Dealing with public harassment

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Public harassment, molestation, badgering, teasing, or torment has been a common practice among several people across the world for centuries. From time to time, some people become perpetual victims of some kind of discrimination or harassment, be it at work, school, grocery stores, or in the streets. Molestation tends to be shown to people who are believed to have fallen short of societal ideals or are different in some ways. Many women in different countries suffer the harassment of being catcalled and degraded for not returning attention or accepting a date, and also deal with sexism in their workplaces. Some children are teased for their skinniness, overweight, skin color, religion, sexual orientation, stammer, economic status, or poor academic grades.

It is definitely not easy to imagine the agony of suffering from cancer if one has never had to battle cancer in one’s life. Similarly, it is easy to believe that harassments and discriminations do not happen if one has never been a victim, and even more likely for one to believe that they are aren’t a big deal, because one doesn’t know how awful the experience can be. Being discriminated or harassed can be tough for just about anyone who goes through any form of it. Discrimination of any sort is abusive and inhumane. It’s degrading and can result in depression. It’s a form of threat to the comfort and peace of another human. There’s not a magic spell to make harassment by other people go away, nor is there a perfect pill that can help mitigate the stinging feeling.

While any form of harassment or discrimination can be tough, it is necessary to remember that impolite folks will always be impolite folks, creeps will always be creeps, and most racists will always be racists. You cannot change them, and you should not even try to. You cannot subdue each and every one of them; there are too many of them in the world. This is like an injured limb that will never heal. You will have to deal with this for the rest of your life. The best you can do is to avoid them if you can, ignore them and endure their insults, and of course, focus and strive to achieve your set-goals.

Dealing with discrimination and public harassment starts with not assigning any importance to the opinions of those who play little-to-no role in your life. There are people who do not add value to your life, but are quick to make you feel like you are worthless. Don’t listen to them, even as it hurts. Harassment by other people is a manifestation of shallow, troubled minds. A person must be so empty to have time to randomly (or specifically) pick on someone out at work, school, or in any place. You’ll often find that there are several people like this, and engaging in a fight with each and every one of them will not end it.

Try not to get upset about it, even as it is annoying. But choose to let it go, and focus on your goals. You will get pained and annoyed from time to time for various reasons. Learn to embrace these experiences and focus on what matters. Everyone on earth (including you) will surely die one day or the other, earlier or much later. The last thing you want is to be ‘eternally’ bothered by the petty actions of ‘ignorant’ people.

More so, bear in mind that harassment is not a natural inclination, but a reflection of a troubled mind. There is always a motivation behind the actions of those who harass others, and it is never about you. Harassment springs from insecurity, shame, fears, unfulfilled wishes, dysfunctional family relationships, abandonment, and low self-esteem. Even as they tease you, remember that they are the ones who need to be felt sorry for. In the end, you just have to realize that you are you, they are them, and the things they say really only affect you as much as you let them.