Everyone deals with jerks and disrespect but not everyone gets bullied. Jerks and disrespect are a normal part of life. Bullying, on the other hand, is a whole other animal. Although the behavior of a jerk is hurtful and negative, it does not mean that it can be classified as bullying. So, when is hurtful behavior classified as bullying and how do we tell the difference between bullying and disrespect? What is the difference between a jerk and a bully?
When a person is “just being a jerk”, his/her bad attitude is random, sporadic and directed at anyone at any time. When you encounter a jerk, you’re just in the wrong place, at the wrong time, with the wrong person but not a target. With jerks, everyone is fair game.
Bullying, on the other hand, is when the ill treatment becomes a habit or pattern and is directed towards one person in particular. Bullying requires a target! It is systematic, deliberate, vicious and always escalates over time. Bullying involves smear campaigns, witch hunts and is relentless. Bullying seeks to destroy.
A jerk is afraid you might want something from him/her.
A bully wants something from you.
My mother and I both are huge Alabama fans and have been for years. When I think of the Crimson Tide, I automatically see the face of Coach Bear Bryant and although he passed away when I was a little girl, I still remember his being tough as nails to push his players to be the best they could possibly be. In fact, he was so tough that he would make sure “puke barrels” were nearby because the practices were so brutal. I have no doubt that Coach Bryant’s influence lives on today and continues to make Alabama one of the top college football teams in the SEC today…decades after his death!
Like Bear Bryant, my mother was also tough as nails…pushing me and my siblings to be smarter, stronger…better than what I ever thought I could be. She was and still is a loving mother, but she could always be tough…even brutal when she knew we were being lazy and not trying as hard as we could try…at anything.
At times, Mom was like a drill sergeant but although it didn’t feel good at the time, I can tell you that her fierceness motivated us to do what we were supposed to do. I don’t think I could’ve graduated college nor become a published author of two books without my mother’s influence.
It is the same with the Crimson Tide. They wouldn’t be the awesome college football team they have always been without the influence of the one and only Bear Bryant. His legacy lives on over three decades after his passing, just as my mother’s legacy will live on in the hearts of her children long after she is gone!
Roll Tide Roll!