Meme Response 4: Bullying

Meme from the interwebs

Meme from the interwebs.

This. In a world where all the players are giving “participation” trophies, and kids are expelled from school for saying a single word that is labelled a “hate crime” or “terroristic threatening,” it’s more important to teach the young people of today that tolerance comes in many forms. Including standing up for those being oppressed or discriminated against, but also including accepting that some people are going to make mistakes. There’s also the need to teach kids to shrug that shit off. They are being made fun of for who they are, and that shouldn’t make them feel bad. They should just say, “okay” and move on with their day. People should stand up for themselves, not depend on “the system” to eradicate the bullies.

We are creating a system in which our children will grow up not being able to deal with stress, or overbearing coworkers. When a coworker is a dick, nobody fires him for being a dick. Usually, that’s the guy that gets promoted, because he gets shit done! That’s management material, folks. The guy that’s all “we should all get along” gets to stay right where he is, because his bosses know he won’t be a good manager, because he emotionally invests into his coworkers, rather than prioritizing the work that needs to be done.

When these kids get into college, and they have to compete with the entire class because they are graded on a curve, nobody is going to give them grade for “trying.” In fact, “trying” gets you failed. “Succeeding” gets you the grade.

According to Drexel University’s Self Esteem Guide people need to accept ALL of themselves, including their faults. They also need to stand up for themselves to understand themselves better.

Growing up, I was bullied for a lot of things. Most of the time it didn’t bother me. I was only ever bothered when someone was picking on my family. ‘Cause you stand up for those bastards, even if you hate their guts sometimes. When kids would call me names, I would simply leave the area. When I got “pantsed” I turned around, grabbed my dick, and told the guy that if he wanted my dick, all he had to do was ask. I got really good at reverse-bullying. If someone bullied me, and I couldn’t just ignore it, or walk away, I made them feel inferior for behaving the way they did. It ALWAYS worked. I was never bullied by the same kid twice after about the 6th grade. A BIG part of this was accepting that I can’t completely change who I am.

I also practiced being a dick on demand. This was a nice bubble for me. If someone makes me uncomfortable, I can easily make them more so. I have very little shame because of the bullying I experienced when I was younger. Most people are easy enough to figure out, so I go for their hot button, and they never pull that shit again.

The funny thing is this. No matter how many times I turn on my “jerk” charm, most people still think I’m sweet, and kind-hearted. BECAUSE I AM. I just refuse to take shit from anyone, except Jenny. Because she’s usually right, which makes it NOT-SHIT, but that’s different, anyway.

Teach your kids to stand up for themselves. Teach them how to defend themselves, not just with their fists, but with their wits. I mess with my kids just enough that I never make them feel bad, but I also challenge the way they see themselves, and encourage them to accept who they are. I also try to teach them how to recognize when someone else is saying something that doesn’t matter, or is just hot air.

This is great for the Girl, because she can take things personally a little too easily. The Boy, however, will tear your mocking to shreds because you used the wrong pejorative. I don’t doubt that they will both deal with bullying when they are older, but I know they will come through it stronger, because they weren’t rescued by someone else.

Finally, if you think your kids is a bully, get them help. Do your research, and reach out. Sometimes, the bully is the least secure person you know. They need to learn the right thing to do as well.

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11 thoughts on “Meme Response 4: Bullying

  1. zooey

    Your approach was very effective and I wish I had that growing up, too.

    My bullying was verbal in nature and mostly aimed at sucking the life out of my self esteem through evaluation of my size, smarts and clothes.

    My parents would say, ignore them, do your own thing with the implication that sticks and stones may break your bones but names will never hurt me mentality. Yet, it really did eff me up. I never learned to deal fully with the playground and classroom bullies and ‘do my own thing.’

    Not fighting back lead to eating my emptiness, frustration and sadness. Even today I cannot fully accept who I am based the habitual ‘in my mind’ self evaluation of other’s percpetions stemming from the incessant kid-taunts (and sometimes adult family member jabs) of the past. It did me little good to ignore the hurtful comments and bullying using this sort of avoidance. I try my best with my daughter to give her additional tools for coping and calling out bulling too. It just never seems to be enough these days. Hugs.

    Reply
    1. Rory Post author

      I understand. In many ways, I’m very relieved that our kids homeschool. By the time they have to deal with bullies, they will have much better understanding of what that means, and how to handle it. I just hope it’s enough.

