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Bullies Beware

Bullies. We all know one.

Bullying is the abuse and mistreatment of someone vulnerable by someone stronger or more powerful. The behavior is often repeated and habitual.
When we’re young, we typically first learn of bullies at school or in the neighborhood. It starts with ongoing name calling, threats, negative comments about someone’s attributes. Possibly escalates to physical intimidation, exclusionary tactics, and possibly haranguing someone by spreading mean words, lies and false rumors about them. By the time we’re out of school we’re thrilled at the thought of never having to face those bullies again.

But we’re wrong. We definitely see them again.

But why? Because bullies on the schoolyard become bullies in the workplace and at home. They become our coworkers, our managers, and other forces in our lives in positions of power.

The reality is: BULLIES STAY BULLIES. As they get older, they often just become older, more privileged, arrogant, and emboldened.

We see it in our culture every day. The wealthier over the poorer, the CEOs over workers, those with privileges and pedigree over those without, one race over another and one gender over another.

Sometimes bullying involves physical violence. More often it entails intimidation, displays of dominance, demands for submission, or arbitrary decisions over the lives of those who feel they have no choice but to accept them. Bullying can have a very profound and long lasting impact on a person’s quality of life and emotional and social development. Self-esteem issues and social anxiety are some of the most common effects of bullying. Someone who is bullied often may develop social awkwardness and feel inept at managing social situations. Victims of bullying are also more likely to develop anxiety disorders.

Sound familiar?
It’s time to fight back.

Bullies Beware,
Cortney Shegerian and Heather Conniff

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