Standing up for yourself
Typically, at some point throughout our lives, we get bullied. It usually starts in grade school and sometimes persists throughout our entire academic journey through high school. Yet, to overcome bullying, we must do one thing, stand up for ourselves.
Have you ever been bullied? I am sure you have at one point or another in your life. The fascinating thing about bullying is that it comes in many forms and can come from any number of individuals. A bully could be anyone from a kid in your class, to your teacher, parent, or supervisor at work. Those who are hard at work to exploit the vulnerable don’t care about titles or positions; they see one thing, intimidation.
Anyone who attempts to get their way by intimidation is a bully, point-blank. There are many more effective and efficient techniques to get the point or idea across without inflicting a level of mental or physical anguish. Just as we grow older and evolve, so does the bully. As mentioned, a kid in your class might have bullied you when you were younger, but maybe now it’s your supervisor who takes the honor.
If bullies know one thing, it’s how to take advantage of people. They do so by seeking out the vulnerable. For example, my girlfriend recently had a problem at work because her manager made an assumption about her based upon what someone else told him. Rather than going straight to the source and ask about it, he decided to make his own drastic decision by letting her go without any credible evidence. He reasoned that he was given wrong information, yet, didn’t want to correct his mistake by ensuring she still had a job and, instead, opted to tell her if she wanted to work there he would rehire her, but she would have to start over.
Of course, this is in no way acceptable. My girlfriend, like many other people, avoids confrontation at all costs. Before she got on the phone, she had a plan to let him know all of her concerns and how she believed what happened to her wasn’t fair. However, once she got on the phone, that all but disappeared. She froze like a piece of ice and said she would comply with his request to rehire and complete a background check.
As you could imagine, at that moment, I was infuriated because I recognized the type of person her supervisor was, a bully—one who feeds off the insecurities and inefficiencies of other people to his or her own advantage. I was disgusted, and when she hung up, I immediately told her it was not okay for him to treat her like that. That, no matter what position you’re in, you should be valued as an employee enough to be aware of your job status. Which, by the way, no one notified her. She attempted to go to her employee login service to find out she no longer had access. She then reached out to one of the managers, only to be told she had been let go.
“If you don’t stand up for yourself, no one else will.”
We are all thankful for the individuals who stepped up to the plate and spoke up for us throughout our lives when we couldn’t, but sooner or later, we must stand up for ourselves. There will always be people in the world who look to exploit, take advantage of, and capitalize on others. These types of people must be met with the same energy and confidence they exude. For if we are to get around a wall, we have two options, to go around it or through it.
Now, I am not saying to stoop down to the level of ignorance most bullies have. But there will be times throughout our adulthood, such as a job salary negotiation, mortgage refinance conversation, or a strained friendship when we are most susceptible to fall victim to bullying. But it’s in these times we learn so much about ourselves and how we aren’t willing to settle for anything less than we deserve.
If you have the experience, ask for a higher salary. If you have fantastic credit and many assets, ask for a better mortgage rate. If you’ve given your all to a friendship, but don’t receive the same, seek a better one. Sadly, people will always try to take advantage of others, especially if you always attempt to see the good in people, like my girlfriend. But one thing is for sure:
“Don’t ever lose the quality of seeing the best in everyone because of a few bad apples.”
It’s an excellent quality to have and one that pays dividends. Don’t ever compromise the person you are to reach another person at their level. But also, don’t let anyone ever think they can take advantage of you. We must always stand up for ourselves and lead passionately, fervently, and graciously.