Friends, siblings, co-workers, and other children who look the other way when their friend or loved one is persistently being bullied honestly need to re-evaluate their position and stance on bullying.
Why is it so common for people to stand by and watch while a victim is being bullied, instead of calling the perpetrator out on their behaviour?
The answer: The bystander most likely does not want to become the bully’s next victim.
The people who turn a blind eye to the bully’s bad behaviour are part of the bullying epidemic. Bystanders to bullying are one of the major reasons why bullying has become such a big problem because they refuse to step in.
‘The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.’ Edmund Burke
Bystanders may feel as though the bullying of their best friend, beloved sibling, or co-worker has nothing to do with them, and is not their problem. However, the bystander officially became a problematic dynamic in the cycle of abuse, as well as an accomplice of sorts when they made the choice not to support the target in holding the bully accountable for their behaviour.
Standing by and watching the bully abuse their target only helps the bully, not the bullied.
As human beings, we’re all in this together – and our integrity lies with the bullied, not the perpetrator.
If enough people asked the bully to stop, stood up for the bullied, and said no to the bullies unacceptable behaviour, the bully would need to stop. Their social life would depend on it.
There is nothing worse for a target of bullying than when a bystander can see that the bully is playing mind games, only for the bystander to enable the problem, rather than stand against the problem. Pretending that the bully is ok, that their behaviour is ok, and that the bystander is not at all phased by how the bully treats other people enables the bully, contributes to the abuse of the target, and perpetuates the problem.
The choice made by the bystander to look out for themselves instead of the bullied helps the oppressor, not the oppressed. In these situations it becomes a case of the ’emperors new clothes.’ Everybody can see it, but refuses to bring to the surface the bully’s behaviour.
Some bystanders are simply too scared to speak up. Its not deliberate on their part. They most likely do have a lot of empathy for the bullied – however, they may just feel disempowered.
A lot of bystanders simply do not feel as though they should need to make a choice in regard to the bully or the bullied – and would like to remain neutral between bully and victim; even when they know that the bully’s behaviour is potentially destroying the victim’s mental health.
However, there are also bystanders who simply just don’t care about the impact the bully is having on the victim. Neither scenario is ok.
We need to stand together against bullying.
Bullying is a severe form of mental abuse that ruptures confidence, traumatises some people for life, ruins the childhoods of many, can cause severe mental health disorders such as PTSD, and in the worst case scenario bullying can end in the suicide of the target.
Both of you? Or just the bully?
Have you ever had a misinformed, or lazy parent (who won’t put your bullying sibling in their place) tell you after you’ve protested about the bully’s behaviour that it is apparently ‘both of you?’ This is one of the biggest cop-outs I’ve ever heard, and the words of an abuse apologist.
Does it really take two to tango?
The one phrase I cannot stand is ‘it takes two to tango.’ From what I’ve seen, a professional bully can tango on their own.
So, let me get this straight. Is the target supposed to stand there and let a bully treat them badly without standing up for themselves? If they retaliate because the bully won’t stop berating them, are they both doing the tango? Or, did the bully just drag them onto the dance floor? Isn’t asking someone to stop bullying them, or trying to discuss the problem a human right?
When are people going to stop blaming both people, and start questioning the bully’s obsession with the tango?
If a bully is consistently consistent in goading their target until they snap, are both people fighting? Or, are they both doing the tango? (which, by the way is a dance about love, not hate) Or, is the bully verging on psychopathy, and in desperate need of help?
Can you both stop fighting?
Can we please start checking in on what is really going on between our own children, and the kids in the schoolyard? A bully at heart will push and push until a child snaps. This is not two children fighting. This is one difficult child doing whatever it takes to get a response from another child.
Children are human too! One child can only take so much.
Can we all please stop excusing and condoning bullying behaviour?Our children are in desperate need of our help to stop the enabling of the bullying epidemic.
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