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Thread: Bullying

  1. #1
    Senior Member Array substitute's Avatar
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    Default Bullying

    I'm pretty sure that everyone experiences instances of bullying at some point in their lives. Some deal with it better than others; some head it off at the pass and it becomes just a series of isolated and rare events, whilst others don't manage to neutralize it early enough or at all, and end up being ground down by it for years.

    I suffered from ruthless bullying all the way through school and it cut my self-esteem into ribbons and contributed to my spending the first 20 years of my life pretty downtrodden and very isolated.

    I've learned that the choice of who gets bullied can be pretty arbitrary and is mainly nothing to do with the actual qualities or characteristics of the victim themselves. But if there is any deciding factor it's this: bullies only pick on people who they believe will not fight back. But the crucial factor in 'successful' bullying is that the victim must not glimpse this thruth: the victim must absolutely believe that they really ARE ugly, dumb, that nobody likes them, that they're not worthy of being treated as a human being. Because if they begin to realize the BS level of what the bullies tell them then they just might start fighting back.

    But I've learned that simply losing my temper and yelling doesn't help - it didn't work at school either. If I did that, the bullies would just laugh at me and then I'd feel ten times worse. So the only way to check-mate it is to unleash my inner sadist and throw some barb that makes them feel ten times shittier than they wanted to make me feel. But not everyone has it in them to do this.

    Is that it then? It's rather sad if that's it; if the choice is to either bully or be bullied. There must be another way.

    I'd like if people here could talk about their experiences of bullying, and if anyone's found a way to deal with it, what is it?

    Parents - how do you deal with it when your children get bullied?

    I'm interested in comments from people who might be or have been bullies themselves. I want to explore the mindset of both bully and victim, in the hope that I'll be inspired with *something* to tell my 11 year old daughter when she comes home crying again tomorrow
    Ils se d�merdent, les mecs: trop bon, trop con..................................MY BLOG!

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    I experienced verbal abuse and sometimes physical from peers in school. I experienced teachers supporting and backing up the emotional abuse at times. I can see now it was my extreme shyness, withdrawal that was the trigger, which likely came because I was stressed from situations at home.

    I can tell people that ignoring and turning the other cheek doesn't help a bit. Reaction is not what children seem to be after when they act as a larger group. It is more about social bonding together to exclude another person. It is trendy and hip and feels good to have something to rally around from what it seems to me.

    If I had a child who was experiencing this, I would place them into therapy with someone who some expert training in bullying/mobbing. I have no idea how to adequately cope with this.

    All the nonsense that parents tell children to make themselves feel better DOES NOT help when you are the child having to face this everyday. It needs a deeper, more professional answer. It's a really ugly sort of problem. to anyone having to deal with this.

    If your child get tagged with the "it's trendy to pick on him/her" then it is not the typical "learning to get on with others" that you've (general you, no one in particular) been programmed to see it as. It's like a witch burning hysteria.
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    Senior Member Array Lateralus's Avatar
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    I was usually one of the smallest kids in my classes, growing up. It wasn't just genetic, I was also a year younger than most of the other kids. I'm sure I was a potential bully target, but I never really faced much bullying in school (nor was I a bully). I'm not really sure why. Maybe because I usually appeared confident?
    "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."

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    Emperor/Dictator Array kyuuei's Avatar
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    I spent a great deal of my school career being bullied. Up until junior year of high school. I didn't bully anyone back, and I didn't change myself for anyone. What was my savior is that I didn't allow them to get me down. I've always been pretty thick-headed, and eventually I made friends with other people who got bullied. We had a group big enough that our individual bullies left us alone. Any bullying that came from another group, we leaned on each other to deal with. I had a best friend also since 1st grade that helped me get through it. Not to say it didn't effect me at all.. I'm one of the few kids I know that got a real swirlie, I always carried extra clothes from overhead slushies, and I had knee-length hair so gum was my enemy. I didn't need to be especially close to the people, we just shared a common enemy and that made us all friends. Those friends introduced me to the stoners, and I was in auto-tech so making friends there eventually just made my circle big enough to where I'd be a potential threat from quantity if bullied.

    The problem was it took me a long time to talk to anyone else aside my best friend. I spent a good portion of my life depressed and closed in, I was a hermit for all I can tell. Everyone has to find their own way to come out on top.. Nothing really stopped entirely until after high school. Even now, I come across people that try to get me down and pick on me.. but I have the confidence and support to put an end to that quick now. You're very limited on your options as a child, and I feel it's based a lot on your inner strength.

  5. #6
    Senior Member Array substitute's Avatar
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    heart - I relate to what you say. The solutions they tell you about such as ignoring them - doesn't work; standing up for yourself - they laugh at you or you get beaten to a pulp because they outnumber you; telling the teacher - they hit you all the harder when the teacher's gone... none of these things work. You're right that it's a witch burning mentality... it seems the only person who can turn things around is the victim themselves but it's incredibly unlikely that most people will have either the intelligence, articulateness or social smarts to be able to realize what they have to do and then have the courage to do it.


