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Bullying

EcK

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How do they do that?

Lack of normal social cues as to relative social status online. No real repercutions and so on.

My point is that I dont think the core trigger is the power imbalance. It’s the lack of consequences.
 

Julius_Van_Der_Beak

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I'd say no but i think there is a group social dynamic that can bully as an attempt to modify and normalize the individual with the aberrant behavior. It happens in every social context to at least a mild degree. I don't generally trust that process. On an individual level pushing back against a bully requires some aggressiveness so that could be categorized various ways depending on degree and context. I go for fair fight one-on-one and not group conformity pressure.

Do you think consequences for speech constitute a bullying group social dynamic? In the situation of contemporary political topicality that much of this discussion is probably revolving around in an unspoken sense, I would say not necessarily. It can, for sure.

Much of it depends on context.

For instance, would any apology that would be made actually be accepted? Are there actual attempts made to help make the point of view more intelligible, or point someone to a source that could?

If not, I'd say it might be a form of bullying.

If however, those things are in fact the case, and the person claims to be bullied, I find that dubious. It seems like what they object to might in fact perhaps being held accountable for their own attempts at bullying. I think behavior that comes from a sense of entitlement regarding one's social position is something that should probably be changed, and if it requires group pressure to do so, so be it.

I certainly wouldn't say speaking to someone who revels in their lack of concern for political correctness in the same blunt fashion they employ is bullying. Nor would i say pointing out contradictions or the logical incoherency of an argument is bullying. This would be the case even if the contradictions were between past behavior and current words.
 

Siúil a Rúin

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It depends on what the group conformity that's being discussed, I just have terrible visions of someone telling Ted Bundy to "just be yourself" once upon a time.

Groupthink can be a terrible thing, sure, and its rightly criticized but there's a sort that's fine too, all considered.

Plus, fair fights one-on-one? That's a bit romantic, isnt it?
I don't entirely understand your post. I don't think Bundy needed encouragement to be himself, but also realize that in social contexts he was brilliant at conformity and masking his violent self. He conformed when it served him and he was violent when he wanted to be.

I'm thinking of normal environments like churches, schools, this forum, and pretty much any place that someone's behavior becomes odd-man out, and it may be objectively problematic or outside the behavioral expectations of the group, but the people collectively put pressure on the individual either with the goal of normalizing their behavior to match the group, or to collectively punish the individual for their wrongs. It's so common that it is like breathing the air. It is not possible for human society to happen without it, so I'm saying I am less trusting of that process than the vast majority of people who aren't even conscious of it because it just feels right.I'm not sure what you mean about one-on-one fight
romanticized? I will not participate in gang-ups. Humans bully and convey implicit group bullying to get everyone to normalize behaviors. If someone crosses a line, I may approach them directly, but I don't want to get into little jabs and mockery when everyone gathers around to do it.

One benign way group pressuring is done is having rituals where everyone must stand, sit, and move together in an environment. Churches use this is their services and schools do as well to make the individual subconsciously submissive to the dictates of the group. Start with the concrete and external of having everyone move together, then speak together and in the same manner, and then finally, think together in the same manner.
 

Siúil a Rúin

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Do you think consequences for speech constitute a bullying group social dynamic? In the situation of contemporary political topicality that much of this discussion is probably revolving around in an unspoken sense, I would say not necessarily. It can, for sure.

Much of it depends on context.

For instance, would any apology that would be made actually be accepted? Are there actual attempts made to help make the point of view more intelligible, or point someone to a source that could?

If not, I'd say it might be a form of bullying.

If however, those things are in fact the case, and the person claims to be bullied, I find that dubious. It seems like what they object to might in fact perhaps being held accountable for their own attempts at bullying. I think behavior that comes from a sense of entitlement regarding one's social position is something that should probably be changed, and if it requires group pressure to do so, so be it.

I certainly wouldn't say speaking to someone who revels in their lack of concern for political correctness in the same blunt fashion they employ is bullying. Nor would i say pointing out contradictions or the logical incoherency of an argument is bullying. This would be the case even if the contradictions were between past behavior and current words.
Do you mean like internet trolls? And whether there should be collective push-back. I'm distrustful of some of those processes, but it doesn't mean I want the internet troll to continue bullying either. When everyone gangs up it can get disturbing imo. I've never cared for it online, but I suppose that is how to get the troll to escalate and cross a final line for final group ostracization.

