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Posted Wednesday, June 24, 2009, at 7:34 PM

When a person thinks of bullying, they usually think of kids on a playground, pushing, shoving, posturing for the best position on the monkey bars.

Bullying isn't generally something you think about in the adult world. Perhaps this is because in the world of HR (human resources) they tend not to address bullying specifically. They tend to give it terms as aggressive behavior or add the word 'discriminating' to the description.

However there are adult bullies out there. One thing I learned very early on about bullies is they

are rather insecure people who would rather be nasty than even attempting to be civil. (Wow now that is a novel concept - being civil.)

As a kid, I was verbally bullied at school almost every day I can remember. I did get the point where I would finally defend myself but usually that made things even worse. I still have a very vivid recollect of getting my head slammed into my locker while I was getting books in junior high. I had had the audacity to tick off the cowgirl group and they tended to be the more physical of the bullies. So, I did try to ignore it. Ignoring it didn't fix the bullies. It built that internal wall for me but it didn't fix the bully.

When I entered the adult world, I have encountered plenty of bullies. They still are those same insecure jerks who are manipulators and liars who will play two ends against the middle just for their own personal satisfaction.

Bullies will denigrate differences in people. Bullies will pick on clothing choices, lifestyle choices. Bullies also may think they have a power base that can't be cracked because of the perception they have created that they can't be 'touched'.

Bullies utilize group think to their advantage. Group think is an interesting little gadget. This can come about when a bully plants the seed of character assassination in a group. The bully 'waters' the group think with lies but the group "thinks" due to the bully's position that this bully is correct in everything word, thought or action. Not once does anyone in the group think individually or even question the bully's actions or thoughts as even being remotely suspect. After all, the bully is an adult in a seemingly powerful position.

Adult bullies tend to put their victims in such turmoil that their very livelihoods and health are even in the balance. But to the bully - the victim didn't dress correctly, had the audacity to disagree with the bully, had the nerve to actually follow policies in place, and the list could go on and on.

The victims of these jerks tend to have to leave their employment not by choice but are forced out. Blackmail is what it amounts to in many cases. What I mean by blackmail is when a victim is told they can either leave with a recommendation to try to find another job or if they fight this the bully and the "group" will rip your reputation to shreds and are told - good luck trying to find a job. This is economic and emotional bullying.

Bullies will also go after family members. This is probably the lowest thing they do but it is a reality. They again do the group think crap or they utilize their power base to shove another victim under their bully bus just to get their way with the adult.

What I have learned is usually the bullying catches up with the bully. It catches up financially, emotionally and sometimes spiritually. I don't have any magic answers for the victims of these jerks. I really don't but I want the true perspective to be out there. Because the group needs to know there is a bully in their midst. You have to ask yourself how many more victims there will be before the group wakes up and takes a good long look into the mirror of their souls and realizes just how many good and decent people they have trampled by not using their own brains and asking enough questions - or even questioning anything at all.

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Betsy, This is a very good blog! I live in a city of 200,000 plus and work for a business with 6,000 employees and I see bullying all the time. Then I read the blogs in the Gazette and see bullying even in them. The outright lies that are told to belittle others is shameful. But shame seems to be a thing of the past.

Again......excellent blog! Maybe that could be your next subject. Thanks!

-- Posted by Blueridge on Mon, Jun 29, 2009, at 1:22 AM

Good blog! For some reason people have forgotten about one of the commandments: "Thou shall not bear false witness against thy neighbor." This is especially true in a small community where rumors run rampant. Just pause to think about what is being said and who may be hurt before spreading rumors for the sake of conversation.

-- Posted by BuffRoam on Thu, Jun 25, 2009, at 12:06 AM

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