“Bullies need help, LOVE and support…”
Hang on! What?
When I was reading this line in a post of one of my FB friends a little while ago, I could not believe my eyes. A bully needs support? A bully needs love? Someone is actually supporting a bully? Say what? Why? A bully needs to be put in his or her place, a bully needs to be stopped. They hurt others! They even push others to the point where they can not see the light at the end of the tunnel anymore and take their life. So why should they get away? Why should they be supported in their behavior? Right?
No, I don’t. I feel like she is not talking about real bullies but rather about wrongfully accused or wrongfully labeled bullies.
She kind of opened my eyes to the fact that there are actually two kind of bullies. The real ones (the bad bullies) and the wrongfully accused bullies, the ones who get pushed in a corner and defend themselves. The ones Stacey talks about. The ones that get pushed and pushed and teased and teased until they finally break and push back. Maybe their reaction is not right but everyone should be able to see, where it comes from.
Stacey says that a bully does not like to behave like this, that they can’t probably even understand why they get so angry and so aggressive. Low self esteem and low confidence are part of the reasons why a bully behaves like a bully. So building their self esteem and confidence will lower their anger and expand their horizon and their understanding. And, if I understood her right, it all comes down to give them a tool to deal with their anger and issue.
Yes. And again, my yes stands for the wrongfully accused bullies and not the real ones.
The real bullies are just bad. They are mean and evil and all they want to do is hurt. Maybe their self esteem is not high but I think their confidence has to be, to be able to do what they do. Or maybe not. But in any case they do a bloody good job in hiding this fact! I feel that unfortunately there are just bad people out there. And if someone’s bad, there is nothing really you can do. This includes the real evil bullies.
Not only are they mean, but they also DO NOT STOP. Just look at the case of Amanda Todd. She changed school. She tried to get away. The only thing she did “wrong” in her life was trusting the wrong person. And all those trolls jumped on the band wagon! And they did not stop. It was a manhunt. Or in this case a “girl-hunt”… And they DID NOT STOP! Like bloodhounds. Like a predator chasing its pray and ripping it to pieces… Group pressure? They did not know better? What the fuck!!! SHE CHANGED SCHOOL! Leave her alone! Let her go and live her life in piece and start over! But they did not! Bloody cyber-bullying!
Support? Love? Help? Not in this case, not for someone like this… They had their chance to stop. She was gone. She was not around them anymore. But they choose to keep going. Used the one big tool nowadays nobody can get around and hide from any longer. And the sad thing is, that even more trolls joined in. With the only purpose: Make this girl (who most of them did not even know) feel even worse about herself! And they DID NOT STOP. And a mom lost her daughter…
Suicide and bullying are linked strongly together as you can read here.
I know where my FB buddy is coming from. But cases like the above are different to what she is talking about. Those are real bullies. The ones that never stop. The bloodhounds. They want to go on and on and on. It’s a game for them. A game of power over someone else. And why should they be treated differently than a criminal? Because in the end, they are criminals. They play with the life of others. And they push and push and push… Until they get the satisfaction of pushing the other person over the edge.
Now let’s try not to talk about the real mean, evil bully. Let’s for a minute only think and talk about the wrongfully accused bully. Here is my thought: Where does it really start and where does it end? It seems a little bit like “What was first, the egg or the chicken?” kind of thing… right?
Let’s say a bully triggers a bully, okay? Where do we have to start if we want to help one of those wrongfully accused not really mean and evil bullies? Because, I agree, they should get help and support. Because those bullies only defend themselves. They do not start the cycle of aggression, although they will be a big part of it.
In the case that our wrongfully accused bully is a kid: How much influence can we, the outsiders, really have on his or her behavior, if he or she lives under constant “bad” influence? Can we really save them? How can we break through? After all, for a child the parents are the biggest role models, right? So how much will it take to clean this picture up? Can we (teacher, parent of a friend, neighbor, doctor or whoever has an influence in a child’s life) really have this kind of influence on them?
Will we be able to find the real bully? The one who triggered the reaction in the wrongfully accused bully? What if we don’t find him or her or the reason why and our wrongfully accused bully can not escape the cycle? Can we make them strong enough so they can break out?
How often is parental bullying accepted and considered normal parenting? Think about it! Maybe not in your house (and I sure hope not in ours). But don’t you have an example of parents doing something or saying something you would consider bullying? Would such behavior not be labeled bullying if a child would act like that to another child? Or if a grown up would treat another grown up like this? Again, not speaking of the real mean bullying…
How often do we find ourselves in a situation which we consider kind of normal in our adult life but if we would put two kids into the same place, we would call it bullying, right? I wonder what comes into your mind while reading this…
To go back to Stacey’s post: She mentions that she used to be seen as a bully, just because she was a naughty and angry little girl (no wonder with her past). She tells us how she reacted to a so called good boy (good background, nice family), who teased her about the house she grew up in and her poor clothing. He teased her until she punched him in the face. Although she got called naughty and was considered the bully: Who was really a bully in this case. I believe it was not her. It was that other boy. She only reacted and she defended herself the only way she knew she could.
