Saturday, May 28, 2011

Making a Miserable Life or Eyes on The Bully

Where to start? I sit here and type those three words because starting this discussion could be done from the bully's position, the one being bullied or the effect it had on everyone involved.

I recently watched a bully in action. A female and 5yrs. old, this little person was skilled in what she did which led me to believe her behavior wasn't recently acquired.

The first thing she did was make a statement to all the children within ear shot "I don't like her. I don't want her bat close to mine." and saying this she moved the offending bat to the end of the row. This caught my attention and I went on alert. I'm watching.

Observing another case of bullying between two adults and the two things both of these cases seem to have in common is jealousy which appears to be a label related to deprivation. Something is missing or unattended and deprived. The bully insists on having that need met and by force if necessary.

Facebook was the scene of the bullying between the two adults. After months of disparaging remarks, the bullied one finally deleted the bully from her list of friends. Slighted, the bully waited for an opportunity to attack.

Frequent accusations and insinuations, she started a campaign of character assassination. The bullied one neither cared enough to challenge her nor would use a social medium to launch a counterattack. Ignoring the bullying was her approach which incited the bully that much more.

This adult made her declaration, a line drawn in the sand or across her Facebook page. We watched as it unfolded for everyone to see. No protests were made by anyone thereby silently and invisibility crediting her with their approval. Eventually a protest was broached; the bully responded angrily, quickly and with malice. No one else dared protest.

Eventually this bully convinced a few of her followers. The one who was bullied was tried and convicted of all matters of manufactured insults. No one cared to hear any side but that of the one doing the damning. Vicious and spiteful from being ignored, the bully continues attacking, unable to move on nor let go. The bully enjoys their status. It becomes an elixir of power.

The child bully behaved in much the same way as the adult bully. Isolating her quarry from the group, she hissed unkind words to the little girl.
Soon she was confronting the little girl. Standing nose to nose she told the child to move to the end of the dugout because she didn't like her. As soon as the bullied child encountered any of the other children in the dug out the bully would wedge herself between the children and get in the other child's face. The child being bullied had no experience in dealing this. She would hang her head and move away to stand alone in the dugout.

The little bully would glance around to make sure no body was watching. She knew to be sly; the behavior unacceptable.

My first question was "What has made this child into the bully she is at the ripe old age of five?"

What to do?
The next ball game was arriving quickly and something had to be done.

The answer was simple. She was scheduled first up to bat. Putting her first and then lining up 3 boys to follow her, left the her to bat and then on base for most of the time the other girls were in the dugout. The little girls that were the object of her jealously were soon up to bat and while the bully had finished running her bases and was back in the dug out. This protected the child being bullied but did nothing to fix the problem in this child's future on dealing with it.

It was interesting to watch her behavior (the bully). She tried to change the order of batters. When that didn't work for her she asked to go see her father. I was impressed that she asked permission. I had seen her interaction earlier with her parent and she was outright defiant.

Watching her interaction with her parent told a lot of the story. She asked him for a hug. He placed his hands on both of her shoulders and jiggled her back and forth a bit. I doubt this was what the child wanted and I'm sure she needed that hug that wasn't delivered.

The adult bully in this story? Her goal was to isolate and collect people to what she considered her "side". Juvenile as this may seem, a bully's behavior isn't an indication of being a mature adult.

My theory? This little person is attention starved. She thinks her attention from her friends is threatened by the new child so she defends her territory. The adult bully may suffer the same.

I couldn't help but feel a little sorry for this child. I stayed close to her on the field and offered praise and encouragement for her efforts in the game.
Who will be watching this child the next time she practices her bullying? Whose life will she impact with her behavior. I shutter to think what she will be in another 10 yrs. Unless something changes in her life soon, I can see her develop into that adult bully.
4 more games left. I'll be watching to see if there is any improvement in her behavior. As special as each child is, unless they believe it and have someone in their lives that is willing to make them important, they emerge into an adult with a wider range of bullying techniques honed since childhood. How sad!

...and then I think...were we all an object of a bully some where in our life? Is it inescapable? Some bosses I've met are definitely bullies. Some police officers take the opportunity of the protection of the badge they wear to bully. Maybe it's a lesson that needs to be taught to a child on how to handle it instead of avoiding it. How sad!


  1. You are really a neat person. I'm glad I know you, just so you know :)

  2. Excellent post Charlotte and sums up bullying so well. It's insecurity, lack of self-worth, and being starved of affection and attention that helps to create the bully in childhood and unless they gain these things they do unfortunately often grow into adult bullies.

    Great that you are watching and approaching it in exactly the right way...but how do you make parents understand what's happening..this is the problem.


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