Bully for you! Oh, and bully for you too also! Can’t forget you, now can we – here, have a bully! Bullies for everybody! The English language is insane! No matter how great our country was, is or becomes again, it has forever and will forever be filled to the brim with lunatics without straight diction (present company included).
Case in point: 5 centuries ago (500 years for the decade impaired) in the 15th century, the term “bully” had a completely contrary connotation compared to its current condition. When it was inducted into the English language “bully” was a term of endearment, meaning fine fellow or excellent person. In the 17th century it took a turn toward the negative, coming to mean a “noisy, blustering fellow” and evolving into “a person who is cruel to others,” which is more akin to its use today. Still the positive notion still lingers to this day in the idiom, “bully for you,” which means kudos or good for you! Not to be taken as someone volunteering to be your bully or offering you a free bully.
So historical origin of the word aside, what is a bully? Well… they’re a**holes, but according to Webster’s a bully is a person who habitually seeks to harm or intimidate those whom they perceive as vulnerable. For those who are victims of bullying that definition probably comes across as an oversimplification for their browbeating tormentors. Much like ice cream that has gone bad, gotten frost bite, long forgotten in the back of your freezer, because it tasted like crap in the first place, bullies come in a variety of rotten flavors.
Foremost there are the classic, physical bullies. They go out of their way to directly or indirectly cause physical harm. Directly they goad their prey to blows through persistent abuse. Indirectly they bump shoulders, dislodge items from hands or stick a leg out hoping for a fall. Always seeking a physical confrontation in which they feel they will be victorious. This to soothe and boost their own pathetic self-imagery.
Sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me… unless they are wielded by a skilled verbal bully. These jerks look for any and every fault they can find to use as uttered ammo. Poking fun, hurtling insults and making crude comments to those they think won’t talk back. They are usually attention seekers whose goal is to gain acceptance by drawing attention away from their own faults.
Sometimes verbal bullies can cut to the heart of the matter, in which case they transform into emotional bullies. What makes these so bad is that in most cases they are people you know very well, perhaps even a loved one or family member. They seek to inspire emotional trauma because no one wants to suffer mental stressors alone.
Of course in our modern selfie-centered society lest we neglect to mention cyber-bullying. These lowlifes don’t even have the courage to face their victims. Instead they harass, threaten, and embarrass anonymously via the internet thru social media outlets. Their idea of fun is ruining others’ lives through manipulation from the safety of their parents’ basements.
So what do we do about all this negativity? How do we stop this growing trend of violent and vicious activity? Well, back-in-the-day the solution was simple: you confronted the bully and if need be (and if physically possible) you beat the living s*** out of them. However any sense of honor that might have been found in an 80’s movie, where the bully always loses and accepts their defeat, is a thing of the past that never was. Violence begets violence, victims become bullies, fighting back leads to retaliation, nobody fights fair, more people get involved, innocent people get hurt, somebody brings a weapon and the final victor goes to jail for manslaughter.
To try and out-bully a bully through words or a keyboard often only adds fuel to the fire. Keep in mind they are the ones that started the fight, which means they probably came prepared. However, in some circumstances if you can appeal to the other person’s sense of humanity, let them know they are being a bully, they may see the error of their ways… it’s a long shot though.
So how do we deal with bullies? We tell our children to tell us, a teacher or trusted adult, but often this only aggravates a bully’s desire to bully, and as adults there’s really no one to tell because we are the adults. So what can we do???
Regrettably there is no end-all solution to bullying. Retaliation, reasoning, reporting, rejecting, running away – there is no surefire way to save ourselves. But that doesn’t mean we can’t save someone else. When you see someone being bullied, don’t stand up for them, stand up with them. You don’t have to be their friend, just let them know that you too are human and they are not alone. Let them know that not everyone in this world sucks. In return it may give them the courage to stand up beside someone else, and they beside yet another someone else, and so forth. Because if we all stand together perhaps there won’t be enough ground left for the bullies of this world to stand on.
Or just carry a chainsaw… works for me.
I welcome almost all questions and comments via FOCUS, or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org .
Hope to hear from ya, until then try and stay focused. See ya!