September 29, 2014 by Brian
Tonight we watched the viral video by Shane Koyczan, a spoken word artist. Both hilarious and haunting, Shane puts his finger on the pulse of what it’s like to be different.
It is a must watch. Every once in a while, the videos are every bit as powerful as our conversations. Tonight was one of those nights. Before you read on, please, take the time and watch the video.
Many of the guys were clueless that this kind of thing was still happening. Others shared their own personal experiences with being bullied (or, being the bully). And, we generally agreed that bullies don’t go away after high school. Adults are at risk, too.
We broke up into two working groups, each with an assignment. The first group tackled the challenge of describing the ways in which people are bullied. The second group went to work on capturing a list of the potential consequences of being bullied.
Big brothers are likely bullies. As are insecure bosses. Verbally abusive spouses – women and men – are bullies. Physical abuse, while a whole different category, are bullies, nonetheless. People who try to create consensus of opinion, and build alliances, against others are bullies. Parents can be hateful and bully their kids.
A lot of people are bullied, but are not affected permanently. They either don’t tolerate it, remove themselves from the situation, or don’t give any power to the bully. Others, who may be stuck in the situation, are more at risk. Risk of what? Some of the consequences we talked about are:
- Depression – maybe even suicide
- Being defensive
- Being reserved, stand off-ish and withdrawn
- Lack of Self-Esteem
- Permanent scars
- Becoming a bully themselves
- Normalizing. Excusing bad behavior
The most significant consequence we could think of was believing the words of the bully, which serves as the opening sentence of this article.
Perhaps the most devastating effect of being bullied is when you start to believe the things being said about you.
We spent a brief amount of time talking about our kids and cyber bullying. The advent of social media just makes the whole problem worse, at an exponential rate and scale. It is the same problem, just faster and with more reach.
As we went around the room tonight to hear everyone’s takeaway, many guys needed to simply be on the lookout for bullying behavior. Some recounted stories recently taking place with their kids. Others were determined to check their own bullying tendencies. Some feel like they have been witnesses to bullying, yet did nothing about it.
After tonight. We are all on alert will come to the defense and rescue of anyone bullied in our presence.