Bullying

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Bullying

Postby lipebr » Sun Feb 13, 2011 4:43 pm UTC

I've searched, but I couldn't find a topic on this.

I'm from Brazil and a dear friend of mine has just moved to Portugal, she's attending a high school equivalent there and she's being bullied. She says that there's this girl that keeps making comments about her being brazillian, like, whenever someone invites her to a party or a get together, she'd say something like "Nooo! You guys invited the brazillian kid!". And other things like hitting her head softly but while she's drinking some hot, so it'd spill on her, and also talking about her body while they are in the dressing room: "Look at ther body! She's so skinny and has such small boobs!"

I'm trying to help her, but I've never been through something like this before. And, searching around the net, I discovered some really lame advices. Websites about bullying that says really vague things like "Do not show you're upset"; and "Try avoiding the bully".

So what I ask is: are those advices around the web (and other similar) really helpful? What do you think people should really do in these situations?

Another thing that comes to my mind is why she is bullying her. Maybe because she's a foreigner?
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Re: Bullying

Postby iChef » Sun Feb 13, 2011 6:33 pm UTC

Kids will bully no matter what, is sucks but it's true. It sounds like this is the hazing the new kid variety. They are trying to establish her place in the already established social ladder. There are a few ways to get them to stop. The first method to try is to be unfailingly nice. Tell her not to let the abuse get her down no matter what, they don't really dislike her it's just a test. Once she settles in things should be OK. If that doesn't work she has to dish out a little abuse of her own, show she can go toe to toe with the best of them. Way back when I was in school this sometimes meant a physical fight, but I'm pretty sure those days are gone (and I'm a guy so it might be different). When I moved from Catholic to public school one guy and his friends wouldn't lay off, I finally fought him and we pounded each other pretty good. Afterwards they were all really cool to me, it was some sort of hazing thing. The best best might be to just toss a few snarky comments of her own at the abusers and try to find some nicer friends I'm sure they're out there. Bullies like to go for easy targets once they see she's not a pushover they'll find someone else to be jerks to.

*I don't want to sound like I'm advocating violence but that's kinda what you had to go through if you were in my school 20 years ago*
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Re: Bullying

Postby M.C. » Mon Feb 14, 2011 12:43 am UTC

There is really no good advice on what you can do to avoid bullying, because if someone wants to piss you off they'll piss you off.

To be honest, if it's just one person, then yeah, avoiding them is a good way to go. Hang around with other social circles, avoid conversation unless necessary/odd. They'll be someone who hates the bully for being an idiot that'll talk to you.

It sounds like it's just one girl being a bitch, so it wouldn't be a bad idea to try and take the insults in a self-depreciating way, and give some tongue-in-cheek insults back.

If it is an entire social group, like the entire school if making fun of her, try and encourage her to pick up extra-curricular activities so that their is a friend group that can provide some friendship.

Also, spoilered for off-topic
Spoiler:
iChef wrote:When I moved from Catholic to public school one guy and his friends wouldn't lay off, I finally fought him and we pounded each other pretty good.

That sounds like a very good outcome to me, but I think I'm misinterpreting it.
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Re: Bullying

Postby Griffin » Mon Feb 14, 2011 12:48 pm UTC

There is really no good advice on what you can do to avoid bullying, because if someone wants to piss you off they'll piss you off.

Piss them off first, if you can deal with the fallout. I find ignoring it or finding new people to be better than nothing, but not optimal.

Now, this is just the way I handled similar problems, and is probably also not optimal, or applicable to all situations. Keep in mind that I am a guy, as well.
If she can stomache the consequences, destroy the kid. Bullies tend to be extremely insecure, and if you act in ways they don't expect, especially confrontational ways, and you can do it without losing your temper - there's a good chance they will lose theirs. And unless you back down, that puts you in control. But it means you need to go on the offensive a bit. The fact is, a lot of bullies don't expect people to fight back. If you can go toe to toe with them on equal footing and give as much as you get, the "testing" will end in many situations. If you don't want to worry about similar situations in the future, you can destroy them completely. Most high school students are honest-to-god not prepared for truly vicious comments in response to their "try to show I'm more important than this person on the heirarchy" comments.

