Saturday, November 12, 2011
In the 1960s I lived in a rough inner city neighborhood. I worked the swing shift so I usually didn't get home until nearly 11:00 p.m. and often had to park a block from my apartment.
One night as I was crossing the street a gang approached.
"Hey, lady, " one of them called out. "Ya wanna f*#* with me?"
I calmly replied, "No thank you," and kept walking.
They seemed stunned and not to know how to react, so they let me alone and I got home safely.
If I had acted scared, angry or upset things probably would have gotten a lot worse. Yes, I could have been in serious trouble anyway, but by not reacting as they expected I didn't encourage their bullying.
Bullying is like a game, and if bullies get someone to react with fear or anger, they've won. That night the bullies lost.