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Is it Bullying if it Doesn't Bother You?

In one of his classes,  Emperor had only a couple friends because "the rest of the people are jerks and say nasty things to me." After clarifying a bit, I told him he was being bullied and that when it happens again, he should tell a teacher.

"What?  I'm not being bullied.  I'm not going to let them bully me.  They're just jerks."

I talked with him (ok, lectured) about how he shouldn't have to deal with that sort of hostile environment and so on.  Emperor countered that he was there to learn about (subject) and he's just not going to let these other kids keep him from that.  So there is no bullying going on because he's refusing to be bullied. 

Here I had kept him away from physical education last year because his twisted legs would prevent him from running well.  I know he is going to be mocked.  Emperor has been insisting - for some time - that it is not his problem if other people don't like him.  He would like to take PE, please.

So I have signed him up for PE this year.  I do hate sending him where he's going to be teased, but Emperor genuinely wants to go.  Emperor thinks I do not understand.  He cannot be bullied, he says, if it doesn't bother him.


  1. Replies
    1. Thanks! I admit to NOT having this attitude. :)

  2. Way to be your own person! They are jerks!

  3. I think Emperor has got it right. It isn't bothering him, so he isn't being bullied.
    It's a fine distinction, there is bullying behaviour going on, but he is shrugging it off and refusing to be bullied.
    I was the same in school. Refusing to be a victim. Same at work years later.

    1. Good for you! I'm the one that pretends it doesn't hurt and then cries at home. :/

  4. Your boy is wise beyond his years Chick!

  5. I had a girl who told me I saved her life just a couple of years ago. Forty years ago in school she was being picked on by the class jocks, and she got really depressed. I told her....don't let them get to you! Look at them...they are just jerks! (I mean, really look at them. The "popular" kids who bully are usually only popular in their own minds, and people go along so they don't pick on by them, too. In reality, they are a mess...) And then I was her friend if she ever needed to talk. I was like River, if somebody picked on me they only did it once. I don't know what it was I did, but I wished I'd have kept it into adulthood because I didn't. It could have been having 9 brothers and sisters so there was always somebody who had your back.

    1. A lot of them ARE shallow-minded jerks... or kids who are going along with the others because they haven't developed a backbone yet.

    2. Happy...I'm glad for Emperor that he doesn't take what they say to heart. Ben got called the "r-word" by a classmate and he stuck up for himself and told the classmate he was something else (not a cuss word but a put-down.) Only, Ben was the only one the teacher heard, and he got suspended. I would rather he got suspended a hundred times than t take that hurt inside himself and let a jerk decide his self-worth. Ben had a backbone then! I heard something interesting the other day....somebody was saying they would rather their child be bullied than to be the bully. Which is interesting...I was abused years back and I never forgave the person or let it go until I thought I'd rather be me, than him. All that hate I held was GONE, immediately. Interesting post...important post.

    3. GO BEN!!

      That is a good point, about the bully and his life. Although. I would have to say that little bullies when they start out, if they are corrected kindly and have compassion, there is hope for them. Most of us try to bully at some point a little when we're tiny. We just learn better. How sad for the people who have no one to teach them, and learn these things (or not) in prison.

    4. Yes, most of us do...another good point. I regret hurting people more than what I did or didn't accomplish with my life. But the bully who never learns IS his own worst enemy.

  6. Check in often... if could wear him down over time. But good for him.

    1. He's been this way for a while. I used to think it was part of his disability (autism), but now maybe it is a bonus or a special feature. That social pressure simply never has been there for him or Elf. Which in some ways can be a very bad thing... but in this case it works out well.

  7. Wow what an amazing attitude!!!

    1. Thank you, Jen! I am following your blog - your girl seems like she is having a wonderful time homeschooling with you and your husband. :)

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