Bullies have been on my mind a lot lately. In fact, I'm not alone. A lot of people have been talking about them, in large part because of Wisconsin news anchor Jennifer Livingston's response to someone who bullied her about her weight.
Her response made me think about the book, The Four Agreements. In that book, it says to never take anything personally, even if what someone says is true. Obviously, this means the good things as well as the bad. If someone calls you a brilliant cook, and you know you're really good in the kitchen, don't take this personally. This philosophy is designed to help you understand your own unique gifts without the outside trappings of the world.
This concept might seem confusing until you get to the negative things people say. If you aren't going to take a compliment personally, you certainly aren't going to take some rude comment from a bully personally. It's easy to say, and much harder to do. Still, it's worth considering.
I thought of this as I watched (and applauded) Livingston's response to her bully. And yes, I think reaching out to send a nasty email is indeed bullying. I liked the fact that she took issue with it and addressed it in a professional, positive way. I also hope she can move on from it without giving it another thought. Rude people who want to "tell other people what they think" just because they feel they can, aren't worth listening to. They aren't friends. They don't want the best for you. They want to attack, and they do.
Friends can help a lot with putting bullying in perspective, and I've got some thoughts on how bullies affect our friendships.
Image: Amber-Allen Publishing