Let me tell you, talking about the tough issues in life has never been easy. There are always opinions for or against any particular subject. Some decide if you ignore the matter, it just goes away. Others are drawn to confrontation like magnets. Both are wrong. Knowing how to deal with facts then taking appropriate action works best. It takes practice, especially because emotions are always in the mix. Take the subject of Bullying. It is defined as ” unwanted, aggressive behavior among school aged children that involves a real or perceived power imbalance.” I want to go further and clarify that the act of bullying can happen to anyone, age doesn’t matter. It is important to recognize that it’s more than a single act of teasing or trying to tell another how to act or speak. It is REPEATED acts of either physical strength, access to embarrassing information or popularity to control others. It includes making threats, spreading rumors, attacking someone physically or verbally and/or excluding someone from a group on purpose. This type of behavior happens often and is often witnessed by many as well. Bullying is truly a sign of brokenness. It is a sign that certain needs like love, attention, worth or appreciation are not being met. A bully is simply: a coward. If an individual is trying so desperately to bring you down, it only means that you are above them. On the receiving end, it can make you feel helpless when you are bullied. You may want to handle it on your own to feel as if you are in control of the situation. You may fear being seen as weak or a “tattle-tale” There is the fear of retaliation as well. I have experienced this behavior before and I had to make a choice. You cannot be a Queen and a victim at the same time. Take full responsibility for your life. NOONE, no matter what title or position or status, can make you feel inferior without your consent. This is not to say that ppl don’t view others as easy targets because they are nice. It happens. Understand this, choosing to be respectful and showing restraint is a sign of maturity. There are three types of behavior : aggressive, passive and assertive. We all realize as we go through experience: there should be a balance. Speak up and advocate for yourself. You can still be effective without labeling, name-calling or insults. This is never constructive. I know, this all SOUNDS good but when engaged in a disagreement or a situation escalates, emotions are so intense at this point. Whatever it takes to bring yourself back down, try it! If it’s counting, squeezing a rubber ball, visualization, etc. Most often we communicate to reply instead of truly listening to what is being said. Remember, you are to allow yourself grace and imperfection even if others are not flexible with you. It is impossible to move through life without ruffling someone’s feathers on occasion, without having people sometimes dislike you but I need to throw this out here: Life goes on! it is OK! The issue comes when you have an individual assuming that their beliefs give them the right to cross the line. Stopbullying.gov has all the information to guide you as an individual who may have been bullied to being more than a bystander for someone you know. Edit your life frequently and ruthlessly. You deserve to be happy, you deserve to live a life that you are excited about. Don’t let anyone make you forget this fact. It always seems impossible until its done.