Are You Your Own Bully?
When I was much younger, I was sort of bullied. I say “sort of” because there was no physical harm done and there was nothing I would consider verbal abuse. Being a darker-skinned person was the cause for much of the ridicule. Being an African, your parents recourse comes in two forms. One is asking you: “Are words going to kill you?” The other is, “Well, you will be a stronger person because of it.” I don’t mean to make my parents sound harsh but African culture expects certain toughness when it comes to things like this, and besides they were right; I did become a stronger person because of it.
Still, it wasn’t until my late teens, that I truly became comfortable in my own skin, literally. When the movie, “Dark Girls” came out it was interesting to see that I wasn’t the only one who had struggled with it. Women of all age ranges, even women in their 50s still had painful memories of their ridicule. It was heart-breaking to watch, but I think it made me realize that it had been a blessing for me to intentionally “get over it” at a young age.
Have you ever had anything people made fun of you for?
When most people meet me, they recognize a confidence that I have and for the most part it’s true. I am confident in my intelligence, personality, and values. Still, it wasn’t until something my senior year college roommate said that made me realize I was insecure about how attractive I thought others thought I was. We were talking about my inability (which is really my unwillingness) to approach guys. She said, “I think you automatically assume that guys you‘re attracted to won’t be attracted to you….and that’s silly” Those words rang in my ear – it was like a secret about me that I wasn’t aware of until she pointed it out.
Then I was watching a Lifetime movie that centered on the same theme and this girl told her brother that he was already ruling himself out without even giving himself a chance. He was being his own bully.
Are you your own bully?
Do you sometimes think that you’re not good-looking enough or smart enough or generally good enough for something (or someone) that you don’t even try to go after what you want? I know that up until recently and after talking with a new friend who is very into the psychology of women and the way we think, I had been my own bully when it came to that area of my life. I did feel like guys that I was attracted to would not go for me. The same way some of my friends thought they weren’t smart enough for certain classes or majors or jobs. The same way people I know believe they aren’t good enough to be at certain restaurants or places or around certain people.
I had to change the way I saw myself. For someone who feels so confident in many things, to be insecure about an area like this is, well, a little ridiculous. I had to have a serious conversation with myself and to STOP being my own bully.
Looks, intelligence, values, etc. – they’re all touchy subjects .They are also things that can make us feel insecure at one time or another because there will always be someone who seemingly is prettier, smarter, funnier and “better.” Still, it’s high-time many of us start believing that we DESERVE what we want. Whether it’s the guy you’re attracted to at your gym (cough, cough), the job you seek, the lifestyle you want and even the person you want to be. YOU DESERVE IT.
So I ask again: Are you your own bully? If so, about what? Moreover, what are you going to do about it TODAY?