The older I get, the more I realize that my mom was right—about everything! Naturally, this stands true with every moment of adversity I’ve experienced throughout my life, especially when it came to a bully. I can remember my mom giving me advice the first time I experienced an imbalance of power due to a power-hungry bully—of course, this was a mean classmate who wouldn’t give up the swings during recess. Now, however, I find this same advice applying to my life more as I become involved in the political world.

Political bullies are everywhere, from the debate stage to the office. Young women in particular often feel like they don’t have the resources to stand up for themselves. Here’s hoping my mom can be just as helpful to you as she always is to me, with the 5 most important things my mom taught be to with political bullies:

  1. Never let someone take your power away from you

Perhaps the best tactic a bully has is this: they are incredible at taking your power away. Mainly through calling you a slew of nasty names from racist to sexist (even when you’re a woman!), political adversaries, especially those who are firmly rooted on the other side of the aisle, want to make you feel small. When engaging in a conflict with a bully, the most important thing to remember is that your self worth does not come from others. You are not the sum of what others believe you are—you know who you are. Don’t forget what you are worth.

  1. Keep Your Cool

It’s been said about your siblings, the class ringleader, and even national media—“they just want to get a reaction out of you.” I remember rolling my eyes at this every time I fought with my sisters as a young child, but it’s so true. Don’t get sucked into an emotional whirlpool that has no end. The truth about bullies, especially political bullies, is that they want to get a rise out of you. To win a debate and prove your credibility, it is imperative to rise above the emotional undertone with logic and reason. By taking the high road, you will gain respect and support from those around you.

  1. As is everything in life, work harder than your adversary

Political bullies are incredibly talented at what they do—taking power away, winning debates, and putting down those around them. Here’s the truth, though: hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard. When you take the time to do your research, practice debating, or even just standing up for yourself, you will overcome someone else’s talent-driven bullying. You can never upset the balance of power without knowledge.

  1. Repeat after me: “It is not okay to treat me this way”

With any bully, you have to set the proper boundaries to gain respect. When someone crosses a line, that must be expressed. If boundaries are not established upfront, your adversary will feel empowered to repeat their negative behavior. Don’t be afraid to explicitly say, “it’s not okay to treat me this way” with strength and dignity. You know how you deserve to be treated–now demand it.

  1. NEXT!

There is one word, above all, that you need to remember in tough situations with adversaries—NEXT! Sometimes, it’s simply beyond our control whether or not a conflict can be resolved, and often, the best tactic is simply to move on. Take your emotional energy elsewhere—you deserve to place yourself in a positive situation. Never be afraid to embrace what may be right down the road, and take courage in moving on from negative environments. Next!

Isabel B
Isabel is a Cabinet Member from the beautiful Rocky Mountains of Colorado and is a proud CSU Ram. Next fall, Isabel will be attending Georgetown University to pursue her master's degree. She dreams of one day serving as the US President. She loves all things small government and second amendment, and is also a Turning Point USA Campus Coordinator and a proud member of PragerFORCE.