Dealing with Bullies, Haters & Roaches

In elementary school I was bullied because I was Asian and a good student. In junior high I was bullied by a girl who was considered one of the queen bees of the school because she saw me as a threat to all the boys she wanted to “conquer,” (never mind the fact that I wasn’t even thinking of boys at that age). In high school, I was bullied by a cynical, mean spirited girl because I dressed and spoke more maturely than most of my peers. In my early 20s I was bullied by men in business because they saw a naïve girl lacking in confidence.

By my mid 20s I had had enough. I was tired of crying. I was tired of cowering in fear, worrying of being made fun of, of not fitting in, of not being liked, of not reaching my goals if I didn’t stay quiet. I thought I was tired of being the “nice” girl but that wasn’t really the issue. Being “nice” does not equal being weak. And then I traveled the world, working first hand with orphaned children and little girls forced into prostitution in Asia, the ones bullied in incomprehensible ways. And then I saw what not standing up to bullying really meant.

Despite many hardships throughout various chapters of life, I’m extremely blessed to have wonderful parents who gave freely of profound love and a firm hand with guidance. Despite these hardships, I emerged stronger, relatively intact. I was never a victim of rape or kidnapping or extreme poverty- nothing that would make it more difficult for me to defend myself and others. I made the choice then to spend the rest of my life building a company that celebrates the positive aspects of humanity- unique cultures, food, living well, supporting underprivileged children and women. I made the choice to defend those who were defenseless through my books, my products and my platform.

In building this company and platform, I have continued to encounter bullying- by both sexes, all races, all ages. These are bullies who attack me without ever having met me, without having read any of my books or blog posts or articles, without knowing anything more than what I look like and perhaps watching a one minute video or two. And then there are the other bullies- the ones who do “know” me personally and pretend to be my friends because they like the perks involved. This breed of bullies likes to insert snide remarks in attempts to cut me down, trying desperately to diminish what I’m building and who I am with the sole purpose of lifting themselves out of the mediocre existence they are stewing in.

This brings us to one very important factor here, and that is- what defines bullying?

If you search through a dozen dictionaries, you’ll find “bully” defined by words such as tyranny, overbearing person who badgers or intimidates, one who is habitually cruel to others especially those who are weaker in some manner.

All of these definitions are true but my overall interpretation of this term which has become a hot topic in current events, is that bullies want to make the bullied feel fear, feel like the roaches that they themselves are. They want the bullied to feel insignificant and miserable- the very states of being that they live with day in and day out but are usually too mired in ego (the opposite of true confidence) to admit any of this. Their purpose is to lash out and destroy their intended victim because they have little to nothing of real value going on in their lives. There is almost always an element of envy involved (i.e. women trying to keep other women down) or projection of characteristics in the victim that they hate within themselves (i.e. closet gay jocks bullying open gays).

If we allude to incidents in the recent past, we find this interpretation to be accurate. From the sweet grandma who was a school bus attendant bullied by teen boys to the 13 year old boy in Japan who committed suicide after extraordinary bullying from schoolmates to the suicide of gay Rutgers student Tyler Clementi after his roommate posted videos of him online, the list is endless.

We live in a huge and not so huge world with so many different kinds of people and this is a wonderful thing. With such differences, there are bound to be disagreements and there are bound to be people who just don’t like each other and that’s fine. What’s not fine is to attack others with malicious intent to belittle, harm or destroy them whether with words or physical action. I wrote this article hoping to come up with answers but instead, I’m left with more questions.

What happened to the days when people could agree to disagree with civility and decency? What happened to intelligent debate and discussions without insults and mudslinging? What happened to people having compassion and tolerance? What happened to celebrating our differences instead of using them to launch world wars?

Imagine a world filled with 7 billion of you- all 7 billion look, dress, act, talk, sound, think, desire and feel EXACTLY like you. Is this the world you want to live in? A world without complementary characters to help humanity progress? A world without lovely languages to share different thoughts- thoughts that provoke innovation? A world with one type of food, music, fashion, architecture? A world devoid of creativity, passion and vivid colors?

I will leave you with these last thoughts and a quote from a fan of mine who commented on some people’s recent attempts to bully me. I say “attempts” because I am no longer the naïve, weak girl I used to be. I am NEVER a victim of bullies because I see the truth of the nothings that they are, and more importantly, I am passionately in love with my own successful life- a spectacular feeling they will never know. While the comments below refer to my brand and me, the sentiments behind them can be applied to anyone who is being bullied.

DO NOT GIVE THEM THE POWER OR TIME OF DAY to make your life miserable. Whether you’re being bullied because you’re a teenager wearing glasses or because you’re gay, overweight or a particular race, or a successful person facing envy, once you see the truth of the NOTHING THEY ARE, you can ignore them or derail them with remarks that hit the core of their biggest fears- that they are insignificant, self hating, miserable excuses of human life. I know firsthand that this is easier said than done but don’t let these roaches take your precious life. You go on- live your best life ever. I promise you that one day, when you are feeling and looking fabulous, when you’re doing the things you’ve always dreamed of doing, when you’re surrounded by amazing people who support you, you will unexpectedly come across those who bullied you and see how life dealt them exactly what they deserved.

Hollywood screenwriter Evelyn Yves writes to me, “There are people who don’t see the value in it (AsianFusion) or the purpose behind it, and they are entitled to having and voicing those often hateful opinions, however pointless it is to do so. Unless that feedback is constructive, it’s just noise. Your brand and your products don’t service them. They service people who identify with your brand and prescribe their own personal meaning to it, and it enriches their lives.”