Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Bullying and Being Mean

Wikipedia defines Bullying as "an act of repeated aggressive behavior in order to intentionally hurt another person, physically or mentally. Bullying is characterized by an individual behaving in a certain way to gain power over another person.  Research indicates that adults who bully have personalities that are authoritarian, combined with a strong need to control or dominate.  Further studies have shown that envy and resentment may be motives for bullying. Research on the self-esteem of bullies has proven that while some bullies are arrogant and narcissistic, others can use bullying as a tool to conceal shame or anxiety or to boost self esteem: by demeaning others.  The abuser him/herself feels empowered."

We all know about the problems of bullying and kids.  It's an important enough topic that even the government has a website dedicated to helping us stop bullying now.  

We teach our kids the basic guidelines to defend against such actions:  
Ignore the bully and walk away.
Hold the anger
Don't get physical
Practice confidence
Take charge of your life
Talk about it
Find your (true) friends

This is all good, but I'm amazed at how many adults are caught up in the drama of bullying as well.  We need to follow our own advice when we are faced with uncomfortable situations.  The "mean" people of the world are not going to change, but if we can somehow keep from letting their comments and actions get to us, we can spoil their fun.

My advice, my friends, for what it is to always try to take the high road.  Don't listen to their mean-spirited words.  Be a nice person even if they are not.  It's one of the first lessons we teach our kids:  treat someone the way you want to be treated.  I know....I hear the groans.....this is not easy....but it is the best course of action.  Afterall, we are the adults here, aren't we? 

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