Friday, October 10, 2014

Squashing Adults Who Bully

No tolerance for bullying.
Bullying is destructive to victims and the bully.
Report bullying.
Those who hurt themselves tend to hurt others.
Don't bully or allow bullying.

Adults preach to kids, especially teens, each and everyday against bullying. Sometimes it seems that we have a war on bullying. Schools look for any sign of bullying. Kids will suffer consequences if they don't report incidents of bullying. 

This assault on bullying is justified. Bullys just get more powerful if left unchecked. Those who are continually bullied suffer immensely. Bullying is often at the root of our school shootings and a leading cause of teen suicide. 

It is never okay to allow or tolerate bullying.

We all agree that school bullying of any kind must be stopped.

It is trickier for adults in the workplace to report bullying.

Workplace bullying goes on with adults and is too often not reported. No one wants to be labeled a tattletale or have repercussions. Yet adults bullies are just as destructive as kids and teens. They are most likely lashing out because of their own hurts or misguided thinking.

This week I felt bullied at work. Worse yet it was while I was standing up to a coworker who was lashing out and belittling others. My first instinct was to report, next was to find a way to avoid him, third was to share the hurt with a couple friends.

Here I sit two days later still disturbed by the encounter. More importantly, I know this man has wrong thinking and that he will continue to lash out at others. So while my heart says stand up to his blatant demeaning of others, my head says I don't want the conflict.

Often I hear people say that they avoid conflict at all costs. But what if the cost to others is too great and I need to do what is right not what is easy. What I would really like to do is rewind and have this whole situation erased. Fantasy thinking at its worse. There is a struggle with standing up for what is right and having my life more disrupted or pretending the whole thing never happened knowing his behaviors and attitudes will continue and escalate.

How can we adults expect young people to stand up to bullying when we are unable to stand up ourselves. How do we give them the courage when we don't have the courage ourselves. There is not an easy fix. Life is not fair and reporting could make life even worse for the whistle blower. 

I guess for me it comes down to doing what is right for me or for all the others I see impacted by this guys hurtful attitudes. At least as I write this it feels like my mind is made up to share with administrators. We will see if when I am out of the comfort of my home I am brave enough to follow through. One thing is for sure, I understand why kids tolerate bullying. The alternative can be far more daunting than the bullying itself. It kindf comes down to don't rock the boat or the known may be bad but the unknown may be terrifying.

In Him,