I’m having a bully of a time, right now!
Gone are the days when bully meant a good time. Of course, I’m of the age where the word bully never meant having a good time. However, I read enough and have seen enough period films to know this vintage meaning. Like many words, though, bully has been hijacked and now means the exact opposite of having a good time. If you are having a bully of a time, right now, you’re usually in the worst way.
I hate bullies. I’ve always hated them. Every fist fight I’ve ever gotten into as a kid was because of a bully. Up until 10th grade, I usually got a good ass whooping by a bully. That all changed half way through high school for a couple of reasons. I’ll get to those reasons in a minute.
Bullies take on many forms. For children, it’s usually a physical bully. However, there are social bullies, too. At least the physical bully just kicks your ass. The social bully, though, makes his or her victim feel like a pariah. The social bully is one of the worst kinds of bullies, in my opinion.
Another kind of bully is the emotional bully. This is the bully who manipulates people through shame or guilt in order to get their own way. I hate them, too. Most politicians are emotional bullies, as well as cult leaders, some religious leaders, and some celebrities.
Bullies exist for two reasons.
- They are insecure, wasted meat-bags, who think by making other people miserable somehow validates their existence.
- They are hardly put in their place and taught the proper rules of a civil society.
Bullies never go away. They are just reinvented. As you grow older, you meet bullies of all ages (see number two above). Most are not of the physical nature, but are of the emotional and social nature. However, all bullies can be handled the same way – by confronting them.
While in high school during my 10th and 11th year, I participated in quite a few altercations, of which I was the victor. I had come to a point in my life where I wasn’t going to be intimidated any longer by anyone. I spent, what seemed like a lifetime, being pushed around by knuckleheads. I remember the day of my unholy decision to kick ass and take names later. It was on a kid that wasn’t bullying me, but was beating down another kid. It was the beginning of the end for those that thought they could pick on me. I spent those two years fighting some of my own battles, but many battles that belonged to others. They were a crazy two years.
Then in my senior year, I switched schools. By this time, my confidence level was very high. I no longer needed to throw fists to prove a point. I carried myself differently. I no longer walked with my head down, but with my shoulders back and my chin held high. I was not arrogant. I was confident. On my first day in the new school, I was challenged by a bully. He wanted to fight me in the worst way. I spoke boldly and held of an ass beating I’m sure I would have received. He was a big kid. We became friends later. Not good friends or best friends, but friends, nonetheless.
In the military, bullies were still very physical. There were a lot of brawls during those days. Good time, bar stool breaking brawls that my friends and I would laugh about the next day while driving to the doctor to get something fixed. Running into a bully in those days was looked upon as an opportunity and not a curse. We had a lot of pent up energy and, of course, liquid courage to egg us on. They were the best of times and the worst of times. I have a chipped tooth and flat knuckles to show for it.
Now that I’m in my forties, I no longer run into the bully looking for a physical fight. Yeah, there are a few of those lingering around in the shadows, but they are just sad, pitiful men that I ignore. No, most bullies these days, for me, are social or emotional. They are handled just the same as in the good old wild days of my youth. I give them a good ass beating, but with my words, rather than my fists.
So, how do you handle a bully? You confront them on their terms.
If you are young enough to handle a punch then kick that bully’s ass. Give him or her a good beating, kids. Who cares if you lose the fight? No one likes to get bit by a Chihuahua just the same as a Pitbull. They both hurt even if it doesn’t kill you. Let bullies know that the dog bites, for crying out loud.
If the bully is of the social or emotional kind, confront them verbally. However, when you do, make sure it is in front of other people. You can either kill them with kindness or by setting the record straight. Either way, you’re going to make them look foolish in the eyes of those watching and they won’t be able to change the story later for other people. You have witnesses.
One last note and disclaimer. There are now virtual bullies in our midst. Of course, these are the nameless and faceless cowards of the internet. Here’s a way to handle them. Block, ignore, or merely delete your profile on the boards these taints occupy. So what you don’t get to chat about the latest fill in the blank! These type of bullies are the easiest to get rid of. You just simply hit a button. Click, done and gone. Not every encounter with a bully needs to be confrontational. Use your head and realize the path of least resistance can be a wise choice sometimes.
How do you deal with a bully?