Don't just stand there. Do something.
I know there will be those who will not see this as I do. But I do hope you will consider my argument and keep an open mind here and think seriously on this bullying problem. There are kids that end up killing themselves to escape their daily Hell of being habitually bullied.
Bullying is very serious and it can affect a person negatively for the rest of their lives. But just how and why does that occur?
First let’s look at the bully. The bully is a kid who feels worthless, powerless, betrayed and unloved. He only escapes this feeling temporarily by abusing and bullying others. In this way he feels like his situation ‘isn’t so bad’ in comparison to the victim he is bullying. His feeling of powerlessness and worthlessness is temporarily abated when he bullies someone and he then feels a transitory sense of ‘greater self worth’.
This is not so different from the motivation of a bigot or racist. For example, the racist can think “I may not be much but at least I’m black” (or yellow or white or whatever). So the bully is motivated by his sense of a weak and intolerable self-image. The bully is never a happy kid.
Now let’s look at the bully’s victim. The bully chooses his victim carefully most times. It is only ‘chance’ when he discovers he can bully someone he did not previously want to try to bully and was afraid to try to bully. This is an important thing to understand on many levels too. So the victim arrives at school as his ‘victim’.
Being ‘blunt’ about something is often just being directly truthful about it. The truth here is that the bully’s victim has received ‘victim training’ and ‘victim preparation’ and ’victim mentality’ mainly by their parent (s) and by others. Those others can be teachers, councilors or administrators too.
The young bully receives ‘bully training’ and encouragement to be the best bully he can be. His home life and parents and most often his father has trained him to be a bully. This can occur either overtly or less overtly, but the end result is basically the same bullying behaviors. The ‘bully kid’ may see his father bully people and thus make this his example of being powerful and better than the others who are weak.
Or the father may bully or abuse the kid directly. This engenders resentment and cognitive dissonance over being powerless and directs the kid to adapt the bullying behavior to relive this cognitive dissonance and his sense of powerlessness and worthlessness.
Now to many all this about ‘bullies and their victims’ should be fairly self-evident, but there is I feel a less apparent reality that we all should ponder and appreciate. A bully who begins early enough and is successful long enough will end up in one of two places, the morgue or the prison cell.
I have interviewed many ‘lifers’ in more than a few different prisons in my work and they were all ‘young bullies’ at one point in time. I have interviewed perhaps a half dozen professional killers as well. Most of these people are not sociopaths or even suffering fro deep psychopathology as you might think. What they are is just ‘criminals and bullies’. They are not even sociopaths really either. Sociopaths are somewhat rare and I find them relatively easy to spot too.
I will say that most persons who are in prison for committing a homicide are not ‘crazy’ either. We may see them as being ‘immoral people’ and criminals and these are fair judgments, but at one time they were just simply a ‘bully’.
Understand that they began their ‘bully career’ early enough (in elementary school) and were successful at it long enough that they ended up here in prison. I don’t ‘interview’ the ones who ended up in the morgue of course; I just study the forensics and their personal history. They were successful bullies too almost every time.
So bullying will destroy the life of the bully and it can also significantly damage the lives of countless victims before that bully reforms or reaches the prison cell or morgue.
The question is, what can we do to prevent this? Since bullying is surely as old as mankind itself it would be unrealistic to think that we could totally eliminate it. Our greater strategy may be based on creating the ‘better world we wish’ to eventually bring about, but or tactics must be based on the real world that we actually live in to have any chance at successes.
Consider this: “Constant development is the law of life, and a man who always tries to maintain his dogmas in order to appear consistent drives himself into a false position”. Mohandas Gandhi
The above is what has occurred I feel in some of the ways people of good intentions address the bullying problem.
The ‘dogma’ being maintain here is that : ‘ violence is never a solution to our problems’ and it is what has brought some of us to a ‘false position’ on bulling.
I content that ‘Violence is seldom a solution to our problems and the more enlightened person always seeks alternatives to it”.
The most obvious and direct way to for a victim to deal with a bullying problem is simply for the victim to not tolerate being bullied. In general, the bully will not respond to anything other than that which he understands and practices himself. That is physical ‘violence’.
But what we will see or perceive as being ‘violence’ can vary quite widely depending on our personal histories with violence. For example, I was sent a URL to a video taken by High School security cameras from a person on my newsletter list. I watched the video and it showed four angles all simultaneously of a ‘punch out fest’ by about six kids in the school cafeteria.
To me the video was sort of ‘nostalgic’. It was ‘innocent’ to me and even sort of quaint too. What I saw was an ‘adolescent male right of passage’ and not really a ‘fight’ or even really violence either at least as I knew such things.
One kid was clearly sort of ‘out on his feet’ and disoriented after being knocked out, another was knocked down from a sucker punch and he stumbled trying to get back up. But their were no real injuries and no weapons were used at all by anybody. Nobody even picked up a chair to use as a weapon, they pushed them aside to reach their intended victim. It was to me an almost charming example of a ‘ritualized, adolescent male right of passage’.
But to the kid who sent the URL to the video to me it was a ‘very brutal fight’ and he told me this.
My point here is that any level of violence is naturally going to be seen by people with no experience with any level of violence, as being just totally unacceptable.
But which is better here? Should we allow the bully to go unchallenged such that he ends up dead or in prison? And by doing this also allow the bully to damage the self-image and self-esteem of countless victims and perhaps for the rest of their live?.
When we look at elementary or middle school (and even High School for some individuals) this bully abuse is occurring to kids at the most sensitive time of their personal development. It is making their going to school each day a living Hell for them. It is pre-empting their education too and some it has actually driven to sucide.
I simply say no to all of these very damaging things both for the young bully and the victims. Bullying must not be tolerated by the victim. We must not raise children to be victims either and I unfortunately see that happening.
The real and most damaging immorality is in not resisting the bully. If there are no passive victims for the bully then there can most certainly be no bullying going on at all. Realize that the bully is the coward constantly afraid of being found out.
If bullying is dealt with by the victims and immediately and on a ‘one on one’ basis when and as it occurs, then it is ‘nipped in the bud.’ The right to self-defense is mankind’s oldest law.
An elementary school or middle school incident of a 'would be victim' fighting back is not nearly as serious or nearly as bad a thing as the pain and inescapable fear, anger and the shame the bully’s victim experiences and which may damage their self image perhaps for the rest of their lives.
That not accepting being bullied does not always even have to be physical to be effective too, but at times it must be. I we etacha child not to accept be ing bullied and to project a very strong and even projected verbal boundary properly, then this can sometimes be enough to stop the bullying. But is has to be done the very first time the child is approached by the bully.
A little ‘physical interaction’ between the would be victim and the bully that is not just all a ‘one way’ deal for the bully in these early school years may divert that ‘bully in training’ from ending up in prison or strapped down to that execution table getting ready for that final lethal injection.
When we deny the right to self-defense to children then we are telling them that they are not worth fighing for and we create the bullies... and we are thus guilty of child abuse as well.