Why It Is Important To Stop Labeling Everybody A Bully
Bullying is a very real and serious problem in our society. We can even call it an epidemic that is in need of desperate attention. Lives are being lost regularly, and the word is being thrown around irresponsibly and taken far too lightly. This minimizes the multitude of the issues. This is why we must educate and teach in schools, at home, online, and in the workplace; every very place that bullying can occur, which is everywhere.
Begin at Home
What people fail to realize at times is that there are no age limits on bullying or arena that it can take place. If often stems from the home, but not every case. That is not to say we blame every parent if their child gets bullied or is a bully; however, they are just as responsible to take action when it comes to their child being involved.
Ignoring the problem or becoming defensive will not help your child or anybody else. The sayings, “kids will be kids” or “adults can handle themselves” is an antiquated way of thinking in our modern world. People are too sensitive, need to toughen up, and grow a thick skin. That is not the answer to bullying or hate in ANY form. It simply should not be occurring. Not only do people need to answer for their actions, but they also need help. We do need to realize that everybody is a victim of something when it comes to any form of bullying or hate. Bullies often have anger stemming from their past or something going on in their present.
A broken soul and spirit needs healing, not attacks. Our minds and bodies being in this state just passes this on to innocents when one tires to bully someone into believing they are a bully.
But not everything is bullying
Some of the strongest, most successful people get bullied. Some of the best looking people also get bullied. It does not matter where you come from, who you are, your status, or what you look like.
In being completely authentic and honest, people have become far too sensitive to the written word and spoken word without cause (please do not confuse this statement with the above statement of too sensitive to bullying. They are two very different situations), which is why this word is being used inappropriately in abundance, which can be dangerous. Not everybody and everything someone does that you might not agree with is bullying, hate, nor is it spreading negativity.
This is where there is a fine line and people need to do research and really delve into the activism of bullying and what it entails. Having an opinion, being outspoken, speaking out, political stances and thoughts, general statements, honesty, being straightforward, having a disagreement, and in general, being a human being is not bullying or hate. Being an activist is just that. If people who crusade for causes do nothing, than people complain they do and say nothing. Society has become far offended to any type of material they can use against someone.
Expressing opinions vs. bullying
People do not have to change their morals, values, or beliefs for you. These said people, are often bullies themselves. They lash out or attack these people for no apparent reason, other than they might be going through a hard time or struggling. We must STOP doing this. All this incorrect labeling is causing us to not pay attention to the REAL bullies out there in the world that are doing drastic damage and creating horrific tragedies. They are being forgotten and getting away with it, which is why it is possibly only getting worse.
People are at each other’s throats in these times due to all the hate that exists, and it is only growing and creating a bigger divide. We are feeding the beast. This is dangerous territory. Another misconception is individuals have a personal argument or debate. As long as things are kept civil, again, this is NOT bullying or any form of hate, yet the word bully always comes up. It seems impossible to be let loose and just relax and have a good time without someone watching every move you make and calling you out on it.
We have to let each other be. Everybody needs to de-stress, but if they feel that every word that comes out of their mouth is going to be judged, it is very hard to not constantly be on edge, which then causes more defense mechanisms. We all make mistakes. Even the people who preach positivity, mentors, coaches, and the most respected of advocates and organizations get targeted for this type of behavior, when in fact, it is anything but. These acts often get confused with people labeling others as bullies or hypocrites simply because they have their own personal feelings and are authentic in who they are.
It is okay for all of us to have a bad day, or a negative day, or feel bad, sad, or stressed, or feel angry, and express that. People do not have to pretend to be happy 24/7, because that probably does not exist no matter how blessed of a life one might have. We all have those days. We might even not realize how something came out, but as long as it is not aimed at anybody or coincides with the ACTUAL definition of what a bully is, than there is no harm done to anybody. No matter who you are, what you do, or how successful you are in the field of advocacy, it does not mean that you are no longer human and free to publicly share your thoughts or feelings. It is becoming difficult to even make a joke without someone jumping the fence to call them out.
Of course there is a boundary when it comes to jokes, but we all have to keep laughing in today’s world. It is so vital that we do not forget how to do make each other have a good hardy laugh.
I see things being done or said that is beyond explanation or words. It is jaw-dropping. There is not a day that I read the news where I am not reading some horrific story on the topic or an innocent person taking their life due to bullying. That is what we need to be taking action on. That is who we need to be calling out. They get lost in the shuffle due to fake accusations and people, in turn, becoming defensive and arguing back and forth, rather than acting like adults.
The last child I read about who commit suicide after being bullied at school was 8 years old. I will repeat that, 8 YEARS OLD! We will never know who he could have been or what he would have done in the future. His entire life that was ahead of him is now gone. We all have to be the voices of those we lose, as they no longer have a voice. It does not matter that you do not know them. We want to avoid it spreading to the point that it becomes someone we know.
Assess before you accuse
And we have been forgetting that by slamming the wrong people for no reason. Think about it long and hard before you accuse someone of being a bully, especially if you are not knowledgeable. Sure, you can Google it, but it is far more intense and complicated these days than simply taking an isolated incident and making it a false catastrophe.
Not everything constitutes being a bully or bullying behavior, and we can preach this every single day, yet it is thrown around because people have a hard time hearing the truth or are not able to handle it. The best way to combat this behavior is to deem it bullying.
Speaking out or standing up for yourself is absolutely acceptable if done in a kind and respectful manner without going down to their level. It can be done. People confuse the two. Bullying to defend, is NEVER okay. Too often this happens and then you have a battle of who is the bully, when in fact both are engaging in it. Try not to speak out of anger. Come from a place that is better than them. Those who call out bullies, who are the actual bullies, will play the victim and twist words to suit them. It can be hard to determine over social media than in person, but there are plenty that make it obvious if you truly take the time to look into the situation. It is not always about taking sides, rather mediating and trying to help everybody involved.
If you are not able to do so, then disengaging is highly recommended. There will be times you get nowhere and engaging in negativity just to prove a point is not necessary due to what it will in turn create.
Spotlight on bullying
There are several forms of bullying, though there are different levels, and of course cases that are much more serious than another. All forms are to be taken seriously, but obviously some can take a very drastic turn that goes beyond consistent name-calling, baiting, hitting, shaming, posting fake screenshots and images, posting private content, or putting down, or being nasty.
This is why there are different names, but they all go back to some type of bullying. In this day and age of social media, bullying has become so cunning and horrid. It is a constant torture. It is not a one-time deal and people move on. It is continuous. Please do research, get involved, donate to causes and organizations, volunteer, educate yourself, and teach others. The more we do these things and share our stories while speaking out on the issue, the more change we can implement. Take the time. It is so crucial to make sure our kids and adults know the disastrous impact of bullying.
Do not be so quick to call someone a bully. It gives a free pass to the real bullies out there creating chaos in the world. The last thing we want to do is not to legitimize a real bully by casually using the world bully on a regular basis to where the lines become blurred. When we all work together, we can make eventually integrate more programs, more laws, and hopefully in time, make bullying a thing of the past. Though it might not ever completely cease, we can take steps to ensure we are keeping each other safe and support systems are available.
We do not always have to agree with each other or even like the same things, but please do not call someone a bully just because you do not like them, what they did, said, or what they do. We need to come together more than ever. Making people feel guilty and hurting others by doing this is not spreading the love and kindness that we all need.
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