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Words to Live By – Taylor Swift on Bullying

From the song Mean by Taylor Swift:

“I’ll bet you got pushed around

   Somebody made you cold

But the cycle ends right now

   ‘Cause you can’t lead me down that road”

I was having a conversation with a patient who is a victim of severe bullying. She has a hard time letting go of her anger, especially since the bullying still continues and there is very little she can do about it. Part of her anger is that she knows she is a wonderful person and is afraid that the bullying will change her into a cynical and bitter person. I told her to listen to the song by Taylor Swift. It is a beautiful song in which she acknowledges the character of her bully; however, she is also very clear that the bully will not change who she is. The cycle of pushing people around stops at her, because she won’t let the bully take her down the same road.

No matter what sort of “mean” you are being subjected to, take the best measures to protect yourself and seek all the help that is available to you. Make yourself a promise, however, not the let the others’ “mean” change you! Say to yourself what my wise patient always repeats to herself: “I won’t let them dim my shine!”

Sayeh Beheshti, M.D.