An Upside to Bullying?

Columnists’ opinions are their own and may not necessarily represent the views of The Chronicle. 

Hold up. Before you email me, I am not saying that more kids should be bullied and support bullies, but rather that those who have experienced bullying can take away positive skills. Of course I am aware of the countless negative effects bullying has: depression, suicide, and drug abuse, just to name a few. But, many individuals have taken away important life lessons from these negative experiences. Some even go as far as to say they would not be where they are in life without being tormented in school.

Rihanna, Lady Gaga, Tyra Banks, Chris Rock. All of these successful people were bullied when they were younger. Lots of successful people, in fact, can remember being teased in school. It gave them the edge to want to get ahead.

“I’m grateful. I think those experiences were strategically put together by God for the preparation of being in the music industry,” Rihanna told Glamour. “It’s so easy for me to deal with the (expletive) now.”

Comedian Chris Rock can also remember back to his schools days, but stays positive. “While that experience could’ve defined Rock’s life in a negative way — crippling him with self-doubt — it instead empowered him to believe in himself when no one else did. From a young age, he was already gaining the tough skin necessary that has helped him thrive in comedy.”

So, while this is a scarring experience for many, some have found a way to use their bullies as stepping stones to get to their goals. 77% of students are bullied or have personally experienced bullying. 20% of students admit to being a bully. There will always be bullies, but there will always also be people who have found how to overcome them.


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