I was bullied three times throughout high school - none of them lasted long. One was forced to transfer to another school, another I got expelled, and the third... well, actually I kind of liked the third, and he really didn't have any friends or anything, so I mostly let him be. However, my strategy of antagonizing them in response to bullying until they did something extremely stupid (in front of witnesses) that I could twist into a way to get rid of them might not work in all situations. But the turning the tables on them in some way is certainly an option.
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Re: Bullying

Postby RoberII » Mon Feb 14, 2011 3:11 pm UTC

First, what age group are we talking about here? Teenagers? Tweens? Older?

It sounds like this is to some degree more a question of prejudice than of bullying. Is there anything like a Brazilian expat club in the area? Depending on age group, there might also be other foreign students that she could talk to. If it is a question of school-wide prejudice, consider changing schools, or talking to teachers can be very effective, depending on their experience with bullying. When I was in school, there were some very successful campaigns to end bullying, even at the more vicious ages (13-15). Don't know how effective they would be at higher ages.

Secondly, I think someone with a brazilian or portuguese background should probably weigh in on this topic, since norms of behaviour vary widely. Would it be acceptable for a portuguese girl to beat up another portuguese girl? Or would this lead to negative social repercussions?

Also, try and get lots of friends/allies. This is much easier when/if the other kids can be removed from the group, since these things are very groupthink dependent - especially if there is a strong leader in charge of this.
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Re: Bullying

Postby SmartViking » Mon Feb 14, 2011 3:13 pm UTC

Depending on the school, it can also work to talk to the teachers. But it is very different from school to school whether it will work, if the school handles thing wrong, there is a chance that she will end up like the girl who "gossip" to the teachers. I was bullied last year, when I was 17 years old, it lasted for a pretty long time. Once at a party he talked about that he wanted to fight me, might be because he was pretty drunk, anyway I said a better more peaceful solution would be to arm wrestle, so we did that, I won the first time but he got mad, said that I cheated and hit me in the face, since I'm someone who never use violence(even though I feel like I want to sometimes), I just smiled and pretend like it didn't hurt, then he wanted to arm wrestle one more time, and then I lost. Some days later in school he came to me talking about it, and I said "Well, I lost because I was drunk", and he obviously didn't want to believe me, so he wanted to arm wrestle there. So we started to arm wrestle and boom, I won. He said "You've been training!", and asked if he could try one more time, but I beat him time after time. That made him stop bullying me, when he realized that I was better than him in arm wrestling.
To pretend that you don't care might be a good solution, that's what I've always been trying to do, but if they don't stop it can be very exhausting for your mental health because it feels like it doesn't help at all. If things work differently for girls I have no idea but I guess, they probably use their body language more. What can always be a consolation is that they have bigger problems than you, and will probably learn something, sometime, in the future, they will probably realize how stupid they where, and that what they did caused problems for others, and will know it for the rest of their lives(unless they are legitimately a bad person and enjoys it, but I don't really think anyone is legitimately a bad person).
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Re: Bullying

Postby Griffin » Mon Feb 14, 2011 5:29 pm UTC

Yeah, that's the problem with stuff like this, what works in one situation could be the complete wrong thing in another. :/

It also helps if they can figure the cause of the bullying. Why does this girl make those sort of comments? If nothing else, she could probably ask them. But while its easy to offer advice on how we've dealt with it, its much harder to offer advice that would actually be useful since we don't know the situation.
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Re: Bullying

Postby HungryHobo » Mon Feb 14, 2011 6:32 pm UTC

If it were males it'd be fairly simple with only one person being a dick rather than a whole group: issue challenge, show up at the time and place, fight, make sure you inflict some minor but visible or painful injury, don't complain about any minor but visible or painful injury you receive yourself, laugh about it later.
Indeed any significant contest of strength should work, it doesn't have to be very violent as suggested above.
My brother simply used to shake hands, he had an incredibly strong grip and would gently crush their hand in his.
It slots you into the dominance hierarchy neatly.

