No, You Do Not Have to Let People Call You Names

I’ve been bullied. 
People have called me names. 
I’ve fantasized about bringing all those people down.
Instead, I decided to write this.

Why We Hate When People Call Us Names

Your identity offers you security in a world full of insecurity.
When someone tries to demean you by calling you names, they’re doing it because:
  • They’re jealous.
  • They don’t realize they’re being mean.
  • They want to feel better about themselves by making you feel lousy. 

You don’t have to like it. You don’t have to tolerate it, either. 
Soon you’ll see how to defend yourself.  
First, let’s look at why bullies call you names. 
 

Bullies Get Rewarded For Bad Behavior

Bullies want to be noticed. 
Laughing with someone is fun. Laughing at someone is mean. When you laugh with a bully, you enable him.

Bullies Want to Dominate the “Weak”

When bullies see someone they think is weaker, they see a target. 
This is a cover for the insecurity the bully feels. If that’s exposed, the bully feels naked. He can’t let that happen. So he dominates others to protect himself.

Bullies Lack Social Skills

Maybe the bully was treated that way at home. 
When you interact with others, you reflect their behavior. 
  • When someone is friendly, you’re friendly. 
  • When someone is rude, you’re rude. 
  • When someone is sad, you’re sad. 

We all want to be accepted, respected, and liked. 
Bullies achieve this by making people laugh at someone’s expense. 
Had enough? Let’s get defensive.
 

Your Battle Plan For Dealing With Name Callers

When someone calls you a name, do you want to:
  • Punch him in the jaw?
  • Start a campaign to ruin him?
  • Tell everyone on social media what a jerk he is?
Me, too.
Here’s how to stop the name calling – without being devious, slimy, or vengeful.

Confront the Bully

When my daughter was in elementary school, she told me about a girl who wouldn’t stop pestering her. 
I gave her these instructions: 

“Kayla, this is what you need to tell her the next time she bothers you. ‘That’s your opinion. Your opinion doesn’t matter. My parents think I’m great. Their opinion is what matters.’”

That night she couldn’t wait to tell me what happened. 

“Daddy, I told her that her opinion didn’t matter. She just stood there and didn’t say anything!”

We laughed, hugged, and cheered! 
That girl never bothered her again. 
Here’s what you can say the next time someone calls you names:
  • “You can call me that if you want. But I won’t answer when you do.”
  • “I’m more than that. I’m not letting you define me that way.” 
  • “Is that really all you think of me? You must be pretty shallow.”
If you’ll confront your bully, you’ll steal his reward. When that’s gone, his reason for bothering you will disappear. 
 

Remember Your Identity Isn’t Defined by Others

God made you to be something special. 
  • You’re not worthless.
  • You have gifts to offer the world.
  • God loves you, even if no one else seems to. 
That’s a solid foundation to stand on when bullies try to knock you down. 

Ignore the Bully

The bully wants attention. He wants to see you squirm. He wants you to quit trying to make your mark on the world.
Ignore him – and deny him all those pleasures. 
Soon he’ll give up.

Now Do This

Stand up for yourself. When you confront a bully, others will admire your courage. And you’ll be able to help others in the same situation. 
Now go make your world bully-free.
Posted in Communication, courage, identity, names and tagged , , , .

I’m a Writing Coach, a Promotion Strategist, and an Entrepreneur. I help writers engage readers, sell their ideas, and build their tribes. I design non-sleazy promotion plans for artists, writers, and other creatives. When I’m not writing, I love coffee and conversation.