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Being Teased
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When I was a little girl, I wore glasses for distance vision, since I was pretty near sighted. In those days, children didn't wear glasses unless they were nearly blind.

I was teased unmercifully about wearing glasses. With a high temper and a thin skin, I responded and got upset all the time. Nearly every day I'd come home in a rage or in tears--or both.

My mother's advice has stayed with me to this day: no matter how it upsets you, don't show it. Bullies and teases live for your reactions; they feed their appetite for a scene, for an upset.

Keep cool. That's how you fight back. Ignore them. That's how passive resistance works. Eventually they get bored, and move on. You aren't going to change them, but you can get them to leave you alone if you just don't play the game.

You know what? It worked. And in the process I developed more tolerance for being teased, for joking around, for "the dozens." Nowadays I seldom take offense, unless I see someone else, defenseless, being picked on or bullied.

So no matter the meaningless provocation, I won't respond. It isn't worth my time. Or yours.

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