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Old 10-30-2011, 08:30 PM   #21
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No, I do think we should try to make things better. I think I am just cynical because growing up I was always the one who was bullied, and no teacher, principal or any adult did anything about it, no matter how often I complained.

I think what needs to be done is teach not only empathy to children and teenagers, but also confidence to those who are bullied. The reason why I was picked on was because I suffered from social anxiety and severely lacked confidence. Anyone could walk all over me and it was difficult for me to stand up for myself. And the worst thing was, I was blamed for my problems and the bullying.

So I believe those who are bullied need to be taught confidence and how to assert themselves. And also, teach confidence to those who are doing the bullying because they do it out of severe insecurity themselves. Teach them to believe they are worth it, not to horribly jealous, etc.
Fair enough.

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Nice video, Reposty Magoo
Oops. I didn't notice that VP also posted the video. Sorry.

And, really, is name calling necessary?
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Old 10-30-2011, 10:56 PM   #22
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Kids need to be taught that it's OK to defend themselves. You can teach sensitivity and all kinds of other things, but it's still human nature to pick on the ones who seem weak or timid. So teach the weak and timid ones to not be afraid to fight back. Take it from me, nothing is more shocking to an arrogant jerk or a bitchy cheerleader than when the "quiet one" is suddenly in their face telling them off.




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Old 10-30-2011, 11:09 PM   #23
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I'm bothered by the looseness with which the term 'bullying' is often used, amidst all the public attention it's been getting lately. Sometimes people seem to be using it as a catchall for 'any deliberate behavior that hurts others.' I think that's way too broad, not because I doubt that intentionally hurting others always warrants a response, but because the social and psychological dynamics involved can be so varied and therefore the responses must be also. An exceptionally aggressive and sadistic child who as a matter of course goes around selecting and stalking targets seems to me like quite a different situation from kids emboldened by the power of the group sporadically unleashing aggressions they wouldn't have on their own, for example.

As far as unhelpful parents and teachers go, I always had the impression the most common obstacle to their effectively addressing bullying is simply that they often don't grasp what's going on; there's only so much of the social dynamics between kids they can observe. Even other kids are often unaware a classmate is being tormented until they happen to witness some specific incident, and when they do, very often they say nothing to anyone, for various reasons (afraid of becoming a target themselves, figuring involving an adult might make the bullied kid feel even more humiliated, sticking up for their friends etc.). And of course kids who are perpetrating bullying, harassment, or other aggressive behaviors don't go around telling adults about it, and will often lie when asked directly.
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Old 10-30-2011, 11:12 PM   #24
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Also, I suspect you won't see many schoolteachers giving a thumbs-up to the "fight back" philosophy, due of the number of fights and injuries they've seen caused by kids who took from that an entitlement to avenge themselves. I realize some of you were probably more talking about verbally standing up for yourself (or a peer who's being picked on, for that matter) in response to verbal taunts, but there can be a pretty big difference, both psychologically and consequentially, between that and "fighting back."
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Old 10-30-2011, 11:51 PM   #25
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Are these really examples of bullying?
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Old 10-31-2011, 12:15 AM   #26
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On the top story I know for sure because that's been all over the news. The kid was bullied for being fat by MANY students and the little kid just joined in and got what he deserved. Some people learn the golden rule the hard way. He complained later that he did it because he was bullied too which got no sympathy from the general public. The bottom one just looks like it. It helps that the bottom video has a guy who is actually patient and only hit when he had to. I know I wouldn't have that much patience. I would have gotten a baseball bat.
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Old 10-31-2011, 03:34 AM   #27
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As a victim of bullying during my school years, I appreciate and am glad that this thread was started to draw more attention to the issue, so I'd like to thank the OP for that.

In my experience, one of the main reasons teachers didn't help with the issue was simply because they didn't take bullying seriously, probably because it involved kids and probably because most of it was non-physical. I can clearly remember complaining to the teacher once for being made fun of, back in 2nd or 3rd grade, and she told me that "Just tell them that 'sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me'". I just walked away because I didn't know what else to say, or didn't know how to express myself any further.

The other main reason, in my experience, was that some kids, certainly me, had no idea what it meant to defend oneself, or how to get help, or how to complain and get your voice heard. For me, telling my parents was really hard also, because it would be embarrassing. Also, as a kid never really having experienced what it's like to have a normal social life, often times I would internalize and try to brush it off thinking that this is a fact of life. If I was really saddened or depressed by something, I would just wait it out until I feel better. Not knowing any better, and not being mature enough to talk about my feelings were certainly problems (like in the example I gave above).

It might be different for everyone, but I thought I'd share how it was from my perspective, and hopefully it helps with the discussion. Thanks again to everyone for drawing attention to the issue.
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Old 10-31-2011, 03:41 AM   #28
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And I speak - with great bravery - as someone who was bullied both at school and in the workplace, and is still healing from those scars.


