Updated: Feb 12, 2020
Today I recorded a podcast to premiere later this month. It centered around the concept of bullying. As I went through stories of bullying, I realized I had never really been bullied, but rather watched as others were slandered, pushed, punched, shamed, teased or put down. I was grateful that this behavior had not happening to me, bow could I have helped the people being victimized ? Why didn't I help them & why was I not bullied???
This is only a guess, but I have always been good at finding humor in most situations, therefore if I wasn't laughing at uncomfortable situations with bullies, I was ignoring the bully. This behavior did not come from anxiety or fear, but rather from the confidence instilled in me throughout my life by my parents and other well intended adults. Ignoring seemed to bore the bullies, and they moved on to confront their next victim.
As individuals & as a family, my nuclear family certainly celebrated successes in our lives, but they were very few and far between. Rather, my parents always told my sister and I how important it was to try, and KEEP TRYING. "You won't always do well at first...You may even fail, but with practice you will get better. "
Example: I struggled with downhill skiing initially. I took it as a college credit PE class. I was ferociously made fun of by mainly three other students, and I JUST COULDN'T find the necessary coordination to succeed on skis. I couldn't get my body to move properly. For some reason, controlled skiing was an odd adjustment for my body. Repeatedly, I was sworn at, pushed down and heckled. Everyone in the class from children to seniors were getting the hang of it, but I could do only three things on skis:
1) Shoot down the hill will reckless abandon and stop somewhere far from the towropes.
2) Make decent right turns, left turns made me fall down.
3) After shooting down the hill, when at the bottom the ONLY way I could stop was by shooting my skis sideways (only to the left) which generally shot some snow into the air. Unfortunately this move looked too showoff-y. I couldn't get my body to move properly. After 4 weeks of lessons(classes). I was blessed with a solution.
The ski instructor, who was barely older than me, instructed me to stand beside him. We stood at the top of the hill. He wrapped his arms around my torso and I was told to do the same to him. BEAR HUGS. How odd we must have looked! Next we slowly traversed down the hill. but as his body, legs and shoulders made the proper turns, so did mine. We were like one skier. It was the ol' teaching the teenaged dog new tricks. It worked immediately. I was excited and finally was able to ski and traverse the hills and eventually the mountains across the United States in our college's ski club. I had found so many ways to fail at skiing that just didn't work, until the guy actually grabbed me, held open tight & I was taught the moves. From then on, skiing was freeing and always fun. Now , there were other kids in class that kidded me about this, but it never became bullying, because I always laughed with well-intended purpose at my own failures on the slopes.
Now live, Life's Learning Curve podcast episode "Blustering Browbeating Bully Boy" centers on bullies in our lives & what we did to deal with bad bullies. What was once quite frightening, now has some humor and understanding.
It's not quite what I expected, but well worth the output. I will retell stories about some fun characters that helped mold me into todays version of me. Until then...
Listen here: Blustering Browbeating Bully Boy on Life's Learning Curve podcast
-My old friend. . . Won't you think about me every now and then.?