How to Not Let Bullies Get What They Want
As a neat little word has been chosen to identify a certain type of behavior, it would be good now to say what characterizes this behavior. This is because bullying (that neat little word) can happen on any scale, from any country, religion or social group, or to a child, or against an animal.
Then, by identifying the characteristics of any form of bullying, it may make it easier to recognize it arising in the most inappropriate and unexpected places, for instance from a seemingly respectable and responsible adult towards a child.
The easiest route into recognizing any behavior is when you know you’ve done it yourself. Anyone who is bullied will bully something, even that illusive and haughty dining-room chair that remains infuriatingly aloof. A scene in which a child is scolding a dining room chair might actually make it easy to see the common threads in bullying, as the chair is unlikely to be offended by the following action. (If it is, I doubt it will write in and complain).
The following scene is complete fiction and does not in any way reflect any incidents from the author’s own life. (Not).
A particularly put-upon child, in the absence of a family pet, finds a dining room chair sitting there, smugly smiling to itself (the child imagines).
Child: Don’t stare at me.
Child: Did you hear me?
Child: Don’t you dare ignore me.
Child: (Hits the chair) horrible chair.
Child: (Hits chair harder) I hope you get eaten by wood worm. You deserve it.
Child: Right. I’m going to teach you a lesson. (stands on chair and jumps up and down).
Child: Grrrrrrr. You stupid chair. I’m really hurt. (cries)
Child: I hate you. (Runs from room before chair can respond).
So you can see in this incident that, without any real live target, how simple a behavior bullying is, and how easy it is to find ammunition to fire.