Because I grew up dealing with hair loss, a common question I get is: “Were you bullied?” I was, yeah, sometimes. It wasn’t a headline story in my life. I like to think I got sort of un-bully-able by being the best I could be. I avoided bullies.
To me, bullies are like dogs that bite. They aren’t socialized enough to be alone with people safely. I don’t hate all dogs even though I’ve been bitten twice. But I do exercise caution. I was bitten recently. I love dogs – ask my kids – I’ve stopped for a “lost dog” when it was standing 3 feet away from its mailbox. I’m always on the lookout for another dog friend. I’ve been bitten once where I needed stitches and once more recently where I was badly bruised. I still love dogs, but I do realize they can hurt me. My experience tells me so.
People can hurt too. Being name called, rejected, stared at…all that hurts. And as a bald person in a mostly haired world, all of that happens sometimes. But I don’t hate people.
Someone who behaves in a way that is uncomfortable and hurtful is letting you know how badly they hurt inside. People who are brimming with self-love simply don’t go around hurting other people.
I can make space in my heart to accept this. To accept this imperfect world which also includes bullies. This helps me to accept my imperfect self, too.
After all, have you ever bullied yourself? Spoken down to, accused, rejected yourself? Have you ever looked in the mirror and told yourself you are disgusting, ugly, wrinkled? That is the worst kind of bullying. The very worst. You can’t get away from that bully.
So as with dangerous dogs, bullies are to be avoided, noted and given a lot of space. There are trained professionals who know how to do rehabilitation with dogs and people, and that’s (probably) not your job. Your job is to stay safe and recognize that the inner bully is a thousand times more powerful than the outer one. Build self-love as a defense. Enjoy yourself. Spread love and be kind to yourself always.