Please watch this video. I found this today while procrastinating and trawling through crappy news sites and it struck a cord with me. Bullies are jerks and I am sick of hearing about kids killing themselves after being relentlessly bullied. It should never happen and it boggles my mind that it keeps happening and is being fought against.
I was never really bullied in school. I’ve been super tall my whole life after some early growth spurts and so I never looked like a potential victim. Oh sure, tall kids get bullied too, but when you’re also a big ol’ loudmouth as I tend to be, bullies don’t really bother you much. They tried a few times though, but I’d usually laugh in their faces. I actually spent a lot of time defending kids against bullies in high school. Any time I saw someone teasing or hurting another kid in a bullying kind of way, I’d be all up in the bullies face yelling insults back and a few times, I lashed out physically (only minor things like a few face slaps and pinning them against a wall while I told them a thing or two). In most cases the bully stopped and as far as I knew stopped bullying that kid, at least while I was around. I did suffer some workplace bullying which was awful but I learne d alot from that, and will never let that happen to me again.
See, this is the thing with most bullies, be they at school or at work or online, people turn a blind eye to it. Which is RIDICULOUS! Standing up to a bully isn’t the same as standing up to a man holding a knife or a gun. You don’t even have to stand up to them yourself, if you think they might turn their attention to you (which should only be a problem if the bully is a violent one since, ya know, words can’t hurt you) because you can go report them to someone with authority and get them to sort it out. And if they won’t, go to someone else. There’s never an excuse to be a silent witness to bullying and by turning the other cheek, you’re almost as bad as the bully themselves.
Now that we have the internet, bullying can be sneakier and done with more secrecy because if the attacks are all sent via email or private message, there aren’t any witnesses. I’ve received some nasty online bullying before but mostly from complete strangers who take offense to something I’ve posted online and after initially getting a bit riled up, I am able to laugh about it and hit delete. But many people can’t do that and take those nasty words to heart and suffer in silence. It’s unfortunate that they feel they can’t tell friends or family about it and actually believe any of those vicious comments are true.
I don’t have any awesome advice on how to deal with bullying because I was very rarely subject to it. All I can say is, heed the advice given by Jennifer Livingston because it’s so, so good. No one deserves to be bullied ever, not as a kid and not as an adult, no matter what their situation in life. Bullies are cowards and we need to help each other out to stop them from destroying any more lives.