Is It Bullying or Incivility?

Often times, we ran into people who are just jerks and are rude to random people. Just because a person is rude to us does not mean that they are bullying us.

Anyone, at any age, can become a target of bullying, and there is evidence that child and teen targets are more likely to grow up to be bullied, adults. Some do not, I didn’t, but others do.

All bullies, regardless of age, deep down at their core, are cowards!
The difference between child bullies and adult bullies is that the young bullies select targets who are weaker, smaller, mentally handicapped, or sick with a disease (Type 1 diabetics, childhood cancer patients, paraplegics, etc.).

Adult bullies target well-liked, outgoing, confident, and successful people in their jobs or have successful marriages and family life. Adult bullies target people who have what they themselves want but feel they can’t and feel those people outshine them and threaten them.

With that being said, this has prompted me to talk about the subject and how one can overcome a hostile work environment. I believe that knowledge is power, and without it, you may not know what to do when an adult bully comes calling. So I feel that it is incumbent upon me to share my own knowledge, experience, and the tools I used to overcome a hostile work environment and come out virtually unscathed.

There is no age limit on bullying. It does not stop after high school graduation, nor does it stop at age 18, 21, 40, or even 60. If it did, there would be no assaults, murders, robberies, home invasions, or the like. And there wouldn’t be corporate or government corruption either.

The majority of employees will have at least one encounter with a workplace bully in their lifetime. So if you have never been the target of an ultra dominating and overbearing boss or coworkers, chances are that you will sometime in the future.

After high school, I was fortunate to have never suffered bullying in the workplace until just a few years ago. For years, in the places I worked, I was usually the one who was well-liked by my supervisors and coworkers because I worked hard and did my best to treat everyone with respect. This is not to say that I didn’t run into a few dirtbags – smart-alecs, gossips, and trouble makers because I did.

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But these people usually treated EVERYONE like dirt, not only me. Also, they were only a few and not liked by the rest of my coworkers. So these were not cases of bullying, although I may have thought differently at the time. So how do we distinguish a case of bullying from incivility?

BULLYING – involves singling one person out of the whole of alumni, organization, company, or geographic population. It also involves repetition…repeated attacks against the same individual or group over a long period of time (usually from 3 weeks to several years). Also, others, even total strangers, are usually encouraged to join in.

Bullying is relentless. Bullying is a CAMPAIGN with a GOAL

It means destroying the target’s good name and standing in a community, relationships, family, career, finances, businesses and to ruin the target’s self-esteem and sense of security and well-being, to eventually ruin his/her life.

INCIVILITY – does not have any certain target.

People such as these don’t care who you are or where you come from. They just have personalities that suck and treat everyone in general, like dirt. And they only insult you because they don’t want to be bothered, whereas a bully or bullies will actively pursue you and make it their mission in life just to destroy you. A jerk, on the other hand, will never put in the effort to pursue anyone.

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INCIVILITY – is sporadic and random mistreatment against random people. It does not involve repetition and is not directed at any certain person or group.

BULLYING – is personal, and there is always an agenda and vendetta behind it.

INCIVILITY – is not personal, and there is no agenda nor vendetta.

The person is just a jerk. Everyone will experience incivility at times in their lives, even popular people. A jerk has no particular target and does not care who you are. A jerk is an equal-opportunity dirt bag.

A jerk just doesn’t care…about anyone…period.

A jerk is afraid you might want something from him.

A bully wants something from YOU.

A Zero-Sum Game

That’s what bullying is, a zero-sum game- where the bullies have all the power, and the target has their personal power stolen from them. Bullies believe that in order for them to attain happiness, their targets mustn’t have it- for them to have joy, their targets must suffer. It’s an unhealthy balance not only for the target, but for the bullies too.

To inflict pain on the target makes the bullies feel like kings and queens, like they’re superior to and better than another person. To rule over someone gives bullies a rush of power and control and to keep getting that rush- that power-high, bullies must keep up the torment and even worst, escalate it. In other words, they must continue to expend effort to keep the target from attaining happiness.

Bullies use the target as their scapegoat to blame all their troubles in life on and unleash all their pinned-up hostilities and aggressions on.

If the bully loses out on an award, the target is suddenly to blame.

