Every person, at one time or another, has been the bully.
Think about it. If I were to ask, “Have you ever felt bullied?” I guarantee every single person I asked would say yes.
How is it possible for all of us to have felt the effects of a bully if there’s only a few in every town doing it? The short answer—it’s not possible. But we have to redefine what it means to be a bully. It’s not always about threats of physical violence.
Have you ever said negative things about someone behind their back? That’s a form of bullying. Sure, you’re not throwing punches, but your actions hurt the person you’re talking about.
How about when you intentionally exclude someone? We’ve all seen this one. The cool kids can only hang out with the cool kids. But nerds, jocks, musicians, every click that’s ever existed, do this as well. Does it hurt when this happens to you? You betcha. That’s bullying.
When the jokes you make are at the expense of others. Everyone’s laughing so it’s fine, right? Is the person you’re making fun of laughing? If not—welcome to bully town.
As a reformed bully myself, I’ve found the best way to avoid slipping back into that role is to make a conscience effort to consider the feelings of others. I’m far from perfect at this, but when my mind is all on me, me, me I can bulldoze a swath of pain right through those closest to me in record time.
The only way to really stop the bully epidemic is for everyone to stop pointing fingers and start looking honestly at their own actions. Do you have the courage to change?