    Quote Originally Posted by Lateralus View Post
    I was usually one of the smallest kids in my classes, growing up. It wasn't just genetic, I was also a year younger than most of the other kids. I'm sure I was a potential bully target, but I never really faced much bullying in school (nor was I a bully). I'm not really sure why. Maybe because I usually appeared confident?
    You remind me of a kid I knew in school whose name was Reuben, had red hair, glasses, freckles - everything said he was a textbook case of a victim waiting to be bullied. And yet he was one of the most popular kids in school. Because yes, he was confident and just didn't let the bastards grind him down.

    If I may ask, how was your home life then, at that time? I knew that Reuben had a very supportive and loving family, they were all very outgoing and socialized a lot, visiting friends, having barbecues, they were just, well I don't know, there was something about his family that made me not surprised that he could face bullying attempts with a cheerful laugh and somehow diffuse it.

    In my case I had criminally negligent parents so I was already more than half way to believing I was worthless before the bullies even got to me.

    I sometimes blame myself sorta, for my daughter being bullied... well, not blame as much as just figure it's possibly largely because she's not had a mother to teach her the female social smarts, she's lived mainly in a male dominated environment where challenging is done face to face and settled that way too, after which y'know, there are periods of peace before the next challenge. The nasty sorta social manipulation that girls do in schools is something she's just not been equipped by her home life to handle....
    Ils se d�merdent, les mecs: trop bon, trop con..................................MY BLOG!

    "When it all comes down to dust
    I will kill you if I must
    I will help you if I can" - Leonard Cohen

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    Senior Member Array Lateralus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by substitute View Post
    You remind me of a kid I knew in school whose name was Reuben, had red hair, glasses, freckles - everything said he was a textbook case of a victim waiting to be bullied. And yet he was one of the most popular kids in school. Because yes, he was confident and just didn't let the bastards grind him down.
    I wouldn't say I was a textbook case, no glasses or anything like that, but I could fit some profiles.

    If I may ask, how was your home life then, at that time? I knew that Reuben had a very supportive and loving family, they were all very outgoing and socialized a lot, visiting friends, having barbecues, they were just, well I don't know, there was something about his family that made me not surprised that he could face bullying attempts with a cheerful laugh and somehow diffuse it.
    My home life was anything but tranquil. I had overwhelmingly protective parents. Going to school was my only opportunity to escape their stranglehold and extrovert.

    After thinking about it a little more, something else that probably helped me was that I was disruptive in class, in a clownish sort of way.
    "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."

  7. #8
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    it seems the only person who can turn things around is the victim themselves but it's incredibly unlikely that most people will have either the intelligence, articulateness or social smarts to be able to realize what they have to do and then have the courage to do it.
    At the point at which a child becomes an accepted target, the child would have to understand how to use psychology to deal with the hysteria of the situation. In those links above, this person tries to remove many of the myths and incorrect assumptions and coping techiniques that were told in our cultural.

  8. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lateralus View Post
    My home life was anything but tranquil. I had overwhelmingly protective parents. Going to school was my only opportunity to escape their stranglehold and extrovert.
    That's how I would've seen it too, had the bullies not started on me. I literally went for days without speaking a word so much that my voice became hoarse from disuse.

    After thinking about it a little more, something else that probably helped me was that I was disruptive in class, in a class-clownish sort of way.
    Does this mean that you underachieved? Or did you somehow manage to still achieve your potential whilst clowning around and being disruptive? I used to know kids who 'earned' popularity in this way, but the price seemed to be gross underachievement.

    kyuuei - yes it does seem a vital thing for someone to have friends to lean on. At my daughter's previous school she was coping with it until her best friend moved away, then it became so bad that I took her out and homeschooled her for a while. The trouble is that what often happens, especially with girl bullies, is that they isolate you from those friends, they seem very adept at stirring trouble between friends and turning them against you so that you remain isolated.

    What my daughter has at the moment is that at her new school there are two kids (in a year of over 250) who went to her old school, and one of these is - for reasons unknown - apparently spreading rumours about her being 'messed up'. My daughter's very sensitive and seems to really put a high premium on what 'others' think of her, so just one kid saying she was messed up at a bus stop was enough to have her in self-loathing tears all night. You know how they say it takes a hundred compliments to undo the psychological damage of every insult? they were talking about her!!
    Ils se d�merdent, les mecs: trop bon, trop con..................................MY BLOG!

    "When it all comes down to dust
    I will kill you if I must
    I will help you if I can" - Leonard Cohen

  9. #10
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    Lateralus - would it be accurate though to say that, though you didn't like your home situation, you did feel confident that you were valued and loved by your parents? cos I didn't have any reason to feel I was... so I found it all too easy to believe when the bullies treated me like an insect that I deserved it, and so harder to stand up against it.
    Ils se d�merdent, les mecs: trop bon, trop con..................................MY BLOG!

    "When it all comes down to dust
    I will kill you if I must
    I will help you if I can" - Leonard Cohen

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