How To Deal With Bullies and Peer Pressure
All of us have been at that place more times than we would like to admit where we were made to feel rejected, ostracized and perhaps even made to feel like an outcast. Other times we were lied on, called out of our names, talked bad about, and being constantly picked on, we felt bullied.
I am almost certain, like me, you too must have felt like fighting back by giving voice to the emotions you felt on the inside, only that you were too distraught, hurt and even disappointed to do so. And in some instances you just did not know what response you should give.
Our main disappointment was not so much that the action took place and we were left to feel the different kinds of emotions, it was more to do with the source that perpetrated our life and triggered the emotions in the first place.
Everything was going great until one day, the friendship we thought we could trust, we suddenly could not. It turned out to be the boss who we thought would communicate but just did not. It came from the teacher that we felt safe with, only to realize we could no longer trust him/her.
It came from among our peers and even family members, the very ones we must associate with on a daily basis.
In our quest to gain their approval and acceptance, we resorted to doing things that under normal circumstances, we never would have done.
Dealing firsthand with bullies and peer pressure
A few years ago, my youngest daughter who at the time was just fourteen years old, experienced first hand what it felt like to be bullied by young teens at the high school she attended. I recall the many days she came home from school in tears, feeling afraid and helpless.
She was taunted, geared and referred to as being ‘ugly.’ They talked about her hair, her clothes and everything else that they could to give their energy to promote and instill fear and for them to feel that they were in control. She also had her share of internet bullying through Facebook.
Like the blade of a doubled-edged sword, she felt pressured by other peers who encouraged her into negative behavior that would later on cause her to lose her innocence. By the time she got to the age of age of fifteen, it had become evident to me that she was on a collision path heading for destruction.
On the many occasions, I wanted to fight back on her behalf because honestly, I felt like I was the one being bullied. Resisting the temptation to go to her school and face the bullies myself was not easy but in the end, I submitted myself to the Spirit of God and gave ear to His word.
In my daughter’s defense, I taught her this word from Psalm 139:14 (NIV) that says:
I will praise you [God] because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. ~ Psalm 139:14 NIV
How else can we respond instead of react
According to Dale Carnegie, “When dealing with people, remember you are not dealing with creatures of logic, but with creatures of emotion, creatures bristling with prejudice and motivated by pride and vanity.” Therefore our responses should be such that we,
1. Give ourself room to make the right decision
To respond or react immediately comes quite naturally because that’s the way the brain is wired. But teach yourself to slow down on your response time in order for you to make the right decision. Never fight fire with fire.
2. Forgive them
Forgiveness is not for the ones who inflicted the pain through bullying or peer pressure, but for you in order to move on with your life. Realize those who display such negative and aggressive type behaviors are still living past experiences where they themselves were bullied by someone else.
3. Remember in life we will be put to the test
The difficult people, problems and trying circumstances that we face each day are not of our own making. So whatever God permit us to be tested with, if we allow, those things are to teach, encourage and strengthen us, to build character and help us to develop but mostly they are to cause us to draw closer to God and to depend upon Him for His timing for deliverance.
4. Put ourselves in the place of the other person
If you take some time to reflect on the other person’s perspective, it would help you to realize their own helpless state, what is causing them to act out in that way and why it is affecting you now. By knowing what they too must have been through, puts you in control of the situation so that you are better prepared emotionally to deal with the situation the next time it occurs.
5. Say a prayer
Prayer changes everything. Pray and ask God heal them from their past hurt, to forgive and to deliver them from the sin of bullying and pressuring others into wrong-doing. Pray that God would release them from the strongholds and the power of the enemy and to give you the strength, grace and the courage to face each new day with whatever challenges, test or trial that comes your way.
Have you ever felt bullied or pressured by someone else to do wrong? How did it make you feel? What was your reaction? Share your thoughts in the comment form below.
More information about Yvonne I. Wilson: empowermentmomentsblog.com