I don’t talk too much about my “real life” as a teacher, but this seems like an appropriate time to do so. I have important information to share, so listen up. As a sixteen year veteran of the classroom, I know a thing or two about what it means to be a bully. These behaviors don’t necessarily go away once the child leaves the playpen, the sandbox, or the classroom. In fact, they may never go away if serious action isn’t taken. Perhaps these behaviors will someday effect hundreds, or thousands, or even millions of people. Isn’t that frightening? And perhaps hundreds, or thousands, or even millions of people will think that this is an acceptable way to act. Even more frightening.
Bullies come in all shapes, sizes, and ages. Someone doesn’t have to be physically big or powerful to be a bully, but sometimes they are. They can have good clothes, or bad. Good hair, or horrid. Some are wealthy, some are poor. A line that comes to mind is from a Billy Joel song: “You can’t dress trash until you spend a lot of money.” Maybe someone said it before Billy. This is not the point of this paragraph. The point is that bullies aren’t always bedraggled; sometimes, they’re rich garbage.
Bullies aren’t always male, but for this post, if I may, I will refer to our bully as “he” for convenience and lack of a better term. Here is more of what a teacher knows about the typical bully:
He pretends to care about his underlings and supporters, but only truly cares about number one.
He ruins things for others, regardless of the cost.
He can’t take “no,” “leave me alone,” or “go away,” for an answer.
He is used to winning everything in life, by hook or by crook, and thus is a sore, sore loser.
He fabricates things in an attempt to get his own way. These fabrications can incite others to run to his side in fear of retaliation, because they know that the bully doesn’t really care how faithful people have been to him. He only likes them until they stop agreeing with him. Once that happens, watch out below. He attempts to ruin lives. Beware, and hope you can somehow survive his wrath.
When pressed for proof, a bully (and those that stick close) often chooses to change the subject. Or he just keeps lying and making people believe him, because he knows the power he has over his underlings.
Rather than admit defeat, a bully will charge ahead and make himself and those cheering him on look like buffoons in place of accepting the truth, thus displaying his many weaknesses.
A bully, most of all, picks on those he perceives as weaker than he. He will resort to name calling, and because he is such a supreme narcissist, he doesn’t know to draw the line if someone has lost a loved one to a devastating fate, or even if a person is sick and dying. The bully doesn’t have limits, because he is uncouth and hasn’t earned anything for himself without lying and cheating others.
Lo and behold, if the perceived “weaker” individual rises up to be the stronger one, a long, dark winter lies ahead.
Be careful not to fall under the spell of the bully. He’ll stop at nothing to get his way.
Ignore him if you can. Nothing hurts him more than that. The bully thrives on negative attention or really, any attention.