It’s not you. It’s them.

From shweta-narayan, the worst thing you can tell a bullied kid: “If they don’t like you, you must be doing something wrong.”

Which got me to thinking about how one of the best possible things you can say to a bullied kid is the direct opposite of this: “It’s not you. It’s them.”

Those are the words I heard over and over again, not from other kids … of course not from them … but from the adults in my life.

“It’s not you. It’s them.”

Eventually, somehow, I believed it. Not that I thought I was perfect, but … I came to understand, deep down, that I wasn’t the one who was broken or monstrous. The kids who were tormenting me were.

It took me years to understand how lucky I was.

“It’s not you. It’s them.” I think those words were one of the things that saved me.

Sometimes, the things adults say have power after all.

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