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Thread: Bullying

  1. #51
    Senior Member cafe's Avatar
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    A kid bullied me in first grade, but after some encouragement from my mom, I stood up to her and was rarely bullied after that. There were some mean 'rich' kids in sixth grade (the joys of busing ) that bullied me pretty relentlessly, I assume because I was quiet, poor, and dressed like a dork and I had trouble figuring out how to handle that. I could handle the overt physical intimidation better than the more subtle, verbal stuff. Funny because I, like Lat, was usually the youngest kid in my class along with being very small for my age. It's just that when people try that stuff with my, I go kind of crazy and it I guess it sort of catches people off guard.

    As far as my kids go, I try to suck up to the powers that be at their schools in advance so that I already have some kind of rapport. I expect my kids to try telling the adult in charge, but if that doesn't work, I talk to the school and they do usually take care of things. So far they haven't had to resort to defending themselves, but they have my permission to do so, should the need arise.
    “There are two novels that can change a bookish fourteen-year old’s life: The Lord of the Rings and Atlas Shrugged. One is a childish fantasy that often engenders a lifelong obsession with its unbelievable heroes, leading to an emotionally stunted, socially crippled adulthood, unable to deal with the real world. The other, of course, involves orcs.”
    ~ John Rogers

  2. #52
    not to be trusted miss fortune's Avatar
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    I was in really good shape when I was younger and after getting made fun of for a few years for being one of the school's "smart kids" I took control. I started out kicking the ass of anyone who dared make the wrong comment to me, and then learned to be more ruthless- I kicked the ass of anyone who made fun of strategic people I knew and made friends with the "right" people. By middle school I was in the in crowd, and I had a lot of people who owed me favors, which I would happily collect in order to further myself. I didn't have to do my own dirty work anymore because other people would do it for me to stay on my good side. Looking back, I find the movie Mean Girls a bit familiar.

    Basically, the average bully may just be reacting and overcompensating *shrug*

    How to deal with one? I honestly don't know, I did by becoming worse than them and I really wouldn't suggest that path to anyone- nothing is worse than dealing with the popular crowd as a teenager really. Talking back will get you mocked and laughed at, turning away without saying anything will get you taunted at and laughed at. I guess the best you can do is to be good at something and concentrate on that and then it won't really matter.

    umm... am I the only former bully here?
    “Oh, we're always alright. You remember that. We happen to other people.” -Terry Pratchett

  3. #53
    Senior Member Lateralus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by whatever View Post
    umm... am I the only former bully here?
    You're a horrible person.



    I can barely say that with a straight face
    "We grow up thinking that beliefs are something to be proud of, but they're really nothing but opinions one refuses to reconsider. Beliefs are easy. The stronger your beliefs are, the less open you are to growth and wisdom, because "strength of belief" is only the intensity with which you resist questioning yourself. As soon as you are proud of a belief, as soon as you think it adds something to who you are, then you've made it a part of your ego."

  4. #54
    Senior Member ptgatsby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by whatever View Post
    umm... am I the only former bully here?
    I briefly started to become one during a rather intensive bully period in my life. This isn't unusual, actually - it is a typical coping mechanism. It was short lived however, as it was pointed out what I was doing in short order. It was mortifying and permanently ended it.

    In hindsight, I'm glad for that sequence of events, as it allowed me to understand both sides and cope better than just being a victim. It also gave me the strength to call down on bullying for others. I'm extremely intolerant of the behavior now.

    I guess the best you can do is to be good at something and concentrate on that and then it won't really matter.
    Generally ineffective, unless you can utterly withdraw, which is generally negative for the individual anyway.

    For the individual, the best thing they can do is stand up for themselves. It is the most effective and permanent solution. This involves typically getting physical, since it needs to be very direct to be effective. It may create distance between you and others, but it is generally the better solution.

    The other solutions tend to require the cooperation of others, which is normally unsuccessful.

