Bullying – a social injustice

Mack

Unlike most people I’ve experienced both, I’ve been a bully and I have suffered from bullying, mainly social bullying. And I can tell you that it is taunting and traumatic. I won’t go as far as mentioning when and where because the purpose is not to call people out (that would basically make me a bully too, even though that would be very Real Housewives of Atlanta lol). Now I’m sure you’re wondering how I played for both teams (the bully and the victim of bully). I will never make excuses for bullying, I’ll simply say my bully days were short lived and mild. Most of my reason for bullying was self defense, I had been bullied before becoming a bully and so avoiding being bullied meant being the bully which was a very flawed theory, I know. Here’s the thing about bullying, bullies do what they do for self protection and I knew that having power over someone would at least put my own insecurities at ease and this is not true. Power that has not been earned is an illusion. And I’m so grateful for having people around me who called me out on my bad behaviour, most of it was caused by trauma and so it was easy to kick the habit. What others do to me should not change who I am, that’s the lesson I had to learn.

Bullying in its loose definition is unwanted, aggressive behaviour cause by a power imbalance (real or perceived) and the behaviour is repeated and has serious, lasting problems.

I was bullied at 2 different stages of my life and the thing with being bullied is that, the bully is purposely trying to inflict pain (whether physical, emotional etc) without a REAL reason. In the midst of being bullied you’re also trying to understand why you’re being treated the way you’re treated by a person/s you’ve done nothing to and this is where the trauma comes in. I’m constantly forced to think if people are being genuine because at any point someone can decide to ill-treat you without being provoked.

Types of bullying:

  1. Verbal bullying is saying or writing mean/hurtful things (true or false)
    • Teasing
    • Name-calling
    • Inappropriate sexual comments
    • Taunting
    • Threatening to harm

  2. Social bullying is sometimes referred to as relation bullying, it involves hurting someone’s reputation or relationships
    • Leaving someone out on purpose
    • Telling other people/children not to be friends with someone directly or indirectly
    • Spreading rumors about someone
    • Embarrassing someone in public purposely

  3. Physical bullying involves hurting a person’s body or possessions
    • Hitting/kicking
    • Spitting on
    • Tripping/pushing
    • Breaking their things
    • Taking their things
    • Making rude hand gestures (ya’ll know what that’s about, road rage doesn’t count)

  4. Cyber bulling using technology – internet, email, cellphone, social media, pictures to hurt someone else
    • Sending mean texts messages
    • Posting statements online that are unkind or not true
    • Agreeing with someone who posts something hurtful
    • Making negative comments

And yes, adults get bullied too in case you’re wondering. No one should ever treat you in a manner you do not feel comfortable or want to be treated in. Bullying is a game of power, and you decide how much power you give to someone. I don’t want to dwell on how bullying is wrong because this goes without saying. What’s more important to me is making each of us realize the power we have to stand up against people who use their power in a way that imbalances ours.

If you feel like you’re being overpowered:
• Speak to someone close (friend/sibling/parent especially if it is physical)
• Tell someone in a higher position
• Be affirmative
• Do not run/hide; use your power to put them in place by using words like “I don’t APPRECIATE YOU doing…” “I WILL NOT stand being treated”

With that being said, we are also responsible for how we treat others and we must remember that our actions have consequences. People have committed suicide because of bullying and it is vital to always remember that we are different and therefore feel in different ways, however – when you say something first consider if you’d appreciate it being said to you. Be sure to taste your words before you spit them out; be in control of your physical actions and before you do anything (whether by text etc) ask yourself if it would change the price of rice if you didn’t.

 

It is okay to dislike someone even if it’s for no reason, but it is not okay to disrespect, degrade, and humiliate that person.

KADAN – (n) “where the heart lies”, an all-purpose word for a person one cares about, including friends, family and loved ones.

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