All in the Family?

While doing some research for Gayle, she directed me towards looking into sibling bullying, and how it’s shockingly just as damaging as bullying in schools.  Sure, we always had that one sibling that would pick on you as a kid, or that you would pick on.  But we never knew just how much emotional damage we were doing to one another.  After reading numerous articles from The Guardian Express, CBS News, NBC News, and The New York Times, I learned more about the case at hand.  We all, at some point, have fallen into the wrath of a bully, but did we ever think it would be from our own family in the comfort of our own home?

Why do bullies do what they do?  Ever since I was in elementary school, I’ve wondered this because I was the victim of numerous bullies.  I’ve been wearing glasses since I was three or four years old, and got my first pair of contacts in fifth grade so that people would stop bullying me.  However, bullying didn’t stop at the playground.  It carried over into my household amongst three siblings.

Bullying is more detrimental inside the family than outside the family, according to the research done by Dr. Corrina Jenkins-Tucker from the University of New Hampshire.  She conducted surveys and interviewed households that had at least two children in the family.  The results, to me, were shocking.  Sibling bullies hurt us more emotionally than the bully on the playground during recess.

So why am I so fascinated with this breakthrough research?  For one, I was a victim of not just bullies, but sibling bullies, also.  I dealt with the bullies on the bus calling me a four-eyed freak with awful hair and tomboy clothes.  I was a kid, why would I worry about what I looked like?  I wanted to be comfortable and do my own thing.  Unfortunately, that came with the price of being bullied and running home from the bus stop crying.  While my mom was telling me how to deal with bullies, I didn’t realize that my own siblings, for saying stupid things, were bullying me.

I’ve always been someone that marches to the beat of my own drum.  Individuality is one thing that sets us all apart from each other.  From personal experience, I think that my siblings and bullies in school were jealous of the fact that I embrace the fact that I am who I am.  I achieved so much athletically, for example, and I was made fun of by my siblings for it.  Why, do you ask? Jealousy.  Bullies are always jealous of their target, so they make fun of you and hurt your feelings to make them feel better. Don’t let it get you down, reader. You keep doing you!

And here I am, back to my original question: why do bullies do what they do?  I kind of answered this already, but in my opinion they want to feel better about himself or herself as an individual.  This essentially means that they put others down.  To everyone out there struggling with bullies, here’s my piece of advice: keep being yourself and stay true to who you are.  You will be let down along the way, but power through.  No one else will ever be like you; you are unique and you should embrace it.  If you can learn to love yourself, you’ve come a long way, congratulations! I promise, every caterpillar blossoms into a butterfly.

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