocked?
▸Was it the word meaningless used to describe me & my contribution?
▸Was it the fear of not being accepted?
❓Why are those important to me?
▸Do I believe my value is tied to acceptance?
❓What can I learn about myself through this experience?
▸I might be placing too much importance on how I am perceived.
▸The perception of others can make me question my beliefs about myself.
▸I am strengthening my self-command muscle every day.
❓What are 3 gifts I can take from this situation?
▸I am a safe space for exploration.
▸Experiences like this help me become more empathetic and forgiving.
▸I am proud of the progress I’ve made on ‘maintaining my even strain’ when my emotional boat gets rocked.
What about you?
Ever had a similar experience?
Were you able to turn bullying into a gift?
👋I’m Gretchen 😎
👉I teach struggling professionals to turn adversity into advantage.