Wow, when I made my post above, I didn't realize that you and I were in the same boat.
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Old 10-31-2011, 07:18 AM   #29
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The bottom one just looks like it. It helps that the bottom video has a guy who is actually patient and only hit when he had to. I know I wouldn't have that much patience. I would have gotten a baseball bat.
You can't tell if it's bullying from this video. And his patience just shows to me that he's had some formal training and he's disciplined.
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Old 10-31-2011, 10:25 AM   #30
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Derren Brown has just done a really interesting show on this, bullying and mob mentality - here's a link, the "bullying" thing starts at 7.40 min, but the first part is fascinating too!

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Old 10-31-2011, 10:40 AM   #31
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Wow, when I made my post above, I didn't realize that you and I were in the same boat.


I'm sure it was tough and the bullying took its toll over the years. I hope you're in a more peaceful point in your life.
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Old 10-31-2011, 11:29 AM   #32
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have to say, in my own experience of being bullied, i used to try putting a brave face on and laughing about it or ignoring it, trying to show that it wasn't getting to me or trying to pretend that i hadn't actually noticed lol... nowadays, if it happens, i again try avoidance/pretend not to notice, and then get upset afterwards and think of all the clever things i should have said in response...

i did retaliate once when i was young, at school, and kicked the boy really hard in the shin, i was so mad! he never hassled me again after that, and i got quite a bit of "respect" - really hurt my foot though lol...

i really really hate bullies... i have a tendency to wade in and stand up for others more than i stand up for myself though...

also, as a parent, i'm very conscious of bullying among the kids at school here, and it's something i will not tolerate, and hope i have educated my kids well enough not bully or tolerate bullies...
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Old 10-31-2011, 12:18 PM   #33
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You can't tell if it's bullying from this video. And his patience just shows to me that he's had some formal training and he's disciplined.
From the youtube video description:

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A DAD seen flattening a yob in a clip sweeping the internet was yesterday unmasked as an ex-soldier - with TWO black belts.
The Sun tracked down Gulf War veteran Jason Smith, 35, who said: "He deserved it."
Burly Jason - a 15st master in karate and jiu-jitsu - was filmed felling the foul-mouthed idiot outside his home as a crowd gathered.

The clip has been viewed 200,000 times on The Sun's website.

Jason, who has been a bodyguard to stars, had no idea why local "hard nut" Les Andrews stood on his step ranting and raving in St Helens, Merseyside, while his mate Alan Hodson looked on.

He decked him with a single blow. Wife Rebecca, 23, who had cowered with 22-month daughter Boudiccia, said: "I was proud."

Andrews, 23, was arrested and hit with a curfew for yobbery.

Jason said of becoming a web sensation: "People sick of yob culture enjoy seeing someone turn the tables."

Thug Martial Arts Humiliated The Sun Jab Fight Yob UK Karate Jason Smith Jiu-Jitsu Gulf War Veteran A thug is seen hurling abuse at a man on his doorstep and trying to goad him into a fight - unaware his "victim" is a martial artist.
Jason Smith is a Gulf War Veteran with two Black Belts..
He is a Master in Karate and Jiu-Jitsu.
Les Andrews, what a scally.
It was 'yobbery'. I had no idea this was a "culture".
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Old 10-31-2011, 12:41 PM   #34
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Originally Posted by purpleoscar

From the youtube video description:

It was 'yobbery'. I had no idea this was a "culture".
Right, but like yolland said the term "bullying" is being over used and I don't see anything in this video or description that makes for certain that it was bullying. To me it just looks like a gratuitous example of "he deserved it" violence.
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Old 10-31-2011, 02:05 PM   #35
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and think of all the clever things i should have said in response...
Hahaha, this was my typical response too
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Old 10-31-2011, 03:08 PM   #36
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i did retaliate once when i was young, at school, and kicked the boy really hard in the shin, i was so mad! he never hassled me again after that, and i got quite a bit of "respect" - really hurt my foot though lol...
I did that when I was a little kid too once!

Except I had these hard leather orthopedic shoes (yeah, they were as horrifying to wear as they sound... ), so when I kicked the kid (it was a girl in my case) it really hurt her, but didn't hurt me a bit.

I will say I was shocked when I did it...I was sitting at my desk with my arms crossed in front of me and my head down (just trying to ignore it) and this girl was standing in front of me calling me names and teasing me, much to the delight of the little group of girls standing about 10 feet away egging her on. All of a sudden my foot just shot out and connected with her shin hard -- it sounded a bit like whan a bat really connects with a baseball. It was as if my foot had a mind of it's own...I didn't think "I'm gonna kick the bitch" it was as if my mind wasn't connected with my body for a second there. It was rather disconcerting, but also pretty damned satisfying.

