Bully – N. a blustering, quarrelsome, overbearing person who habitually badgers and intimidates smaller or weaker people.
V. To affect by means of force or coercion. To be loudly arrogant and overbearing
Have you ever been bullied? Has anyone ever done this to you to get you to do what they want? Have you encountered someone who is so dogmatic in his or her beliefs that they are blind to the fact they could be wrong?
We talk all the time about teenagers being bullied through texting and social media causing them to resort to drastic measures. Search the web, and it’s easy to find names of kids our world has lost because they felt no other way out of the torment they received from their bullies: Tyler Clementi, Amanda Todd, Erin Gallagher, Ryan Halligan, Phoebe Prince, Angie Varona, Jamey Rodemeyer, Jessica Logan, Sarah Butler, Kenneth Weishuhn, Grace McComas, Hope Witsell, Rachael Neblett (just to name a few).
It’s Not Just Teens
People are being bullied every day, and so often it goes unnoticed. Did you know, though, that teens aren’t the only ones facing this type of torment? Did you also know that it’s not always a “mean girl” mentality behind the bullying? In fact, some people bully others simply because they aren’t conforming to their way of thinking.
Over the past few months, with an emphasis on last week, I’ve been witness to the cyber bullying of an adult by other adults who somehow feel what they are saying is helpful. Some don’t say things with the intent of being hateful or hurtful, but it comes across that way after someone has been verbally beaten down by others on a regular basis.
Being witness to a grown woman being bullied by those she thought were her friends and mentors causes me to take a step back and look at myself. Have I been the bully before? If so; why? What were my intentions?
I pray I haven’t done this to someone as an adult, but I know I did as a teenager, and for that I am truly sorry. I wish I could take it back. When a person is on the receiving end of constant hurtful words written about her by a specific group of people, she can easily begin to believe the things she’s hearing about herself. What I’ve recently witnessed has shown me how easily the teens mentioned above resorted to suicide. I’m not saying it’s an answer to any problem, but I can easily see how in their minds it ends the daily torture they feel. My heart has been breaking for the adult I’ve seen go through this very thing, and what’s worse is that it’s her own adult “friends” doing this to her. She has, at moments, considered the same thing as these teens. How is it that a grown woman, who loves and is loved by many, can be pushed over the edge by a handful of people who feel the need to text, email, message on social media, or even post publically on a social media site things to attack and humiliate her? If this is what it does to an adult, I can’t imagine what these teens and young adults must feel.
How about you? If you take a step back to review your actions in the past and even current actions, would you find that you’ve at one time inflicted this kind of pain on someone? More than likely we can all pinpoint at least one person we’ve done this to in our lives. The important thing is to make sure you aren’t doing it right now. We have to find a way to change the statistics.
- Suicide has resulted in about 4,400 deaths per year, according to the CDC. For every suicide among young people, there are at least 100 suicide attempts.
- Bully victims are between 2 to 9 times more likely to consider suicide than non-victims, according to studies by Yale University
- A study in Britain found that at least half of suicides among young people are related to bullying
- According to statistics reported by ABC News, nearly 30 percent of students are either bullies or victims of bullying, and 160,000 kids stay home from school every day because of fear of bullying
Although studies focus on younger individuals, I’ve learned recently this type of thing is not limited to the younger age group. Whether you are a teen or adult reading this, you are a part of a generation full of people hurting as a result of being bullied. Maybe the person checking out in front of you at the store is considering suicide because of what someone posted about her on Facebook (true or not true). Maybe your classmate who appears to have it all together fears looking at her phone when she hears a message come through. Maybe even one of your parents has to pretend to be okay when they feel like they’re dying inside because of the messages they receive from others while you’re away at school. Maybe you’re silently screaming inside because of the messages people send to you every day. You never know who is already in a dark place in their lives, so I urge you to choose your words wisely. Sometimes even the most innocent, “I don’t think that outfit was a good choice,” to someone you love could send them over the edge because of the hateful words they’ve been receiving from others every day for months.
Please think before you speak, text, or message.
Check out a past post of mine called Sticks and Stones
***After letting those on my social media know what my topic for today would be, I was sent a video by an adult who wanted to tell her own story. Please take the time to watch the story of Kez.****