Dealing With a Bully


Question:
There is this kid that I used to be friends with but I stopped hanging out with him because he always said things like "you have no friends", "everybody hates you". He is probably the most insecure person I've ever met, for he texts me and tells me to name my friends, then he sends me a list of his friends…it's extremely low. But whenever he says something like that, what are some good things to say back that will really embarrass him and make him leave me alone? Ever since I stopped talking to him he won't stop being a jerk to me. He finally got himself a girlfriend which he constantly tries to rub in my face (they broke up a few days ago). And I used to have this thing with this girl but she rejected me, and he found out about it, and keeps telling me that I'm creepy as hell and will never get a girl. He actually made a Facebook page to find how many people hate me. It's ridiculous. What should I do? I want to kick his *** but he's shorter than me and small, so I'd look like an A-hole if I did.


My Reply:
When I was in high school, there was a shorter guy who sort of bullied me, too. And for a similar reason to you, I never bothered to fight back. But one time when I was having a bad day, he did something that just set me off. I spun around with a spinning back-fist and freaked him out. When I pushed him further (he set me off...I was ready to whoop on him!), he backed down. And others saw the whole thing, so they knew I was in the right.
Now, bullying today isn't anything like it is was when I was in high school. Back then, you either made friends with people tougher than the bully, or you learned to defend yourself. Now you have texting, email, online chat, and social media sites like Facebook, MySpace, and Twitter...it's even coined "Cyber bullying".  And Cyber bullies today inflict more damage upon their victims than the former black eyes or bloody noses.
So what should you do?  Well, in your case, I'd say just keep being who you are, and TRY not to let him get to you. I know that sounds weak, but keep in mind also that most of the people who will answer his Facebook are doing it because they think it's funny and a joke, and probably really don't hate you. So don't let them get to you either.  Remember too, people will know you for you, and no doubt see what this guy's doing to you. 


Question: Have you told your parents about this guy? When adults do this to other adults, it's called "defamation" and the person can actually be sued. It's also called verbal and emotional abuse, regardless of age. 


Here's what I'd suggest: Save this kid's text messages to your phone, get a memory card for your phone, upload your texts to it, upload them to your computer, and save them on disk (or in online storage so you can access them anytime from anywhere). Each time he sends an abusive text, do the same.  Also, get onto his Facebook, copy and paste his comments (with dates and times of his postings) to a doc file, and save everything on disk (and on the computer). And finally, get a cheap MP3 player with a mic or a cheap digital voice recorder. When he abuses you verbally in person, record his words. Then upload them onto your computer into a file also. And in every case, just be yourself...don't coax him into anything. So when you go to your parents, you'll have solid evidence of the abuse, as well as proof that you did nothing to coax him into his behavior. And don't tell anybody you're doing all this until you present it to the adults, no matter how badly you want to or how well you trust them...you don't want any possibility of him finding out what you're doing.


Just remember, this is to be used as evidence when you go before adults, not as a means of revenge, for then you would become the aggressor/abuser. This is just to get him to stop his abuse, and/or get help.
---Pastor Andy
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