Edit: I'm also not trying to get people normalize to my thinking. I just notice thow pervasive group pressure is and does take the form of bullying. I don't care for it much at all, but am content to go live in the woods rather than change anything. Everything exists the way it does for some sort of reason.
 

Julius_Van_Der_Beak

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Do you mean like internet trolls? And whether there should be collective push-back. I'm distrustful of some of those processes, but it doesn't mean I want the internet troll to continue bullying either. When everyone gangs up it can get disturbing imo. I've never cared for it online, but I suppose that is how to get the troll to escalate and cross a final line for final group ostracization.

I was thinking in the context of currently fashionable talking points among many right wing types about "cancel culture" and "free speech" and the like. I suspect some are framing what they would call "cancel culture" as a form of bullying, and I would say that I don't think this is always the case.

Edit: Although I have seen social justice type language used to bully people in the past.
 

Siúil a Rúin

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I was thinking in the context of currently fashionable talking points among many right wing types about "cancel culture" and "free speech" and the like. I suspect some are framing what they would call "cancel culture" as a form of bullying, and I would say that I don't think this is always the case.

Edit: Although I have seen social justice type language used to bully people in the past.
I don't necessarily know the answer, but in large-part I ignore and avoid them. There is a psychological position that says, "if you want to extinguish a behavior, pay it no attention". It works in children and people trying to push buttons and get attention. It might be the best strategy. I think one reason the people you describe complain about cancel culture is that they want someone to fight back. They want what they are saying and doing to be dangerous enough that someone has to pay attention. It makes their insanity feel important. I don't know if ignoring them would just dial it up- it would at first, but would they run out of steam? IDK
 

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I don't necessarily know the answer, but in large-part I ignore and avoid them. There is a psychological position that says, "if you want to extinguish a behavior, pay it no attention". It works in children and people trying to push buttons and get attention. It might be the best strategy. I think one reason the people you describe complain about cancel culture is that they want someone to fight back. They want what they are saying and doing to be dangerous enough that someone has to pay attention. It makes their insanity feel important. I don't know if ignoring them would just dial it up- it would at first, but would they run out of steam? IDK

Well, I suppose one can try an experiment and observe the results. Experiments are fun!

Also, the bit about wanting what they are doing to be dangerous enough that someone has to be paying attention really reminds me of the martyrdom complex of evangelical Christians. They tend to have a bullshit persecution complex that sees them as being eternally victimized by society at large, and seem to seek out new things to feel victimized about.
 

Cor Luctis

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I'd say no but i think there is a group social dynamic that can bully as an attempt to modify and normalize the individual with the aberrant behavior. It happens in every social context to at least a mild degree. I don't generally trust that process. On an individual level pushing back against a bully requires some aggressiveness so that could be categorized various ways depending on degree and context. I go for fair fight one-on-one and not group conformity pressure.
I am aware of positive peer pressure in the sense of encouraging people to follow constructive norms like showing up to work on time, or informing everyone in the group of plans. I suppose even this can cross the line into bullying if the wrong tactics are employed, and are employed selectively. Yes, the "fair fight" notion ties back to the idea of conflict (dispute between equals) and bullying (taking advantage of a slanted playing field). If someone really does have a beef with me, better for them to approach me directly than to throw their lot in with bullies just to get whatever payback they think they have coming.

I think imbalance of power is not a characteristic of the bullying act but is an environmental factor that enables it. That imbalance of power prevents the victim from thwarting back the bully or marks the individual as easy target for the bully.

When the bully becomes aware of the power level difference (it may be physical or social or legal etc.) he/she deliberately picks up on the target just for enjoyment.

So intent to harm for personal pleasure (sadism) and repetition (again sadism) are the actual identifiers whereas power level difference explains how the bully was able to inflict the bullying.
How about situations in which the imbalance of power is more assumed than real? I am thinking of cases like in school where so-called popular kids bully kids on the social margins. Some of those "victims" don't view themselves as having a lower status, and might even consider themselves better than the bullies. These are probably the victims who have an easier time resisting or defying the bullies.