with girls I have no idea.
They're far nastier and the social situations more complex.
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Re: Bullying

Postby PeterCai » Mon Feb 14, 2011 9:39 pm UTC

HungryHobo wrote:If it were males it'd be fairly simple with only one person being a dick rather than a whole group: issue challenge, show up at the time and place, fight, make sure you inflict some minor but visible or painful injury, don't complain about any minor but visible or painful injury you receive yourself, laugh about it later.
Indeed any significant contest of strength should work, it doesn't have to be very violent as suggested above.
My brother simply used to shake hands, he had an incredibly strong grip and would gently crush their hand in his.
It slots you into the dominance hierarchy neatly.

with girls I have no idea.
They're far nastier and the social situations more complex.


Eh,speaking from personal experience (as the bully), that doesn't work
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Re: Bullying

Postby HungryHobo » Tue Feb 15, 2011 9:09 am UTC

PeterCai wrote:Eh,speaking from personal experience (as the bully), that doesn't work

It depends on whether it's just someone being a dick or if it's someone actively attacking you.
If the latter then massively disproportionate and sudden violence works or at least makes it stop after the second or third broken bone inflicted on your attacker.
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Re: Bullying

Postby somebody already took it » Wed Feb 16, 2011 8:45 am UTC

Have any of you considered that engaging in violence, verbal abuse and other forms of cruelty as a response to bullying could further reinforce social structures which are conducive to it?
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Re: Bullying

Postby PeterCai » Wed Feb 16, 2011 10:13 am UTC

HungryHobo wrote:
PeterCai wrote:Eh,speaking from personal experience (as the bully), that doesn't work

It depends on whether it's just someone being a dick or if it's someone actively attacking you.
If the latter then massively disproportionate and sudden violence works or at least makes it stop after the second or third broken bone inflicted on your attacker.


it only works when said bully is alone and you are physically stronger. if there are multiple bullies, or one bully from an alpha pack, then this strategy backfires horribly. what you are doing here is basically challenging the bully for the alpha position, by their natural instinct, they WILL fight back.

the best way to avoid bullying is to join the alpha pack, failing that, aligning yourself with authority figures who give a shit. trying to become the alpha rarely works.

somebody already took it wrote:Have any of you considered that engaging in violence, verbal abuse and other forms of cruelty as a response to bullying could further reinforce social structures which are conducive to it?


this social structure is also reinforced at work place, family unit and government, with or without bullying's help. so, my opinion is do whatever works, even if it means violence
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Re: Bullying

Postby HungryHobo » Wed Feb 16, 2011 11:54 am UTC

PeterCai wrote:it only works when said bully is alone and you are physically stronger. if there are multiple bullies, or one bully from an alpha pack, then this strategy backfires horribly. what you are doing here is basically challenging the bully for the alpha position, by their natural instinct, they WILL fight back.

the best way to avoid bullying is to join the alpha pack, failing that, aligning yourself with authority figures who give a shit. trying to become the alpha rarely works.


Then you just become the bitch of the alpha pack and probably get more crap.

I never said you have to win.
just never ever ever ever curl into a ball and try to make it go away by ignoring it.
If someone is attacking you you just make sure you inflict some kind of injury. every. single. time.

The kid who bites strips of flesh off his attackers doesn't get bullied repeatedly.
had a case like this happen when I was in highschool.
tiny little guy.
bully about 3 times his weight.
tried to give him shit.
the rest of us found out about it when the ambulance turned up and the janitor was cleaning up blood.
He'd immediately retaliated by going nuts and tearing a strip of flesh off his attackers face about 2 inches long with his teeth.
As far as I remember the little guy didn't get into trouble because the teachers knew damn well that the big guy had earned it.
and nobody ever messed with him again after that.

you don't have to be physically stronger. merely ruthless.

Bullying is only reinforced when you try to appease your attacker and ingratiate yourself into his social group and sooner or later you just find yourself helping him torture others.

Have any of you considered that engaging in violence, verbal abuse and other forms of cruelty as a response to bullying could further reinforce social structures which are conducive to it?


