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  1. #1
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    Default Relational Competition and "Social" Bullying

    The thread about bullies evoked how some people do not bully openly but do so in a covert manner. Social expectations may suggest to people that overt aggressiveness is wrong. Left with no way to express aggression, people may have to turn to specific tactics. Some forms of indirect bullying include: emotional manipulation, gossip, backstabbing, ignoring and giving the could shoulder, sabotaging someone's work, keeping important information, etc. These forms of indirect bullying can be just as damaging, even sometimes more, than direct bullying.

    Tradtionally, gender roles make it so that overt aggressiveness is more tolerated in males than in females. I have a couple of personal examples in mind of females that were bullied by other females in a relational way. One thing I have noticed is that these bullied females were not weak or victim like in any way. Rather, they were honest and direct females who said what they think but didn't want to play by the rules of the game. One such person I know was an ENTJ. She was completely ostracized by some of her peers because they could not stand her direct mode of communication. As a consequence, she ended up hanging out with guys. It was really a sight to behold... the other females would superficially treat the ENTJ in a very nice way. Then, once she had her backed turned, they would say things like "Let's just ignore her next time she comes!". The worse being, that, once the ENTJ tried to confront them openly, they would deny everything and, worse, would then accuse the ENTJ of being mean and aggressive. When I asked the girls why they were doing that, one replied: "There's no use in creating needless conflict. Plus, come on... she's really a bitch, she deserves it". The ENTJ in my example had lots of charisma. The other girls might have been jealous of her and also wanted to punish her for not conforming to gender roles.

    What do you think about these behaviors and do you have any anecdotes in mind?

  2. #2
    Senior Member niffer's Avatar
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    Direct mode of communication?
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    Senior Member darlets's Avatar
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    Some of this is sexual competition isn't it?

    Girls especially aren't socially allowed to be overt about the competition so they covertly undermine others. The punchline to this is girls that can't/won't put up with this S@#$ tend to go hang out with guys and have lots of male friends.

    Alot of what I saw in the corporate world was a group that was willing to suck up upper management and a group that weren't and were gotten rid off
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    Quote Originally Posted by niffer View Post
    Direct mode of communication?
    Defined as way of communicating assertively and going straight to the point. This style might conflict with traditional gender expectations about females for example.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Maverick View Post
    Defined as way of communicating assertively and going straight to the point. This style might conflict with traditional gender expectations about females for example.
    Oh....so non-direct would be like talking about endless amounts of filler-type boring crap? The kind that seems to define the lives of these types of people?
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    Senior Member darlets's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maverick View Post
    Defined as way of communicating assertively and going straight to the point. This style might conflict with traditional gender expectations about females for example.
    Hell yes. Direct communication is not encouraged in females. My sister who is married to an INTJ was actually told by other women, you have to be more indirect when dealing with men. They actually think she's being rude, but he likes direct up front communication.

    Girls have to be "sugar and spice and all things nice "
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    Quote Originally Posted by niffer View Post
    Oh....so non-direct would be like talking about endless amounts of filler-type boring crap? The kind that seems to define the lives of these types of people?
    Not necessarily... For example:

    Direct: "I don't respect person X and I think X is a loser"
    Indrect: "Person X is kind of cute, in the way that X never manages to succeed at anything"

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    Senior Member niffer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maverick View Post
    Not necessarily... For example:

    Direct: "I don't respect person X and I think X is a loser"
    Indrect: "Person X is kind of cute, in the way that X never manages to succeed at anything"
    But the second version is so..dishonourable!
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  9. #9
    Senior Member darlets's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maverick View Post
    Not necessarily... For example:

    Direct: "I don't respect person X and I think X is a loser"
    Indrect: "Person X is kind of cute, in the way that X never manages to succeed at anything"
    "The time you enjoy wasting is not wasted time."
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    http://zeropointseven.blogspot.com/

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    darkened dreams labyrinthine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maverick View Post
    What do you think about these behaviors and do you have any anecdotes in mind?
    I agree with your assessment in general, but strangely enough, I have encountered a number of men who behave the same way. They happen to be musician/performers in administrative positions. They lay on the sugar and then find ways to destroy people.

    When I attended a boarding high school my 'friends' would say horrible things about the girls dean but act really sweet whenever she came around. There was a particular flavor to the sweetness that I could read as fake. They treated me with the same sweetness. bleh. As a woman I tend to have the whole gentle 'sweet' demeanor, but still I cannot stand indirect communication and surround myself with very direct people. I fit the whole stereotype of avoiding conflict, but I do it by telling people 'no' and avoiding the problem people in conversation and interaction when possible. I loathe gossiping because it immediately destroys my trust in the person who is gossiping. My instinct is to view a situation from every angle, so I spend moments in the shoes of the one being gossiped about. In most cases it is only logical to assume that they'll do the same to me. When I vent about people, it is usually to a deeply trusted confidant who will not pass it along and often who is not involved with said person in any way.

    I don't trust passive aggressive people. Some people use both passive and overt aggression. My sister's mother-in-law is one such person. Just because a person is willing to be rude/hostile outright doesn't mean they don't also engage in passive aggressive behavior. Some do it all.

    One reason I talk a lot about reading intent not specific style of communication is to bypass aggression in all its forms. I can see that the direct individual can be misread as hostile and the indirect individual misread as nice. All I care about is the intent: is it to destroy and control others, or to solve problems? It's not hard to adapt to style, even if very abrupt, if there is enough trust in place to know that harm is not the intent.
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