Bullies come in all shapes and sizes, and strangely enough, sometimes it seems one size — at least to them — fits all. I’ve recently posted an article about the topic of bullies…but in today’s society, it seems that one article is clearly not enough.
When I graduated Marine Corps boot camp at Parris Island, South Carolina in 1987, I had developed quite a bit of confidence in myself through all the physically and mentally challenging situations in which I found myself at the hands of extremely intimidating drill instructors.
Prior to boot camp, I had always been a very shy young man. I was actually so scared of girls it was unbelievable to those who know me now. I was so timid that I never even mustered up enough courage to ask anyone out to the prom and did not even go.
One important thing that the Marine Corps did NOT teach me was wit. Wit is one of the key weapons to be used against the bully. I recently explained this to my soon-to-be 13-year old daughter in a conversation about how to handle bullies. I’ve always taught her to first allow the teacher a few opportunities to correct the situation. And when that fails to strike back!
Having been bullied in high school, I found myself being bullied in boot camp once again, this time by fear-inspiring drill instructors! But it did not end there either. I soon found myself being mentally and socially bullied by my fellow Marines. I eventually evaluated my situation very closely and discovered that they were using wit against me. And I was basically completely unarmed in that arena.
So I purchased a book of insults, and things changed quickly! When one Marine hurled an insult at me, I caught him off-guard with: “Are you ugly, or did your neck throw up?” I immediately saw the fruits of my labor when the guy, for the first time, had no comeback! He was clearly shocked that I suddenly outwitted him.
So I learned and memorized more good insults!: “Oh! You must have been passed out when the brains were!”; “I could have this battle of the wits against you, but I refuse to fight an unarmed person.”, and so on!
It’s not enough to memorize good insults; you need to be able to successfully and confidently deliver them, using inflection in your voice at the right times and maybe adding that complimentary ping of sarcastic body language. You need to deliver them like a pro stand-up comic! Maybe channel Andrew Dice Clay when he addressed two guys who were heckling him: “Are you guys Neal and Bob, or is that what you do?”
Another important thing to remember is that they should not be overused. Doing so may give people in your social circles that you are desperate for new material.
For those of you who wish to outwit social bullies, here’s a very important book for you. I purchased a digital edition for free on Barnes & Noble, but it may have come off the free list since then. It’s called: An Introduction to Insult Comedy. My daughter has informed me she will use these three insults directly from the e-pages of this book:
- If your brains were cotton wool, you wouldn’t have enough to make a Tampax.
- If I throw a stick, will you go away?
- Oh you’re not dyslexic, you’re just stupid!
Bullying, when I was a kid, tended to be more physical in nature. Nowadays, it is clearly more social and has evolved to be such from since when I was a young man just fresh out of military boot camp. Wit can carry you a long way! By learning some fresh and witty insults, I immediately turned the table on some of those social bullies, in the very same way my daughter is about to.