Bullies are awful. They take pride in making others feel pain. They enjoy seeing other people uncomfortable. Even if they don’t exactly know that they are being bullies, the lack of regard for the feelings of others is a major character flaw that sadly won’t go away until they realize the harm that they are causing. So how do you deal with a bully? In most cases, you don’t. People advise you to just “walk away” or “kill them with kindness.” According to one bully, the answer was completely unexpected.
Once when I was a kid, I invited a kid that I bullied horribly over to my house. It was for a sleepover: only because I was told I had to do something nice for someone I hurt by our priest during confession (I went to a catholic school)…
The next day, after a pretty boring night, we were playing in the snow banks and I lied telling him my foot was stuck and I couldn’t get it out.
He ran well over a mile back to my house to get my mom to “save” me.
Well, that kind of woke me up and made me realize “this kid isn’t that bad.” After that day I never bullied anyone again, and 20 years later that turd that I bullied so terribly is still my best friend, was the best man at my wedding, and is the godfather of my first child.
The answer? Apparently, just be a good person. That little kid kept giving his bully the benefit of the doubt. He went to a sleep over, even though they weren’t friends. He went to play with him out in the snow, even though his bully wasn’t nice to him. He ran to fetch help, even when the bully might not have done the same. That level of integrity was bound to have a strong influence on the people around him…luckily, this story ended well! Never give up on kindness – even when the world seems not to care. You never know who you will influence!
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