Today I want to talk about bullies. Growing up we see them everywhere -- in school our peers, the neighbor kids, and even cousins. What is a bully? According to stopbullying.gov, "Bullying is unwanted, aggressive behavior among school aged children that involves a real or perceived power imbalance. The behavior is repeated, or has the potential to be repeated, over time." As we grow older and have kids of our own, we work hard and try our best to prevent them from being bullied by others and becoming bullies themselves. Some of us teach them to stand up to a bully. Others tell their children to tell the adult who is available.
However, as a woman in my 40s, I feel like bullying is not just an epidemic among children. A high number of adults go through it also. There are adults among us who constantly bully others. By bullying I mean, "involves a real or perceived power imbalance; the behavior is repeated, or has the potential to be repeated, over time." They become power hungry and feel like putting another person down for their own insecurities is the way to go. These bullies treat others like they aren't worthy of anything. They prey on others' self esteem, and it makes them feel powerful and stronger. I am no psychiatrist, but I have noticed that people who are angry and bitter are the ones who bully others as adults. Is it because they haven't been able to forgive the people that have abused their power towards them?
It seems like a vicious cycle where bullying just never ends. I have seen parents, bosses, teachers, friends all bullying others, and for what? Is it to feel like you are in control of things and that no one can hurt you?
I am not here judging others; I have many times found myself talking to others in a way which isn't "nice." I have never thought of the impact it has on others until I face a bully myself. Until someone else makes me feel so little and insignificant I have no clue what I am doing to others.
Why do we as humans not see the implications of this? Why can't we be kind to others if we expect that from them? When did we as humans become so arrogant and selfish that we forgot about how others feel yet we complain when we are hurt? I think bullying is a silent epidemic that is the basis of most evil in the world. People believe they have more power over others and the bullying begins. It starts at a personal level and continues at government levels, where the government of one country believes they have the right to take over another country. A bully at any level justifies his or her actions, but I ask you and myself -- how can hurting someone's feelings, making them feel like nothing, ever be right?
Why do we believe that the impact of bullying is worse on children than it is on adults? I think they are both equal. As children we are more forgiving and resilient; however, as adults we take everything to heart, and our self esteem gets lower and lower. I am not saying this as a professional who studies behavior among people. I am writing from a point of view of a human being who feels all this, someone who hurts from inside when I am a bully to others and when I am being bullied.