Break The Bully

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous' started by rhubarbodendron, Nov 21, 2012.

  1. Owain Taggart

    Owain Taggart Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I know what you mean, Nerys. Being bullied has made me more sensitive as well, and also I guess, more aware. For the longest time, I used to be a very shy unsociable person because of this, but have slowly worked my way out of my shell. And like you, I've tended to question even friendly approaches from people because I feared it would be another prank. I did have a prank happen that way too once, going so far as someone calling the house and making disparaging comments or asking something unacceptable, which only made me more uncomfortable. That adds to a long line of reasons for getting frustrated easily.
     
  2. rhubarbodendron

    rhubarbodendron Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    yet the both of you have registered at this board, made friends and even found the courage to talk openly about what has happened to you and how it still influences your life.
    I think that takes a lot of strength (which the bullies wouldn't have, I bet). It seems to me that in spite of everything, or maybe because of everything, you are much stronger than you believe. :bolian:



    To a certain extent I am in a similar situation. I was a member here, under a different name, 10 years ago. At that time there was a huge war between a group of trolls and the board management here. As I had friends on both boards and used to defend my buddies, I got between the fronts. It ended with me being bullied by an Admin here and many board members joining the "fun". Among them were quite a lot I had up to that point considered friends. It was rather a shock. When I tried to fight back against the bullying Admin, she perma-banned me, regardless of the fact that I had a perfectly clean record. (At that time the board was led in a rather undemocratic and unfair fashion; I guess nowadays it would be harder to perform such a stunt)
    Now that Admin has left the board, Bonzie has taken over (she defended me back then, risking to get banned herself), and some RL friends of me who post here asked me to return, so I reluctantly joined, keeping my old name secret.
    At first I felt extremely uncomfortable since quite a few of the bullies still post here, but after a few months now I am beginning to feel safer again and almost comfortable.
    I am, in fact, considering to reveal my old name at the risk of getting bullied again.
    For this time, I think, there would be quite a few people standing up against the bullies. :)
     
  3. Kestra

    Kestra Admiral Premium Member

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    I haven't been bullied, so I hope I'm not just coming across as extremely insensitive. But I think at a certain point it becomes something you just can't hold onto. I wasn't bullied in school but I have been treated badly by people and had trust betrayed and I absolutely get why it's difficult to trust again. Even without bullying I have so many self-esteem issues. But saying "These people did this to me," is also like giving them continued power in your life.

    I think that human interaction leaves us vulnerable, no matter who you are. There's always that risk in order to achieve that reward. At some point you've got to say okay, these ten people were really shitty to me but that's such a small segment of the population. Everyone is not that way. Or if everyone is that way in your life, examine why. Is it because you live in a small town where you stand out too much? Is it because of something you can't control and that really isn't your fault?

    I don't know what I'm trying to say exactly, just I think it's a little dangerous or unproductive to linger on this sort of pain too much. I think you'll also find trust can be difficult for anyone, bullied or not. We've all been burned by someone.
     
  4. RJDiogenes

    RJDiogenes Idealistic Cynic and Canon Champion Premium Member

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    Yeah, let's rule out the civilized approach. We should probably arm the kids. An armed society is a polite society.

    There were certainly bullies around when I was a kid, and bullies love skinny, four-eyed intellectuals. I dealt with them with a combination of sarcasm, yawning and obliviousness. Also, I had some friends, or at least allies, among the jocks and thugs. For one thing, my sarcasm frequently got me in trouble with teachers, which gave me street cred. For another, I was a compulsive helper, so I would do favors for people no matter who they were or what they had done. I remember one time some guy was harassing me at my locker and a long-haired knuckle-dragger came along and smacked him in the back of the head and told him to leave me alone. I had done the guy a favor one time, though I didn't, and still don't, remember what it was.

    But, while coping skills should definitely be taught to kids, because life is going to be throwing hardballs at them no matter what, bullying, and other aggressive, insensitive behavior, is a social problem that needs to be cured. Social norms have to change. Ultimately, the only cure for bullying is civilization.

