Take it Up a LevelBy Patricia Lefave, Monophrenic
Personal beliefs need neither be included nor forbidden in a plan that works.
Freedom of thought and speech is a necessity
if we are to try to keep anyone, or any group, from dictating the nature and parameters of our collective of reality to us. It is not generally the differing concrete details
of life that are the problem with bullies. It is the bully's belief that s/he has a RIGHT to treat others with contempt, hatred, verbal, physical, sexual or psycho-spiritual abuse BECAUSE the details of the other's life do not match and affirm the bully's own
beliefs or needs. Bullying, despite its outward appearance, is not an act of courage or strength, but an act of concealed fear.
To end this we must focus on the metaphysical level of the problem and not
the concrete details being used to frame it. You can't appeal to a bully's empathy because s/he feels no empathy. Bullying is primarily a self centred act so what interests the bully is "what's in it for the bully." If what is in it for the bully turns out to be something the bully really does not want,
then the bully will stop for his/her OWN sake and not because s/he is suddenly overcome with tender feelings for the target. So we have to get REAL
if we are going to stop this. Bullies are like junior sociopaths in training. They do what they do because it makes them FEEL powerful
to do it. It is their "'fix." The only thing that ever stops those addicted to power is the kind
of power that threatens to destroy the lives of those wielding
it indiscriminately, over others. Exposing the bully/abusers thinking and manipulations does three things at the same time: One:
It begins to make the power rush they get from doing it, useless, as it works through or by partial "concealment." Two:
It reveals to victims and targets what
is going on in the bully so they understand it and a "secret" power, once it has been understood by those who were previously powerless, is useless. Three:
It educates all those by-standers about what is really
going on there, including their own decision to join the bullying or just BE bystanders, saying and doing nothing, and this empowers them as well to become, as someone put it recently, UP-standers instead of bystanders.
So if we make laws against bullying they have to be against bullying: period, and NOT connected to any particular topic like whether or not anyone has the right to either believe in God, or not to believe in God, etc. as, if you focus on arguing about the details, you get an ongoing argument and more
bullying. But if you focus on the bullying alone, you can let everyone determine their OWN personal beliefs with
while acknowledging that others have the same
If you think about it that covers everything
. One may insist they have a religious belief that tells them it is OK to kill their children. But the child most certainly has a belief that it is NOT OK to BE killed in the name of religion or anything else the invalidates him or her as a human being and each person determines their own
way, with personal boundaries intact, and does not have it determined FOR
them by someone else with a control agenda.
Bullying is about boundary violation and so is all crime.
Free speech permits us to disagree with each other and to say so, but it does not mean that if we are not agreed with, we can impose
our will on the other, or abuse them for refusing to co-operate with our agenda.
Boundaried behaviour has to go in both
directions at the SAME time. No "authority" figures can decide for us all which concrete details of the hour are the "correct" ones to believe in, or to have, if one is "normal." Proof of that is in the evidence of all the changes
If what was being judged was "objective" it would not change
since objective means FIXED, as in stable, or not subject to change, not "fixed" as in repaired.
The ONLY concept that makes this work is the one of mutual respect for boundaries
going in both directions at the same time. That one keeps everyone tied into their own personal space and keeps violators out of it. It is like two pillars of self restraint and self definition being present at the same time. It is quite roomy in "there" once given a chance to work for all, and can accommodate a lot of differences and still leave room for change in both
So again, bullies don't bully BECAUSE YOU are- ugly, or dress wrong, or are the "wrong" religion, or gay, or straight, or the "wrong" colour, or have hairy or hairless legs...etc. Bullies USE details to excuse THEIR bad behaviour. Recognize the details AS excuses
for it and not as something wrong with you and SAY so, right out loud.
That is not to say you are perfection walking. No one is; but that is the point. YOUR job is to define you
and to decide what needs "fixing" or improving. The other's
job is to define him, or herself. In dysfunction, we get that backwards
and believe our job is to define others, who are also trying to define us.
Bullies try to get a distress reaction
because it makes them feel falsely powerful to do that. The bully tries to justify him/herself by trying to make it APPEAR to others that s/he has a good REASON to bully you. The fact is there ARE NO GOOD REASONS behind what bullies do. REASON has nothing to do with it. Bullying is an irrational act based on the irrational thought processes of the bully.
If, or when, being a bully, gets the bully, the kind
of attention s/he does not want, the bully will stop doing
what s/he does. It's all about the bully; not YOU. You are just a prop in the bully's fantasy world about him or herself. Bullies live in self delusion motivated by a need to feel powerful and superior.
We all have to stop feeding
that. Teens Arrested in Ontario for online bullyingOctober 19th, 2012
On the T.V. news interview with other students, the students were offering the opinion on the event. One said, "She didn't really deserve to be bullied."
Another that, "she didn't really do anything to cause that."
agree with this. But right here I want you to visualize me starting to do my "whining and complaining" thing that I seem to love so much, while standing waving a red flag.
Pay very close attention to this language as how
we humans use language says a lot about how we think and how the dysfunctional "normal" tends to think.
If someone was judged as not "deserving" to be the target of bullying it leaves the suggestion there that someone else DOES "deserve" to be "bullied." That suggests that group attacks on someone are justified on those who "do" something to "deserve" it- unlike this particular girl, in the opinion of some. This kind of thinking shifts the focus OFF of the bully, or bullies, and onto the target. That's the problem. That "shift" of perspective away
from the reality of the act
of bullying as the problem in, and of, itself.
An example of this is out of my own life experience many years ago when a fifteen year old girl was raped on her way home at 8pm or so, on a summer day, after visiting a friend. She did not live far away and did what she always did; she cut through a church parking lot to get to her own street. I remember how appalled I felt as I sat amongst a group of women in a college classroom agreeing with each other after one of them said, with sneering contempt, "well REALLY now...what was SHE doing cutting through a church parking lot anyway!"
The girl was not raped BECAUSE she was cutting through a church parking lot. She was raped because the rapist saw it as an opportunity to commit the crime. It is the rapist we need to have the contempt for; not the victim. The victim has already gone through more than enough. The last thing she needs is to be blamed for her victimization by adult women who SHOULD know better but in their dysfunctional thinking style obviously do not. THIS is what needs to change.
People then start debating the victim's character
instead of the bully's actions, and that is EXACTLY what the bully, often a budding future sociopath, really wants. Does that make the bully feel powerful and justified if other people believe that the victim "deserves" to be attacked? You bet.
In REALITY, it is the attack, and the one doing the attacking, along with the group which supports, enables and perpetuates this behaviour that is the problem and that problem rarely gets the focus as everyone is too busy telling the victim to stop "whining" about it and let it roll off her back. This also has another name; victim blaming, and unfortunately, many young ones learn how to do
that by observing their parents enjoying themselves so much while they
Group abuse, verbal abuse, is wrong; period. That is a true statement no matter what the target's character may, or may not, be like, and the word "deserve" does not belong in the analysis of the situation. It is the bully's
character that is the problem not the perception of it, or reactions to it, of the victim. Stop the bully. Don't pump the victim full of psych drugs to control the distress REACTION.
Put a stop
to the stressors.