There are many different types of bullying. When we are young and in school it tends to be physical and mental. But as we move on in life as adults, it often becomes more mental and emotional. No matter how you look at it, bullying gives us a type of stress that we really could live without.
In life we have many different types of bullies. You have the kid that threatens to beat your ass if you don’t give him your lunch money. Then you have the boss who has the ultimate power trip and targets you to be his or her example to keep all the other employees in line. Then you have the brown-noser, who has his nose so far up the bosses ass he can tell you anytime, any day what type of mouthwash the boss is using (this guy takes cheap shots at you just because he can get away with it — being best buds with the boss!). Then you have the chief gossip monger who takes offense to you when you call her out on it and then turns her social influence against you. And let’s not forget the internet bully! This person also uses social influence against you in order to get a bunch of web surfers to hang 10 insults on your ass in a single wave of passing seconds.
All these bullies have one thing in common. They think they have power over their carefully chosen victims. As action screen legend Clint Eastwood would gladly say, they are legends in their own minds. What they really don’t expect is for their victims to stand up to them. Once this happens, the fun ride is over. Get off of it, proceed to the back gate, and don’t let it hit you on your ass as you’re walking out.
I remember what it was liked to be bullied. I used to be a skinny nerd with funny-looking ears. This was during the time that I wanted to be Ian Fleming when I grew up. I owned all of the James Bond novels and always had one with me at any given time. There were these two guys that were involved in martial arts that terrorized all the nerds and socially awkward students in the school. Truth be told, I was terrified of them. They used to pick on me in the lunchroom.
One day, after lunch, I had a class on the second floor of a two-story school building. Class had not yet started. All the kids were socializing. I was minding my own business, reading my novel. Well one of the lunchtime bullies also shared this class with me. He walks right up to me, jerks my novel out of my hand, goes over to the window (one of those long, horizontal deals with an easy-to-turn handle for opening and closing purposes), opens it, and throws my book out of it.
This made my blood boil, so I charged him and tackled him through several rows of desks, some of them containing students. And I started to wail on him with my fists, but the teacher came in that very moment and broke us up. The bully quickly left the room and came back in a few minutes later with my book. He presented it to me, telling me: “It’s about damned time you stood up for yourself.” And after that, I never had a problem with ANY of the bullies in the school.
I learned then, the hard way, that if you let one bully pick on you, you basically lay down the red carpet for all of them to do it to you. You will spend so much time on your knees either begging them to leave you alone or scurrying from point-A to point-B with your tail between your legs, hoping none of them notice you.
The second time I encountered bullying, it was by the last commanding officer under whom I served in the Marines. I had a personal victory when he tried to write me up for telling a joke he claimed was in bad taste. His former executive officer came to my aid when I wrote my rebuttal, and she insisted that I list her as one who supported my argument against her former boss. In the end, he looked like a fool before his own boss. He eventually fired me from independent duty. But he ended up getting his not too long afterward. He was forced into retirement. And I like to think that my standing up to him had something to do with it.
I’ve told my daughter this story whenever she had problems with bullies. I instructed her to alert the teacher whenever a bully starts to pick on her. Give the teacher a fair chance to correct the problem. However, I also instructed her that if it happens again, she needs to ball up her right fist, rare it back, and send it flying right into the bully’s left cheek just as hard as she can make it go. I’ve even taught her some moves I learned while stationed in the Marine Corps for more than seven years of my life. Sometimes she listened to me. And I did not hear too much complaining about bullying afterward. However, there were times when she had problems with several different bullies, all at the same time. I advised her to make an example of the weakest-looking one. But she still had problems finding the courage to do so, fearful of being attacked by all of them at once.
Bullying is a vicious cycle. And one that most of us will end up dealing with at one time or another. I cannot say enough: Stand strong; weather the storm; never let them see you sweat; keep a firm stance and a brave smile on your face at all times. Let every bully know that if they miss with you, they are going to get their money’s worth in tons of trouble!