Bullies

We all know about the proto bully: A big kid that beats on a small boy. That's the typical picture. Bullies come in all sorts of flavors. Some are overt and more are covert. They don't physically attack. They mentally abuse their victims and their goal is to terrorize, demoralize, and demean their targets.

I don't know what drives a bully to this kind of behavior but I can imagine it is essentially nature or nurture. Nature in regard to maybe being dropped on their head as a toddler and nurture in that their home life wasn't very pleasant. Whatever the reason, they are poisonous to a civil society.

All bullies have one thing in common: Unfiltered meanness. When they say or do something cutting and demoralizing, they aren't joking. They aren't fooling around. They mean exactly what they say because they have no ability to filter out the meanness.

People make excuses for bullies all the time. They say "He was only joking" or "You took it the wrong way." No, they weren't joking. You got it right the first time. These folks are the bully's enablers. Without enablers, bullies can't exist. Perhaps these people cover up for the bully because they're afraid of being the target. Perhaps they are bullies themselves and enjoy seeing you twist and writhe. Perhaps they are just used to bullies and think it as "boys being boys." Regardless, these folks keep bullying alive.

So the next time you hear someone making an excuse for a hurtful, demoralizing or demeaning remark with "just joking" excuse, call them out. Tell them they're enabling a bully. Watch their expression and maybe, just maybe, you'll get a deeper understanding of what kind of person they are.

Bullies are everywhere. They are in all walks of life. They hold positions of power. They abuse everyone around them. In short, they make life kind of suck.

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