What, both? How is that possible? If it toughens you, doesn’t that set you up for life rather than ruining it for you? Well, yes. That’s probably true. The fact is that bullying doesn’t affect everyone in the same way and that’s probably because of the different ways we react to it.
So if a group of other children laugh at you and say, “You’ve got your shirt on inside out,” do you say, “That’s OK, I like it that way.”? Do you cry? Or do you keep quiet? I chose the third way, keeping my feelings locked inside and making them think I didn’t have any.
When people have said that they were also bullied and the experience made them stronger, I used to blame myself. I thought it must be my fault that it didn’t have that effect on me. Now I think: Good for you! But how does that relate to me? How could I have known, as a child, that I should have reacted in a different way?
All roads lead to Rome, and, no matter which I follow, I always come to the same conclusion: it’s up to adults to provide guidance. Parents, teachers, whoever comes into contact with the child. Because children are not mature enough to understand the consequences of their actions.
PS My life wasn’t ruined – just spoilt.