Let’s Talk Haters. Bullies, Beware.

Bullying happens in the workplace, in college, in relationships. Bullying isn’t just limited to middle school. Bullying happens to everyone, to some extent.

Some people don’t even realize that they’re being bullied. I’ve dealt with my own haters throughout my life, but I’m not here to cry about that. It would be easy to sit in the mindset of “oh poor me”- the challenge is to realize that what we have been through doesn’t make us who we are but instead how we handle it reveals our true character. But why is it that some can’t break the habit of bringing others down? Life should be about more than just surviving middle school bullies and keeping your head above water. I remember how much I absolutely hated going to school in seventh grade. My parents had to literally pull me out of the car and walk me to the door every day.

What are the reasons for bullies to act the way they do? Is it just because of their own insecurities? That’s what I have always been told, but is that just a cop-out? Or is it actually because of jealousies of the human heart? Some people have apologized to me later after hurting my heart and explained it was out of jealousy. A now close friend of mine and I had a heart-to-heart about why we crossed paths. She explained she was rude to me and hated me because her friends did. She followed the peer-pressure of her own so-called friends to hate on me, just because I was different. I was pursuing things outside of “the average high school teen.”

It’s difficult dealing with people who are difficult.

You may laugh but you know that it’s true. Here are some things that help me when faced with these challenges:

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  1. Lean on your family. My family is the only thing that has helped me get through years of haters. 

  2. Remember who your friends are. Your true friends. When hard times come, true friends have your back and walk through your struggles with you. 

  3. Puppy therapy. ALWAYS. Puppies are the perfect cure to a sad face. 

  4. Know who you are. And stay true to that. Other people will always try to crush your dreams whether it’s something like running a marathon or running for president. Don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t or shouldn’t do something. You can do anything you set your mind to.

  5. Keep your skin thick. This is something I’ve had to learn and grow. It has taken me eighteen years to get to a point where the opinion of others doesn’t affect who I believe that I am. It’s definitely easier said than done but it can be done. 

  6. Don’t let your guard down. 

  7.  I’ve had my fair share of internet trolls but that’s a story for another time. Literally “delete” comments that you bring you down. Instagram trolls are the worst so just block them online and in real life.

  8. Don’t engage with the haters. That’s what they want you to do. They want to get a reaction out of you so the saying “fake it ’til you make it” applies here. Instead of acting in anger or whatever your first impulse may be, reply with kindness. Kindness is key to making a bully leave you alone because then they get confused and have no idea how to react. It’s hilarious. Just watch.

  9. Don’t let things get to you. Even if you feel hurt and worthless, know that you are not and move past it. Feelings are valid but they do not define who you are. You may feel like you’re alone but know that you are not. I’ve been there and I’m sure everyone you know has felt the same at one point or another in their life. 

It’s easy to fall into “I’m the worst. I hate myself. No one likes me.”

But you can’t dwell on the negative. We have to see the beauty that life has to offer. That’s why I now try my best to live my life – La Vida Mas Bella. A life more about doing things for me, doing things that bring me joy so that I can spread my joy to others and help inspire to make this dark world a brighter place. It’s taken me until 2018 to realize this: People’s opinions of me are not me. Just because I have felt worthless in the past, doesn’t mean that I am. My worth is not defined by the people around me. I get to decide what I’m worth and so do you.

Moral of the story: Don’t let haters win. Rise above it and keep pressing on. Hold your head up. Above water, above the clouds, above everything. You can do anything you want.