If the bullies lose a ballgame, it’s the target’s fault.

If one of the bullies has a falling out with another family member, it’s because of the target.

If the bullies couldn’t get laid the night before, the target gets the blame.

If it rained when the bullies wanted sunshine, blame the target.

If the bully made an F on his report card, or didn’t finish a project in time, it’s the target’s fault because the target didn’t let the bully cheat off him or take credit for his work.

The bullies see the target as their sacrificial lamb. They force the target to take the rap for all their mistakes, screw-ups, flaws, and shortcomings. The target is a convenience to the bullies because he/she is a tool to help the bullies forget all about their insecurities, fears, inhibitions, flaws, and imperfections. In other words, the bullies get to unleash all their issues and feel light as a feather while the target must be weighed down with everyone else’s problems. Hence, the imbalance, or more appropriately, the zero-sum.

Even bullies find themselves in situations where they feel weak, indignant, wronged, and where they feel unimportant and unwanted. And the target is just the villain they need to place all their anger, bitterness, and frustrations on.

The target is forced to take all the blame, all the beatings of their soul and spirit, all the abuse while the bullies ride high on dominance and control.

When a target has their personal power taken from them, he then becomes powerless. The game then becomes zero-sum, because it’s the people with all the power against someone who is powerless.

If you’re that target, know that your true power resides within you and it’s something nobody can take away from you unless you unwillingly allow them to. And your power comes with the realization that you deserve to be treated with respect and that you don’t have to tolerate people or environments that are toxic or harmful.

Tap into that power and you’ll be able to tip the scales and restore balance to power. Even better, you’ll find peace and confidence you never thought possible.

Misogyny in Disguise

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Women today are being discriminated against more than I’ve ever seen in my lifetime. And this sexism and sex discrimination against women comes in the name of transgender equality. You have to admit it- the Far Radicals have really outdone themselves this time.

They came up with a brilliant, totally ingenious way to disenfranchise women and girls. This form of bullying of the female sex is as on the sly as we’ve ever seen. I’ll never accuse evil of not being inventive. What better way is there to put women back in their place without most even realizing it then to shout equality for transgenders?

And the reason few people realize what is happening is because most people have lost their ability to think critically and to listen to their intuition.

This is not all. The Radical Left have also backed countries like Iran- where it is customary to brutalize women, even through they claim to be champions for women’s rights. They support countries where women are stoned to death if even accused of being unfaithful to their husbands. Just watch the movie, “The Stoning of Soraya M” and you’ll see that this is true.

If you’re for equal rights for women then you’re for it one hundred percent- across the board! You can’t be for women’s rights and at the same time, back countries and people who brutalize women and if you think you can, you only prove yourself a hypocrite.

But get this! The Left also touts being champions for the rights of the LBGTQ community, yet they back countries like Iran- where people have a long history of throwing homosexuals off the tops of tall buildings.

If you’re for equal rights of the LBGTQ community, you’re for them one hundred percent- across the board. You cannot claim to be for LBGTQ rights and, at the same time, support countries and people who believe in killing them. Again, if you do, you’re only a hypocrite who talks out both sides of your mouth.

Actions speak louder than words. And, I’ll say again. The problem with so many people today- especially people who fall for the hypocritical arrogance and lies of politicians, is that they let euphemisms, pretty words, and fancy, eloquent speeches beguile them. They take words for genuineness without taking the time to pay attention and see if the body language and actions match their politicians’ words.

And they let words influence them because they’re ruled by their emotions, with those emotions being mostly intense anger, bitterness, jealousy, and hatred. The Left knows that when people are eaten up with these toxic emotions, they lose the ability to think clearly and to make healthy decisions. That’s what they count on.

But a person who remains calm and keeps a level head can see the discrepancies clearly.

It’s sad that women and girls are getting the shaft in this day and time, a century after the Suffrage Movement and sixty years after Women’s Lib. Instead of making progress, we seem to be going backwards now. Thankfully, a few states have exercised their Popular Sovereignty and saved women’s’ and girls’ sports in their states.

