You want to know the one time I would slap my own teen? If I found out that he was contributing to that fucking mess, that's when. Just in knowing that we, as a generation, have raised these kids to hold such little value and honor in other people's lives makes me physically nauseous. And what does that mean for our future as a society . . .
I clearly remember incidents when I was in middle school where the "mob mentality" would take over and 4, 5, 6 people would bully and laugh at a single person until they cried or ran away. Can is still be called a "mob" when everyone is isolated in the comfort of their own middle class rooms, sitting nicely behind a computer? Fucking cowards.
I know there has been a plea for all these mindless douchebags to stop posting negative comments about the deceased girl and to "think what they are doing." But that's just it — they do not think. They believe it's all fucking hilarious and they won't see the err of their ways for likely another 5 years to even a decade. And for the REALLY thick ones, it won't sink in until they, themselves, become parents (which is ironic considering those are the people that give me a strong "pro" argument for involuntary sterilization).
And like a broken record, I am once again expressing that this is one of the key reasons I had to resign from teaching high school. SO MANY TIMES I just wanted to kick them hard in their asses and say, "You're a fucking asshole. Don't be an asshole!" These thoughts mostly came about while I was sweeping ripped out hair that covered the floor outside my classroom from the latest fight which usually involved two (or more) 12 year old girls trying to kill each other over the affections of a 12 year old boy who's balls hadn't even dropped yet.
I realize that it's a different social climate than 20 years ago (when I was 14), but mean bullies have been around for thousands of years – it's in our human nature – not one of our more admirable traits, but there it is. Call it insecurity; call it ignorance; call it over-inflated entitlement; hell, you can even call it Darwinian, but it's always been there - it's just the medium that keeps changing and evolving, each ugly head being more hideous and cruel than the last.
These are 5 ways to defeat a bully, and all five (in one way or another) are ways I have personally done to overcome the suck ass years that we have all had to battle though:
1. Ignore them. Getting upset is what gives them a hard on. Don't give them that pleasure! They'll likely be pumping your gas in 10 years (or doing nothing but playing video games and reminiscing about how cool they were in high school and living in the basement apartment of their parents' mansion well into their thirties), so who the fuck cares if they call you a nasty name? Let them have their moment - it might be one of the few they get in their sad, little lives.
2. Beat them at their own game. They post something about you? Post something about yourself that's even funnier. This also goes back to #1. If you cause a stink about it, it will snowball into something that will get out of control until you feel you can't breathe. They will feed on that like starving vultures.
3. Punch them in their fucking face. OK, so this is probably frowned upon the most, but I gotta say, it worked for me . . . twice. Same dude; he wasn't so bright. And he grew up to be a Minor League hockey drop out and date rapist, so really, I don't regret assaulting him for a single moment.
4. Leave. Strategically, it's not the easiest solution, but if you're simply just fed up with their douchebaggery, change schools. It's best to not make a public event about it or else it will just follow you to your next school. And obviously, having a car helps. The further you can go, the better, because assholes have spies. I moved schools twice, although it wasn't from a specific bully per se, but there were a lot of asshats that just really annoyed me.
5. Become a fabulous success. I'm still working on this one, ahem, but success as revenge is (I think) just about the best incentive/motivation to do good things in your life. Take something negative and let it be the driving force to do something positive! Rise above their stupid, juvenile bullshit and take solace in knowing that after you graduate, you will be stronger because of it. You have the choice to close that door behind you and never look back. Killing yourself accomplishes nothing. Start over with a new phase of your life and have some goddamn fun. Blog about it, for fuck's sake!
Whatever we need to do to help process the fact that we lived through the bullshit and came out the other end . . . a little dirty but still alive - kind of like when Andy escaped through the raw sewage and into the fresh water in Shawshank Redemption.
Yup, that's high school.
The Whitney Season 1 DVD is available now folks and people who were mean to me in high school.
— Whitney Cummings (@WhitneyCummings) October 9, 2012
Yes, Whitney, exactly this.
I think a show on NBC prime time is just about thee very best way to tell your bullies that you are absolutely awesome. Everyone else can suck it!
And to all the victims and their families that have had to experience a tragic ending, my heart truly aches for you because it should never have to end like that.
I'm dreading watching my daughter go through this bullshit and she's only 2. I was suicidal at 10 from bullying and I'm afraid of what I might do if my daughter is subjected to the same thing. I'm still not able to really be calm or rational about it. And I agree with you - it would be equally terrible if she was the one doing the bullying. Ugh. Why is the world so fucked up?ReplyDelete
I think I should dedicate a page..or a chapter in my novel to my ex wife, a couple of other exes, and others who were evil to me in school.....ReplyDelete
It's terrifying, for sure! I use to be thankful that I only had boys, but now I'm seeing more and more that the gender divide for this mess is closing in. So sad.
Me too! Well, at least 1/2 of my book is dedicated to a few exes, for sure. *clears throat* But if it weren't for them shitting on my self esteem, I would never have wanted to write it, so for that, I thank them.
Good advice! Personally, I don't think there's much hope in changing the bullies - unless you get lucky with a breakthrough of empathy. I also think there is a gap between being mean and being a bully. We've all been mean at one time or another - or been perceived that way even when we didn't intend to be cruel. (Apparently, my "blank, exhausted face" is a sneer. Who knew?) And it makes me uncomfortable when kids start naming every bad mood as bullying. My five year old came home and called his little sister a bully because she wouldn't give back his book. It kind of waters down the true bullying cases.ReplyDelete
That said, I think there's more power in helping kids who need encouragement to feel like they have control over the situation in an outward way. That's what I like about your advice. Not a fan of the punching in the face, myself, but I can see how it could be effective. Still, having worked in schools as well, we both know that the puncher would be punished for the physically aggressive act as well - and rightfully so.
Anyway, I'm getting into nuances when all I really wanted to say was: Great List! And Hmmm. Whitney.
Good call on the punching.ReplyDelete
Like you I am sickened by the ease with which so many of today's children turn on each other. Isn't life hard enough without us taking out our own?? Who the hell amoung us doesn't have something different, some little twitch we hope no one finds out about. What makes me even more sickened is the fact that they learn it somewhere, children do not just wake up bullies. That is a learned behavior.ReplyDelete
I believe (although there's may other reasons, like parents and the media) that most of it is learned from each other! Let's put hundreds of hormonal crazies in the same closed space for 4 years and see what happens. INSANITY, THAT'S WHAT HAPPENS.
Thank you for your brilliance and the perfect way you write.ReplyDelete
Also? My favourite memory is when I physically got back at a male bully.
It's totally satisfying, right? It shouldn't be, but by fuck, it really is! LOL