When people hurt you over and over, think of them like sand paper. They may scratch and hurt you a bit, but in the end, you end up polished and they end up useless. ~ Chris Colfer
Some people won’t be happy until they’ve pushed you to the ground. What you have to do is have the courage to stand your ground and not give them the time of day. Hold on to your power and never give it away. ~Donna Schoenrock
What if the kid you bullied at school, grew up, and turned out to be the only surgeon who could save your life? ~ Lynette Mather
I am all for cracking down on inappropriate digital behaviour. Too often the connected world is an excuse for some coward hiding behind a keyboard to bully someone else. ~ Tony Parsons
Bullying seems to be a part of every culture. There are varying degrees of bullying and the forms will often differ. A third grade playground bully will look different from an adult bully. That said, the underlying behaviors (need for power and control, inability to cope with their own life circumstances, failure to develop the strength to be able to admit their mistakes and grow from the mistakes into new strengths. Sometimes, in fact, often, bullies were bullied themselves – though this does not excuse or justify their behavior.
I find that often when adults feel powerless they resort to unhealthy bullying of others within their lives. For example, when a staff member feels that another staff member has offended them, rather than confront the issue directly, there may be passive aggressive rumors and attacks on the staff member they are not happy with. If an employee in a store has to tell a customer “no” and they do not like hearing the “no” a litany of verbal harassment (and sometimes physical harassment) can follow. Of course, the harassment does not actually help the customer get their way, but they are not able to step back and understand that their abusive behavior escalates a situation, rather than deescalates a situation. They do not understand that their bullying hurts themselves more than anything.
This past week I have observed quite a lot of bullying behaviors. Sometimes I think it is the brutality of life in this current economic crisis, and sometimes I think it is just the culture that surrounds me. Either way, I watched employees yelled at and harassed, people screaming and crying, and heard abusive and highly threatening words exchanged. I also heard lies exchanged back and forth quicker than tennis balls knocked back and forth. This is all very saddening, very disheartening.
I decided long ago that I would not tolerate bullying behavior – whether at home or work, and whether engaged in by students or adults (it is easier to correct the behavior in students than it is in adults). I decided that I would stand up to bullying with students and apply consequences to hurtful behaviors. With adults, I realized that I could let them know, “we do not relate to people in this manner” – I can remind them that yelling and screaming and threats will not be tolerated in our environment. Ultimately, if you can take the higher ground, the bully loses their power – they try to catch you by surprise, they attempt to get a reaction out of you – if you can hold your ground they are disempowered. When they realize that they are not going to gain power through intimidation they may get very angry…… do your best to stand firm, when you can (and when it is not dangerous) – it may not be pleasant, but hopefully it will teach the bully a lesson.
Today, 192 days ’til 40, I will continue to stand up to bullies that find their way into my work and social environments. When I empower myself to stand against bullying I am doing a service for all that interact with that individual.