There is really no difference between the bully and the victim. ~Lady Gaga
Bullying has become a huge problem in our schools. Long gone are the days where a child is safe from the bully as long as they are home. Technology has allowed this problem to spill over onto the internet and torture today’s youth right from what should be the “comforts” of their own home. Some bullies take to social media and harass their victims. Others have people who do this on their behalf. There are also cases where the bullying altercation is caught on tape, and then posted online for millions of people from around the world to witness the humiliating acts. This causes emotional scars for some that cut so deep that they commit suicide.
There are 3 roles played in bullying:
- The bully
- The person being bullied
- The witness
Each of these roles identifies a different perspective of bullying. The bully often feels a false sense of power over the person they are bullying. The person being bullied feels helpless and fearful. The witness feels they are innocent because they are not actually committing the act, and safe at the same time because they
are not the person being bullied.
“You know, what we do know is that there is a high frequency of violence in the home of the bully.” ~ Dr. Phil
I would like to take a look at the bully, and expose some truths about them. These truths will help you understand why they bully, and possibly how to stop them. For starters, most bullies are actually bullied themselves. The form of bullying they are going through may not be what comes to mind when you think of the word bully. Some of these bullies are growing up in households where violence is a part of everyday life. Sometimes they are just a witness, but most often they are victims to. If all they see is violence, that is sadly all they know. The only way they know how to resolve conflicts or express emotions is by fighting it out. This can also be caused by people who are bullied by other family members, neighbors, or their peers.
“When people don’t like themselves very much, they have to make up for it. The classic bully was a victim first.” ~Tom Hiddleston
Most bullies have insecurities about who they are. They may not like how their body is made up. They may be insecure about their lack of athletic skills or book smarts. Sometimes the bully has issues because they cannot afford things that some of their peers can. Many of these issues, the bully feels they have no control over. The bully may not have anyone to talk to about these issues, or be ashamed to talk to someone that can help. They are not sure of a solution. They want other people to feel the way they are feeling. So, they lash out at people who they feel they can control. This gives them an outlet for their frustration, but does nothing to solve the issue they are having with themselves.
“The way to work with a bully is to take the ball and go home. First time, every time. When there’s no ball, there’s no game.” ~Seth Godin
Believe it or not, most bullies are lonely people. They really don’t have many friends. So, they rely on their “tough guy” persona to gain a following of people who appear to be supporting them. The bully considers these people their “friends.” However, the bully also knows that once they stop the bullying, their crowd may stop following them. So, they continue with their bullying ways in order to keep the support and interest of their supporters. When the victim
responds in a way that makes the bully appear to be weak or powerless in the presence of their “supporters”, the bully will usually move on to find another victim they can have their fake power over.
So, now that you know a few truths about bullies, let’s talk about ways to prevent it:
- If you are a bully, stop. Never be too ashamed to reach out to someone for support in helping you to stop being a bully. Think about the way you feel when someone does something to you that makes you feel bad. You should not want to make anyone else feel like that. Surround yourself with people who will support good behavior that will not land you in trouble that you may to be able to get yourself out of in the long run. There are people around you who can help you. Go to them in private and tell them what your issues are.
- If you are being bullied, speak up. The longer you allow a bully to bully you, the longer they will bully you. Never let a bully know you are afraid of them. Your fear gives them the fuel to keep picking on you. Find a way yo be nice to them. You would be surprised how far this can take you. Most bullies are bullies because they want attention anyway. The sad part is, they only know negative ways to get it. If you are in fear of your life or safety, never be so afraid that you won’t reach out to an adult who can help you.
- If you know someone who is being bullied, help. You may feel like you are innocent because you are just a witness. However, you are just as guilty as the bully if you stand by and watch and do nothing to intervene. You may stand up for the victim of the spot, or you can let someone in authority know in private what is going on. Your actions here could save someone’s life. Whatever you do, don’t join forces with the bully. It may seem popular and cool, but there is nothing cool about getting yourself into legal troubles that you cannot get out of.
- If you are in administration at a school, create a platform. Open a dialog with the students that allows them to have an outlet to discuss bullying. Let them know bullying is not acceptable behavior. Create ways for all parties (the bully, the bullied, & the witness) to be able to come forth to help put a stop to bullying. Never overlook this topic in your schools until it’s too late. Too manny young people are committing suicide because somebody waited too late to step in and stop the bully.
If you would like to create a program for you school or organization that will help prevent bullying, please feel free to contact me,