Published: 27th May 2023
Coach Calling: What to do and what NOT to do when attacked by bullies
One of the main reasons bullies do what they do is because they get a kick out of picking on others. The kick is intensified a hundred times when you react
I can still remember those days when I would dread setting foot out of the house and would do anything to avoid going to school. Whew! If I am breaking into a sweat as I'm typing this, just imagine how badly I've been affected by it. What am I talking about?
Being ragged, bullied, harassed, body shamed and anything else along the same lines. I've spoken enough and written more than enough about how I have faced all of the above and yet... It just didn't feel enough! That's when I realised that many like me, talk about their experience, the trauma and how it affects us mentally, but not many have focused on what to do in that situation when you're being harassed... So! Let me do my best to make you the victor and not become the victim. Get ready to slay it, yo! Cause, the game's about to change!
It's not you, it's the people around you!
There are two important things that I learnt after experiencing all of the above. One, it's not us, the problem lies with the people around you, especially our "perceived friends". I call them so because they're actually traitors in most cases. They pretend to be your friend, make you spill all your personal stuff, weaknesses and other deep private information and without us knowing, would have spilled the beans to the bullies either to escape being picked on or to just get a kick.
Two, the bullies themselves in most cases are victims of bullying and would have been bullied at home or anywhere else which has not only made them feel entitled to be the aggressor but also because they know no other way to maintain their superiority and feel supported.
The reason I start with this aspect is because, if you learn to incorporate the following advice, you'll not only avoid unnecessary confrontations but will also be better equipped to think on your feet. So here's my two cents, peeps!
One: Learn to keep your mouth shut! Take time to get to know people and then give out only the required information. Want to share something juicy, only trust your family. If you're uncomfortable, do it with someone who's been there in your life at least for a decade!
Two: Do your best to connect with the person who's trying to bully on a humane level. Once they do their bit, be calm and relaxed and ask them sincerely if it made them feel better. Tell them that you're ready to go through hell if it really makes them feel better and trust me, as long as it's not a Sociopath that you're dealing with, this type of empathic confrontation might lead you to become their bestie. Looks like you got a personal bodyguard. Say what?!
Don't kick yourself about what's happening... Remove the kick!
One of the main reasons bullies do what they do is because they get a kick out of picking on others. The kick is intensified a hundred times when you react. Trust me, I've been through this. The best thing to do is to mentally prepare yourself to not react and avoid escalating the situation but rather be calm and accept the abuses with a smile. If it is physical, without force, very politely try to remove the hand or avoid physical contact.
If it still doesn't work, then go to the other extreme and avoid reacting altogether (as long as it doesn't hurt and isn't sexual). The bottom line... The more you don't react, the more boring the ordeal becomes and ultimately makes the aggressor lose interest as they will get no kick out of harassing you. Gandhiji!
I spy... but I'll not cry!
Yup, dearie... Evidence is crucial and especially isn't a challenge today. In my school days, we neither had such advanced phones nor did we have CCTV cameras everywhere. Ensure that you garner and document as much evidence as you possibly can. In most cases, the other victims are forgotten, ensure that you get the testimonials of all the others who've been bullied too. You'll not only be fighting for yourself but shall also be getting them the justice that they truly deserve.
Forget about being the victor, become the hero! But... don't get too ahead of yourself, ensure that you involve the right people who will put an end to this. Wouldn't want to get yourself into the fire from the frying pan now, would you?
If you match the vibe, create a tribe!
Though I'm a little sceptical as it's really tough to understand who's genuine and who's not, I also wouldn't want to be like the Grinch at Christmas by being pessimistic, so here's what you need to do... create a tribe with all those who vibe, bring people together. Become the catalyst to usher in the change and use social media to your advantage.
Always remember, irrespective of how big the tribe is, as long as you're not alone and have managed to motivate more than one... it's just a matter of time before you rule! And yes, of course! We love and live in a world, where numbers talk! You hit me, we retaliate (Non violently, of course)!
Last but not least, be the Buddha and Chanakya!
Simple, be like Buddha and remain calm. Use that calmness to strategise like Chanakya. Why? Just to ensure that you're safe and protected.
Pro Tip: When you're in the BUDDHA MODE never forget how fabulous, awesome and rocking you are. You're the boss! (And tell yourself any other positive affirmations that makes you feel better) think it and it shall become true!
May your force be with you!
Hoping that we'll end this menace in society,
Adarsh Benakappa Basavaraj