Off The cuff Thursday: 10 Things Bullies Say

  1. “I’m not a bully. I’m just strong-willed.” (It isn’t wrong to be strong-willed. It is wrong when a person uses his/her strong-will to try to intimidate other people.)
  2. “I don’t attack people who don’t deserve it”–a.k.a. “He brings it on himself!” (Great. Deflect any responsibility for one’s own behaviour by blaming the victim. If a person behaves in a way that you don’t like, you have the right to abuse/harass/slander/assault them.)
  3. “He/she picks on me too.” (Obviously it is natural for a kid with no allies, friends, or backup to attack a person who has all of those things because he loves to be outnumbered. Right.)
  4. “I don’t know why it’s such a big deal? I was joking.” (Everyone loves jokes that make them feel small and inadequate! They’re hilarious.)
  5. “I would have stopped if he/she told me there was a problem. (Um…no. First, the person would confront you. Then, you would have made a half-baked non-apology for your behaviour. Once you were done, you would have talked with your friends about how wimpy it was for the person to make such a big deal about it, and then you would have thrown it back in the person’s face at the first opportunity.)
  6. “He/she is too arrogant. I needed to knock them down a few pegs.” (Arrogance always precedes a downfall, so your “knocking” another person down isn’t necessary. It is arrogant to think that it is. Check yourself.)
  7. “He’s such an easy target.” (Cowards and lazy people love easy targets because they don’t have to do much to chase them down, and they do not pose a significant threat. That’s just sad.)
  8. “I’d leave them alone if they changed.” (Translation: “Be who I want you to be, and I will leave you alone. I’m uncomfortable with people who are different.”)
  9. “Everyone else feels the same way that I do.” (Yes, but there was a point in time in which “everyone” thought that the earth was flat. Everyone may feel the same way, but majorities are often wrong. Hivemind, anyone?)
  10. “It isn’t mean if it’s true.” (In that case, people have the right to make fun a person’s weird facial hair, double chins, lazy eyes, acne, bad hair, bad teeth, absent parents, mental illness, dysfunctional family issues, annoying voices, and any other flaws/defects a person may have because “it’s not mean if it’s true”.  Got it.)

Disclaimer: I don’t think that bullies are necessarily mean people. Most of the bullies I’ve encountered over the years are usually natural leaders. They just don’t have the self-awareness or the confidence to channel their leadership ability in a productive way. Instead of using their potential for good, they use it for evil, and putting other people down is their way of asserting their dominance. Bullying gives a person a sense of a control that is destructive because it bolsters the bully’s self esteem by his or her undermining the self worth of another. That said, I have never met a confident bully, and as my grandmother used to say, “Fun catches up to you.”

Peace (and Be nice)

Erie

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