Being Bullied as an Adult
All my life, I have been short. I’m exactly 5 feet tall. I reached that height when I was 13 years old. Since elementary school I have been teased about my height. I had an array of awesome nicknames, Strawberry Short Sh**, Stump, Short Stuff and Little Amy. My favorite given to me by a teacher none the less, “Homo Amy”. This was because I had to homogeneous genes that made me short. The teacher wasn’t teasing me, but trying to teach us about genes. You can’t be in junior high and have your classmates hear something like that without snickering or it being repeated. I’ve been locked in my own locker and thrown in a garbage can, all because I’m short. I’d love to personally thank the football player who rescued me from the garbage can! Dave, thank you! (Yes, I’ve never forgotten that!) I gotten used to being teased, and oddly enough am still teased til this day. My head still gets used as an arm rest or a table. I’m 45 years old, an ADULT and still getting teased about being short. Really????
I’ve developed my own short jokes as a sort of defense mechanism. Beat them to the punch, by making fun of myself. My true friends NEVER tease me about my height. They never really mention it, or say anything about it. It doesn’t matter to them as it shouldn’t. Sure I get annoyed with not being able to reach things, but for the most part I don’t think about my height. It’s never defined who I am as a person. It’s a physical trait much like having a type of nose, or curly hair. It’s not who you are!
I’ve never paid that much attention to anyone’s height, until I started thinking back to all the “wonderful” people who have teased me over the years. They have mostly been boys/men, who for a boy or a man are considered short. It’s very rare that a tall woman makes fun of me, but it has happened. Why do people STILL feel the need to make fun of someone else?
According to Nathan A Heflick Ph.D of Pyschology Today post: “When you insult or criticize someone else, it may say more about how you are feeling about yourself than the other person. Insecurity over ourselves drives much of the cruelty in the world.”
According to Samuel Kee from Hope Stands he states, “The kind of person who does NOT make fun of others does not need to. He is sure of himself. She has nothing to prove. This person has enough assurance on the inside, so that there’s no need to cut down others on the outside.”
Essentially, instead of maybe lashing back at these people because let’s face it, we all want to! Perhaps they deserve our pitty. They feel so bad about themselves, they have to knock us down to feel better about themselves. Clearly we are the victim of their mean behavior, but if we don’t let it affect how we feel about ourselves, then they don’t win. Perhaps telling them, “I see you are feeling insecure about yourself and it makes you feel better when you make fun of me. I’m sorry for you.”, might end the teasing or it could make it worse. Try to take the high road, it’s not really about you and your deficiencies, it’s really about them feeling bad about themselves.