Lack of normal social cues as to relative social status online. No real repercutions and so on.

My point is that I dont think the core trigger is the power imbalance. It’s the lack of consequences.
Well, sure, the situation is different online vs. in RL.

I don't necessarily know the answer, but in large-part I ignore and avoid them. There is a psychological position that says, "if you want to extinguish a behavior, pay it no attention". It works in children and people trying to push buttons and get attention. It might be the best strategy. I think one reason the people you describe complain about cancel culture is that they want someone to fight back. They want what they are saying and doing to be dangerous enough that someone has to pay attention. It makes their insanity feel important. I don't know if ignoring them would just dial it up- it would at first, but would they run out of steam? IDK
Ignoring works for some behaviors, but for physically violent bullying, a more direct response seems better.
 

yeghor

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How about situations in which the imbalance of power is more assumed than real? I am thinking of cases like in school where so-called popular kids bully kids on the social margins. Some of those "victims" don't view themselves as having a lower status, and might even consider themselves better than the bullies. These are probably the victims who have an easier time resisting or defying the bullies.

It is not about status. It is about recipient's capacity to raise a complaint about the bully, i.e. the chance of bullying having repercussions on the bully. Bullies pick on people with low self esteem, who are ostracized in the community, and/or who for one reason or another have restricted access to means of defense or support in the community.

Do you mean to say because they do not fight back or complain or see themselves of higher social status, they actually desire or deserve the bullying?

Edit: That would be akin to saying the woman deserved or desired the rape because she did not scratch the rapists face or scream during the act.

Edit 2: If you mean to say the victim did some previous act to trigger/incite the bully to retaliate that is something entirely different.

Attacking one's self esteem and worth with the deliberate intent to do so is another form of bullying (verbal/emotional bullying). However it does not justify physical retaliation (which is different than physical bullying) in any case. For something to be considered bullying, it has be done repetitively (like picking someone as a specific target for his/her weak risk of retaliation) and with the specific desire to get off on seeing the victim hurt physically or emotionally/mentally. If one is subjected to repeated verbal bullying (like condescension, social ostracizing etc) they are supposed to produce evidence by making a record or witness of the bullying act and then presenting it to authorities for action. Otherwise, if one responds back with violence, they would look like the assailant and the other party the victim.

This sometimes happen between men and women, where the woman says something provactive with the specific intent to hurt the man's self esteem (like you suck in bed, or I cheated on you or similar) and the man gets triggered and beats the woman. It is easy to prove the wounds of physical beating but not the mental/emotional beating so the first attack gets unpunished whereas the second attack does get punished and rightfully so.
 

yeghor

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Lack of normal social cues as to relative social status online. No real repercutions and so on.

My point is that I dont think the core trigger is the power imbalance. It’s the lack of consequences.

Yes but IRL power imbalance is how they explain the resulting lack of consequences. For one reason or other, one person has limited access to internal or external resources of support and protection and therefore cannot avoid bullying.

Interactions online can easily be avoided by ignoring the bully or not reacting to him/her.
 

EcK

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Yes but IRL power imbalance is how they explain the resulting lack of consequences. For one reason or other, one person has limited access to internal or external resources of support and protection and therefore cannot avoid bullying.
True, I just think it's an important distinction to make to point out that the root trigger is the lack of consequences as to unify the online bully vs real life bully into a single group. It's more about cowardice than it is about power imbalance.

Interactions online can easily be avoided by ignoring the bully or not reacting to him/her.
Yep agreed.
 

EcK

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To follow up with the idea of definitions, how essential is (2) here, namely the imbalance of power? Is it possible to bully someone who truly is a peer? I have seen bullying behavior that attempts to create a power imbalance, but that isn't the same as one that existed to begin with.

Good point, there certainly is an attempt to if not use at least CREATE or widen a power imbalance at play in the process. Though I do not think it is necessarily an essential component (it may be, not sure).
 

Cor Luctis

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It is not about status. It is about recipient's capacity to raise a complaint about the bully, i.e. the chance of bullying having repercussions on the bully. Bullies pick on people with low self esteem, who are ostracized in the community, and/or who for one reason or another have restricted access to means of defense or support in the community.

Do you mean to say because they do not fight back or complain or see themselves of higher social status, they actually desire or deserve the bullying?