Ah. the academic view.
yes 't it be nice if everyone was nice.
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Re: Bullying

Postby Zamfir » Wed Feb 16, 2011 1:25 pm UTC

HungryHobo wrote:Bullying is only reinforced when you try to appease your attacker and ingratiate yourself into his social group and sooner or later you just find yourself helping him torture others.

Yes, that is usually an effective approach, and one that I would recommend highly. Unless being nice is your goal, of course :P

Fighting on the other hand often doesn't do much to make you part of the group. It might save you from physical pain, but most social groups are subtle enough to punish people without violence. For young kids, it might work. But more advanced bullies can bully without laying a hand on you, and then fighting just makes you weird, and you lose sympathy from anyone who could have helped you.

Bullying doesn't stop when people get older. It becomes more subtle, less openly aggressive, and eventually it turns into office politics. Best way to deal with it is to develop lots of social skills, so that people generally like and/or respect you. Fighting is a bit of a dead-end solution.
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Re: Bullying

Postby HungryHobo » Wed Feb 16, 2011 1:40 pm UTC

Zamfir wrote:Bullying doesn't stop when people get older. It becomes more subtle, less openly aggressive, and eventually it turns into office politics. Best way to deal with it is to develop lots of social skills, so that people generally like and/or respect you. Fighting is a bit of a dead-end solution.


It is, however, still the same people who get picked on: the ones who either curl up into a ball and take it or react to it by appeasing.
There's more approaches than direct violence but it's just the most effective one when it's young males involved.

Personally I never had to go the extreme violence route, the occasional challenge fight but even those I can count on one hand.
I just tended to be good at forming strong 1:1 friendships so while I didn't have a pack I did have a few really solid friends and we'd all stand up for each other which helps avoid such problems starting in the first place.
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Re: Bullying

Postby firechicago » Wed Feb 16, 2011 4:18 pm UTC

HungryHobo wrote:He'd immediately retaliated by going nuts and tearing a strip of flesh off his attackers face about 2 inches long with his teeth.
As far as I remember the little guy didn't get into trouble because the teachers knew damn well that the big guy had earned it.
and nobody ever messed with him again after that.


But the success of this strategy depends a lot on the teachers taking that view, and not, say, calling the cops and having you arrested and/or committed.

Bullying has to be pretty horrific before it's worth risking being sent to juvie or a mental hospitals over.
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Re: Bullying

Postby HungryHobo » Wed Feb 16, 2011 5:00 pm UTC

If you solve every problem by attacking someone visciously then that may happen but retalitating to violence with excessive violence once is easier to justify.
especially if the bully has a reputation.

it depends on the school too of course.
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Re: Bullying

Postby zmatt » Wed Feb 16, 2011 5:38 pm UTC

HungryHobo wrote:
PeterCai wrote:it only works when said bully is alone and you are physically stronger. if there are multiple bullies, or one bully from an alpha pack, then this strategy backfires horribly. what you are doing here is basically challenging the bully for the alpha position, by their natural instinct, they WILL fight back.

the best way to avoid bullying is to join the alpha pack, failing that, aligning yourself with authority figures who give a shit. trying to become the alpha rarely works.


Then you just become the bitch of the alpha pack and probably get more crap.

I never said you have to win.
just never ever ever ever curl into a ball and try to make it go away by ignoring it.
If someone is attacking you you just make sure you inflict some kind of injury. every. single. time.

The kid who bites strips of flesh off his attackers doesn't get bullied repeatedly.
had a case like this happen when I was in highschool.
tiny little guy.
bully about 3 times his weight.
tried to give him shit.
the rest of us found out about it when the ambulance turned up and the janitor was cleaning up blood.
He'd immediately retaliated by going nuts and tearing a strip of flesh off his attackers face about 2 inches long with his teeth.
As far as I remember the little guy didn't get into trouble because the teachers knew damn well that the big guy had earned it.
and nobody ever messed with him again after that.

you don't have to be physically stronger. merely ruthless.

Bullying is only reinforced when you try to appease your attacker and ingratiate yourself into his social group and sooner or later you just find yourself helping him torture others.

