16 April 2015

Word Play: The Bully Card

I'm going to try to be clear on this one.

I say try, because regardless of which words I choose or the intent with which I use them, the semantics won't matter out of context. That however, is a risk I assume when choosing to use an online platform to share my thoughts.

First is our subject matter: Bullying, perception vs reality - weight and dilution - and the use of The Bully Card.

Second - I am NOT discussing bullying of children - this one's about the grown ups. Not tweens, not college kids ----> the no kidding have a job, pay their own bills, have kids of some form (fur babies, baby babies... student loans) ADULTS.

Let's ask someone we all (generally speaking) know and usually agree with for our left and right limits.

Mr Webster what does it mean to bully?




Mr Webster what is a victim?





Is it possible that we are throwing around the word bully so much that it is becoming a joke? Have we diluted the word so drastically that it is the first word we jump to when someone disagrees with us?

Words have meaning. They carry weight, and they can actually affect a person to the point of hurting them-self or others.  Semantics are important. Look at the word hero for example;

Hero, one who with disregard for their welfare acts with bravery and valor. Now, the guy who stops a grocery cart from hitting your car. The baseball player who hits a home run. A sandwich.

We need to be less flippant and work to maintain the integrity of the words we use. Eventually, we'll hear them so much they'll have no meaning, they'll spark no response.

If someone is mean to you because of something YOU did to make them angry - does that make them a bully? Or are they just MAD at you?

If someone vehemently disagrees with you on any given subject and they vocalize that disagreement - are they a bully? Or just the opposition?

Those who go out of their way to hunt out the weak among us and without provocation attack their very self worth are bullies. They devise ways to belittle and degrade with the intent to harm or humiliate their target. They take a simple disagreement and turn it into a personal attack. They find ways to infiltrate your life, your work... your thoughts.

Someone who dislikes you? Someone who disagrees with you? Someone who is just generally rude... not always a bully. 

An acquaintance of mine Jessie R said:

I think it's really easy to say, 
"I'm not a bully, it's just that overly sensitive people get butthurt. A lot."

That said, every person who is a rude asshole isn't necessarily a bully. Bullying, to me, implies a concerted targeting of a specific
person, typically more than once, by an individual or group or organization. But somebody can be mean, classless, a bitch, a rude jerk or piece of crap troublemaker and not be a bully, sure.  

I won't defend "Dependa Bashing" (that's people making fun of military spouses for my civilian friends) or pretend like bullying doesn't happen... I also think there needs to be a balance of voices. 

We are not all victims. If you make the choice to share your opinions publicly you open yourself up to critics, dissent and depending on the content out right ridicule. We, those of us who share our opinions publicly must be prepared for and receptive to criticism. People who converse online, share their personal beliefs MUST understand that 100% of the human race isn't going to be on the same page. We must be mature enough to handle both the supportive and critical response to our work. Someone who doesn't like you or agree with you isn't automatically a bully.

We as adults must be less instantaneous with our use of the term, basically, stop using the word bully like a get out of "I messed up" free card. When the bully card is thrown prematurely or constantly its validity wanes and we take away its authenticity. This practice sets an interesting example - we teach everyone around us that legitimate censure can be dismissed with the single cry of BULLY!

When you have a negative response - not an attack - a negative response, that should be a teachable moment. That is the time when you need to take a step back and gain some perspective. It is actually humanly possible to BE WRONG... to DO WRONG...  You can actually deserve to have someone say something mean or angry to you. You may have someone go out of their way to read over 897 words to inform you - you used the wrong their, they're, there... ONCE. Guess what.. they're right and you need to go find the there, they're, their error and correct it. Don't just reply with "YOU'RE A GRAMMAR BULLY!!! I'm only human!!! Leave me alone you BULLY!!!"


Don't be an asshole. If you hate content. Make fun of the words. Say the author might want to review their sources. Tell them they've stepped away from reality and might want to catch the first ship back from la la land, but don't tell them they are a piece of trash human being who shouldn't be afforded another breath on the surface of the planet. Don't hunt down their personal contact info. Don't harass them via email, text or social mdia. Don't bring their spouse, children or other family members into a disagreement just so you can get the last word in. Hunting for a way to actually HURT an individual... That? That's makes you a bully. (Unless they are publishing illegal content, hate speech or threaten the welfare of other human beings.)

Learn how to disagree with someone using words to break down your thoughts or theirs not to break down their worth.

All of that BUT... being said.

Some people need to get a thicker skin, pull up their big girl panties, strap on their embrace the suck suspenders and pull out that special straw so they can suck it up, however...

If you feel someone is bullying you - really bullying you - screw them. You are worthy. You are not garbage, and that jacktard's opinion isn't valid enough for you to feel bad about.

Want me to be your back up? Leave I comment - I got you!

XO XO & Stuff


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