Edit: That would be akin to saying the woman deserved or desired the rape because she did not scratch the rapists face or scream during the act.

Edit 2: If you mean to say the victim did some previous act to trigger/incite the bully to retaliate that is something entirely different.
I don't know where you are getting any of the highlighted from what I wrote. I was speaking, in this school example, of kids who are socially excluded (not popular, don't follow fashions, trends, etc.) but perhaps academically or artistically accomplished, well-supported at home, know their future is secure, etc. Barring physical violence, bullying is a daily nuisance that makes school miserable, but is inconsequential in the bigger picture. They fight back by ignoring, or by the occasional pointed comment to back off. They complain if things get physical or escalate beyond a certain point and are more likely to be heard because of their own credibility. In no way to they think they deserve bullying, and they may even look down on the bully for stooping to such behavior.

If a bully is reacting because of something the victim started, that is not true bullying but just a poor response to conflict. I am assuming a victim who is minding his own business and just wants to be left in peace.

Attacking one's self esteem and worth with the deliberate intent to do so is another form of bullying (verbal/emotional bullying). However it does not justify physical retaliation (which is different than physical bullying) in any case. For something to be considered bullying, it has be done repetitively (like picking someone as a specific target for his/her weak risk of retaliation) and with the specific desire to get off on seeing the victim hurt physically or emotionally/mentally. If one is subjected to repeated verbal bullying (like condescension, social ostracizing etc) they are supposed to produce evidence by making a record or witness of the bullying act and then presenting it to authorities for action. Otherwise, if one responds back with violence, they would look like the assailant and the other party the victim.

This sometimes happen between men and women, where the woman says something provactive with the specific intent to hurt the man's self esteem (like you suck in bed, or I cheated on you or similar) and the man gets triggered and beats the woman. It is easy to prove the wounds of physical beating but not the mental/emotional beating so the first attack gets unpunished whereas the second attack does get punished and rightfully so.
Physical retaliation often happens when complaints about non-physical bullying or abuse are ignored for too long. Authorities and organizations who want to prevent escalation to physical responses need to pay more attention to complaints of non-physical bullying.

Yes but IRL power imbalance is how they explain the resulting lack of consequences. For one reason or other, one person has limited access to internal or external resources of support and protection and therefore cannot avoid bullying.

Interactions online can easily be avoided by ignoring the bully or not reacting to him/her.
Likelihood of consequences is a good way to view it. Even if a victim has access, say, to external support that gives them the fortitude to endure bullying, that does not excuse the bullies or what they do. To echo your earlier definition, getting enjoyment by repeatedly hurting someone else is reprehensible conduct, regardless of how, if at all, the victim is able to respond.

Online an individual can easily avoid a bully, though often that comes at the cost of whatever resources are available in the space where they interact. Even on this site, we have seen how a single bully can drive members from a thread, denying them of interaction that had been mutually enjoyable, and depriving the membership of whatever content would not be posted as a result. In this sense, an online bully often has the effect of peeing in the pool or littering in the park, preventing others from enjoying a common resource.
 

yeghor

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I don't know where you are getting any of the highlighted from what I wrote.

I was speaking, in this school example, of kids who are socially excluded (not popular, don't follow fashions, trends, etc.) but perhaps academically or artistically accomplished, well-supported at home, know their future is secure, etc. Barring physical violence, bullying is a daily nuisance that makes school miserable, but is inconsequential in the bigger picture. They fight back by ignoring, or by the occasional pointed comment to back off. They complain if things get physical or escalate beyond a certain point and are more likely to be heard because of their own credibility. In no way to they think they deserve bullying, and they may even look down on the bully for stooping to such behavior.

"How about situations in which the imbalance of power is more assumed than real? I am thinking of cases like in school where so-called popular kids bully kids on the social margins. Some of those "victims" don't view themselves as having a lower status, and might even consider themselves better than the bullies. These are probably the victims who have an easier time resisting or defying the bullies."

Your question above from before was not clear so I had speculate about possible things you might have meant.
 

Cor Luctis

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"How about situations in which the imbalance of power is more assumed than real? I am thinking of cases like in school where so-called popular kids bully kids on the social margins. Some of those "victims" don't view themselves as having a lower status, and might even consider themselves better than the bullies. These are probably the victims who have an easier time resisting or defying the bullies."