    Having gone through it in spades and spent a large part of my life coping with it by researching it, the answer that I was given by my uncle was essentially correct - just punch them in the face. Better to be beat up a couple of times than tormented for years. I put this to pretty effective use later on in life - when being pushed, I turned verbally vicious, leaving no doubt to what I would do if it continued. It took a while to get use to, but after actually carrying through a couple of times, the tone of my pushback took on a very intentful edge and I rarely ever had to up the level of threat again.

  5. #55
    Senior Member millerm277's Avatar
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    Sure, I've been a "victim" of attempted bullying. The reason I phrase it like that, is because, while I was a quiet and somewhat awkward kid (hence why people tried to cause problems sometimes), I was also very tall, and somewhat strong. Usually I could just verbally "disarm" someone, as I don't really enjoy physically hurting people.

    Once however, I couldn't take it anymore, from someone who'd been trying to bully me for about 6 months and wouldn't go away. After he shoved me again, I just launched myself at him, even broke a bone or two I think (of his). Best decision I ever made. No one ever tried to cause me problems again in school, and I barely even got in trouble, as the administration knew what was going on.
    I-95%, S-84%, T-89%, P-84%

  6. #56
    No moss growing on me Giggly's Avatar
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    Bullying is just another term for establishing a pecking order. When boys do this amongst themselves, the girls automatically follow it without interference. Any attempt a boy makes to avoid that and establish dominance among girls only is usually temporary until another boy comes and usurps him.

  7. #57
    Senior Member Anja's Avatar
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    kyuuei and whatever, you both have provided me with the thought to say this and it was but half-formed until I read your posts.

    Being bullied hurts. And the wounds are very slow to heal if we've had more of it than we could handle at any age.

    But the life's goal needs to be rising above it. Maybe not when it's happening, but at some point if we don't learn how to heal we will be damaged goods all our lives. We'll spend time complaining and blaming our shortcomings on the behavior of others. We'll relive the abuse repeatedly with its accompanying hurt and resentment. Not a very comfortable lifestyle.

    It's unfair, but no matter what people do to us we are still the ones responsible for cleaning up the mess.

    And no amount of retribution will ever heal us. Punishing the guilty does not heal the wounded. Only each individul can do that for themselves. This requires some research, perhaps some counseling, and as kyuuei so splendidly expressed, a support system. And she picked herself up and made one happen for herself!

    So I'm thinking as an adult does their work on their victimization issues, (and the first step is something I've seen here, admitting it and expressing it) they develop character and a sense of personal power. Confidence.

    And what do our children see?

    "Yes, I've been a victim too. Look what I am doing with it. Standing up, holding my head up. Not buying the lie that I deserve it."

    Cuz, gee, otherwise we're stuck in that victim role forever. I swear I've seen invisible "Kick me" signs on some people in RL.

    It's a lifetime job and a good time to start is today.

    Then when the bullies come around you don't have to try to laugh it off. You will be able to laugh it off. (I, myself would do this in private. Some people get meaner when you laugh at them. See, laughing in their face is a "getcha" and an invitation to the dance.)

    You need to carry the attitude that you're ok and in order to do that you have to believe it and that takes work. So you drop the blame and pay attention to yourself instead of others.


    __________________________________________________ _____

    When I began to look at this issue for myself I was in my thirties and I ran across a statement in a book called The Drama of The Gifted Child by the psychologist, Alice Miller.

    Self-impowering was all the rage at the time and a new concept for me.

    Alice said that everything that we spend our lives defending against already has happened to us when we were little and unable to defend ourselves. I taped it on my refrigerator and over the years it has gained increased meaning in my path of healing.
    Last edited by Anja; 09-11-2008 at 10:50 PM. Reason: FOUR edits for crummy spelling. (But I'm okay anyway!)
    "No ray of sunshine is ever lost, but the green which it awakes into existence needs time to sprout, and it is not always granted to the sower to see the harvest. All work that is worth anything is done in faith." - Albert Schweitzer

  8. #58
    Senior Member ptgatsby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hmm View Post
    Bullying is just another term for establishing a pecking order. When boys do this amongst themselves, the girls automatically follow it without interference. Any attempt a boy makes to avoid that and establish dominance among girls only is usually temporary until another boy comes and usurps him.
    Bullying doesn't have much to do with pecking order. The main requirements for bullying require exclusion, where pecking order entails inclusion.

