Chanukah: When the bullied can't rise up in personal defense

The holiday of Chanukah presents many lessons. In the main, these lessons stem from the valiant struggle in which a few Hasmonean fighters valiantly rose up against their Seleucid tormentors and successfully rid the land of their presence.

While Chanukah celebrates the defeat of the mighty by the weak, the many by the few, and the wicked by the righteous, many people, children in particular, continue to suffer at the hands of bullies and others who are, at least on the surface, mightier than they.

Thankfully, there are many resources that offer tips on how to deal with bullies and empower their victims to become stronger and turn the tables on their oppressors. In this HelpGuide post, the author(s) outline multiple strategies that victims can use to change their situation for the better. Three can be found below.  There are also strategies to help parents and teachers work with children to help end bullying behaviors and situations.

  • Walk away from the bully. Bullies want to know they have control over your emotions so don’t react with anger or retaliate with physical force. If you walk away, ignore them, or calmly and assertively tell them you’re not interested in what they have to say, you’re demonstrating that they don’t have control over you.
  • Look at the big picture. Bullying can be extremely painful, but try asking yourself how important it will seem to you in the long run. Will it matter in a year? Is it worth getting so upset over? If the answer is no, focus your time and energy elsewhere.
  • Share your feelings. Talk to a parent, counselor, coach, religious leader, or trusted friend. Expressing what you’re going through can make a huge difference to the way you feel, even if it doesn’t change the situation.