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.
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.