Your question above from before was not clear so I had speculate about possible things you might have meant.
By "more assumed than real", I mean that the bullies think they are better than the victim because they are popular, perhaps wear the latest fashions, keep up with all the latest bands, sports, etc. An adult looking in would see that these students have built their self-esteem on a social structure that doesn't even exist outside the school, while the "victim" has been building the skills and academic record for future success.
 

yeghor

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By "more assumed than real", I mean that the bullies think they are better than the victim because they are popular, perhaps wear the latest fashions, keep up with all the latest bands, sports, etc. An adult looking in would see that these students have built their self-esteem on a social structure that doesn't even exist outside the school, while the "victim" has been building the skills and academic record for future success.

That's not what is meant by "imbalance of power" though. What you are saying is more about their self esteem. Do you mean that bullied victims are not actually less worthy than the bully?

It is not about worth. When someone is bullied, it does not mean they are less worthy. Maybe it might mean they were less popular so they did not have any friends who would stand up for them or testify on their behalf, maybe their parents were not involved in their life so they did not have anyone to complain to, or the school management overlooked or enabled bullying so they could not complain about it etc. That kind of power imbalance.

It is about lack of resources to complain about the bullying.
 

Cor Luctis

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That's not what is meant by "imbalance of power" though. What you are saying is more about their self esteem. Do you mean that bullied victims are not actually less worthy than the bully?

It is not about worth. When someone is bullied, it does not mean they are less worthy. Maybe it might mean they were less popular so they did not have any friends who would stand up for them or testify on their behalf, maybe their parents were not involved in their life so they did not have anyone to complain to, or the school management overlooked or enabled bullying so they could not complain about it etc. That kind of power imbalance.

It is about lack of resources to complain about the bullying.
This is why I liked the later explanation better, about whether the bullies would be subject to consequences. You wrote before:
Yes but IRL power imbalance is how they explain the resulting lack of consequences. For one reason or other, one person has limited access to internal or external resources of support and protection and therefore cannot avoid bullying.
High self-esteem and external resources, e.g. a supportive family, may not be enough to get a bully to stop, but they can help the victim endure with minimal damage. It is the equivalent of sending a soldier into battle with armor and training. The enemy will still hit him, but the armor will absorb most of the damage and the training will help him take evasive action. Someone without those resources will suffer much more. That being said, no one should have to don armor daily just to endure school, work, or similar situations that should be more respectful and collegial.
 

yeghor

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This is why I liked the later explanation better, about whether the bullies would be subject to consequences. You wrote before:

High self-esteem and external resources, e.g. a supportive family, may not be enough to get a bully to stop, but they can help the victim endure with minimal damage. It is the equivalent of sending a soldier into battle with armor and training. The enemy will still hit him, but the armor will absorb most of the damage and the training will help him take evasive action. Someone without those resources will suffer much more. That being said, no one should have to don armor daily just to endure school, work, or similar situations that should be more respectful and collegial.

That armor is Se. Intuitives (nerds) have a hard time fighting back due to having inferior Se. Bullying comes in the form Se, from ESTPs or ISTPs. It does not help that they are unpopular among their peers, which leaves them even more exposed.
 

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That armor is Se. Intuitives (nerds) have a hard time fighting back due to having inferior Se. Bullying comes in the form Se, from ESTPs or ISTPs. It does not help that they are unpopular among their peers, which leaves them even more exposed.
It can be Se, but really can come from different combinations of functions, depending on the individual. I have found for myself that Ni and Te in combination served that purpose: Ni to give me a more sensible perspective on the situation, rather than getting sucked into the bullies' view of what is important; and Te to help determine the best course of action, and override emotions of the moment.


As I mentioned it is hardly universal, and won't work as I described for people who lack sufficient support away from the bullying situation, or perhaps even get bullied further at home and elsewhere. Even when one has good support, bullying is no fun and should not have to be endured. I put it into the category of those things that don't kill us but rather make us stronger.
 
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Cor Luctis

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Indeed. Some of us consider those qualities to be elements of strength. I do realize that to excess they can cause problems. A double-edged sword at best, even in the more manageable case I experienced myself.
 
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