18 Powerful Messages for Anyone Who’s Been Bullied for Being Different
Sometimes the things that make us so wonderfully unique are the very things bullies attempt to make us feel bad about. In the moment, it can be hard to recognize the lack of value in their hurtful words. It can be hard to tell yourself — and believe — what they’re saying isn’t true.
We teamed up with Soul Pancake to ask our Facebook communities this: “What would you say to anyone who has been bullied for being different?” The responses are a powerful reminder about what is true: our differences can be our strengths, and bullies don’t get to decide who you are or what you’ll achieve.
These are just some of our communities’ responses. We hope their messages resonate with you.
1. “Hurt people hurt people. Most bullies are treated badly in their own lives and are just lashing out at the nearest target. It’s not you, it’s them. You are you, and you are amazing.” — Maxine Sinda Napal
2. “Find something you love to do. Do it to the best of your abilities. The feeling you’ll get from achieving milestones you set for yourself can drown out the ridiculous judgments from other people. It also empowers you to be you.” — Ben Altair
3. “The world is a better place for having lots of different types of people.” — Kimberly Matthews
4. “When you’re different, people are actually afraid of you. Not in the sense that you’re scary, but in the sense of the unknown. They don’t know how to handle you, so they bully you to get you to conform to what’s ‘normal’ so they can feel more comfortable again. Make people uncomfortable; be different anyway. Find people who do accept you and love you; those are the ones who will help you grow like the wildflower you are. And if you’re being bullied and feeling sad/angry/depressed, one of the bravest things you can do is reach out for help.” — Kristen Dolan
5. “Different is beautiful. Never, ever forget that.” — Miriam Gwynne
6. “Your normality is not theirs, and that’s OK. Your battle is important, and you’re fighting to stay strong. Don’t let them take that away from you.” — Sophia Trimble
7. “Don’t let what other people think of you stop you from loving yourself. Your quirks, what makes you different, is what makes you special. Embrace it.” — Kathleen Gagnon
8. “Your differences are what make you unique, strong and free you from the prison of conformity. If someone doesn’t appreciate your differences, then they are too low on the mountain to see how great you are at the top.” — Madelyn Heslet
9. “Being called ‘weird’ is like being called ‘limited edition,’ meaning you are scarce and therefore worth a lot!” — Tanya Leavitt
10. “Always remember that people make fun of the things they don’t understand in other people. And those things they poke fun at are the things that make us unique. Bullies are everywhere in life, and they become more difficult to recognize the older you get. But they will always do the same thing and that’s make you realize that you are special and unique. I wouldn’t trade my uniqueness for anything in the world.” — Matthew Chaulklin
11. “It sounds cheesy, but it does get better!” — Serina Crawford
12. “I’ve been there myself. Try and get together with likeminded people, build your own circle of friends and stand up for yourself. It may be hard at first, but you will become stronger in the process.” — Jan Ett
13. “Everyone is different in their own way, even those who bully. Those who bully often don’t see the beauty in differences and maybe not even themselves. Anyone can pretend to ‘be perfect,’ but there is no such thing. Humanity is full of differences and mistakes, so don’t change or get discouraged because you aren’t like someone else. You are who you are because you are meant to be who you are, and no one can replace you. Be proud to be different, and in time, you will realize how much you have made a difference in the lives of others, especially in those who bully you.” — Danielle Myers
14. “The issue is to accept who you are and revel in that.” — Mitch Albom (photo submitted by Heather Kapp)
15. “Yes, it hurts, and yes, it isn’t fair or right. One day you will see their ignorance and fear has made you strong and capable and amazing.” — Brenda Raner
16. “Don’t ever let them feel like you are less worthy because of your differences. Find someone (anyone) you trust to talk to about your experience. Find something you’re good at and concentrate on getting better at. Know that even though it is really hard right now, it will get better. You are important and unique, and no one can offer exactly what you have to offer this world!” — Sara Blazar Sharpe
17. “You might feel helpless, and that no one really cares. However, the person who really needs you the most may not have even met you yet. Keep strong. Keep your head up. Fight with every fiber of your being.” — Wendy Jonas
18. “I have cerebral palsy (CP)… People made fun of my walk [and] refused to include me in games at recess etc. In fifth grade, I started explaining why I was different and honestly, most kids had never understood. After that, things became much better and even still if people stare or make unkind remarks, their opinion now means very little to me. I made my Facebook awareness page three years ago and A Stairway To The Stars Heaven’s Journey With CP now has over 7,500 friends who help me prove different is beautiful. I started doing pageants again and hold the title Miss Shining Star 2016. Never let anyone make you feel you aren’t enough. You are perfect just the way you are!” — Heaven Ramsey
Watch SoulPancake’s video, “Bullied: People Share a Message With Bullies From Their Past”