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Stop speaking up for bullies, will you please?

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Ever notice how, when you complain about abusive adults or bullies in your past,

people always want to speak up for the abuser or bully?

It usually goes like this:

you complain about someone at work/school/social event who pushed you around

(usually verbally, by shaming you, but sometimes it's even physical intimidation),

and you're hoping that your listener(s) will sympathize with you and express solidarity with you.

But instead, you get crap like,

"Oh, try to understand his feelings; he probably had a bad day."

"Don't be so hard on her; she probably just has low self-esteem."

"Well, he must have a difficult home life, and that's why he acts that way."



I see it in journalism all the time, hear it in conversation all the time.


I've even heard therapists do this.

It would be bad enough if they did this for everyone, but do they ever do it FOR YOU?

"Oh, try to understand his passiveness; he probably never learned how to stand up for himself."

"Don't be so hard on her; she's awkward and shy because people shamed her in the past."

"Well, just because he's the target of shaming and intimidation, doesn't make him a loser."

Oh no no no; they don't take YOUR side and apologize for YOU;

they silently judge you.

"Loser." "Wuss." "Wimp." "Chump." Maybe they don't even do it silently.

I don't believe for a minute that "their intentions are good, even though they say the wrong thing."

No, it's an ingrained habit of sucking up to the abuser

because they admire the abuser's power (at least subconsciously)

and feel uncomfortable around vulnerability. What's the problem, jerks?

You think vulnerability is some kind of virus you might catch from us?

I know perfectly well i'm not going to change any minds or behaviors with this post.

The people who need to hear this aren't reading this Forum.

But for us who have been wounded,

sometimes it helps if we can at least name the problem and shake our fists at it.

So, for the record: when i complain about abusive assholes,

don't respond by making excuses for them.

For once, please show me that you're on MY side instead of THEIR side.

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I agree. When I mention sociopathic supervisors who specialized in humiliation someone will invariably say "well you know she was under a lot of stress".

Yeah, i wonder if those same people ever talked you up to The Man with anything like,"he was under a lot of stress." Not very likely.

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7 hours ago, Klingsor said:

TooOld, you seem to have dealt with a lot of the same kind of bullying I did, and you understand where I'm coming from. How do you deal with bullies these days? 

The most recent one -- the workplace one -- i confronted him personally.  To his great credit, he backed down and apologized.  Which to me, really shows more character than never bullying someone at all.

Unfortunately it hasn't always gone that well.  I remember being bullied by a jerk as i was standing in the street during the 1996 Atlanta Olympic Games (remember, i am in Georgia):  he pushed me down.  I think he thought i was gay.  (I had a mustache at the time; remember, bullies are stupid.)  It triggered every scalded nerve from every bullying experience in high school.  I was red with rage.  I stood up and gut-punched him.  He was flat on his back in the middle of the street, with his wife and friend standing over him trying to pull him back to his feet.  I walked away before they could get their heads together enough to gang up on me or call the police.  I won't lie to you; it felt absolutely amazing.  But i could've been arrested or beaten up, very easily.  I don't recommend it.

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1 minute ago, Klingsor said:

Violence seems like it would be so gratifying. Some bullies hide behind words and sarcasm...it would be so thrilling to see their smirks twisted into agony by a meat grinder or acid bath. As well as the more physical bullies. Bullying has soured me on the whole human species.

Well, as i said, it was thrilling.  I wouldn't be honest with you if i said it wasn't.  But i also wouldn't be honest with you if i told you that it healed me: it didn't.  I still feel those hurts even though they ended 40 years ago.  It takes more than violence to heal a soul that's been damaged by bullying.

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I sympathize with your feeling, Klingsor; i too have a lot of anger.

The anger remains for as long as the experience of victimhood remains.

People could help us to get rid of that victimhood if they would build up our sense of worth.

But nobody wants to do that; they expect us to do it ourselves.  (And i've already registered my objection to THAT in another Post.)

That's why i try to give affirmation to others (overweight women, SPS men) in this Forum:  i try to give them what no one will give me.

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I was bullied some in middle school, though maybe teased and picked on would be a better description; there was never any physical abuse. There was an instance of a different kind of abuse that happened outside of school...I could never feel any anger for myself. I actually kept quiet about that out of fear my brothers might find out and then hurt the person. So, no anger...My therapist would tell me it must be in there somewhere, but I could never find it. :Dunno: 

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Yesterday my wife experienced this problem; exactly this scenario.

She saw one of her pupils kicking another boy.  She got in his face and told him "NO!!" and, when he ignored her and resumed attacking the other boy (because that's what bullies do), she pulled him away.   The special education coordinator (who is NOT a teacher, just a bureaucrat on the premises who lectures the teachers on how they should let aggressive children do whatever they want) reported my wife TO THE POLICE.   The cops questioned her and everything, and she is now suspended (albeit with pay) from her job.

This is what i was talking about; this is what i saw in school and have read in countless articles:  adults who treat the bully as if he were the victim, and punish anyone who tries to give the bully what he deserves.   No rigorous psychological study has ever confirmed that bullies are victims with low self-esteem.   The rigorous studies have all concluded that (what a surprise!) it is the VICTIMS of bullying who have the low self-esteem.   

The idea that bullies somehow deserve compassion and sympathy is a myth.  It's a lie fabricated by shallow middle-class writers and academics who hate authority and love "bad boys."

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What I hear quite often is we should forgive bullies and just "forget" about what they did to us. Nobody ever talks about how the bully should apologize and try to make amends.

What the person above said is true. Bullies don't typically have a low self esteem. They usually have a very high self esteem. The person who bullied me in jr. high came from a privileged background, money, loved himself, lots of self confidence, lots of friends. He didn't have any self esteem issues at all. I get tired of people who feel sorry for bullies. They are not worthy or deserving of pity and empathy. Victims of bullies don't owe their bully forgiveness, understanding or anything else. 

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