Things I learned about bullies that are not often talked about.
Photo Credit: Flickr, Twentyfour Students
In Grade 8, the bullies at my school were at their worst. When I was falsely accused of being a tattletale, class could be a nightmare. My classmates grabbed my books and tossed them around. I had to watch the aisles for outstretched feet intent on tripping me. People would pull my hair, kick my chair, and call me all kinds of names. I was ridiculed and humiliated for being ugly, stinky, and stupid from Grade 5 to 8, and then again in Grade 10. I have also encountered bullies in the workplace.
Unfortunately, I was an easy target. Parental physical and emotional abuse at home had turned me into a timid, shy, and awkward person. I was too afraid to stand up to my harassers. Bullies sensed my vulnerability and took advantage of it. Here are some things I learned about them that may surprise people.
Some Observations on My Experiences with Bullies
They are not all mean, sadistic, and evil
In Grade 10, there was one boy, Ken (no real names used), who led four or five boys in making fun of me. Whenever a teacher called on me to answer a question, they sneered at my stupidity. The ultimate humiliation was the day that the teacher held class elections. Ken and his posse kept nominating me for various positions. I had to go out of the room each time the class voted, eventually figuring out that Ken and the gang were not going to vote for me. The teacher did not seem to be aware of what was happening.
The final indignity was nominating me for “Freshie Queen.” Their low chuckles every time I left the room turned into low laughter. Ugly Carola as “Freshie Queen?” What a joke!
Then Ken died in a motorcycle accident. All of my class were invited to the funeral. I went mainly because I had never attended a funeral before. What I saw there shocked me. His family and friends were prostrate with grief. This guy was not mean and evil to them. He was a much-beloved son, sibling, and friend.
There are bullies who are mean and enjoy inflicting pain on others. Most, however, seem to be immature individuals with impulse…