10 June 2016

Unpopular Opinion

I just received a phone call from my local police force asking to support them in an anti-bullying campaign. Thing is....I don't think getting rid of bullying is the answer.

There will always be bullies in the world. They will exist. There are currently seven billion people on the planet, there is no possible way we can get rid of all the bullies. It's just not feasible. Instead I believe we need to teach people how to deal with the bully if confronted and/or how to build a good construct of self-esteem so that when a bully tries to inflict harm it won't stick. 

Still reading? Take this into consideration: bullies don't attack those who are not bothered by the bullying. The bully instead lashes out once or twice and moves on to a different target. Seriously. So building self-esteem is extremely important.

But what about the bully? Here is a person that feels they need to bring others down to elevate themselves. Obviously they have self-esteem issues as well. Maybe their home life is far less than ideal and they need to feel superior to others, so they follow the example as set by their caregivers. These people need counseling. Start providing counselors in the schools again so that the bully can get some help.

Now here's the kicker. You cannot change another person (you cannot make someone stop bullying - they will simply find another target), but you can change you. You can simply decide not to be around a bully. This is obviously easier as an adult then it is as a child, which is why there should be intervention.

But that intervention cannot be: change for me. It can be: people don't want to be around you because you are bullying them, you can choose to change your behaviour and be around others or you can continue and be separated. (This opens a whole can of worms, I know, about how exactly the bully will be separated in a school environment. That's another post for another day).

In the adult world you, as a human being, can choose your surroundings. You get to choose whether you are going to be around a bully and allow the treatment...or you can leave. Your boss is a bully? You can actually look for another job. Your spouse is a bully? You don't have to remain married to the person. Really, the choice is one hundred percent yours.

Now, for those of you that made it this far, cyberbullying is a whole other issue. When the Internet was new this was a bigger problem than it is now. Playing a game and your teammates are roasting you? Start a new character, get a new guild, play without them. You are on YouTube and people are flaming you and rude? Block them. Classmates tormenting you on Facebook? Block them. The more you don't let the bully get to you, the more the bully will find another target. Please remember, all social media is voluntary. You don't have to have an account on any platform. And, if you are being bullied to the point where you feel you should end your life, seek help immediately.

The world is not here to make you feel better. The world is not here to cater to your needs. The world owes you nothing. You are the one that decides who will be included in your world. I know, I know, as a child you have little to no choice in the matter. And it's really unfortunate that some children do not have good home environments. Again, a whole other post for a different day.

Bullies are awful. I've been bullied. I've been the bully. You know what? It's a cry for help of some kind. It's the feeling of inferiority that fuels bullying. So fix that. Find the bullies, help them feel useful and good. Teach others that they don't have to stand for it. If that's the heart of the campaign then I support it. If the heart of it is to eradicate bullying....then consider how difficult it would be to eradicate the religion you don't agree with. Bullying exists. It will continue to exist. But we can change the way we react to it.