31 Things I Learned from Being Bullied as a Child

English: Bullying on IRFE in March 5, 2007, th...
Bullying isn't always done with fists.
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I hate to admit this. I was picked on as a child. Left out. Not included.

Surely some of the fault was “my own.” I was clueless on fashion. I played outside and petted my animals— a lot. I may have gone to school smelling like Grunt, my black lab or Crissy my cat with a limp and 3/4 of a crooked tail.

“Icky Vicki”
“You have no common sense.”
“You will never have any friends.”

Other things that hurt. Well, I lost weight, studied fashion magazines and was at least treated courteously by some of my classmates. But I never forgot.

What I learned from being bullied:

  1. People can be mean but…
  2. My family loves me and supports me. They know me. 
  3. I trust my family's feedback on my weaknesses above the stranger who pretends to know everything.
  4. No one is going to be liked by everybody.
  5. It isn't how I am treated that is as important as how I treat others.
  6. The more I treat others with respect and kindness, the more that comes back to me.
  7. People see the real you when you are falsely accused or maligned.
  8. I never forget those who stuck up for me when I was done.
  9. I always look for the person who is new, down, or lonely to be for that person what I wish someone would be for me.
  10. Mean people are often unhappy, bitter, unforgiving people. It isn't a way of life I want to emulate.
  11. Kind people are happy, joyful, forgiving people. This is who I want to be.
  12. The greatest Teacher I have ever known came to earth and was mistreated too. I should know if I am doing anything good at all that such things will happen to me.
  13. Often in criticism is a grain of truth I can learn from. I can't stop my ears to what others are saying but neither can I let it derail me from following me dreams.
  14. No one is going to give me my dreams. I have to seek, pray, work, and struggle and maybe a few of them will work out.
  15. I can't let the fear of being outnumbered by unkind people keep me from speaking for those who are afraid to. God allowed me to experience the loneliness for a reason and part of it is so I can speak up and be ok with it. (See 1-12.)
  16. Most people are great, wonderful, kind people who are afraid of being hurt themselves.
  17. All it takes for bullying to happen is for good people to say it is none of their business and say nothing.
  18. Sometimes teachers are the worst bullies. These teachers side with the “popular” kids and don't look deeper to know what is happening. They should know better. The “majority” doesn't always tell the truth.
  19. Bullies gather when good people run away.
  20. No one is perfect. Life is a succession of forgiving and being forgiven. 
  21. Thank goodness for those who let a person change course and take a new path.
  22. There are many that choose to stereotype and let others make up their minds for them instead of getting the facts.
  23. I need to make my classroom a safe place.
  24. I need to make my blog a safe place.
  25. I can't do much about other classrooms and other blogs but I can speak out when necessary.
  26. There are lots of great amazing, trustworthy people in this world. I can't let the existence of those who are unkind, untrustworthy and hateful prevent me from making new friends.
  27. Friends can quickly become enemies when they get jealous.
  28. If I help others follow their dreams maybe a few of them will help me back in return, although we help because it is the right thing to do.
  29. I can become a bully if I forget what it feels like and am not careful. It is easier for me to bully because I've seen how it is done.
  30. Those who bully you as a child either fein cluelessness or are really clueless to what they did.
  31. Bullying is never OK. To say you learn from it and excuse it is not fine. We have to do our best to do what is in front of us.

It is hard to number all the things you learn in the hard knocks of life. Sometimes the worst things that ever happened turn out to be the things that help us become the kind of person that can be of some use in the world.

If you want to know what bullying feels like, ask someone who has been there. If you've been bullied, don't let it go to waste, use your time and energy to help people.

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Vicki Davis

Vicki Davis is a full-time classroom teacher and IT Director in Georgia, USA. She is Mom of three, wife of one, and loves talking about the wise, transformational use of technology for teaching and doing good in the world. She hosts the 10 Minute Teacher Podcast which interviews teachers around the world about remarkable classroom practices to inspire and help teachers. Vicki focuses on what unites us -- a quest for truly remarkable life-changing teaching and learning. The goal of her work is to provide actionable, encouraging, relevant ideas for teachers that are grounded in the truth and shared with love. Vicki has been teaching since 2002 and blogging since 2005. Vicki has spoken around the world to inspire and help teachers reach their students. She is passionate about helping every child find purpose, passion, and meaning in life with a lifelong commitment to the joy and responsibility of learning. If you talk to Vicki for very long, she will encourage you to "Relate to Educate" or "innovate like a turtle" or to be "a remarkable teacher." She loves to talk to teachers who love their students and are trying to do their best. Twitter is her favorite place to share and she loves to make homemade sourdough bread and cinnamon rolls and enjoys running half marathons with her sisters. You can usually find her laughing with her students or digging into a book.

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Vicki Davis writes The Cool Cat Teacher Blog for classroom teachers everywhere