I gave my nephews Shut Up + Run shirts for Christmas. What? It’s not like I’m trying to be pushy. They asked for the shirts. Really, they did.
So, today my brother tells me that my ten-year-old nephew was wearing the shirt this week when a school bully approached him.
Bully: “You better shut up and run or you’ll be sorry!” (very clever!)
Nephew: “Shut up, punk!”
Bully: Silent. Turns around. Walks away.
This story made me smile. I mean, who doesn’t like a tale about a bully getting put in their place? That’s why I like that scene from “A Christmas Story” when Ralphie loses his shit and wails on the red-haired dude who had been harassing him forever. I also like that my nephew used the word “punk.” Think about it – this word just sums it up perfectly. It’s like you took “loser,” “asshole,” “lowlife” and “fart-face” and rolled it all up into one four letter word that won’t get you kicked out of school. PUNK.
When you stand up to a bully, you are taking a huge risk. You are putting your foot down and saying “no more,” but you are also inviting a swift kick in the ass. Your chances are decent that it will work in your favor. After all, bullies are really helpless, insecure and frightened turds who need to have power over others in order to feel okay. Hence, if you show them they have no power to scare you, they lose their balls. Sometimes.
I don’t know if that’s true. I made it up. Not like I teach Bullying 101 at the community college or anything. BTW -Bee tee dubs- since we speaking of bullies, I did love how there was no emphasis on Conda this week on the Biggest Loser. I think everyone has learned that she is Con-da a bad egg. Get it? Conda, kinda.
Yeah, yeah I know that we should all have professional mediators who come in and encourage the bully and the bullied to use “I-statements” in order to find resolution. “I really don’t feel good when you tell me you are going to kick my ass.” The bully and the bullied should pass a talking stick and sing Kumbaya. Whatever. And, I’m not making light of this bullying thing. I know it is serious business.
I don’t know where I’m going with this, except to say that getting behind ourselves is the best thing we can do. It doesn’t mean you have to risk life or limb, but it does mean that without confidence and belief in ourselves, we are nothing. It’s not enough to have others believe in us. We’ve got to tell it. We’ve got to exude it. Shut up, PUNK.
Did you know Stand Up to Bullying Day is March 30?
I’m off to hit the trails before the snow moves in. If you are not sick of me yet, there is a (refurbished) article I wrote to be found at the online magazine, This Mother Can Run.
Was there ever a time you didn’t stand up for yourself and wish you had? Yes, once when I had started my first “real” job out of college and was waiting in line for the bus. I thought I was at the back of line but was at the front and some “professional” older man yelled at me in front of everyone. I was so stressed about my first day and didn’t even realize my mistake. I wish I had said something but I just cried.
What are your weekend plans? I’m doing a bit of entertaining for friends tonight and then on Sunday for my dad’s birthday. I’m hoping to throw in a long run on Sunday before a women’s retreat I’m attending. Oh yeah. I have kids. I might pay some attention to them too.