Friday, February 24, 2012

Bullying doesn’t end simply because you grew up.




**Due to the heartfelt honesty of this posting, I have to warn that some colorful language is used**

As the parent of a teenager, I found myself dealing with a unique bullying situation last year.  A teacher tormented my son daily.  I am not the type of parent who intervenes every time one of my children has an issue at school.  I am a firm believer we all must learn to deal with negative situations in our own way, since they're inevitable.

(Let me add quickly, in the end I did end up having to intervene in this particular instance)

However, I also found myself giving my child advice I never dreamed I would.  His hurt and aggravation reached a boiling point, as he blamed himself for her treatment, and I knew it was time for my son to hear the truth.  These were my exact words to him:

“Maybe she is just a bitch.  Sometimes people are.  They're so unhappy with their own lives, or are drunk on the power of their position of authority over others, they live to hurt and belittle people.  You're going to be dealing with bitches your whole life.  There's a good chance you’ll work for one someday.  You’re going to have to stop blaming yourself and allowing their issues bother you.  Just stop and think “Wow, what a bitch!” and move on.”

The thing is, as those words were leaving my mouth, I thought I was having a bad parenting moment, but these past few months have reminded me of the honesty behind my words, because bullying doesn’t stop simply because you grew up.
If you are sitting at your desk right now, look to your left and then slowly to your right.  I guarantee your eyes landed on at least one person you work with, who either:

A.       Bullies everyone with their position
B.       Thinks they know everything and won’t hesitate to brow beat you with it, or…
C.       Is the company tattletale.

I’m fortunate I am able to write full-time for a living, and can bury my nose in my own stories. Still, occasionally I have to raise my head and venture into the virtual world of promotions.  I’m finding more and more often this list holds true for my job as well.  I belong to several different groups, and I see the same things happening repeatedly in each one.  A select few bullies keep everyone else from enjoying time amongst their peers with their hatefulness.  Why is so hard to be nice?  If you looked right then left and you couldn’t find anything wrong with the people around you, or better yet, you found an issue with everyone around, then maybe you are the problem.  It is not necessary to be nasty to other people, and if you find you're unable to say something positive to uplift the people around you, then please do all the rest of us a favor and keep it to yourself.  If you're having a problem, and need a friend or group of your peers to help you, then what your mom has always told you still holds true.  You catch more flies with honey.

 

11 comments:

  1. I am fortunate enough to have looked both left and right and found no bullies nor am I one - because that is the culture of our company. We're a small boutique law firm and the fact there are no bullies is not testament to the fact they don't exist, but only to the fact we don't hire them. Our firm is a haven for all those fleeing corporate politics and workplace bullying and I am lucky to be here. I am even luckier to have been asked to participate in ownership!

    You are not a bad parent for what you said to your son. It was 100% of the truth. And if he learns enough of this kind of resilience, bullies will learn to leave him alone because there will never be any satisfaction for them in bullying him.

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    1. You're so lucky to be in such a work place. I think too many people are forced to suffer in silence due to bosses looking the other way, just as children suffer due to adults looking the other way.

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  2. Great post Charity! Tough knowing what to say to your kid when they are in pain isn't it? I commend you for allowing them to work through what they can, and only buffering what must. For true survival skills, it's mandatory folks be able to deal with all sorts. It's so hard to sit back and not go momma bear fixing though! *hugs*

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    1. Thank you. It is hard to know if you are making the right decisions as a parent

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  3. Such a crap way of walking about the world . . . maybe her feet hurt, and the pain makes her take it out on anyone . . . that's what my mom always told me when facing difficult people. That makes me look at "them" with as much compassion as possible, but I avoid them.

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  4. We can always go play kickball :-)

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    1. We did rock that kickball field, Justin!

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  5. Fabulous post, Charity. I feel for your son, and feel extreme anger towards his teacher. How dare she? It is bad enough that we have to deal with other adult bullies, but kids? That's just wrong. I say we outsource them. Put them in all in a room together - A Big Brother moment. Would make for interesting watching. What d'you think?

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    1. I think that we have proven that we are a force to be reckoned with, LOL!

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  6. I had to deal with being bullied in elementary and high school. It wasn't until college that I realized a lot of what you were saying.

    There's a reason for the phrase "don't feed the trolls" on the internet. It's the same with bullies, I've found. Give them the reaction (any reaction) they're looking for and they'll swarm like piranha.

    I will admit that I am not always so non-vengeful, especially now that I'm a parent. Had a friend with a child who was being cyber-bullied. They complained and got the bullys in trouble in school. However, I worked with her to take a step further, i.e. make it really hurt. We tracked down everywhere they were in social media (facebook, twitter, myspace etc), complained and got their accounts deleted. In this day and age, it was almost as effective as a slug to the jaw. :)

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    1. Good for you! I know I would need rehab if anyone took my social networking away :-)

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