This is a hot-button issue for me, because there is something in my personality that gets fired up by a bully, more than almost any other issue. Bullies are truly cowards, but to the one being bullied at school or at work, that doesn’t seem true. Many times someone getting bullied feels they are all alone, which is why others need to be aware and step in to help.
In his book Unstoppable, Nick Vujicic talks about when he was bullied at school (you can read my book review of Unstoppable by clicking here). He then offers a list of symptoms to be aware of in someone close to you.
Common signs that someone is the victim of bullying include:
- Increased reluctance to go to school or work events that peers attend
- Refusing to discuss the day’s events upon coming home
- Torn clothing, unexplained injuries, and stolen items
- Asking for extra money to take to school
- Carrying weapons to school
- Reporting headaches, stomach problems, and nervousness before leaving and upon returning home
- Reporting an inability to sleep or having bad dreams
- Increased problems concentrating
- Major changes in eating habits, either more or less
- Little or no social interaction with peers
- Self-harming through cutting, scratching, hair pulling, and other means
- Appearing fearful to leave the house
- Running away from home
- Sudden drop in school or work performance
- Dramatic darkening of mood before leaving and upon returning home
- Negative and self-critical expressions
From his personal experience, Nick also offers this wise advice—
If you are a victim of bullying, remember that the most important battle you must win is the one within. What someone else says or does to you should never define who you are. God created you for a purpose. You have value in His eyes. Put your faith in that, and then put that faith into action by rising above any criticism, gossip, or abuse that happened in the past. You were perfectly made by God. Don’t let anyone tell you differently. A bully wants you to believe that you are less than you are, because putting you down makes the bully feel superior. You don’t have to play that game. Focus instead on building upon your gifts. God will take care of the rest. Joy and fulfillment will come as you walk the path created for you and only you.
If someone is bullying you at school or at work, please tell someone close to you. Trust me: they want to help you!
Let’s be aware of these telltale signs in those we love, and then step in to help where needed. A great resource to help you navigate the nasty world of bullying is The Jeremiah Project 51. Please click on the link and check out their resources.