So, as I was looking on facebook, I noticed an anti-bully campaign for this young boy. It broke my heart, as does any child that gets hurt, abused, or bullied. I’m so glad there are so many people taking action against bullies and this is something that should be done. However, do you ever hear anything about “adult bullies”? Or hear of anyone taking a stand against them? No, you really don’t.
I have an opinion on adult bullies. I think we, as adults, have failed each other miserably. I include myself in this because I know I have done this same thing and am not proud of it and can guarantee I will not do it again. How many times have you had one friend that you know has spoken about another person negatively to others, things that could or could not be true, things that are mean or rude? Things that could or could not be gossip? Now let me ask, what did you do? Did you say anything? Or did you gradually change the subject? or did you join in? Now let me ask one more thing. If you were to have a get together at your house and you knew you were only inviting one of them because one of them speaks so negatively about that other person … whom would you invite? Most people invite the one that would cause the bigger scene if they weren’t invited … which is the majority of the time the person who is speaking negatively to begin with aka the bully. Now I am not referring to if someone intentionally did harm to someone to make them speak negatively (i.e. sleeping with their husband … which I still believe in praying about the situation and letting God handle it, however their anger I believe is justified) … I am referring to someone who is just flat out being rude about another person that hasn’t done anything, or maybe they have done something minor and has apologized, but doesn’t deserve this sort of treatment. Often times, we will still invite the one that continues to carry out the rude and negative behavior because we don’t want to hurt their feelings, or make them mad, or because we know they will make a scene to others, or (and here’s a biggie) we don’t want to become that bully’s target and “suffer their wrath”. Usually the person being bullied won’t say anything, and will be polite and just move forward even though they are being left out and shouldn’t be. This isn’t right and we are letting each other down and what are we teaching our children by behaving this way? We are also enabling the bully’s behavior. We are teaching the “bully”, our friend, that its okay to treat my other friend/acquaintance/whatever that way because I’m not going to say anything, as long as you aren’t doing it to me. What I personally have done in my home is invited both, and if the bully doesn’t like it they can leave or if they have purposefully tried to make the other person’s life miserable I have told the “bully” I won’t allow that behavior to happen and I am inviting the other person because they haven’t done anything and your behavior is wrong. See, sometimes its hard to be outspoken and its hard to stand up to others, for others … but it all goes back to “What Would Jesus Do?” I don’t think Jesus would allow others to be hurt and tormented and bullied and stand by and do nothing. I see good Christian people every day that allow this kind of behavior to continue … all because we don’t want to get involved, or we don’t want to make them mad at us, or we don’t want to hurt their feelings. We have got to learn as a human race to stand up for one another and not enable these people’s behavior anymore. We often look at a bully as a man who beats a woman, or a verbally abuses a person, or as a school yard bully; but there is so much more to being a bully. What about that person that speaks negatively about another? What about that person that does things to intentionally harm another person’s career, family, friendships for no other reason but jealousy? We teach our children to stand up for those being bullied, but are they witnessing us doing that as adults? We have got to join together and stop this behavior. There are several things we can do to stop this, a major one is — don’t listen to what people have to say about others. If you didn’t see it yourself, then it is hearsay and speculation … and if you did see it, it isn’t your business and not your right to repeat (I’m not talking about murder or something lol … of course that we have to repeat). Something else we can do is set the “bully” down and tell them, friend to friend, that their behavior isn’t appropriate. No they may not like what you have to say, but you have done what is right. We all know, that sometimes doing what is right isn’t the most popular thing and isn’t always going to be well received. My last point I would like to make is, if we set by and do nothing, then we are just as bad as the bully themselves.
These are just my thoughts on adult bullies. I have friends that have been victims of this, I have been a victim of this … and being bullied hurts.