Ignoring Bullies Really Does Work

I was reading on someone’s blog earlier today about how everyone keeps giving advice to just ignore the people who are winding you up and getting on your nerves. This person was looking for other advice to their problem.

My response was ignoring is best, as it really does work. Now I know this not because I have been on the receiving end of such bad luck so much but I do remember dishing it out once.

Let me share with you.

I was 16 and at college, there was this girl there that just got on my freakin nerves. I don’t know why but she just rubbed me up the wrong way. Sometimes you meet someone in life and they grate on you like someone running their nails down a black board or a drill drilling through metal, well this was one of those times.

Usually even at that young age if someone wound me up or irritated me I would just be a proper bitch back to them and found it really funny because the banter would be fun, I’d always get the upper hand ( coz I’m sharp, very sharp ok ) what? why the raised eyebrows? Yeah I’m all grown up now but this was when I was young, sort of naive and 16 and I’ve calmed down a lot since then. ( That’s why I can tell the story now)

Anyway let me carry on. :P

I can’t even remember her name but she was kinda cute and pretty and wore this long purple coat no matter what the weather. She also carried a briefcase and would hold her body so stuff and straight. What I clearly remember is that she had a head shaped like an egg. Yeah, a proper egg.

We never had classes together but did hang about in the same area but she was always on her own, I invited her over to join our group but she would always decline, she would just stand poker straight and never sit down anywhere. I used to think she took classes standing up too. So I would stand and chat with her and discovered that she was the cousin of a guy I was at school with called shezi.

Now Shezi was a really troubled dude and used to drink a lot, I always remember him drunk so I wanted to know how he was doing and she would just get all sarcy and narcy with me. I think that was the start of our downfall as friends.

Now, don’t get me wrong I tried to be nice but god only knows what she got into her egg head because she started drawing me dirty looks and daggers. So being the way I was, not taking crap from no one and having to always have the upper hand in front of my friends I would ask her what she was staring at. etc etc.

She would turn her back on me and refuse to reply. It just spurred me on even more. Thing is I’m not a bully but I know now that I did start to bully her mercifully. I never missed or wasted an opportunity to have a go at her and I wasn’t the only one, there were others too.

I think what spurned me on the most was the fact that I couldn’t get a response out of her. She continuously ignored me and would always turn her back on me, even if it meant her facing the wall.

Slowly the fun started to go out of teasing her. When friends would point her out to me and say let’s go get egg head I found myself saying “What’s the point, she is boring”

One day my mom sent me out for some milk to our local corner shop and I bumped into Shezi, first thing that I blurted out was “Your cousin is such a weirdo!” and continued into a tirade of abuse and complaints about her. He said that she is a pain in the ass bla bla. He actually agreed with me.

Next day back at college I went looking for her and I as soon as I saw her I made a bee line for her. As soon as she noticed me she turned and faced the wall and I knew straight it was pointless as she was going to ignore me again. I tried anyway and told her what Shezi said about her and it’s true you are a pain in the ass etc. I pushed her but no reaction and now for some reason I was getting really mad and then suddenly I seen her hand shake and new I’d gone too far. She was petrified of me and I only just noticed it, I think finally getting a reaction from her just gave me some satisfaction that I did have an effect on her. It was enough for me at that point and after that I left her to it.

Something inside me sort of came to light too and for a while it was hard as a 16 year to process but I knew what I’d done was wrong, in fact always knew but just ignored it. There was something else though and it bugged me untill I finally realised what it was.

It was the fact that she showed so much resilience to me and never gave a reaction till that day. She was ignoring as we are always taught to do when we are being bullied and boy did she carry it out. Also her cousin pointed out to me that no “one likes her everyone picks on her, she is a pain” So she did know what she was doing because I wasn’t the first person she had come across that took this attitude with her. She was just different to others and knew what she wanted and what she didn’t. I was just too naive and immature to see it or respect it.

That was a decade ago and im all grown up now. When I look back I admire her guts, patience and resilience. I learnt something from her and I will never forget what she taught me, that ignoring does work.

I wasn’t a bully but for some odd reason I bullied her because she appeared weak and stupid but in all honesty she is the strongest person to this day that I’d ever met. After my encounter with her I knew how to deal with negative people who came into my life and made my life a misery. I’ve never given a reaction to anyone who is looking for one. I know they will eventually get bored, tired and bugger off and leave me alone.

While writing this post I suddenly remembered her name it was Salma. I did some years later come across her in town one day. She was coming my way and I just stopped dead in front of her and smiled. I straightway saw the panic in her eyes and she still ignored me while I tried to apologise to her and ask how she was doing.

I was quite disgusted with myself that I made her life a misery that even years later she refuses to speak to me… frankly I don’t blame her. What I wont forget and will always be thankful for is the lesson she taught me.

