Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Bullies and Bullying - An Introduction

This post marks the start of a series on bullies and bullying. I'm hoping to cover bullying in primary/elementary school all the way through to the workplace. Along the way, I'll try to provide some handy hints for reducing the impact of bullying and I'll point out some of the ways in which we could be considered bullies ourselves.

Bullying can become quite a problem for people with Asperger's Syndrome. In fact, a child who suffers intense bullying at school can develop into an adult with major life issues. It is a serious problem which won't go away by itself.


What are Bullies?
At it's simplest, bullying is a "dislike of the unlike" carried out in the form of a regular "campaign" against minority groups and/or individuals.

It usually takes a powerful kind of "hate" to be a bully which means that there are usually (fortunately) far fewer bullies than "normal people". Unfortunately however bullies exert their own influence over weak-minded or easily intimidated "stooges".

It's important to recognize the ringleadeer bullies apart from the stooges because no matter how many stooges you remove, a bully can always find more (there's no shortage of "stupid" following people). Cut the head from a bully cell however and the entire cell usually dies.

Did I make this sound like a war against terrorism? Well, sadly it is. Make no mistake, bullies are the lowest form of life that our kids will meet at school.

You might think that all you have to do is "hold on" for a few more years or change schools. It doesn't work that way. Bullies act on perceived weaknesses. If you attracted bullies at one school, you're bound to attract them at another. Even worse, if you've been a target for bullies throughout your school life, you'll find that you're a target for them at work.

The change has to happen within you. You have to make yourself less attractive to bullies.

Next Time
In my next post, I'll look at bullying in primary/elementary schools.

14 comments:

The Rambling Taoist said...

I think the phrase "bullies are the lowest form of life..." is a bit too strong. Most childhood bullies are bullied themselves by parents, relatives or "friends" of the family. It's much the same dynamic with children who molest other children; the molester generally has been the victim of molestation.

Gavin Bollard said...

Admittedly, it's a strong turn of phrase (and one that I was hesitant to write) but I'd still consider bullies to be one of the most harmful things that children will find at school.

Their back-story doesn't excuse their actions, it only provides an explanation for them.

Passing misery on never helps anyone.

Anonymous said...

I agree that bullies are "the lowest form of life". They certainly made my middle-school years a living hell, and I have now passed the half-century mark and still bear the psychological scars.

Dale Yeager said...

FREE E Book "3 Myths About Bullying" Http://Profilingyourlife.com/

Marisa Dobrev said...

I couldn't agree more with that statement. Bullies can do irreparable harm to other children, especially those who have AS. They are predators and they attack at the smallest sign of weakness.

Dennis Sanders said...

I would concur with Taoist that the phrase it a bit too strong. A backstory doesn't excuse what they do, but we have to be able to understand why they do what they do.

M said...

yikes, i struggled terribly with bullies growing up, so i'm glad to see these posts. i always appreciate your constructive take on issues like this. looking forward to the other posts.

Jeff said...

I was one of those bullies for a while until I witnessed some special needs classmates being harassed. From that point on, I changed. I even volunteered with the Special Olympics to make up for my past actions.

Anonymous said...

Most of my bullies were children of the staff and they were able to get away with bullying me.

Anonymous said...

there are a few things that cause life long dysfunction and dramtically impair basic trust/relational issues as much as repeated bullying does and 94% of aspies have had repreated bullying as children. Child sexual abuse does a bit more damage , as does violent child abuse , but i cant think of any others. So yea bullying ranks right down at the bottom of the barrell of horrible things to do to another human,. Guess it is no suprise that bullying causes transgenerational damage/effects.. and that makes it all the more horrific moral outrage against humanity. lets not forget that when nations decide to bully another nation , its called war of intimidation or actual bombs. people who like to bully grow up into leaders of countries who like to bully other nations/peoples and start wars. jb

Anonymous said...

when i think of our usa leaders /politicians who have gotten the usa into wars,over the decades, i often wonder how much bullying they did as children to other children. jb

Anonymous said...

I was bullied in elementary school . I am aspie . Nobody in school leaders cares . My mom and dad bought me some barbells for xmas one year and I began lifting wts. After you get ALOT of mucscle on you bullies/every one leaves you alone ---my sister later told me most of the guys were afraid of me due to my size and my aspie stare.eyes, ..etc....then I always hung out with the kids who had no feinds. My aspie concentration and pain tolerance gave me a huge advantage when it came to lifting weights. I tell my children "your freind is the kid who has no freinds"....thats my law. jb

David Arias said...

It's fun to think about this, as an aspie I was bullied, until I baceme a psicological bully... on thinking/mental terms I had always the upper hand and was able to twist their words and frieds against them...

Then they resort to the one thing my strongest muscle is weak, physical attacks... with experience and a lot of pain, and bruises, I learned to use the world against them... and you could say this is wrong and violence just brings more violence... but, I always had to figth 1 single figth at every school/highSchool/college I have been at... choose my ground and win the war on one battle... the rest of the year was peaceful...


The best part, I was the one suspended from school, not them.

David Arias said...

It's fun to think about this, as an aspie I was bullied, until I baceme a psicological bully... on thinking/mental terms I had always the upper hand and was able to twist their words and frieds against them...

Then they resort to the one thing my strongest muscle is weak, physical attacks... with experience and a lot of pain, and bruises, I learned to use the world against them... and you could say this is wrong and violence just brings more violence... but, I always had to figth 1 single figth at every school/highSchool/college I have been at... choose my ground and win the war on one battle... the rest of the year was peaceful...


The best part, I was the one suspended from school, not them.