Don’t get me wrong, I have nothing  against the transgender community. I believe that we should all be permitted self-determination and to be able to live however makes us happy. And I agree that we should treat transgenders with kindness and humanity. However, transgenders in women’s and girls’ sports only put biological females at a severe disadvantage. This is because transgenders still have the muscle mass, bone density, weight, and height of a man regardless of whether they still have the genitalia.

And if I had a teenage daughter on a boxing team, I could not risk her getting her brains beat out by someone who was once a biological male.

My point is this. If you’re going to promote equality for a disenfranchised group like transgenders, make sure that you don’t end up disenfranchising another group like biological females in the process. When one groups’ rights get trampled in the name of “equality,” then it’s not equality because a power imbalance still exists.

What it is, is taking all power from one group and handing it over to another. And, in this case, it’s only a sneaky and sly form of misogyny.

Excuses Bullies Make to Justify Bullying

The excuses bullies make for their rotten behavior are endless. Here are the most common excuses bullies make.

“Just because.”

“Because he’s annoying.”

“She brings it on herself.”

“I was only joking.”

“Because he’s a nerd.”

“Because she’s a loser.”

“Because he’s so stupid.”

“Because you deserve it.”

“Because you have a crooked nose (or funny ears, etc.).”

“Because he’s a wimp (wuss, geek, etc.).”

“Because she’s crazy (mentally unstable, cuckoo, loony, etc.)”

“Because he dresses weird.”

“Because he stinks (smells funny, etc.).”

“Because he needs to toughen up.”

“Because he’s black.”

“Because she’s white.”

“Because you have a big mouth.”

“Because he’s too skinny.”

“Because he has four-eyes (wears eye-glasses).

“Because she’s a metal-mouth (wears braces).

“You’re too different.”

I could go on and on! The excuses bullies make are endless. However, know that these so-called reasons have nothing to do with you if you’re a target of bullying. Understand that bullying is about power and the need to feel better than someone else. Your bullies are trying to meet their needs for validation or superiority in a hateful and hurtful manner.

When you’re being mistreated, it’s normal to want to figure out why. And the reason we want to know why it is so we can fix whatever’s wrong and make the bullying stop. But just because we correct whatever’s wrong doesn’t mean the bullying will go away, and most of the time, it doesn’t.

It only gets worse when you try to change yourself because people lose respect for you when you’re not yourself.

You may try to change yourself; you may hide, wear fancier clothes, even buy a new flashier car. But the truth is, there was never anything wrong with you in the first place. Understand that bullies target you not because there’s anything wrong with you or because you’ve done anything wrong. They’re only using you to meet their needs, and those needs are to feel better about themselves, feel powerful, superior, or better than you.

I even know adults- ADULTS, who should know better but are under the misguided impression that if people bully you, that you’re causing them to do so- that there’s something wrong with you, that there has to be something you’re not doing right, that you’re somehow annoying people and rubbing everyone the wrong way. No! This is a falsehood you should dismiss immediately!

Don’t accept it! Know in your heart that you did nothing wrong and that you’re great just the way you are! Here are things you can do to help your self-esteem and restore confidence.

Avoid these bullies like the plague.

Keep company with only those who uplift you and make you feel good about yourself.

Befriend other targets.

Do the things you enjoy and always show off your talents and gifts.

Do all of these, and your self-esteem will thank you for it!

Definition of “Bullying” and Examples of What Is and Isn’t Bullying

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Because people use the term “bullying” so widely today, they too often misuse and abuse it. In today’s climate, people throw the word around flippantly, and “bullying” is used in situations that don’t fit its use.

Many are too quick to stick the “bully” label on anyone who says anything they either disagree with or don’t like. There’s so much confusion about what is bullying and what is only rudeness, being a jerk, or voicing an individual opinion, whether good or bad.

Therefore, I feel an obligation to point out the definition of bullying and to clarify what truly is and isn’t bullying.

Here is the definition:

Bullying – an ongoing and deliberate misuse of power in relationships through repeated verbal, physical, and/or social behavior that intends to cause physical, social, and/or psychological harm. It can involve an individual or a group misusing their power, or perceived power, over one or more persons who feel unable to stop it from happening (https://www.ncab.org.au/bullying-advice/bullying-for-parents/definition-of-bullying/)

All too often, bullying is confused with:

1. Disagreements and truthful debates

2. Misunderstandings

3. Stubbornness

4. Incivility and jerky behavior

Bullying has become a blanket term to describe anyone who is only rude or opinionated. The label of “bully” is too quickly stuck to people who are not necessarily bullies but only uncivil jerks and jackasses- basically anyone who says, does, or believes anything that the labeler doesn’t find comfortable. This is wrong.

