Video: Six Effective Ways (For Adults) to Deal With BulliesI hated sixth grade.

It was my first year in middle school and I reeked of awkwardness in a very “Deb-from-Napoleon-Dynamite” sort of way. Side ponytail? Check. Fascination with weird homemade lanyards and keychains? Check.

All the older kids were wearing their grunge-inspired flannel shirts and Grateful Dead t-shirts. Most of my wardrobe came from either Kids R Us or a giant garbage bag of hand-me-down clothes that my mother had collected from her co-workers.

One day, while walking home from school, a eighth-grade boy started harassing me. He’d call me names, comment on my clothing, and taunt me nearly the entire ten-block walk. My entire repertoire of comebacks, unfortunately, came straight from Full House.

“How rude!” I’d exclaim to Mr. Eighth Grade. (Ugh. I couldn’t think of anything better?)

Then, one day, he actually approached me from behind. My backpack, a navy blue Jansport, had two zippers — and on each zipper, I’d clipped at least five different neon plastic lanyard keychains. He grabbed a fistful of them, pulled hard, and ran away with most of them. I was so mad and I hadn’t the slightest idea how to get this jerk to ignore me.

So, the next day at school, I reported him to the assistant principal. As I sat down in her office, visibly upset, waiting for him to arrive for our “mediation session,” the assistant principal turned to me.

“You know,” she said, “don’t worry. The boys start wising up soon. People start doing this kind of thing less and less as you grow up.”

Now, as an adult, I’m not sure if I believe those words. From Jenise Harmon’s new “Sorting Out Your Life” blog:

Like many problems that exist throughout life, bullying doesn’t end at a certain age or level of maturity. Bullying does exist in adulthood. Sometimes it looks different or is called by different names: sexual harassment, stalking, workplace aggression, or scapegoating. But, like in childhood, bullying is one person controlling or harming someone else by use of power.

So, under that definition — as an adult, have you ever been bullied?

If so, check out these six effective ways for us grown-ups to deal with bullies:

This video is based on Jenise Harmon’s blog post, 6 Steps For Dealing With Adult Bullies

Creative Commons License photo credit: IvanClow