Friday, May 7, 2010

Do You Stand Up for Yourself or Ignore the Attacks?

Everyone knows what a bully is. We've all see one in action. Maybe it was our friend that was the target...maybe it was us. Anyone who has ever experienced being bullied as a child knows one thing: a bully won't just stop. They never stop on their own. Bullies don't get bored beating down their victim, they get off on the victimization of others. The beating need not be physical either. Many bullies prefer psychological torture. If any of you had or have children that were bullied in school, you know what I mean. Reporting the bully to the school doesn't really work, not with a true bully. A true bully gets off on the fact that you the parent as well as your child feel powerless to them. They will taunt you. Sure they will be very cooperative with the authority figure...but after that they will taunt you, they will mock you and they will encourage you to call the authorities again.


Because they know exactly how far they can go and stay out of trouble. Hell, they will even rally people to their cause. Soon, they are the victim and people look at you like you are a cruel and heartless beast. How dare you try and destroy this poor soul? Get this poor down on his luck guy or gal in trouble. Suddenly, in the grand audience of the bully, YOU are the rotten person trying to victimize the bully and your bully is sitting there getting the hugs and the pity and you are trying to figure out what the hell to do.

So, what do you do? Do you stand up for yourself and fight back? You've done all the right things, you ignored him, you went to the authorities, you tried everything you could to get the bully to just leave you alone. You've listened to well meaning advice about taking the high road.  None of that worked. You are still getting relentlessly attacked and the bully is being encouraged to do it by people that believe YOU are the bad person. The victim is seen as the victimizer and the bully is believed to be the victim...because you chose to take the high road and ignore the attacks.

Now what do you do? Do you let the bully continue because no authority can stop him? Or do you stand up for yourself and say enough is enough?


  1. Hey, you promised this blog was gonna be "happiness and light."

    We're expecting more stuff about horny animals.
    More unicorns please.

    ... Oh, I guess this search for an answer to dealing with assholes is kinda like a unicorn quest. Carry on.

  2. Me? I usually pushed back.
    I got my ass kicked an awful lot, but I slept better at night.
    I don't like being afraid.

  3. 15 - 20 years ago, I would say continue to ignore the attacks. However, in this day and age of the internet,Google & Facebook, he who speaks last comes up first in an internet search.

    I know a guy who has not led a charmed life. He's scorned and cheated on A LOT of women. He had settled into a relationship with a close friend.

    I can see he is a changed man. He put his cheating past behind him. Unfortunately for him he has a cyber-bully that really really hates him. I just searched his name on Google and the top 3 returns were all about his cheating and other exploits. The three sites were last updated in 2005!

    So if you have a bully that is waging a battle in cyberspace, its better to speak up than ignore it.

  4. Mark...did I ever tell you about the beautiful wild horses I saw in Poland back in 94? Those babies were snow white and had the biggest black shlongs I've ever seen close up...except for the elephant I saw bang another elephant in the zoo for my zoology report back in college.

    I don't know about unicorns but wild horses couldn't drag me away from the er...wild horse.

    Veeshir: Yeah...the high road is often the more painful road to take. And you feel like a coward for not stepping up.

    Jerry: Yeah...that is the biggest concern, isn't it. By staying silent, trying to stay above the fray and not dignify lies with a are proclaimed guilty by the internet and that is just another psychological beating to endure.

  5. Blah blah blah test

    Arnold can comment now...

  6. Hhhhmmm. I'm teaching the kids to do what I do - don't sweat the bullies but don't back down from them either.

    A bully is a big wimp that can't being answered. Generally they aren't that smart, aren't well read, aren't well adjusted or particularly nice people.

    I'm also of the opinion if they're bothering me at least they're leaving some other poor person alone. I choose to ignore them unless they call my husband's cell phone down range to accuse me of cheating, then all hell breaks loose. You can screw with me, don't mess with my kids or my husband.

    As for doing it in cyberspace, I think it must be answered. Too many times you can crap on someone with Google results and never get the truth if the bullied doesn't answer.

    I won't fault those that don't stand up for themselves, but I don't understand the mentality that won't stand up for themselves either.

  7. I vote for high Road. It is tough, but worth it in the long run.Most bullys, if given enough rope, will eventully hang themselves. Unfortunately, it taks an emense ammount of patience. This,I find is not easy to come by while being bullied.I know some people will roll their eyes when I say this but, I pray the rosary and ask for patience. It at least puts me in a peaceful place to face another day! Goodluck with whatever you decide!


