Bullying hurts. It’s not the physical beatings in the locker room. It isn’t the trippings in the hallways nor having your books knocked out of your arms. Neither is it the name-calling nor the threats. It’s not the rumors, the lies, and smear campaigns, nor is it the setups to get you into trouble, the jokes or pranks.
It’s the cumulative sum of all factors:
It leaves the target feeling that he’s lost all control over his life and that he no longer has a say in what happens to him- it’s the feeling of having power over nothing!
Is it any wonder that in an attempt to snatch back control over something, anything, many targets soon begin to bully those who are even more vulnerable than them?
Through their own victimization, targets learn that to keep from feeling so powerless, they must bully too. In bullying them, bullies unwittingly teach their targets how to bully.
We call these people bully-victims– people who are both bullies and are targets of other bullies. They bully to feel better about themselves and to ascend a few rungs up the social ladder.
Nobody wants to be on the bottom. Everybody wants to be better than somebody. It’s a sad part of human nature.
Just as people are fighting like crazy to stay on top, others struggle to keep off the bottom. As it is quoted, “Sh¬** rolls downhill and lands at the bottom.”
Person A at the top bullies Person B, who is second from the top.
Person B then bullies Person C, and so on.
And down the pecking order, the nastiness rolls until it lands on Person Z at the bottom. Then, everyone bullies Person Z because Person Z is defenseless! There’s no one for Person Z to bully because he’s the one with the least power of all the others.
Anyone on the bottom is going to catch hell because they’re powerless. And that person will likely be kept on the bottom because no one wants that position. Therefore, everyone keeps Z down to ensure that none of them ever take Z’s place.
That’s how it works, folks!
As long as someone else is on the bottom, it keeps you and everyone else safe from being there. It’s why bully-victims get bullied by pure bullies, then go on to select their own victims to degrade and humiliate.
However, must of the time, this doesn’t turn out good. Because sometimes, bully-victims become worse off then pure bullies or pure victims.
Pure bullies are people who don’t get bullied by other people.
Bully-victims are both bullies and victims of bullying by other bullies. And they bully far more than the pure bullies do because they have more to prove.
Bully victims are far more hated and ostracized than pure bullies or pure victims. They’re lonelier and have few friends or none at all.
Bully-victims often resort to trickery and deceit. Many are pathological liars, cheats, fakes, and sneaks. They believe that humans are the lowest forms of life on earth. Bully-victims tend to be Machs.
Understand that bully-victims need help. They need someone to get it through their heads that just because people are bullying them doesn’t make it okay to turn around and bully someone else.
But tell them lovingly and with patience because they’re badly hurting inside themselves and need someone to listen to them and gently guide them in the right direction.
All too often, schools ignore reports of bullying and leave targets to fend for themselves. It was the same when I was being bullied in school. Any reports of the harassment either went completely ignored, were swept under the rug, or I was blamed for it. Here are the reasons:
They’re lazy. Conducting an investigation into the case of bullying is extra work. Most school officials do not want to make any extra effort in resolving a case of bullying. Often, they take the easy way out by either denying that there’s a problem or blaming the target. And when parents of targets get involved, the school staff may often label the parents as “the crazy mom/dad,” which is only a cop-out.
They’re afraid the bullies’ parents will retaliate. Bullying is a learned behavior, and many bullies have parents who are also bullies themselves. Many of these parents are self-entitled. They may also have powerful political connections in the town or on the school board. And the school staff know too well that disciplining “the wrong kids” could mean an end to either their jobs or their entire careers.
They’re afraid that the school’s reputation may be tarnished. Schools often hide cases of bullying to save face. They know good and well when a child is bullied; however, they may consider that child a threat and, in worse cases, ostracize the poor kid and tell him/her to “keep your mouth shut” to cover their own behinds.
They either don’t like or may even hate the bullied target. Believe me. I was hated by many of my teachers and other school staff, and they were supposed to be adults who were supposed to protect me. The thing is that when a person is bullied for a long period of time, so many rumors and lies have been spread about the person that their once good name has been destroyed, and yes! Teachers hear and believe the rumors too!
They even join in on negative gossip about the target. Understand that although, in reality, the targeted person may be one of the sweetest, most awesome people you may ever meet, the rumors and lies supersede the truth and keep the target locked in a prison of scrutiny and suspicion. Because of this, the target cannot be their true, awesome self because of the stress of being marginalized. In the minds of those at school, the target is “trouble.”
Also, because of having been bullied for so long, the target may react out of self-defense and exhaustion. This poor, tired kid has been harassed for so long that he really cannot help but react, and the bullies slyly use the reaction as further proof that the target is either trouble or crazy. Because of this, teachers and staff may think the worst of the poor, innocent kid.
They may also think that just because everyone seems to hate the target, there must be a reason that justifies it. In their minds, the target deserves what is happening to them. And when a teacher does not like a student, they may either refuse to help them or secretly take pleasure in seeing the poor kid suffer. Teachers and school staff are just as capable as the classroom bullies of hating and hurting students they deem undesirable.
This is why parents must stay proactive in protecting and advocating for their child even when it seems that the school isn’t listening. Let them know that you will not go away until the problem is solved. Go to the media if you have to.
Assure your child that his/her reputation does not equal character and that the bullies have the issues. Know there will come a time when your child will escape their tormentors and have true friends who love them for them. Constantly tell them that they are worthy of having friends and being loved. You might just keep your child’s self-esteem from completely tanking and even save his/her life!