Author: Sarah Jones
I never saw myself becoming a bully, but this is my honest confession. I mean, I always got along pretty well with everyone. When I got to high school, I was driven by a desire to fit in and be popular. I didn’t even know how desperate I was for attention until I started doing things that weren’t normal for me.
One of the outcasts at school became my victim. There really was nothing wrong with her. She was pretty, and actually very nice. She was also very quiet, and shy to the point where she was almost afraid of everyone. She had this sadness about her that made me feel sorry about her, but that didn’t stop me from picking on her when I saw other people doing it.
I talked about her, pulled horrible pranks on her, and even put my hands on her. I knew she wouldn’t do or say anything back, because she was too afraid. I felt so bad about my behavior, and I knew that what I was doing was wrong. Although my heart convicted me, I secretly thrived on the attention I got from everyone around me. Their laughter and cheers made me feel good. Each time I got their “approval”, I felt like I was 10 feet tall. I felt like my popularity was growing, but it really wasn’t.
I became known as the “mean one”. People would see me and say things like “oh you better leave her alone, cause she don’t play”. When the girl I bullied saw me coming, she looked so afraid and embarrassed. Other people were scared of me too and I really wasn’t a mean person, I was just trying to fit in like everyone else. I started to hate the image I created for myself. Did I want to be popular? Yes. Did I want people to know me? Of course, but I didn’t want to be known for something bad, and because I was a bully – that’s exactly what happened.
I finally realized that I had to change. I didn’t want to keep hurting someone else just because I wanted to feel good, be popular, and fit in. I didn’t want other people looking at me as this horrible monster who hated others. More than anything, I did not want to see the sadness and fear in that poor girl’s eyes ever again.
I apologized to her. I told her that I didn’t mean to hurt her and that I was sorry. She didn’t say much, just looked at me. She probably thought it was a joke at first, but I was serious. She didn’t really know what to say, but I gave her my honest feelings anyway. I told her that I really thought she was pretty and that she shouldn’t let us talk about her the way we did.
My apology was sincere, and from then on when I saw her I started being nice to her, and I even talked to her to try to get to know her better. She was very withdrawn, which I completely understand because of the way she was treated – but eventually she started talking back to me, and smiling. Seeing her smile meant so much to me. Her smile made me feel so much better than the look of fear she used to have when she saw me coming.
I wouldn’t let anyone else pick on her either. I stood up for her, the way I wish she would’ve stood up for herself. I still regret the awful things I did to her, which I can’t take back, but through it all I’m glad I was able to turn around and start doing the right thing.
If you’re bullying someone, I hope you decide to change too. Hurting someone else in that way is not worth it. You want to be known for good things, not bad, and whenever someone is around you – they should have good experiences.