Have any of you considered that engaging in violence, verbal abuse and other forms of cruelty as a response to bullying could further reinforce social structures which are conducive to it?


Ah. the academic view.
yes 't it be nice if everyone was nice.



I have to agree with you. I was bullied once in middle school. I'm a bit of an a$$hole and i have a quick wit so when it was just verbal I dished it back out. The guy was actually smaller than me but he over compensated with aggression and an image that can best be described as "hood" to get his way. He tried to get physical and I beat the living snot out of him. Then again i don't fight fair. After a black eye and a bloody nose he left me alone. I equate most bullies to those guy in harold and kumar. Their bark is worse than their bite, but if nobody stands up to them then they can ruin everyone's day.
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Re: Bullying

Postby *bird » Wed Feb 16, 2011 10:28 pm UTC

HungryHobo wrote:
PeterCai wrote:it only works when said bully is alone and you are physically stronger. if there are multiple bullies, or one bully from an alpha pack, then this strategy backfires horribly. what you are doing here is basically challenging the bully for the alpha position, by their natural instinct, they WILL fight back.

the best way to avoid bullying is to join the alpha pack, failing that, aligning yourself with authority figures who give a shit. trying to become the alpha rarely works.


Then you just become the bitch of the alpha pack and probably get more crap.

I never said you have to win.
just never ever ever ever curl into a ball and try to make it go away by ignoring it.
If someone is attacking you you just make sure you inflict some kind of injury. every. single. time.

The kid who bites strips of flesh off his attackers doesn't get bullied repeatedly.
had a case like this happen when I was in highschool.
tiny little guy.
bully about 3 times his weight.
tried to give him shit.
the rest of us found out about it when the ambulance turned up and the janitor was cleaning up blood.
He'd immediately retaliated by going nuts and tearing a strip of flesh off his attackers face about 2 inches long with his teeth.
As far as I remember the little guy didn't get into trouble because the teachers knew damn well that the big guy had earned it.
and nobody ever messed with him again after that.

you don't have to be physically stronger. merely ruthless.

Bullying is only reinforced when you try to appease your attacker and ingratiate yourself into his social group and sooner or later you just find yourself helping him torture others.

Have any of you considered that engaging in violence, verbal abuse and other forms of cruelty as a response to bullying could further reinforce social structures which are conducive to it?


Ah. the academic view.
yes 't it be nice if everyone was nice.


I actually did that as a kid (injured someone who was teasing). I got in trouble for it.

Much of bullying in school comes from the parents (teaching the kids what's acceptable). Unfortunately, if you have a parent who isn't cooperative and doesn't care about whether their kid harms others, there's not much recourse.
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Re: Bullying

Postby HungryHobo » Thu Feb 17, 2011 8:34 am UTC

That's partly why I said it's not much good for girls social situations: they tend to be verbal rather than physical.

and male or female responding to words with violence is vastly more likely to get you in trouble. Responding to violence with lots of violence is far easier to justify.
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Re: Bullying

Postby Enokh » Thu Feb 17, 2011 3:19 pm UTC

One of the few times this has come up for me (I wasn't ever really bullied, but everyone gets harassed at some point), the following tactics seemed to help:

1) Constantly interrupting them with rapid insults. The bonus here is they don't have to be particular clever insults (or even make sense). As soon as they start talking, toss out a stupid "your mom" joke, or call them fat, or whatever. Eventually they'll just get so pissed off they'll do something completely idiotic and make a fool of themselves.

2) Drop insults as if they aren't insults, but factual statements. Don't use any sort of abusive tone, keep your face neutral at minimum, and calmly explain incredibly terrible things about them or their family. This one is quite a bit harder as A) you'll likely be upset, and thus will have trouble keeping a straight face, and B) you have to be completely willing to say downright terrible things. There is also the possibility that, even if you "win", the things you say are going to cause some people to lose respect for you.

