That way they don't win.
They don't see that what they're saying is hurting you, is getting you down. They don't gain the upper hand.
I was the kid, who in elementary school, from grade four on was made fun of...almost every day. Right up until I started high school. Well, no, even in high school, but I think my high school experience was pretty mild compared to a lot of peoples. But every day I was in school out in Alberta, I was made fun of. I had kids from the other schools making fun of me. Of course, by the time I hit grade 7, it didn't help that kids from those schools lived in my street, so I had to see them every day.
There was this one bitch named Melina, who lived two houses down from me, and one named Kayla who lived a few houses the other direction. They had this gang of kids who lived in the same area, who would waft back and forth between the two of them, whenever one of them suddenly decided we were friends, for a whole week! The other kids? Nuh-uh. They sided with whoever didn't like me that day. It got old quickly.
I never really got beat up. I didn't have people shoving me into lockers, throwing things at me, or trying to hurt me. Sure I got the occasional facewash in the winter, but who didn't? No, I got the stupid insults, the gossip behind my back. All the time, from everyone around me. I got it for every little tiny reason. I was tall. I was smart. I had red hair; freckles; glasses. I didn't shave. I didn't have any of the "big" things people got teased for.
But that doesn't make it hurt any less. And my mom used to tell me not to take it personally, that kids will be kids. But how do you not take it personally, when people are attacking, well, your person?
So I put on my disguise like a costume every day, I go out and I live my life. The people out there who feel like being like those girls I knew when I was little? They're never going to know they're winning.
I won't let them.
It may be personal, I may cry, but they won't win.