Gareth from the Office: ‘One thing a bully can’t take is a victim fighting back’

upset boy against a wall
upset boy against a wall

BULLYING is unacceptable, no matter where you are. Work, school or at home it’s unnecessary and unfair.

But it happens. All over the country and throughout the city people are subjected to such horrible acts of bullying and intimidation they feel they don’t want to get up in the morning.

And it comes in many forms. At school, children can be singled out for being different, having an opinion or just for what they wear, such is the fickle nature of the playground. In the workplace it can be similar.

Granted work colleagues are less likely to pick on you for your dress sense but they can come down hard on those who express a contrary opinion or for just being different.

But there will be many reading this, kids and parents alike, who will identify with the situation and when the alarm goes off in the morning will prolong getting out of bed.

It can be agonising trying to second guess what mood your bully or other tormentor will be in and trying to avoid saying the wrong thing to set them off.

But confidence is the way to overcome problems. One thing a bully can’t take is their victim fighting back, and that doesn’t mean becoming violent.

It means telling someone about the problem, not suffering in silence. Over the years we have read heartbreaking stories of people who have taken their own lives – the most shocking of which was a mum who killed herself and her disabled daughter after being bullied for seven years in September 2009.

Those who have experienced the pain and torment at the hands of a bully should consult a teacher, parent, friend, or a boss. They will hopefully help and you will no longer feel alone.

Taking that step may be hard but like the old saying goes, a problem shared is a problem halved. Sometimes the antagonist will not realise what they are doing and a quiet word may help them mend their ways. Or, if they are aware of their actions a ‘talking-to’ and being aware of a watchful eye will be enough of a deterrent.

Trust me, I am someone who has been subjected to bullying and I suffered. I have no shame in admitting that I had no idea where to turn to and questioned whether telling someone would ease the pain; it did, but I left it too long.

If bullies are not challenged things can get worse, with devastating consequences.

So please, if you are reading this and are being subjected to an intolerable level of abuse at school or at work or wherever you are then don’t hold it inside, tell someone.

I don’t want to be reporting about the person who just couldn’t take any more...