Have you ever wondered if you were easily picked on? Luckily for you, I've created a nifty little list to help you figure out if this was you! Like, comment, and share if you can relate!
1. Your friends would call you fun nicknames such as "Salt Queen" or "Drama Queen" when you expressed yourself to them - all in the name of banter!
Who doesn't love a bit of banter between friends? I know I do! If you ever found yourself opening up to your friends about how you felt about a situation and were greeted with catchy hashtags like #saltqueenstrikesback or hilarious supportive statements such as "you're so dramatic!" and "wow, someone's salty!" then you were definitely an easily picked on kid! Your loving nature and desire to stick to your morals of not fighting fire with fire left you as the kid trying to open up to your friends but to no avail!
2. Your peers used you as a mark for stupidity because they thought you didn't know!
Did you ever have a moment where you overheard a peer crying about a grade they received? Did you then hear them say through sobs that even YOU did better than they did? If the answers are yes then it looks like your intelligence was being constantly undermined behind your back as you had become the mark for what was classed as a failure! This totally means you were easily picked on too! Welcome to the club!
3. People never ask you to explain anything or after hearing your explanation turn to someone else to find the "real answer"!
What's this? Another jab at your intelligence? When will it end for the Easily-Picked-On-Kid? Jokes! It never ends for them! If you were ever explaining something and had the recipient of your explanation turn and ask someone else the exact same question, or directly to your face tell you that you're wrong and they will ask someone else, then it looks like your intelligence and understanding was once again subconsciously undermined! As we all know this "explanation" period never last long as every Easily-Picked-On-Kid learned to stop answering questions in the first place due to their new found lack of confidence!
4. Your career and/or University choices were low key belittled - to your face!
Who wants to share their dream careers with their friends and careers counsellors? I do, I do! Too bad! You probably have a passion for something unconventional like Drama or Art and will be told by your high school counsellors to potentially look into "something else" [Read: Something more academic]. Don't worry you can turn to your friends now! Psych! No you can't due to your new found crippling fear of being judged by the people you love and trust! Bonus points to you if by this point you were starting to get stereotyped and as a result of not wanting to perpetuate that you decided to stop sharing your dreams with people!
5. You were put into a stereotype or hole and then described as things like selfish and sensitive! Bonus points for if you got called names like slut and bitch!
Were you stereotyped in high school as the overly sensitive, overly dramatic, non-academic kid? Or the hot-headed, rebellious, slut? Me too! It's funny how they say "sticks and stone may break my bones but words will never hurt you", when being put into these holes and being called names caused you to start having panic attacks and develop a fear of ever presenting yourself as you because everything that made you a person from your skin colour and your smell to your likes and your dislikes was belittled by at least one person around you! If this was you, then you were definitely easily picked on!
6. Even your superiors called you names and didn't respect you as a person with real feelings!
Do you remember ever sitting in a meeting with a superior and someone you considered a friend happily discussing the logistics of an event you were planning? Do you also remember when you were pushing to move the date to allow for a bigger turn-out and instead were shut down and called selfish? Do you then remember your "friend" not standing up for you and then going back to the rest of your peers and telling them she didn't stand up for you because you deserved it, while you cried and had a panic attack in the bathroom because all you wanted to do was plan something spectacular? If you do, then you were definitely easily picked on! Your peers saw you as someone beneath them and even though you would have done anything to stand up for your partners because you were a team, they chose to throw you under the bus to retain their totally unscathed record. Bonus points to you if a superior has also made you stand up in class to showcase to everyone what an "inappropriate" outfit looks like when you were wearing shorts and a tank top with a shirt on top!
7. You've been a secret crush because you were too ugly in appearance, personality and reputation for someone to admit to liking!
Remember when you found out that person actually did have a crush on you but was too embarrassed to tell people because you too ugly and awkward to really admit to liking? Remember when that started a spiral of name-calling and literal pointing out of your flaws such as hair on your body or spots? If you do, then you were probably easily picked on! This probably led to years of self esteem issues that almost 10 years later you're still going to therapy for!
8. You were always low-key excluded!
This is a great one because you were always at events but not really! If you were ever low-key excluded you probably tended to be the one taking the group pictures and not being in them, or being the one to stand and wait with the bags when the others went to the bathroom or even winning a prize at your prom but because you were in the bathroom someone on the committee tried to get them to award the prize to someone else! Oh, but here's the clincher, when you do eventually turn up nobody applauds your win because they don't value or respect you as a person and would rather have you sit on a table dubbed "the others"! If this has ever happened to you, you were definitely easily picked on!
9. You cry when people compliment you!
If you were an Easily-Picked-On-Kid then you probably cry when someone genuinely compliments you! Not before asking "really?" or saying "haha!" because you can't believe that after years of being picked on for everything that you were from your appearance to your personality to your life choices that someone out there actually believes you are worth more than nothing!
10. You eventually learned not to fight back because you truly believed what the masses were saying and you never wanted anyone to feel as low and as worthless as you did.
If you were an Easily-Picked-On-Kid, you eventually would have learned not to fight back. Not because if you don't react they'll stop picking on you (because let's be real, reaction or not, you were still their favourite target) but because it eventually became exhausting trying to prove to both yourself and those around you that you weren't the person they made you feel like you were. Eventually you learned to stop blaming others and start blaming yourself for all the things you were berated for. You learned that you were in fact unattractive, unintelligent, and unworthy of anyones time - unless of course it benefitted them too.
Most of all you learned that you never wanted anyone else to feel the way you felt. You never wanted to inflict this kind of pain, sadness, and suffering on another person. Ultimately, if you were easily picked on you find a way of coping and learning to let go of the past be that through therapy, kinesthesiology, or new hobbies. It may take weeks, months, or years to finally let it all out and be happy with yourself, but eventually it will come.
Today is my day. After years of torment from others and myself, countless hours in therapy, crying into pillows, contemplating an endless sleep and ultimately talking myself down and picking myself back up, I finally feel okay.
To my friends and family, I may not have always been the easiest person to take care of but to all the people that have had my back, taken care of me in times of need, been my shoulder to cry on, lap to rest in, and hand to hold; I can't thank you enough for putting up with all of this shit.
To my tormentors, I can only hope you've grown as I have and have become better people since we parted. (From what I've seen, it looks like that's definitely been happening). I guess I'm finally ready to accept that what you did was in the past, something said in passing, or something you didn't even realise would do any damage.
Through the years I've found comfort in many a quote from short ones like "Treat it like water off a duck's back" to longer ones such as "If you judge a fish by it's ability to climb a tree it'll spend it's whole life believing it is stupid." However, my top two mantras will always be:
"Oh yes, the past can hurt. But the way I see it, you can either run from it or, learn from it."
"Keep moving forward."
- Walt Disney