Yes! I agree! She would have needed support back then. She would have needed love. And I can see why the parents of the boy might have gotten upset about her and why the teacher decided she needed to be punished. But I can not see, why a child like that would be labeled plain naughty or a bully and basically left on the sideline.
Which brings me to another thought: Shouldn’t a teacher know how to approach a child like this? Shouldn’t a teacher be open enough to see, that there was a bigger issue in her case? Shouldn’t a teacher try to get to the ground of it?
In our world: Does it make a difference from which background a child comes? If we teach our kids that success is the most important thing in life, if we make remarks about people who are not as fortunate as others, maybe make bad remarks about people who are considered bad and about how we think they might have gotten there: Do we already open the door slightly for a little bully in the making? And on the other side: Do we trigger bullying, if we are jealous about someone’s success and we start talking it down in front of our kids, if we even get to the point where we let this jealousy turn into anger and verbalize it? Does behavior like this trigger our kids to behave in a way they would have not, just because there is some kind of frustration growing inside of them or do we trigger a upper-class, middle-class and lower-class bullying?
Keep in mind, I am still talking about the wrongfully accused bully…
Let’s take it a tiny bit further:
How much of a normality is bullying in our life? On our planet?
Schoolyards, playgrounds, teenage hangouts, bars, clubs and work. All the big leaders and “conquerors” of our past and for sure the crazy ones like Napoleon, Hitler, Stalin. KKK, Bin Laden, Hamas, ISIS or maybe as well Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson, Bush (both of them), Clinton and maybe Obama. You name them…
If we admire one of them or their strategies, do we open the door slightly for bullying in the making? If our kids decide that they conquer the schoolyards, playgrounds and so on in a way Napoleon, Hitler and Co did, it is considered bullying. If they defend the slide on the playground because they feel like the other child should not play on it, do we consider this bullying? Still we admire some of those big conquerors and leaders (or at least some of them…)? War is nothing else than bullying on a big scale. Or am I wrong?
So is it true, that bullies don’t rule? I am pretty sure that Nicholas Bold has a point when it comes down to a smaller scale and well done on him for writing a book about such a subject at his young age! But how about the big scale? Don’t they sort of rule the world? Do we need a bully to step up as a leader?
And there is the grey zone… Where does bullying suddenly get acceptable and where is it not? And should it ever be acceptable?
Now where to start? How do we realize that a reaction is only a reaction and where it is proper mean and evil bullying? How to avoid raising a bully? And how to make kids understand when their behavior is just defense and when it’s offense?
I guess we all carry a huge responsibility. Transforming a bully into a non-bully is everyone’s task. It is a huge task to realize when a wrongfully accused bully is as much of a victim as his or her counterpart and then act and punish accordingly. We all are responsible and we all can do our part.
The real evil bully I feel needs to be addressed differently and harsher. Once we managed to stop this kind of bully from doing even more damage we then can still try to get to the ground of it. Which I totally agree should be done as well. Even if I still try to understand a lot of what Stacey wrote in her post, I totally get and agree with one thing: “The answer in a child’s anger is naming the feeling behind the anger…”. For me that makes sense in any case. In the case of the wrongfully accused bully and in the case of the pure evil bully.
So, my friends. I hope I did not totally confuse you all and that you still understand what I think.
Maybe to sum it all up:
For me there are two kind of bullies. The pure and evil one needs to be stopped and punished hard and maybe then we can try to get to the ground. You can always find a reason for the why and an explanation. But there comes the point where it has to stop!
The wrongfully accused needs to be punished accordingly and then it is important to get to the ground of the issue and support this person with all it needs to get the self esteem and confidence back on track.
And now my head is spinning… I am worried again about doing the right thing as a parent and teaching my kids respect for others. I am worried that my kids might encounter a proper evil bully. And I am worried what this might trigger. Will they be strong enough to brush it off? Will we be able to protect them? Will we be able to avoid it? I am worried and I am shaken and I am fighting tears as I try to keep on typing… It makes me sad that people have to go through this shit and that there are such mean personalities out there. I guess there is only that much we can do.
So let’s keep moving forward and to the best we can to raise our kids well and never loose track of what is important. Respect for others and for yourself. And hopefully it will be fine.