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For something to be considered bullying, there must be all of these ingredients:

1. An imbalance of power

2. Repetition

3. Repeated attacks against the same person over a long time.

4. The behavior has to be a habit or the same pattern, against the same victim.

If a 6’5” tall and muscular knucklehead on the street bumps into you and says, “Hey, idiot! Watch where the hell you’re going!”, then keeps walking. That’s not bullying. Is the person a total jackhole? Absolutely. But he isn’t necessarily a bully.

Now, if he deliberately ran into you and shot his mouth off to you every day, every time he saw you on the street. And he made a habit of it by continuing to harass you, then yes! He would be a bully. Because he would be using his size and height to intimidate you and he’d be repeating the behavior every day.

Here’s another example:

A person is voicing an opinion. When someone asks them if what they think of their new next-door neighbor, the person answers by saying,

“I think he is an arrogant, egotistical jackass.”

This is NOT bullying. It’s only voicing an opinion.

But! If the person continued this behavior for a length of time and smeared the new neighbor to everyone in the neighborhood in an attempt to turn everyone against her, then yes! It is bullying.

If two people are arguing over different beliefs, it’s not bullying Even if the argument is heated.

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Only when one of the arguers resort to repeatedly (notice I said, repeatedly) calling their opponent names and shaming them because they don’t agree nor share their beliefs, and the harassment goes on for a long time, against the same opponent! That, my friends, is bullying!

To prevent innocent people from being labeled as bullies, we MUST get clear on exactly what it is that constitutes bullying! Only then will we be able to apply it to those who are truly deserving of the label.

How Easy Is It to Become a Bully When You’re a Target of Bullying?

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It’s too easy! Because after others bully you for so long, you search for ways to take the edge off the pain, you search for a band-aid, any band-aid as long as it takes away some of the pain, even temporarily!

Many targets become bullies themselves because they’re just plain tired of feeling powerless. They desire to have control over something- or someone! We all want to be in control of something because to have power over nothing is the very definition of hell!

And nothing renders you as powerless as being bullied by everyone. Once you become completely helpless, you’ll start looking for instant gratification and do anything to achieve some sense of power.

 

You’ll search for someone even weaker and dumber than you to bully and degrade because, in their cruel treatment of you, your bullies have taught you that bullying another person is what it takes and is, perhaps, the only way to achieve that feel-good sense of control and to climb the social ladder. Finding a victim of your own gives you the sense that you’re not on the bottom of the pecking order any more. No one wants to be on the bottom.

And you think, “Why not? It’s working for them (the bullies) so, it should work for you too.”

The problem with this is that bullies are weak, cowardly, and pathetic, and if you bully someone else, then it shows that you’re no better than they are!

 

In fact, it proves that you’re worse because you know firsthand how it feels and should know better. You must realize that no one else would feel any different than you do if it were happening to them. In fact, they may not be as resilient as you are and end up taking their own lives. Their blood would be on your hands!

I’m ashamed and sorry to have to tell you, but I did the same thing during school. Because I felt utterly powerless, I began to bully people I thought were weaker than me. I own that and I have remorse for it now.

Take it from someone who’s tried it. If you become a bully and attack others, you may get a rush of power, but it will last for only a short time. It wears off quickly. Then, you’ll be back to square one and looking for the next rush, and you’ll only seek your victim out again and again because you’ll always feel you must have more! It’s no different than being a drug addict!

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And if bullying doesn’t come naturally to you, it will only eat away at your conscience!

I implore to you! Instead of bullying people who look like prey, align with them. Become their friend and their protector. I guarantee you! You’ll feel much better about yourself. More importantly, you’ll make a positive difference in their lives and there’s no better feeling than that!

Knowing that you’ve helped someone and make life better for them is more rewarding than you realize! Knowing that you were possibly the difference that kept that person from ending their own life is a feeling so wonderful, words can’t describe it! I promise you!