  8. I say take the high road. I understand the damage that a cyberbully can cause, but really, how is trashing another person going to clear up your name on the internet? Now your name will be associated with their *lies* AND your counterattack and it all looks like DRAMA from the perspective of an future employer or whoever may be doing a Google search of your name anyway.

  9. A grand element of the American tradition is that a bully's victim will get up, lock the door of the tavern so that nobody can get out, then proceed to whip the bejesus out of his tormenter.

    I'm with that sort of turnaround all the way. Partly because it's the right response, and partly because I did some just like that 62 years ago, near the end of my first year in a Chicago high school.

    I was an unlarge kid in those years, and signed into a woodworking shop class dominated not by the teacher, but by a trio of would-be tough guys and dominated by the tallest and meanest of them.

    One day, I was walking down the aisle between woodworking machines, with I tie rack in processing in one hand, and a claw hammer in the other. Mr Tallest and Meanest got up to block the aisle at my approach, while his two smaller apes grinned blocked the sides. I tried maneuvering left, but they blocked me. Then right. Then left again.

    Finally, I found myself laying on the floor. Someone told me I had swung the hammer and hit Mr Tallest and Meanest on the side of his face, upon which he knocked me out.

    Lucky for me, all I had done was open up the side of his face. One inch more to the left and it would have popped his jaw bone like a soda cracker. The upshot was that my mom had to come to the high school to make peace for me with the school principal, and I think she had to pay for Mr Tallest and Meanest's stiches. And his gang threatened to get me for fighting back.

    But two things happened with me in that school afterward.

    First, in the hallways, everybody started keeping a standard distance of some 36 inches away from me. Which, I figured out, what the length of a typical teen-age arm with a claw hammer extending out from it.

    Second, I didn't feel any particular remorse for having blown my cool and opening his face. Just the other way around. I felt damned good.

    That was the kind of street education that I got, long before I earned a Bachelor of Science degree in journalism and communications and still later, a Master's degree in urban and regional planning.

    And afterward, all these years, I thought of that afternoon in the high school classroom as the day of the hammer.

    A true story.

    Arnold Harris
    Mount Horeb WI

  10. Tam317:

    I've been taking the high road, the high road has been a painful road to follow. I'm actually not talking about trashing the bully in response to being trashed. Standing up for yourself doesn't necessarily mean stooping down to the level of a bully.

    Let me use our legal system as an example. People are presumed innocent until proven guilty...or so that's how it is supposed to be. It isn't really that way though, is it?

    We'd all like to say of course it is! That's the American way but then we look at some high profile cases...did anyone but the jury that acquitted him presume OJ innocent? Very few. I've watched trials, people tend to believe the guilt of someone especially if they stay silent and don't answer their accuser.

    So, by taking the high road and remaining silent I am, in fact, aiding my bully's cause. Am I not?

  11. I would say FIGHT BACK, but in truth my fighting back looks alot like cowering.

    I have a bully at my work place, and he pretty much rules the roost. Of course, he can't beat kids up and steal their lunch money because he is a teacher, but he is just as bad as the schoolyard bully from when we were kids. When he is with his "posse" he talks about the other people on our staff. The overweight women are critisized for their obvious lack of self -control, the male teachers that aren't rude and ignorant must be pansies and the beautiful, tall and talented woman is ridiculous because she visits the tanning salon too often. Now, I guess I could ignore it if this moron kept his comments behind closed doors, but that would not give him the power he thrives on. The inside jokes and innuendos are so apparent, everyone feels uncomfortable. The other people on staff know they are being discussed, judged and disparaged by this bully and his henchmen, but what can they do? Seriously, this 35 year old teacher with a Master's Degree actually "tea-bagged" another male teacher who had passed out due to too much alcohol at an end of the year pary. Then the bully proceeded to make inside jokes referring to the incident schoolwide on staff e-mail. Can you say BULLY? I could go on and on, but I think you get the picture. So what can I do? Nothing...he is too powerful. I made the mistake of calling him out once and I have earned social piriah status with the cronies and all that cower to him.

    So what do I do? Ignore him and bitch about him as often as I can. Oh yea, I also thank God quite often, because his wife works with us too and I am SOOOOOOOOO flippin' happy that I am not her!

  12. Test test test...

    The Queen

  13. Revenge is a dish best served cold.

    Also, doesn't that old Chris Farley bit about living in a van down by the river apply in this case? Not that I am in the least bit certain who exactly you are talking about.

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  18. I remember being bullied in school, being Aspers made it even worse. Fight back, fight hard, and make sure it hurts. And should the EX gets particularly troublesome, remind people of his AIDS denial and how that has hurt millions around the world.

    A virtual hug for you and the rest of the gang.