The Best Way to Combat Bulling
As defined by Stop Bulling dot Gov, bullying is unwanted, aggressive behavior among school aged children that involves a real or perceived power imbalance. The behavior is repeated, or has the potential to be repeated, over time. Bullying includes actions such as making threats, spreading rumors, attacking someone physically or verbally, and excluding someone from a group on purpose. Wikipedia says it is the use of force, threat, or coercion to abuse, intimidate, or aggressively dominate others. The behavior is often repeated and habitual. One essential prerequisite is the perception, by the bully or by others, of an imbalance of social or physical power. Behaviors used to assert such domination can include verbal harassment or threat, physical assault or coercion, and such acts may be directed repeatedly towards particular targets. Rationalizations for such behavior sometimes include differences of social class, race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, appearance, behavior, body language, personality, reputation, lineage, strength, size or ability and the American Psychological Association calls it a form of aggressive behavior in which someone intentionally and repeatedly causes another person injury or discomfort. Bullying can take the form of physical contact, words or more subtle actions.
The bullied individual typically has trouble defending him or herself and does nothing to “cause” the bullying. Now while all these are pretty good definitions of bulling, it does very little to truly explain what it is in the manner of why it happens and how the victim can stop it.
Honestly, there is no elimination of bulling possible unless every single human being on this planet and within this universe makes up their collective and individual minds to stop their own bulling. What I mean by this is bulling happens all the time every day. Much of it goes unrecognized because it is called by other names but the essences of bulling remains consistent and constant. It is not limited to school age kids as Stop Bulling dot Gov would want us to believe and it is certainly not something anyone asks for but you can rest assured that everyone does it in one form or another. It all begins when parents do it to their children and continues when adults do it to each other. Take for example, a judge speaking disrespectfully to a defendant in his/her courtroom, this is bulling. What about a boss, speaking to his/her employees in a manner of arrogance or superiority because of the title that they hold. In our military, those who out rank another is guilty of bulling, police speaking to someone they deem as a criminal with or without any clear evidence that they have committed a crime is bulling. Men speaking to women in a manner that belittles the woman as well as women who speak as a male to males and embarrasses him in front of his friends. All these are a form of bulling and it may never completely be eliminated from our society. It will take a conscientious effort to even minimize the over-abundant use of bulling going on in our society but that effort must be taken up as a cause by all of us. Bulling is not limited to any specific race, creed, color, religion or sex. The ability and willingness to bully is within us all and each of us as individuals must decide that we will not let it control us to the point where we feel it is okay to use it.
Bulling is nothing more than an abusive and aggressive reaction to something or someone aimed at those we believe that we hold some sort of power over. It is often never directed towards the person or thing that got us so upset because even in our minds, we feel powerless against them. A child may never say to their parent how they really feel because they may fear being placed upon their backs, a defendant may never say to a judge how they really feel because they may fear more jail time, an employee may never say to their boss how they feel for fear of losing their job and so on, you get the point. Because of these reasons, we then search for someone that we can place our anger upon and naturally we will choose someone we feel we are superior to. This makes us feel better about ourselves and not so helpless. So the true essence of bulling is simply to build our self-esteem up or get it back. Often times we may not even know the person upon which we visited our anger because that factor does not matter. All that matters is that I am hurting and now I want to make someone else hurt period.
My only suggestion for combating bulling is to caringly look into the eyes of your bully and say to them “Wow, someone must have really hurt your feelings, for you to come at me like that. I am sorry that it happened to you and you know in your heart that it wasn’t me however I am not going to feed into your delusion, instead I offer you this hand of friendship because I have been where you are too”. There are but only two reactions you will receive and sometimes you will get them both back to back. You will see recognition in their eyes that you are right or they will come at you even harder to avoid looking as if you have outsmarted them. Either reaction is fine because in the end all you want them to do is think about what you just said and what you just did. This may just be the one and only time this opportunity has been offered to them to change and one that sometimes even they did not know that they have been seeking. Now whether they take it then is of really no concern of yours and your job has been done, all you have to do is plant the seed.
Bulling will always be around and back in the day; we used to call them “your momma” jokes or “shooting the dozens”. It used to be what we thought was just harmless fun and never really thought about how it affected the other person. We didn’t even think of how it affected us and only later on in life does it ever come to past just how much it really did. Some of us even wish to believe that since we survived that it will produce no damage to our children and that they will also survived but the question should not be whether they survive or not by how they survive. You see people, there is a reason Jesus said it is not what goes into your mouth that makes you unclean, it is what comes out as quoted in the Bible. Contrary to what some wish to believe, black lives matter, white lives matter, Asian lives matter, Hispanic lives matter, cops lives matter, Jewish lives matter, Muslim lives matter and yes, words do matter too.