Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Sound Familiar?


I would rather be a little nobody, then to be a evil somebody.
Abraham Lincoln

We have seen it as children and probably experienced. In fact, maybe we were once this type of person in our childhood yet managed to learn and grow out of it. And then there are those who continue to bully well into their own adulthood.

The definition of a bully is a blustering browbeating person; especially, one habitually cruel to others who are weaker.

Those who are bullies in childhood often continue to be bullies as adults. And many times the victims of adult bullying find little or no sympathy from others. After all they will say, we are grown now and should let any little or silly things such as bullying bother us.

But it happens.

What are the marks of a child who bullies others;

- Have witnessed physical or verbal violence at home as a means to get what they want.
- Hit or push other children their means to get what they want.
- Often physically strong, so they use physicality to get what they want.
- May or may not be popular with other children around their same age.
- Have trouble following rules and believe rules do not apply to them.
- Show little concern for the feelings of others.

And as they grow into adulthood, what are the marks of an adult bully;

- Are prone to physical or verbal violence at home as a means to get what they want.
- Hit or push other people when they are unable to get what they want.
- Often physically strong, so they use physicality to get what they want.
- May or may not be popular with other adults around their same age.
- Have trouble following rules and believe rules do not apply to them.
- Show little concern for the feelings of others.

Sound familiar?

There are additional habits that adult bullies tend to exhibit as well. These include political backstabbing, socially undermining someone, publicly belittling others, and ostracism. While the stereotype is that bullies tend to be bosses, there is a reason for it.

People tend to bully because they have power and when we think of power, we think of bosses and their charge over subordinates. But power comes in different forms. Some have more power over peers, either due to a dominant personality or aggressiveness. Others might have a higher social status which gives them more social power.

In its simplest form, bullying means being deliberately cruel to another person or group, for any reason. And while bullying is easy to spot in children, adult bullies are sly, subtle and difficult to expose. The older one gets, the more years of practice.

Some have learned to be very cunning while others hide behind masks of authority, superior knowledge, money or other types of power. Many are very good at finding plausible excuses to justify their cruelty or deflecting criticism of their behavior when called out on it. And in many cases, bullies think highly of themselves.

Bullies like being looked up to and often expect everyone to behave according to their wishes. They like having people parade to their doorstep or whim with all of the pomp and circumstance so others can watch. In childhood, kids who bully were many times not taught to think about how their actions affect other people. So putting others on public display is a thing bullies enjoy and it empower them even though it can have a devastating effect on others.

All bullies have one thing in common: they want to hurt someone.

What can someone do to stop from being bullied? When someone is bullying you, it is unlikely that there is anything you can say or do to make the bully feel differently. The best strategy is to change how you respond to the bullying behavior. In many instances, bullying cannot continue to have its desired effect if the intended victim successfully stands up to the bully.

Once you have identified a bully and know what kind of behavior to expect from this person, you must choose not to be a victim. Expose the bullying for what it is; take a stand, and don’t back down.

- Tell someone you trust and tell them what has been happening to you.
- Name names and give details; make your situation very clear.

This may require a bit of courage, but you can find it.

- Arrange for a witness to the bullying by asking someone you trust to watch or listen when the bullying takes place.
- Confront the bully which you can do yourself if you feel able or have a someone you trust there to support you.

The point here is to expose the bully and call him or her to account.

What you do not want to do is;

- Get into a fight; avoid physical confrontation because someone will get hurt or possibly go to jail. It also is very likely that nothing will be resolved.
- Return the abuse; becoming a bully yourself is a dangerous pit to fall into when you are hurt and angry so resist the temptation to lower yourself to the level of your abuser.
- Acting out in frustration; do not fall into the trap where you have a mean boss, who humiliated you so you went home and shouted at the wife, who slapped the oldest son, who punched his little sister, who pulled then pulled the dog’s tail, who ran down out the door and bit the postman.

Cruelty spreads like a contagious disease and quickly becomes epidemic in nature; so wash your hands of it!

I know life is not easy and we will always have varying degrees of hate. But when we encounter it, when we see it, and when we are impacted by it, we can choose to do the right thing.

Stay inspired my friends!

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