Thursday, April 5, 2012

All You're Ever Gonna Be is Mean

Remember those mean girls (or guys) in school that seemed to take pleasure when they made you cry? I remember coming home every day from 6th day crying and wishing I never had to go back to school. I was told when I get older, adults don't behave like this, it will get better. I wish that were true...

Well, it has come to my attention that some bullies never grow out of this behavior. Or even worse, people that were picked on in school become the meanies when they grow up! That makes no sense to me; if you know how it feels to be tormented by your peers why in the world would you inflict that pain on another human being?

Maybe I am too simplistic. Maybe I just take the golden rule seriously: Treat others the way you want to be treated. Maybe I am just too naive.

When you do a Google search on "Why do people bully people?", you get over 3 million results.
"It provides them with a sense of power...It's a way of pulling your core group closer and putting someone else out of it."

"The simple reason is it shows that they have power over others. The reason that they do it repeatedly is that they are getting away with it. Nobody is calling them on their bad behavior. When they aren't called on it they think, 'Well, it must be O.K.'"

I came across one article that jumped out at me and listed the sort of adult bullies out there, I picked the 2 that are the most common:
  1. Verbal Adult Bully: Words can be quite damaging. Adult bullies who use this type of tactic may start rumors about the victim, or use sarcastic or demeaning language to dominate or humiliate another person. This subtle type of bullying also has the advantage - to the bully - of being difficult to document. However, the emotional and psychological impacts of verbal bullying can be felt quite keenly and can result in reduced job performance and even depression.
  2. Secondary Adult Bully: This is someone who does not initiate the bullying, but joins in so that he or she does not actually become a victim down the road. Secondary bullies may feel bad about what they are doing, but are more concerned about protecting themselves.
Ahhh unfortunately we all know people like this, don't we? Personally, I try to avoid them but I do understand and sympathize with those that choose to join in (but I do NOT condone it!).

So as adults, how do we deal with a bully? Unfortunately there is little you can do about an adult bully. After you report the abuse to the proper person (supervisor, etc.), all you can really do is ignore the bully and try to avoid them. That may mean going into hiding, okay maybe not hiding but trying to avoid situations and conversations about the bully because we all know how quickly gossip travels...

Adult bullies are often set in their ways, they are not interested in working things out, and they are not interested in compromise. Adult bullies just want power and domination. They want to feel as though they are important and preferred, and they accomplish this by bringing others down.
There is very little you can do to change an adult bully, just do your best to be the bigger person. Unless you can document the bullying, there really is nothing you can legally do about it.

Sounds pretty hopeless right? It doesn't seem fair, if you are the victim you should be able to scream the truth from the tops of buildings! You should be able to make the bully feel as badly as you do because they are doing wrong, because they are the ones acting out of line and behaving like an angsty teenager. But that is not the "adult" thing to do, damn it I hate being a mature adult sometimes.

There are going to be people in your life that you aren't going to like but you are going to be placed in social situations where you are forced to be around them. This applies to family too! Try your hardest to make the best of it, put on a big smile and act like nothing is wrong because honestly why would you care what someone like a bully thinks of you? When it comes down to it, if you live your life the right way people aren't going to believe the rumors and the hype. 

Live your life your way. Do your best to treat others the way you want to be treated. What goes around comes around and I believe if you are a good, honest person then the truth will shine through.   

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