UTAH TECH UNIVERSITY'S STUDENT NEWS SOURCE | June 18, 2024

Bullying problems not limited to one age demographic

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Bullying: It’s not just for kids anymore.

Bullying is such a hot topic, and it seems like every time I turn on the news, a young person has taken his or her own life as a result of being bullied.

Bullying is nothing more than an individual’s struggle to be in control, using the subjugation of others to cover up the intense fear and self-loathing that resides in the soul of the tyrant.

Relying on the bully to change his or her ways is like waiting for rain when the sun is out. It is possible, but highly unlikely.

Learning how to change my behavior is the more likely solution to dealing with the bully. Minimal communication, and the realization that the power he or she has is fear-based, can bring some peace of mind and compassion to the relationship. 

Mean Girl/Cyberbully:

As the mother of a 14-year-old girl, I see my fair share of drama.

When I was young, social media was the trail of comments left in the stall of the girls’ bathroom.

Today, information is instantaneous with Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. A person can get a verbal beating accompanied by a picture of someone giving her the finger or even kissing her boyfriend. All bets are off for these girls.

While watching the Super Bowl this season, my daughter was on Twitter chatting away; it was on fire with the halftime show.

Then she tells me that a friend she has known since the third grade was making negative comments about her post, eventually calling her a bleep-bleep loser. This went on for some time until my daughter just logged off.

I’m grateful that my communication with my daughter helped her see that perhaps this girl suffers the wrath of a bully somewhere in her life also. Maybe her home life is in such disarray that she needs to control at least one thing in her life.

But my daughter does not need to perpetuate the negativity in herself, or the situation, by taking part.

The boss who bullies:

This is the guy who gets his staff to work harder by choosing employees who he thinks need the job more than he needs them.

To get the job done, he will use such tactics as defaming the employee in front of co-workers, cutting back hours, and using the employees’ shortcomings as an example while training new hires.

The motive here to control is based more on the bottom line than it is about anything else. Usually when you scratch the surface of this person he or she is just as scared of losing employment as the guy they are picking on. 

Kiss With a Fist:

Some do this verbally and some use physical violence to achieve it.

The reason this bully is effective is because the victim encounters them more often and on a more intimate level, or they have something the victim needs, such as money, property or perhaps even a child.

The victim feels trapped and will usually comply when the perpetrator zeroes in on some vulnerability.

This bully can often be more aggresive. If this is the case, there are resources avaiable in our community.

Law enforcement provides a victims advocate for those who experience domestic violence.

Relationships should enhance our human experience and leave us feeling better about who we are, not tear down our esteem and leave us feeling bad.