I would like to start this post with the definition of a bully per the Violence Prevention Works program. Bullying is:
- is aggressive behavior that involves unwanted, negative actions.
- involves a pattern of behavior repeated over time.
- involves an imbalance of power or strength.
Types of Bullying include:
- Verbal bullying including derogatory comments and bad names
- Bullying through social exclusion or isolation
- Physical bullying such as hitting, kicking, shoving, and spitting
- Bullying through lies and false rumors
- Having money or other things taken or damaged
- Being threatened or being forced to do things
- Racial bullying
- Sexual bullying
- Cyber bullying (via cell phone or Internet) Learn more about cyber bullying
Individuals bully for several reasons including
- Having strong needs for power and dominance
- Find satisfaction in causing injury and suffering to others
- Are often rewarded for their behavior with material or psychological rewards
I could discuss the specfic events and debates of the past weekend in regards to the President of the United States regarding his thoughts of kneeling at football games and rescinding White House invitations, but I feel we are overlooking the most important point. Citizens of our country are being called names for their beliefs and for exercising a freedom we have been given. This freedom allows us to speak out about injustices. This freedom allows us to march and post videos. We may not agree with one’s viewpoint but every individual has the right to have their view. Fortunately, we have the right to publicly disagree with someone. When you see bullying, what do you do?
- Are you someone who tries to ignore the situation for fear you would be the next target?
- Do you speak out without fear? Call the bully out on their behavior?
My fear is we are becoming numb to the definition of what bullying looks like. As a result when someone in an office/position of power displays bullying, it is often not thought of as bullying. There are individuals in your life who are victims of bullying. Perhaps even you are a victim of bullying in your workplace,your neighborhood or social group.
Many think they have no power to stop it. However, we do have the power to speak out.
Take a few moments to think about the interactions you see throughout a day.
Who will you stand or kneel with?