When we think of bullies, we tend to think of the big kid that goes around shaking all the smaller kids down in elementary school for their lunch money. We may even think of the popular girls in middle or high school that make fun of one of the less popular girls for sport. The thing we must remember, however, is that not all bullies are left in our school days. Some decide that they have to either continue being bullies or start when they grow up.
They may have any number of reasons that they think justifies their actions. They may say, “Oh, I just have a hot (Irish, German, Italian, etc) temper,” or my favorite, “I refuse to be a victim.” They may even blame the person that they are bullying for their actions, telling them they were in the wrong place at the wrong time, or they exacerbated the situation by defending themselves against the bullying behavior. Whatever their reasons for their actions may be, the fact is, there is no excuse for bullying. The bullying may be in person, it may be online, and may be verbal or physical. No matter what the venue and what the means, bullying is something that should not be tolerated.
First, let’s deal with the temper issue. Everyone loses their temper once in a while. We are only human, after all. The difference between a bully losing their temper, and a normal person losing their temper, is that the bully often continues to try to justify losing their temper long after it has been proven that they are the ones in the wrong.
Second, is the bully that bullies because they themselves refuse to be victims. This person has the right idea in not wanting to be a victim, but goes about it the wrong way by creating victims out of everyone else instead of becoming one. In a way, they are the ultimate victim because they are so busy trying not to be that they don’t care about others feelings and thoughts.
Third is the bully that refuses to take responsibility for their own actions. They justify their actions by saying their victim was the one in the wrong. While their victim may not necessarily be perfect, they are likely not as bad as the bully seems to think. Excuses like “you were in the wrong place at the wrong time, ” or telling their victim not to defend themselves ring hollow, and blame the victim rather than the bully taking responsibility for their own actions.
No matter how you slice it, bullies are bullies, whether it’s a two year old hitting the other kids so he can have all the toys, or a full grown adult attacking someone online or flagging articles they don’t agree with in an attempt to sabotage a fledgling writing career, it’s still bullying and it’s wrong.