    There you go. That's the answer. :D

    As for those of you who consider yourselves ugly, it is really possible to love and appreciate yourself whether you match current standards of beauty or not. I'm certainly no handsome devil (except for my mesmerizing blue eyes :mallory: ), but I think of myself as one of those really cool character actors from old movies or TV shows-- they weren't professional model material, but they were quirky and distinctive and likeable and admirable in their individuality. So you just have to learn to think of yourself as a classic character actor in the movie of life. ;)
     
  5. JayOwl

    JayOwl Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Exactly my (admittedly limited) experience. I used to have mild versions of this, just continuing for a long while, usually by individuals and their 'lackeys' who seemed to be ok on their own but completely changed when in a group. The main problem I found was it never got bad enough that I felt that I could take action, but it was bad enough to aggitate me and I still think I've got a lot of surpressed anger (not just from this, but it's certainly a factor).

    I did however, tear one apart publicly on facebook a few years back when he commented on one of my posts there and I just snapped. He was pretty damn stupid. It felt really good, mostly because I find it so much easier to communicate by text than by speech. My peer group actually backed me up. It stopped after that and I haven't had any more experiences of (successful) bullying since. It probably wasn't such as good way to handle it though, and I should've really been more assertive in real life but unfortunately although I've gotten much better, I still struggle with that.
     
  6. MacLeod

    MacLeod Admiral Admiral

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    As an adult we are better able to reason out how people treat us, as a child we tend to lack that way of think or be weaker in that respect. Bullying can last years, so you suffer years of torment for something which is not your fault. As such to a certain extent patterns of thought begin to get established.

    So you have this little (or not so little) voice at the back of your mind saying things like, what if they don't like, what if they won't accept me etc... and each time you overcome that voice and those fears are realised your confidence takes yet another knock making it harder next time.

    From a rational/logical point of view yes of course not everyone is like that, but sometimes the heart (emotion) rules and says why bother risk getting hurt yet again, whilst your head is saying you've got to take the risk, this time will be different.

    It's the emotional scars of bullying which last, and these can be the hardest to heal.
     
  7. Gul Re'jal

    Gul Re'jal Commodore Commodore

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    Let's try....

    ...

    ...

    ...

    Best zombie extra; doesn't even require make-up.



    How am I doing? ;)
     
  8. teacake

    teacake Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    I want to be Katherine Hepburn in The African Queen.

    I'm going to practice my shrillness and whacking. Of weeds and men.
     
  9. rhubarbodendron

    rhubarbodendron Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    actually, quite good. A sense of humour helps a lot with every aspect of life.


    I made the same experience. Some guy and his cronies cyber-bullied me, actually attempting to drive me into suicide. A few years later the leader of the pack had lost his followers and I discovered that he was actually very stupid. He tried again to attack me but in every single post he said something I could twist and turn against him. I pwned him in every single post of a 3 pages thread :devil:
    After that, he had completely lost face with his last supporters and I've never heard of him again.

    It's far easier to do that online, though, because here you have time to think of a strategy and a mean reply. In real life you have no time and must quip something intelligent in an instant. That's much harder since as a general rule one finds the best replies an hour later.
     
  10. JayOwl

    JayOwl Vice Admiral Admiral

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    ^That is true. Mind you, all I needed was about 10-20 seconds whereas in real life I only had 1 or 2. It's not just the thinking them up, it's finding the courage to actually say it too. It's almost cowardly but it gets the job done. ;)
     
  11. Gul Re'jal

    Gul Re'jal Commodore Commodore

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    That's certainly my attempt of dealing with some nasty things. If you can't fight it, laugh it in the face ;)

    It doesn't work for everything, but it kept me sane when it did/does work :)
     
  12. rhubarbodendron

    rhubarbodendron Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Same here. My great-grandmother used to say "there's scarcely a harm without something good" - basically your "every cloud has a silver lining". It's true surprisingly often. When you don't let the problem intimidate you, and keep cool enough to analyze the situation, you will often find an aspect you can take advantage of.
    And positive thinking helps at least in preventing ulcers and nervous breakdowns.
     
  13. Nerys Ghemor

    Nerys Ghemor Vice Admiral Admiral

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    And sometimes bullying is still perpetrated by adults. It's not a childhood-only phenomenon.

    I would also add that studies have shown that when children are subjected to bullying, it actually affects the brain in a somewhat similar way to PTSD. The brain tends to be in fight-or-flight mode. That doesn't mean that with awareness you can't deal with it and try to change some of your responses. But it does underscore the point that the damage is very, very real, NOT a figment of the imagination or of your worth as a person, as some people like to say it is. (It's NOT as simple as what you may remember from Back to the Future!)
     