      Reply
  2. Anne

    I think different things work for different children / adults. When our oldest went to school, she was bullied terribly. We tried everything to encourage her to stand up for herself, but she wouldn’t. We even had ‘practice sessions’ where we’d take turns pretending to do what the bullies at school were doing and helping her practice with a response and / or action. It didn’t work either.

    My husband and I were bullied in school. Each of us had different ways of dealing with it, but neither of us took that shit. Each of us not only stood up to the bullies when their attention was on us, we’d fight for the underdog too.

    So, when it came to our daughter, we were lost when she wouldn’t stand up for herself. No coaching, encouragement, or practice sessions seemed to help. She got to the point she was talking about killing herself and that’s when we stepped in, found her counseling, pulled her out of school, and are currently home-schooling.

    The bottom line is that it works for some kids, but there are those that this simply will not work for, no matter what is done to help encourage them to ‘deal’ with it.

    Reply
  3. tina

    It’s also good to teach your kids to stick up for those that can’t even if it get’s them into trouble. That is one thing that has stuck with me since i was about 7 or 8. There was a boy in my class that was mentally handicapped. One day on the play ground a group of 4 or 5 boys was picking on him and pushing him down and the teachers on duty saw what was going on but didn’t stop them. Since he couldn’t stand up for himself i did. I pushed one of the kids picking on him down and asked how he liked it. I ended up getting my recess taken away but they stopped picking on the kid.

    Reply
  4. BillytheCrayon

    The problem here, is that kids will grow up differently, and nobody is the same. Not all kids can be witty, or be able to give a physical response. And some bullies are worse than others. I was never witty growing up, and I had one moment where I tried to physically stop a bully. The only thing that happened, was now people were bullying me for lashing out, and trying to make me “snap”.

    The only thing that got me through junior high, were video games. If I was raised differently, maybe things would be different, but I doubt it. Like I said, I had no wits, and couldn’t think quickly on my feet to give a smart ass response.

    Also, I believe you are somewhat incorrect about the coworker being a dick. If a coworker is being a dick to you, depending on the work environment, you can usually file a harassment claim on him. Especially if he makes the mistake of being derogatory against women, or race. Labor laws are in place to protect people from harassment in the work place. Just try going up to a coworker, and flicking his ear every 30 seconds, and see how long you go without an assault charge.

    But as a child, you have no protection like that. You may even get it worse if you retaliate, or even suspended from school.

    Luckily for me, I had thoughts about Goldeneye, Mario, The Legend of Zelda, and San Francisco Rush on my mind more than the suicidal thoughts

    Reply
    1. Rory Post author

      Thanks for that, Billy. I know that my perceptions aren’t always perfect, but I’ve been in work places where I only climbed the management ladder by not being too friendly, and that often got me the label of “dick.” Just a thing in some places.

      I know someone who just quit a 30 year career job (with tenure) because her coworkers were jerks. The management knew they couldn’t get rid of the other people, because they were top-notch performers. So she left. And that’s working for an awesome college, in a “good” work environment. There’s just no good metric there.

      Reply
      1. BillytheCrayon

        Yeah, I hear ya man. In a lot of cases, I’m sure your methods would work. I just absolutely hate the idea that bullies are better treated and better protected than the bullied.

        I can somewhat agree with the notion that we can’t over legislate the issue, and make everyone suspect either, but there must be a middle ground some where, that doesn’t end up with the nice guys finish last attitude, where those that can’t hack it, might as well kill themselves, and we all just hope they don’t take others out with them.

      2. Rory Post author

        I agree. It’s just hard to find a middle ground that doesn’t involve some sort of extremist policy. Personal pet peeve.

  5. Calvin

    Listen guy…not all of us are strong, or good at comebacks. Some of us…we have no defense. Plus it’s hard to have a comeback when everyone is against you. You say people pantsed you, and that people “bullies you” Based on what you said, you weren’t bullied, people just occasionally teased you. You can’t have a comeback to real bullying. Bullying has changed from how it was when you were a kid. With the internet, and with decaying values, you can’t escape it. You can’t have a comeback over the internet. You can’t fight back over the internet. You have no fucking idea what it’s like. You can’t fucking know. So don’t pretend you know about bullying today.

    Reply

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