    The typical goal of any bully is to empower themselves by harming another. No amount of social rank is sufficient because it is the need to empowering that is being met, not the need for social hierarchy. Typically the victim is already at the bottom of the pecking order, and the bully can often have no interest in their own social order, only in filling their own need for empowerment.

    It's is also one of the reasons standing up works well. If social order was important, challenging the bully would cause worse conditions. Instead, it disarms the empowering technique abruptly, ending the bullying.

    (Having said that, there are situations in which pecking order in-fighting emulates bullying, however it is a very minor subset of what is considered bullying, even by definition.)

  9. #59
    not to be trusted miss fortune's Avatar
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    I've never witnessed someone really succeeding in standing up to a bully actually It might seem to work on the surface, but the gossip directed towards that person and the social exclusion that they can suffer as a result can be worse than any punch that can be thrown thier way.

    That being said, the results of having been a bully at one point means occasionally running into someone I haven't seen since I was in middle school and having them say "you know, you were a real bitch then"
    “Oh, we're always alright. You remember that. We happen to other people.” -Terry Pratchett

  10. #60
    Senior Member Kyrielle's Avatar
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    I was bullied nonstop in elementary school and then a little in middle and high school. In elementary school, I got picked on because I was always overwhelmed by so many people everywhere, which made me vulnerable. One boy started by taking advantage of my gullibility--I was 5. He later berated me, at 7, on the playground to the point where he'd make me cry in public just about every week.

    The worst part about those years, is I think it ended up causing me to be very reserved and suspicious of people in general. It kept me from being open to people. I feel like I decided then that the world was a really horrible place and I would, from then on, escape it in my head as much as humanly possible. I also would go home after school and hit my brother when he annoyed me in the slightest. I feel very bad still for being so mean to him, but it made me feel a little better at the time. I stopped doing this when I changed schools and went home after school instead of my grandmother's.

    Then in middle school, in band, this girl assigned to sit next to me would tell me my mother was a whore and I didn't deserve her, all this utter nonsense. I kept trying to tell the teacher to change where we sat, but she didn't listen (I think she was too busy screaming at the class most of the time). I didn't believe her and I tried to ignore her, but she would dig her nails into my thighs so I'd pay attention to her. I wanted to shove my clarinet down her throat. Eventually my mother told the school and a counselor took care of it.

    In high school as a freshman I got picked on by these two girls. I got my hair pulled, pencils poked at my neck, asked annoying questions. I was told by all my classmates that they "hated" me whenever I did well. I usually either felt sorry for myself or incredibly incensed.

    I never learned how to stand up to a bully. I usually just went home and cried. My parents told me to do it, but, dammit, I wasn't very confrontational. I just wanted everyone to go away. It all stopped, I think, was when I found a couple of friends and generally adopted a bit of a scowl for a neutral expression. When I stopped walking like I was trying to skulk away from reality.

    I don't know how I would have turned out without being put down all the time. Probably way more confident and a little more outgoing. It's sad that only now I'm starting to become those things. I feel like all my life I've been like a plant stuck in the dark and deprived of sunlight.

    I'm not sure why people are bullies. I think sometimes they come from families where their parents yell at them and are cruel to them all the time. So they take their frustration out on other people and because they get to be in control of that other person, it makes them feel better. They feel better because they have some sense of control in their life. Something makes sense to them. Maybe it's also because they're emmulating their parents in that way. In that specific case they were brought up to believe that there are those with power (the parents) and those without power (the child) and those with power get all the rewards.

    Maybe they're just bullies because they're naturally sadistic. Or they're neglected and want attention, but they don't know how to get positive attention from people, only negative.
    "I took the one less traveled by,
    And that has made all the difference."

    Robert Frost

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