Though, again, this is from a male perspective; I have no idea about how female/female bullying works (other than that tactic 2 worked really well against females).
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Re: Bullying

Postby scarecrovv » Sun Feb 20, 2011 8:14 pm UTC

Back in high school, my grand strategy, which worked out relatively well in the end, was to form relationships with the people who were both popular, and had a similar sense of humour to my own. It was mostly not what I'd call friendship, though I did have some good friends. It was more akin to them tolerating my presence, and I joined in conversation when possible. These relationships didn't extend beyond school, but they didn't need to. The purpose was to be part of a group, and thereby not stick out as an obvious undefended target.

However, once I did get picked out by a group of bullies led by one of the football players. Verbal abuse was forthcoming for about a month and a half. I mostly attempted to ignore it, and avoid them until some anonymous person, I believe it may have been a friend of mine, reported it to a teacher, at which point it died down, mostly. However, the occasional bump in the hallway or very unsubtle dig continued for about a year afterwards. It was entirely tolerable, so I didn't really care much. However, things came to a head eventually in a stairwell. It was between classes, and there were lots of witnesses. I was going up the stairs, and the group leader loudly announced the fact that I was not going up the stairs any further, and was in fact headed back down. People fell relatively quiet as I advanced towards him, and simply pushed past and went on my way. I wouldn't have been able to take him on if I didn't have the railing to brace against, or if he was expecting resistance, but the simple fact that I had publicly and calmly physically thwarted someone at least twice my mass ended further bullying. I deliberately didn't rub it in his face. I just let the act stand on it's own, and thereby allowed him to keep some of his self respect.

There were no further issues.
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Re: Bullying

Postby Me321 » Mon Feb 21, 2011 1:32 am UTC

lipebr wrote: she'd say something like "Nooo! You guys invited the brazillian kid!".



Name calling, a common bullying practice, I experenced it in grade school, the best way to handle this is to accept the name as a new nickname, I did and people called me that for years, it may have started out as an insult or a rude comment to make me stick out, but I turned it into a cool nick-name.

As for the rest, if it is just one person, and no one pays any attention to them then this person may just be trying to get attention.
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Re: Bullying

Postby Gerino » Mon Feb 21, 2011 1:39 pm UTC

http://forums.xkcd.com/viewtopic.php?f=44&t=33686

7 pages on bullies, just so you know ;)
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Re: Bullying

Postby Headshrinker » Sun Mar 13, 2011 5:14 pm UTC

If you are going to go for violence.
A loss of temper and a obvious but undeclared physical threat would make the other person either back down most of the time. The rule is give them physical space to back out, get close enough that they feel they have to move back and watch out for any attack.
This way they either back down, start the fight or just stay still and look like an idiot. You can either back down from the fight and act like they are being totaly unreasonable.
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Re: Bullying

Postby Iulus Cofield » Mon Mar 14, 2011 1:14 am UTC

I don't think there is any solution to bullying. I'm no psychologist, but I've seen it in some form in nearly every group I've ever seen, in age groups from about 5 up to 100.
It seems to me that bullying is a way for social groups to enforce hierarchies, so the only way to end it is to integrate into your appropriate place in the hierarchy. Unless your place in the hierarchy is the one where being shit on is institutionalized, then I don't know what to do.

Hierarchies, man. When will we get over them?

Edit: Would it be acceptable to talk about bullying on XKCD?
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Re: Bullying

Postby Indon » Mon Mar 14, 2011 2:53 am UTC

somebody already took it wrote:Have any of you considered that engaging in violence, verbal abuse and other forms of cruelty as a response to bullying could further reinforce social structures which are conducive to it?


This doesn't change the fact that you need to shank somebody or join a gang in a prison: In an immature social environment, people literally behave like animals, and with those animals you must be assertive.

Now, that said, school isn't prison, so you can be assertive without doing anything extreme. The last guy who tried to bully me was a guy with a tendency to punch me in the arm. I spent less than an hour of punching him in the arm under about same circumstances. He never approached me again.
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Re: Bullying

Postby HungryHobo » Mon Mar 14, 2011 11:55 am UTC

Indon wrote:Now, that said, school isn't prison, so you can be assertive without doing anything extreme. .