Stopped that incident of harassment, but didn't change much overall.
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Old 11-01-2011, 02:31 PM   #37
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It was rather disconcerting, but also pretty damned satisfying.
Sometime it does the soul good

I wasn't bullied in school. I was one of the bullies. I would target people. I didn't do it all the time and I am fairly sure I wouldn't have gone to some of the extent I've seen. But I hurt people. There was certainly a power play, a predatory bloodlust in play there. It took some retraining for me.
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Old 11-02-2011, 08:15 PM   #38
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The Atlantic, Nov. 2
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Bullying research, it seems, has focused more on understanding aggressors, not the aggrieved. Given how pervasive and brutal bullying is, however, it's hard to justify a prevention-heavy approach to research that neglects treatment. A new study in the journal Child Development aims to correct this imbalance. Instead of asking why bullies bully, scientists led by University of Illinois psychology professor Karen D. Rudolph are beefing up the coping side of bullying research by looking into why victims retaliate, ignore, or repair relationships after an attack. Through a series of surveys to 373 second-graders and their teachers, they investigated how each child approached and valued his or her peer relationships, how many of the children had been bullied, and how they responded to such attacks.

...Though it wasn't astounding to find out that half of the children reported being the object of taunts, gossip, or intimidation, how they reacted to their harassers was. The key to anticipating victims' responses, it turns out, is to figure out their motivations for interacting with their peers in the first place. That is, kids who wanted to be popular and feel superior tended to retaliate impulsively. Those who wanted to appear cool by avoiding criticisms were more likely to pretend like nothing happened. And those who were genuinely interested in fostering friendships tended to react in healthful, positive ways. They asked their teacher for advice, sought emotional support, and found means to solve the tension with those who harassed them. Promoting an egoless approach to building relationships that encourages children to react in such mindful ways is key to protecting kids from the psychological blowback of bullying. Rudolph's study shows that kids who are able to respond with care have better mental health than those who respond to stress thoughtlessly. As University of Maine psychologist Cynthia Erdley puts it, "Children who adopt pro-social development goals seem to be well-prepared to deal adaptively with the challenges they are likely to experience."

The tendency of the effects of bullying to worsen when left untreated underscores the need for early intervention as well. Rudolph and her team, who followed the children through the third grade, noticed that, the more frequently children were bullied, the more likely they were "to freeze up or to keep going over it in their mind, but not actually do something about it." A previous study on mistreated kids in middle school also found that responding to bullies violently, impulsively, or in over-the-top ways can make the abused less accepted and a more attractive target to aggressors.

Another way to improve victim behavior may be to inculcate the value of working on relationships, according to an earlier study by Rudolph. Children who believed friendships are fixed, succeeding or failing without their involvement, tended to be more enamored with popularity and may be more vengeful as a result. On the contrary, those who viewed their friendships as works in progress tended to appreciate their peers more and interact more responsibly. "If children believe that effort is worthwhile, they'll feel less threatened or helpless when they hit bumps in their relationships," she says, "and they'll be more likely to try to resolve relationship problems."

Further research is needed to see if these victim-oriented strategies apply beyond middle childhood, as the politics of bullying becomes infinitely more complicated as kids get older. Seeking help from teachers, which is considered a viable recourse for kids in elementary, may incite ridicule and more attacks from high school bullies, for example. Tweens and teens, especially girls, also become much savvier bullies with time. Targets of so-called "mean girls" may have to learn to detect and counter a less overt form of bullying, called relational aggression, that involves spreading rumors or excluding peers. Victims may also feel weighed down by reputations that are harder to shake off, especially online. And, naturally, adolescents may be especially inclined to improve their image to impress others as hormones kick in. Still, teaching kids how to deal with bullies while they are young gives them their best chance of managing future conflicts. "If we can identify early patterns of interactions that emerge during this time, whether adaptive or maladaptive," says Rudolph, "then we can figure out ways to optimize children's social and mental health before they progress toward potentially more serious problems during the adolescent years."
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Old 11-02-2011, 09:16 PM   #39
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Sometime it does the soul good

I wasn't bullied in school. I was one of the bullies. I would target people. I didn't do it all the time and I am fairly sure I wouldn't have gone to some of the extent I've seen. But I hurt people. There was certainly a power play, a predatory bloodlust in play there. It took some retraining for me.
Honest post. I think the majority of us are entirely capable of such behaviour, and worse, TBH. You have your sociopaths/psychopaths, but the majority of bullies are probably not of that type, and behaviour modification/re-training can work for the majority.

I've had personal experience of, in my view, bullying from a senior manager. The mere brandishing of a copy of the organisation's anti-bullying code - with a colleague present as witness - was sufficient to achieve behaviour modification.

On the other hand, I've seen people get away with totally sub-standard work performance, either because their bosses were afraid to rock the boat and take on the union, or because their bosses were just poor, ineffective and/or insufficiently assertive managers.

I guess my basic opinion on bullying, at least as it pertains to the work place, is that managers should be allowed to get on with managing, but there should be tough anti-bullying procedures in place also.
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Old 11-02-2011, 11:57 PM   #40
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I agree. I was bullied a few years ago at work. One reason why it happened is because I work in media, which is by nature cut throat. But another reason why it occurred was because the boss who was in charge of us entry-level people, didn't have the backbone to stop it.
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