  14. Deranged Nasat

    Deranged Nasat Vice Admiral Admiral

    Speaking personally, this is the most terrible thing about long-term bullying. Even when you manage to regain a rational perspective on your own worth you still have to struggle against deeper patterns that have embedded themselves into your brain, into your mind...those are still there, self-perpetuating. The thoughts, the feelings they provoke, even the physiological responses - they don't go away just because you learn to identify and evaluate them. It becomes an ogoing war against yourself, and that can cause further psychological problems, because as awful as being miserable is, being aware of your misery - and concscious of the problems with your thoughts and feelings but unable to stop experiencing them - is even worse.

    I think it's tragic, too, that it's sensitive people - particularly sensitive people who are also of high intelligence - who are likely targets for bullying, while they're also the ones who are most vulnerable to these long-term issues. After all, people who are highly intelligent and emotionally sensitive have minds that are very keyed in to their suroundings and environments, they easily find significance in patterns and their minds work so fast and so readily that it's easy to start a thought pattern off self-perpetuating to the degree that making it stop can feel impossible.
     
  15. Kestra

    Kestra Admiral Premium Member

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    I get what you guys are saying and some of it is more specific to bullying (PTSD). But I'm just saying that a lot of people deal with those sort of irrational thought processes and have to work to overcome them. I'm not saying forget the bullying, but I feel like there's a point in life where you stop focusing so much on what caused the problems and how horrible that was, and look more to how you can repair the damage and change those thought processes for the future.

    I dunno, maybe people don't really dwell on it as much as I'm thinking. I just feel like every time these threads come up, people have these stories that are conveyed in ways that imply there are still many things that haven't been dealt with.
     
  16. iguana_tonante

    iguana_tonante Admiral Admiral

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    Also, and I know I'm the guy who says the unpleasant things that nobody wants to say but have to be said anyway, there is a tendency to use previous instances of bullying as excuses for a person's issues. "I'm shy and nervous and I have no self-esteem, but it's just because I was bullied in middle school. So I'm not going to work on improving myself when I can just sit on my hands and commiserate myself." Of course, that's not always the case, every experience is different, people react in very different ways, and no one wants to trivialize people's traumas. But no one should emphasize them either, to the point they become integral to one's identity, and the lens through which they see their whole life.
     
  17. Deranged Nasat

    Deranged Nasat Vice Admiral Admiral

    That's a very good point, Iguana, and a problem I've had first-hand experience with. It's a sobering truth, but I agree it's one we definitely have to keep in mind. The tendency to latch onto maladaptive thoughts can pull one over on us in more ways than one - not only leading to damage in the first place but blocking our will to truly deal with that damage or move past it. You can become so used to turning your traumas over in your mind that, as you say, they become integral to your identity. And the wounds that have been inflicted on you won't be allowed to heal, because you come to need them, and jealously guard and defend them as something sacred, something precious. Holding onto the pain feels comforting - it's familiar, and more than that you feel it's something you have a right to, that in letting it go you're betraying yourself or excusing what was done to you. You invest it with a moral righteousness that can be quite addictive. It's a difficult trap indeed.
     
  18. Kestra

    Kestra Admiral Premium Member

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    You articulated it better than me with the lens thing. I think viewing all interactions through that lens is what I am trying to discourage. That doesn't take away from what happened, but everything doesn't need to be viewed through that lens either.
     
  19. RJDiogenes

    RJDiogenes Idealistic Cynic and Canon Champion Premium Member

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    Awesome. :D [​IMG]

    I definitely agree that a sense of humor is the best medicine. :mallory:

    Leeches! :scream:
     
  20. teacake

    teacake Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    I don't see how people are "dwelling" any more than any other topic on this board. I've certainly never posted about being bullied before so I'm not going to own any dwelling having posted a couple times in this thread :lol:

    Stuff is posted, people respond. I think it's been a helpful and interesting conversation. I think people minimize the effect bullying has and if this was a conversation about dealing with being cheated on, or sexually harassed or any number of things it would be more acceptable.

    The last bullying conversation I remember was when that kid in Queensland picked up his tormentor and trashed him and that was many months ago, if not a year.
     
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2012