Think carefully and name one person who you would describe as a bully. These days it’s PC to be on the stop bullying campaign but to be honest, it’s not doing much to change people’s behaviors.
Because being a bully comes with lots of perks:
They get respect (more like feared)
They get more likes on social media
No one wants to contest a bully
What they say goes
They are the apex predators
They always have support from the liked-minded or the ones who are afraid
They know how to play the retaliation game
They make your life miserable without losing sleep
They are always out for #1 – self
In order for bullies to thrive, they need lackeys and easy prey. If you watch every teen movies, there are always bullies (with minions) and someone who is bullied. In the movies, the bullied gets revenge but in real life, the doormats keep getting stepped on until they are worn out and on anti-anxiety or anti-depressant medications.
The doormat is:
The person who always says yes
Who complaints in secret but never speaks up
Who is comfortable with someone else coming in to save the day
Who believes that going with the flow is always the best option
Who is constantly upset or stressed when merely thinking about the bully
Who gets the short end of the stick
Who is constantly disregarded or disrespected
Who struggles with confidence and lacks belief in one’s own strength
MOVIES TO REAL LIFE
Movies mostly depict bullies at school but they rarely show the ones at home, in your friendships, relationships, church and work.
What the passive doormats do not realize is that unlike the movies, the bullies will not wake up one day and say “oh… I am so sorry for being mean to you let me fix it.”
Bullies with power will always try to keep their power in order to use it when they see fit, where they see fit and on whomever with the weakest personality. If you ever see documentaries on lions, they tend to go after preys that are the most vulnerable. However, when the lions have a formidable foe, they have to rethink their strategy (have you seen a pride of lions run from one pissed off elephant?)
There are too many preys and not enough formidable foes. I often wonder what is it that makes a person so afraid to speak up or fight back even when he/she is being smashed on?
In the movies, people somehow find that moment (cue hero music) of confidence that was always there but was buried under excuses that kept them from fighting back. In reality, there is no music and pivotal moment, it’s just life as usual.
A SOCIETY OF EMPOWERED BULLIES
Sadly, in my workplace, I see the consequences of a bully-in-charge and how she (yes I said she) affects other’s lives. People fear the ‘big dog’ while I am thinking “why?” A bully becomes less intimidating when his/her value is not placed above yours.
As you look at social media and even the president of the US, bullies are ‘in’ and supported. They are empowered more and more because they can afford keyboard warriors anonymity or the bullies wield the power to change your life for the worse or people are losing their humanity.
A patient’s young daughter has been jumped in school twice and it was recorded. Now, social media has empowered others who do not know her to say mean things to her.
A royal couple makes choices about their own lives and the whole world believes their vile opinions are justified
A president calls people “scum, losers, two-faced” and degrading nicknames and people just join in because it’s okay
None of these people can end your life (unless you are going up against the mob or a psycho). None of these people are living your life.
The mistake the doormats make is to think that kissing derriere and reciting the mantra ‘I don’t want to upset him/her’ or ‘I will be nice all the time’ will exempt them from the behavior. It is impossible to walk on egg shells and not crack a few. I am not saying that doormats should become the Karate Kid and rain-down blows to prove a point but standing up for what you believe – self, integrity, mental health – is very important.
Abuse is abuse no matter how much you white-wash it. Putting up with it will not change it (ask any survivor of domestic violence).
At the end of the day, the bully is living his/her best life (at least in public) while you are dreading yours in public and private.
How have you dealt with a bully in your life?
How are you dealing with a bully in your life?