In the novel, The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, our main character is Junior. He leaves the reservation school to take classes at a high school some miles away. At the reservation school his friend, Rowdy, always helped out when Junior was bullied. But at the new school, Junior is on his own.
Junior has a choice to make. He can stand up to the new bully, Roger, or he can avoid the situation. He decides to stand up to Roger and ends up hitting him. Instead of fighting back though, Roger backs down. This leaves Junior confused. He was prepared for a fight, not prepared to see Roger back away.
After conferring with his grandmother, Junior comes to the conclusion that by responding to Roger's unrelenting bullying and teasing with violence, he has somehow earned his respect. Junior's violence toward Roger ends up changing their relationship. Roger stops bullying Junior and instead, loans him money and even helps Junior on the basketball team.