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Re: Bullying

Postby yawningdog » Mon Mar 14, 2011 4:15 pm UTC

I was afraid of bullies until I finally took one on. It's fun to see the wide-eyed shock on their faces once they realize they have a fight on their hands.

You can't talk to them. You can't ignore them. You can't join them. Your teachers don't care. You're either the face, or you're the heel. I recommend being the heel.
Last edited by yawningdog on Mon Mar 14, 2011 4:17 pm UTC, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Bullying

Postby Diadem » Mon Mar 14, 2011 11:13 pm UTC

Indon wrote:Now, that said, school isn't prison

Schools are in fact, exactly like prisons. Up to and including the fact that the guards (teachers) usually join in on the bullying to increase their social standing.
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Re: Bullying

Postby yawningdog » Tue Mar 15, 2011 1:22 am UTC

Schools are in fact, exactly like prisons.

I strongly recommend speaking with someone who has actually been to prison before making such assertions.
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Re: Bullying

Postby Indon » Wed Mar 16, 2011 5:01 am UTC

Diadem wrote:Schools are in fact, exactly like prisons.


In principle, but not in substance. There is much less rape and murder in schools than in prisons because those children generally haven't been taught to rape and murder yet.
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Re: Bullying

Postby zmatt » Wed Mar 16, 2011 3:15 pm UTC

Indon wrote:
Diadem wrote:Schools are in fact, exactly like prisons.


In principle, but not in substance. There is much less rape and murder in schools than in prisons because those children generally haven't been taught to rape and murder yet.


Nice, I didn't know being evil was a learned skill.
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Re: Bullying

Postby mewshi » Wed Mar 23, 2011 12:57 am UTC

Not everyone who is in prison is evil, necessarily. And if participating in certain programs while in prison can drastically reduce the recidivism rate, why can't the opposite be true -- that institutionalizing the degradation of people makes them worse and more likely to recidivate? (I think there was a study that actually showed this, but I can't remember, as it's not in my old criminal justice binder).

Basically, non-violent offenders end up learning how to kill and rape quite efficiently in prison; even if they never do it, they still know how. A guy who spends years in jail for selling pot is more likely to be released only to commit a crime that actually hurts someone.
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Re: Bullying

Postby GenericAnimeBoy » Wed Mar 23, 2011 3:45 am UTC

zmatt wrote:
Indon wrote:
Diadem wrote:Schools are in fact, exactly like prisons.


In principle, but not in substance. There is much less rape and murder in schools than in prisons because those children generally haven't been taught to rape and murder yet.


Nice, I didn't know being evil was a learned skill.


Whether it is even possible to "be" evil is a topic for another thread. However, callously disregarding the empathy reflex in order to more efficiently hurt other people is a learned skill--one which is pretty much forced on inmates by the realities of living in that microsociety. I believe that's what Indon was referring to.

The wild tangent about schools aside, I was (and I now proudly remain) a geek, and I was bullied for it throughout elementary school and junior high. I struggle to even talk to people I don't know in person now, due in part to the coping mechanisms I was forced to adopt as a child. It's getting less bad now that the realities of college are forcing me to confront it, but the point remains: bullying does real damage to people.
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Re: Bullying

Postby El Spark » Wed Mar 23, 2011 5:56 pm UTC

yawningdog wrote:You can't talk to them. You can't ignore them. You can't join them. Your teachers don't care. You're either the face, or you're the heel. I recommend being the heel.


I'm afraid that this is how I feel about the whole thing. Given how teachers have reacted to me fighting back against the bullies, and how they've reacted to active, visible bullying directed against me, I have little choice but to think that bullying is as much an accepted part of the system as standardized testing.

Note that there are PLENTY of teachers who would love to see standardized testing gone from the face of the earth. Same with bullying. That doesn't stop it from being part of the system.
Last edited by El Spark on Thu Mar 24, 2011 10:01 pm UTC, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Bullying

Postby Oregonaut » Thu Mar 24, 2011 4:41 pm UTC

So I came over to the US from Germany during...what, fourth grade. When I arrived, I expected that the US education system would be much like the school I had attended the first four years of my school life.

