Were you ever bullied at school or uni? I have, many times and I don’t have to be the one to tell you that going through it is an incredibly painful experience.
It took me a long time to push through the pain I experienced when bullied. For quite a while I had the mean remarks said to me playing on repeat in my head, which in turn made all the pain and emotions flood back.
Why do bullies bully?
Bullies bully for a whole variety of reasons and what I’ve learnt from my own personal experience is that they’re often experiencing immense sadness, loneliness or are lacking self-belief, when they decide to take out their pain on another person. I’m not in any way justifying their actions, however I recognise that every decision made in life comes to be as a result of something else – one’s values, perceptions, previous experiences, beliefs – they all come into play.
I recently went to see a movie called Little at the cinemas with a couple of my friends, and to be honest, before seeing the film, I had no idea what it was about. I hadn’t even watched the trailer or read any write-up, I just trusted in my friends’ decision to see it, as they generally have pretty good taste.
…And do you wanna know what I thought?
I loved it. Let me tell you why.
The message behind the movie
The message behind the movie was so powerful. It’s something that every girl and woman should hear and take on as they go about their everyday life, because the entire movie was about the consequences of BULLYING – the impact it makes on you and those around you.
Basically the movie follows a 30-something-year-old tech entrepreneur, Jordan who alongside her team create super-successful apps. Despite her lavish lifestyle, fame and fortune, we soon find out that Jordan is in actual fact a horrible boss, because she bullies her staff into submission – it’s her way or the highway.
Jordan’s assistant, April is her right-hand girl and plays a key role in her life. Unfortunately, Jordan treats her terribly too. Despite her pain, April is still incredibly kind to Jordan because she doesn’t want to upset her and inflame her situation.
Things get a little cray when Jordan has a spell put on her, by a random 13-year-old girl who also fell victim to Jordan’s nastiness. Basically Jordan turns ‘little’ – a 13-year-old version of herself. This is where things get interesting because she has to start navigating her day as a young girl who should in fact be in high school!
Like any good movie, it all ends well – Jordan turns back into her adult self and finds growth and fulfilment.
However, it’s the lessons she learns whilst being ‘little’ that actually made all the difference and saved the day. Literally.
You see, we soon find out that Jordan was bullied as a teenager, way back when. She was a bright, kind and confident 13-year-old girl. But one day in front of the whole school, a bully embarrassed her, and this made a lasting impact on her life. So from that moment on, Jordan made a decision; in order to protect herself from any further pain, she believed she had to dish it out first, so she wouldn’t suffer.
As we learn, Jordan did make it to the top, but at what cost? She had no friends and most people were afraid of her. She was lonely. And if she didn’t change her ways she was going to lose everything.
As the saying goes, “what goes around, comes around.”
Her staff had enough of her erratic behaviour and demands. And that’s when she got her wake-up call.
Living inside her 13-year-old body helped Jordan re-live what life was like for her as a teen – an innocent girl suffering at the hands of a bully. She finally understood that controlling others, manipulating them and speaking down to them is unacceptable and must be stopped, immediately.
The BIG life lesson
Jordan had a complete change of heart. She decided that she would put a stop to her antics so that her team would no longer suffer. So she turned her hostile workplace environment into a sanctuary where her staff felt valued and appreciated.
And because of this, her business grew in a new and even more exciting direction, because her staff, especially her assistant April received the support they all deserved.
The truth is, blowing out someone else’s candle doesn’t make yours shine any brighter. Just like Michelle Obama says:
“When someone is cruel or acts like a bully, you don’t stoop to their level. No, our motto is, when they go low, we go high.”
Bullies can be found in lots of places. There may be times where you feel left out, talked about, lied to or even used. Despite the pain and hurt this may cause us, we still can decide who’s worth our tears and who’s not.
My message to you
Please know that when a bully bullies you, it hasn’t got anything to do with you, it’s their insecurities, their issues. So just keep being you. Don’t let them dim your light. Stay true to who you are and know that you are strong, brave and brilliant.