Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Washington State
You need to think of your situation in a new way. The people who are teasing you (your aggressors) are likely petty girls who feel some sense of power when they discover your insecurities and prey upon them. It feels like a small victory or "reward" to them every time that they see that something they say has either hurt or upset you. You need to take the reward out of the equation. Think of this as a training situation.
My mare has a terrible habit of pawing when she wants her grain. It is an extremely rude behavior. If I give her her grain when she paws, then she's getting just the thing that she wants. She is being rewarded for pawing and is more likely to do it in the future. In fact, not only is she more likely to do it -- she's more likely to do it harder and longer than before. What happens instead? She gets ignored when she paws. She can paw until she's dug a hole knee deep as far as I'm concerned, but she won't get her grain until she stops. I'm ignoring the undesirable behavior until she offers the desired behavior (not pawing) at which point she is rewarded.
So let's apply this to your situation.
Your aggressors feel a (sick) sense of reward when they see that they have upset you. If you become angry or emotional after they have called you a rude name, they have received their reward and they are more likely to do it again in the future. As with my mare, not only are they more likely to do it, but they are more likely to be even more rude and aggressive. While I have no doubt that this will be exceptionally hard, what you need to do is ignore their unwanted behavior. They can be as rude as they like for as long as they like, but at the end of the day they won't have gotten their reward and if you're lucky they might even start to realize how nasty they sound when they only have their own words to listen to and no response from you. IF your aggressors start to treat you with more respect, you can begin to "reward" them by offering your own signs of respect in return. If for example one of your previous aggressors comes in one day and tells you that your horse's coat is looking especially shiny today, you can reward her more desirable behavior with a friendly smile, a thank you, and perhaps an offer to show her your "secret" brushing routine for bringing out the shine in your horse's coat.
So there you have it -- you mostly just need to attempt to (subtly) "train" your unruly aggressors. It won't happen overnight (my mare won't stop pawing overnight) but gradually they might start to figure out that it's not rewarding to treat you poorly. Training is an ongoing work in progress. Sometimes we make mistakes along the way and sometimes it feels like we aren't making any progress at all, but that doesn't mean that we can't persist and finally achieve the desired result.
Last edited by Eolith; 01-03-2014 at 02:14 AM.