Do what the teacher tells you to do, or expect punishment such as you have never known before. PE was push-ups, sit-ups, running (not jogging, not walking, you're hurt? Too fucking bad, run.), climbing ropes, learning to tumble, etc. Class lessons were taught, at a pace. You kept up, or you stayed after. Lessons were done on time, no exceptions. Parents were pulled into the principal's office for minor infractions.

Basically, not the US system at all.

I spent my first three years in US schools getting bullied. I was smart, I spoke funny, I used words appropriately, I read books, I was everything bullies love to pick on. I was a big guy, but I was taught to not use that to be a bully by my parents, and by the people I was raised around until that point.

Seventh grade, the school "tough guy" who knew the kids who had bullied me through elementary school took over since I went to a different Junior High than everyone else. Unfortunately, other things had been happening as well in my life and I finally decided that I had experienced enough pain, and it was time to start giving some back.

By seventh grade, I was about 6'1", but still very, very lean. I spent a lot of time working in my grandfather's wire shop, carrying 120lb bails of different gauges of wire, though, so I was strong, just not very imposing.

The bully was about 5'8", a grade older than me, and thought he was the cock of the walk. About four months into the school year, he walked past me and shoved me into my open locker. As he went to close the door on my shoulders, I stomped on his ankle. He stumbled back a bit, because he wasn't prepared for me attacking him. I laced my fingers behind his head and brought my knee up into his face repeatedly. He couldn't block it, he kept trying to hit me, his friends were stunned that I was actually striking back, and apparently decided that stepping in would just end up with them getting beaten too. After driving my knee into his face/chest five, six times or so, I leaned forward and picked him up into a fireman's carry, and looked up. I saw my art teacher, big, BIG, Native American guy. He was leaning against the wall about 12 feet away, had a calm look on his face, and simply said, "please put him down."

I shrugged my shoulder, off fell the bully, hitting the ground in an awkward crying heap. The teacher said, "Please come with me." I closed my locker, and walked past everyone else. They backed off me, they did not want to mess with me, since they were not even close to the bully's size. My teacher took me to his classroom, which was empty in that period, sat me down, and explained "the rules" to me.

1. Do not instigate.
2. Do not abuse your size.
3. Do not become a monster.
4. Finish it.

We then had a long talk about what had been happening, and he explained that it was common for kids like me to be bullied. He spoke about how he saw my "gentle spirit", and how he knew that just because I did not like hurting things it did not mean I was not capable of it. We would have to go and speak to the principal, because those were the rules, but he would stand beside me and he would make sure that the rules were applied with justice in mind, not blind obedience. This dude was a great guy, and he taught me a lot about how to handle myself when I am faced with physical violence. He was an ex-amateur boxer, and spent a lot of time after school teaching me basic boxing techniques. I listened to him at first because he stood like six inches above me. I listened to him later because he made a lot of sense. He eventually told me that he used to be like me. He was bullied because he was "that injun fucker". He knew what it was like to be different.

I was lucky. The world needs more teachers like that.
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Re: Bullying

Postby Griffin » Thu Mar 24, 2011 4:50 pm UTC

Oregonaut, I just want to say thats a wonderfully inspiring story.
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Re: Bullying

Postby KingofMadCows » Thu Mar 24, 2011 11:41 pm UTC

Find out more about the bully. You have to understand their motivation before you can really take any action. What you can do depends on whether if it's a single bully or if the bully has friends.

If it's a single bully then ignoring and simply not responding to him or her could work but it will likely lead to an escalation of their bullying for a short time before it stops. You just have to ride that out if you want a permanent end to the behavior. If you respond during the period of escalation then that can become the new norm.

If the bully has friends then it becomes quite a bit tougher since the bully can get reinforcement from his or her friends. In those cases, intervention by authority figures may be necessary.
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Re: Bullying

Postby Whyareall » Sat Mar 26, 2011 6:37 am UTC

One of my friends told me that if someone's bullying you, just look in their eyes, with no expression on your face, just looking at them. Having been past the years when I was bullied, I am unable to try it, however.
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