26 responses to “Ignoring Bullies Really Does Work

  1. hmmm yes ignoring works.. I have had a very terrible schooling. I was bullied a lot as such i was a hosteler in india and i spent a lot of time in hell, with not many friends in hostel, morning were beautiful as i was in school with my friends , It was now i realise that i should have told them what ws going on in hostel.. But anyway i kept it quiet and just beared it ..

    It all changed in college i made some friends who would break anyone’s legs arms if they saw someone even so much shout at me , so my confidence grew and I am now what i am …

    although i must add after one year of college .. I was complete opposite of what i was in school a different person , I could take a gang of guys all alone ..

    I guess its all part of growing up..

    maybe if you meet her again she will talk ..

    • There were times when I was picked on and yeah it does make you miserable… if you have people looking out for you it’s great… in my case I had them egging me on.

      Perhaps she will talk to me but she didn’t the last time i bumped into her.

    • There have been times I’ve been picked on and some just need to be given a taste of their medicine… but I’m glad i learnt what I did … it makes me who I am todaY. :)

  2. This was a very brave post to write, my friend. A very unique – and much-needed – perspective on bullying. It should have been Freshly Pressed.

    • Thanks Hook… Glad to see you are feeling better now… I wanted to share and show that as much as we think ignoring doesn’t work.. if you persevere it does.

      Freshly pressed… ah a dream come true… :P

  3. Admittedly its not easy wring about your own experiences as either some who bullied or bullied other people.
    During my time at school, college and University, I had my fair share of sorting out bullies, throughout my education I have been fortunate to be with the same group of friends. Bullies never dreamt of interfering with us, majority of the time we were asked by mainly girls to help them as bullies were making their lives hell, especially at college. In all honesty we use to love it, having our opportunity to flex our muscles invoke our connections.

    Let’s put it this way, we made plenty of guys declare their victims as either being their sisters or brothers.

    Some people handle bullying well some simply head towards a miserable life and edge towards suicidal frame of mind.

  4. I was bullied at school and beaten at home, so I have many bad memories of school.

    The three lads (They never dared be apart) who bullied me went on to do serious jail time.

    Last heard of all three were drug addicts and in prison, one for rape.

    I spent six weeks in psychiatric hospital with one of them, but he relapsed and was re-arrested, so that that was the last i saw of him.

    When one of the butch lesbians at school cornered me and tried to beat me up to impress her girlfriends I busted her nose with a chess set and ran away laughing.

    she never tried to touch me ever again…

    Bullies NEED vulnerable prey and pick on the weakest and most vulnerable to persecute.

    I was an abused child so I was easy prey, but they still needed three to one odds.

    They were allowed to bully at will because the teaching staff wouldn’t intervene.

    In the end they only backed off when I fought back and injured one of them.

    Suddenly beating ‘Joe 90′ wasn’t so easy…

    love and hugs.

    Prenin.

    • When one of the butch lesbians at school cornered me and tried to beat me up to impress her girlfriends I busted her nose with a chess set and ran away laughing.

      sorry Prenin but I couldn’t stop laughing at this bit… great job…

      I think you can be really strong when you need to be and stand up for yourself when the time is right.. You are just amazing :)

  5. It really depends honestly.There’s no universal way to handle bullies.Most bullies I knew would get enraged even more by trying to ignore them.Maybe it differs with female bullies

  6. It takes a brave person to walk away and not retaliate, to smile in the face of bullies which is the only thing that hurts them more.

    It takes an even braver person to admit they once bullied someone, or left a negative impression on someone who may never forget.

    Nice post.
    D.

    • I think I can write about it today because I learnt from it and I’m not that person I am today. If I was still in that frame of mind I’d never admit to what I had done…

  7. Pingback: The Use of Force | eitheory.com

    • HAHAHA! That’s so funny! LOL :)

      “…but that’s just you”” You know… sometimes you just have to confront some people. I mean, they’ll keep pushing and pushing … which is no good either.

  8. I cannot stand Bullies…
    Ignoring has worked for you
    Princess and you have the
    courage, and the wisdom…

    Have a lovely Thursday now
    and be good also or else? :)

    Androgoth XXx

  9. That was a brave post and an insightful perspective. It’s too bad she wouldn’t talk to you even years later. I think it would’ve been healing for both of you.

  10. I like that you were able to see that you were a bully and see why this person was ignoring you. Speaking as a misunderstood person my self I am going to shout it out NOT EVERYONE IS THE SAME. SOME PEOPLE ARE JUST SHY AND CANNOT RELATE TO OTHERS, SO IF YOU ASK US TO DO SOMETHING WITH YOU, WE WILL SAY NO BECAUSE WE FEEL UNCOMFORTABLE AND IT IS OUR RIGHT TO SAY NO. DONT ASSUME THAT WE ARE BEING SNOBS AND HENCE BE CRUEL TOWARDS US. Being shy always makes others beieve that I am ignoring them and that it is an invitation to bully me, gossip abourt me or be just plain cruel to me. And these people are never alone, they love to travel in packs. Newsflash….. everyone is not a social butterfly like you. Allow people to be who they are.

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