Bullying

I’ve been thinking a lot about Bullying lately. Not sure why.. maybe I’m feeling like a bully. I don’t know. The major problem I see in all of the discussion is that apparently bullying stops when you graduate high school. Look at Federal anti-bullying campaign, it discusses bullying quite well and has links to help different groups identify and cope with bullying. The problem? It’s all about bullying with respect to kids. I just don’t get it. Adults can be bullied too.

If you look a little deeper, you can find adult bullying discussions. The “focus” of bullying changes, but the feelings and effects of that bullying are the same as they were when we were kids. Some bullying is overt. People actively picking on others or degrading them. People intentionally posting passive aggressive nonsense that is clearly directed at certain people. (thank you social networks) Even something as simple as posting online about some “truism” you believe that passively degrades other people. Things like “Why on earth would anyone think blah blah blah is something anyone wants to [hear|see|think]” constitute some of this passive aggressive crap.

Hell, people need to be mindful that bullying can be directed at anyone. Your spouse or significant other, your friends, your kids, your pets. It’s a pretty insidious event in our world. Bullying comes far too easily to most people and calling someone out on their bully results in? More bullying.

What is the point of all of this? I’m hopeful people are more mindful of how their words and thoughts affect other people. I’m hopeful that people learn to self-identify bullying habits or are willing to hear criticism from others that their words or actions are classic indicators of bullying.

A year or so ago, I decided I was going to be less snarky and sarcastic. That hasn’t worked out so well. What I have done, or tried to do, is to try to be less biting and mean in my sarcasm. There is a very broadly identifiable line in any friendship or relationship that can be seen and denotes when your jokes are mean-spirited or nasty. I’ve tried to learn to see that line more often than not. If you think I’ve crossed that line, let me know. I’m grown up enough to hear it.

Edit:
After I wrote this, I found a really nice website from PBS about Adult Bullying. Good stuff to read through: Adult Bullying

6 thoughts on “Bullying”

  1. I haven’t experienced any bullying since school, but my son has. It’s something we assume bullies grow out of after school because they learn to respect others, which is not always the case. Parents who let their kids get away with it are teaching them that bullying is okay, so it continues unabated. Also, people are less insightful than ever, which means that they take umbrage every time they are faced with criticism. Not only can they not grow in their character, but their problematic behavior often escalates.

  2. None? I’m not sure that can be true. You’ve never been treated disrespectfully? Been made to feel intimidated? I can’t say that your experience has been mine.

  3. Honestly I think at some point in adulthood everyone has been a bully. Whether or not they realize it or recognize it as such is completely another story. I am sure if I reflect back I would be able to find a time that I did it unknowingly. I can think of an instance about 5 years ago that I worked for a boss who was honestly the biggest adult bully I had ever met.

  4. Hey.. I think I know who you’re talking about! =) For myself? I’m thinking about bullying quite a bit and am actively trying to keep myself from being a bully. So.. I wrote about it.

  5. Adult bullying, particularly in the workplace, has been why I’ve been tempted more than a few times to eat a gun. I still have flashbacks and nightmares about a job I otherwise loved because the office bully made it pure hell. I’m afraid of office jobs now, which isn’t helping my job search any. To function for longer than a few months I will have to be on Ativan or something similar. Even an unexpected interview for an otherwise possibly perfect job has me in suicidal ideation because I’m afraid of going through more office/adult bullying. And HR won’t do anything except help the bullies; targets get thrown under the bus. Counseling won’t help, sadly; it’s too ingrained.

  6. Actually, no. I was bullied a great deal in grade, middle and high school. Something clicked shortly afterward, however, and I decided that I was never going to be bullied again. Anyone who’s tried since has been called out immediately and I let them know, in no uncertain terms, that I wouldn’t be tolerating it. Sounds simplistic and a little arrogant, I know, but I came to the conclusion that I had enough of bullying and would never again be a victim.

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