Bullying: I can stop being bullied – A to Z Blog Challenge (B) #atozchallenge

Bullying: I can stop being bullied – A to Z Blog Challenge (B) #atozchallenge

Part of the blog series “Beat your Inner Bully and Find your Confidence”
<- A | A-Z TOC | ZtoH TOC C ->

Bullies come in all shapes and sizes. This blog series talks about the bully you’ve let build up inside your own head, putting you down, preventing you from achieving, making you feel bad.

But let’s step back and talk about the external bully.

It is my opinion that in our society’s “Stop the Bullying” campaign, we are focusing on the  wrong person. We’re focusing on stopping the  bully by encouraging the bully to stop, wasting precious effort we could be focusing on creating a toolset – a defense system – for the person being bullied.


Here are three images I came across when searching for images around bullying. Let’s talk about each one:


A B C
DoSomethingAboutBullying BullyStandUp BullyingStopsHere

[This is geared towards verbal abuse]

Picture A

I believe this is aimed at either “the bully” or “someone who witnesses bullying”. I’m very sorry, but in my experience, the bully – from the middle school hot shot, to the board room know-it-all, to the hot-rod racer flipping you the bird – is not going to stop bullying because you urge them to stop. Neither are they going to stop if someone else urges them to stop – even a lot of “someones” – because many more “someones” are on their side, being a bully right beside them. Many bistanders will take the side of the bully, also, because they benefit in some way – they are on the “winning” team, and at the very least, that usually means they won’t themselves be bullied.

Picture B

The second picture has much the same problems as the first  – we’re asking a  third party to get involved in stopping the bully, either by getting in the middle, or saying something. Getting in the middle just invites the third party to get picked on too, or simply delays the bullying until the third party leaves. Saying something to the bully rarely works. Saying something to someone in authority (a teacher, a boss) almost always backfires, getting everyone involved in trouble or at least made to feel uncomfortable, and rarely solves the original problem.

Picture C

The third picture is a call to the person being bullied. Similar to what I said above, it is rare that any external intervention will permanently solve the problem. It may delay it, but the bully will be back. It also shows the bully that you are both bothered by their attention and unable to handle it – which is a large part of why they return.


Why Bully?

There are many reasons, but the most common seem to be able to be broken down into two major categories:

  • Power
    • Revenge/Violence/Abuse/Jealousy/Ego
      • They have been bullied themselves, or abused themselves, or need to feel powerful or above others
  • Self-Esteem issues
    • Lonliness / Lack of self-fulfillment
      • They need to feel above others by putting them down
      • They crave attention and will do something purposely “shocking” to get that attention

Self-Confidence: The Bully Defense System
Bullies obviously have power over those they bully: the ones they bully feel bad about being bullied because the bully’s opinion means something to them. Maybe they see the bully as a popular person and wish to be like them, so they feel put-down when a popular person doesn’t respect them. Maybe the comments themselves are hitting a sore spot – if they tell you that you’re “fat” and you believe that you might be “fat” – and this bothers you – then the bully has won.

Although I have no magic wand for you to wave to suddenly give you (or me) confidence where there is none, just think of how far the bully would get if no one cared a hoot what the bully said? Not just ignored the bully – but really, truly was not bothered by their words?

When I first started my job as a computer programmer, if another (seasoned) programmer came up to me and told me my code sucked, that hurt – bad – because I felt that there may be truth behind the statement. I would trust that person’s opinion and I would internalize the comment.

If, instead, a receptionist (or doctor, or construction worker, or astronaut) who had never, ever turn on a computer in his/her life, and knew nothing about them, came up to me with the same comment, it would not phase me a bit. They do not know what they are talking about, because they have not worked on computers let alone programmed for them.

And I care what you say – why?

Even now, by no means is it perfect, but if a seasoned programmer comes up to me and tells me my code sucks, I’m much more “okay” with it than I was when I started out. The reason? Self-confidence, and a bit of perspective. I now know what the programming field looks like, and I’m very confident where I fit in it. I’m not the person to write apps for phones, nor am I the person to program medical equipment. But I know what I CAN do and I know I’m good at it.

So if you come up to me today with a disparaging remark about my programming, I don’t let you bully me – I have a defense system.

Stop the bullying from the only place you can control – you. If you believe in yourself, you won’t care what the bully has to say.

Featured Images
Copyright:  mandygodbehear / 123RF Stock Photo
Copyright: lurin / 123RF Stock Photo

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5 thoughts on “Bullying: I can stop being bullied – A to Z Blog Challenge (B) #atozchallenge

  1. I had a series of bullies all through school. I was small, I as shy and I was (am) gay. They saw my weaknesses and insecurities, exploited them, exaggerated them, and teased them out in front of my classmates. I am sure they were probably victims in some form or another and their small brains thought the only way to cope is to pass it along. In a strange coincidence, two of the three main ones died before the age of thirty, one hit by a logging truck, the other from an overdose.
    Scott Parker-Anderson
    I waste megabytes over at WALDINA

    Liked by 2 people

    1. You know it took a long, LONG time before I “forgave” my biggest high school bully. But only just recently, did I realize that was going about it the wrong way – and after long last, I didn’t care anymore what the bully used to do and I didn’t care to forgive or excuse him either. I just didn’t care.

      But I won’t say that about everything – I still have lots of confidence problems, which is why I picked this topic in the first place.

      And I have no idea how you would “ignore” or even “forgive” when they take that personal of an attack as they did with you, questioning such an integral part of what makes you “you”. I’d be interested if you have any tips of how to overcome or cope with such abuse.

      Thanks for posting.

      Like

  2. Bullying really has to be dealt with on a case by case basis, though. While building the self esteem to not be bothered by it is a great thing either way, it can also just piss off the bully. It’s similar to saying fight back for physical bullying. It can work, but it can also make things so much worse.

    I was bullied a bit in elementary and middle school. In high school I was still unpopular, but I wouldn’t say bullied anymore. I don’t think it was real confidence. I didn’t get any sort of confidence at all until after high school and still struggle with it, but I did stop caring so much. Latched onto the friends I did have. Everybody keeps saying this is needing external validation and unhealthy, but I don’t think so. It’s not like I am ore ever was codependent. Humans are social animals and knowing they have a place with even one other person helps.

    I have a philosophy to forgive anybody anything and give cautious second chances. Even if I have to cut somebody out of my life I don’t hold onto hurt feelings. It’s not a philosophy for everybody though, and everyone has their own way of healing.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Yep- got bullied in Jr. High. Had a real bully for a boss in my late 20’s. Somewhere along the line I read that bullies only respect other bullies. When I learned to push back and stand up for myself, those bullies went off to find someone weaker to pick on. Probably why I don’t think Picture A will work – bullies are sometimes oblivious to their behavior.

    Like

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