I have dealt with bullies my whole life. In fact I was just a child when I met the first, and as I learned recently, they’re still out there. Why is it that a few people try to make themselves feel better/bigger/stronger by cutting down/degrading/making fun of others?
I have joined two book clubs at a local library and at the afternoon one is a person who does not like me. It is frustrating to me because I am generally a people pleaser (Stop that, Rita!) and try to be well-informed, smart, funny, and loveable. I somehow failed to impress this person. Is it the color of my skin? Is it that I am Catholic? Is it that she just took an instant dislike to me for who knows why? Perhaps.
I imagine it is because, before I came, hers was the only opinion that counted. She would steamroll over anyone who disagreed with her. I, however, am not cowed by someone like her. I have seen hell; I was married to its caretaker. Bullies no longer scare me.
Do I wish she liked me? Maybe. I’m not sure I can bring myself to care. I realize that she is one of God’s children. A disagreeable one to be sure, but one nonetheless. What I see when I look at her is a privileged woman. There are those of the same place in life who don’t act in her manner. However, when someone tries to bully me or belittle my ideas, it rubs a long-traumatized place. Is it fair to put all of this on her? Perhaps not. What does God see when He looks her way? Pray for me, friends!
Note: Our family is family is facing a terribly difficult and stressful time regarding housing. Please say many prayers for us. I know God has a plan and He truly is so good, but it is human to worry, and I am no exception. Thank you and God bless!
One thought on “Making Me Small So You Can Grow”
Hang in girl! You aren’t the same person who you were before and you’re holding your own space with kindness and gentleness!
Bullies will bully. It comes from a place of deep insecurity, of feeling terrible inside. Their inner anger fuels them and spills over onto others. As much as we would like to help them, they hold onto their inner pain and anger, because the red hot waves they feel has become such a part of their identity they fear if they let it go, that the person who originally harmed them will somehow win!!
I’ve seen this over and over! A friend of mine who lives on the other side of the world with whom I have conversed with for hours through texts, recently turned her anger towards me because I hold different opinions than she does. Trust me when I say I spent hours talking her through her past traumas, but our talks only helped her while I was talking with her, for when she was alone she went back to brooding and holding onto her anger.
I saw that even though she isn’t willing to let go of her anger and be able to heal, I’ve learned and changed! In the past I’d have stuck around to try to diffuse her anger.
Now I recognize that this is her responsibility to work on! If someone directs heated anger towards me simply because I don’t agree with them, I will leave them be. She asked me directly and so I answered directly. Then I set my boundaries and am happy to live them!
Though you may desire to have things go pleasantly, she’s making her choices for how she responds to people, and good for you for sitting your ground and holding onto your own opinion!! It’s okay to disagree!
If the other person becomes disagreeable, we don’t need to jump into their game, because it is. They have learned the words to trigger people to get agitated and to argue back!
They do look for fights so they can unleash the anger they carry inside. Though they nurture it, they also suffer from it because they struggle to learn how to deal with it.
Keep doing what you’re doing! Practice your deep breathing when she starts in on you, know that your opinion counts, know that her anger is a reflection of what she’s feeling and not what you’re projecting. Keep going!