The Two Types of Bullies, and how to deal with them

When you think of a bully, what comes to mind? I bet it’s the media portrayal of the bully. It’s a big-boned/large bodied boy or girl who assaults a smaller person, and demands his or her lunch money. This cartoon-definition of the bully does not do justice to the truth.

Some of the worst bullies never use violence. Bullying is physical, but it is verbal and psychological, also. It includes mocking/ridiculing, belittling, disrespecting, dismissing, alienating/isolating and threatening others.

The most important thing to understand about bullies is that many bullies,DO NOT know they are bullies. Shocking, right? The first type of bully is the Type A bully, exemplified by media. This is the bully who knows he’s a bully and does not care. He physically puts his hands on you, sometime even under the disguise of friendship.

In school, there was a girl who frequently “greeted” me by slapping me hard enough to leave bruises. When I asked her to stop, she dismissed me, saying we were friends. We were not friends. She never “greeted” her friends by assaulting them. Type A bullies know they’re bullies, and will not care if they cause you bodily hard. These bullies often take their aggression out on other people. They love threatening and intimidating, and, if it comes down to it, physically assaulting others.

The second type of bully is the Type B bully. This bully does not know she is a bully. This bully will NEVER put her hands on you, but she will laugh in your face, or when you are belittled, hurt or insulted. She will try to dismiss, alienate and isolate you.

In high school, I sat with a group of girls, whose designated leader had a habit of openly inviting everyone except me to hang out after school or on the weekend. Imagine this: there are 5 girls at a table. Girl A invites girl B, C and D to her party by name, but not you, Girl E. Many people may disagree this is bullying, but ask yourself, what’s the point of inviting B, C and D to the party in front of E? The point is to make E feel small and insignificant; it is to alienate her. Type B bullies do not know they are bullies, and if confronted, will deny it; after all, they never hit you … just try to alienate and belittle you.

By the way, that same girl from my high school often burst into giggles, covering her mouth and walking away when I would see her in the hallway. None of the other girls in the group came to my defense. My sole regret is not confronting her, and them about it.

This brings me to my last point. Bullying will never end; especially, because many bullies do not know they are, and the media continues to define bullying exclusively as physical assault and name-calling. The physical wounds may hurt for a short time, but the psychological damage lasts a lifetime.

There are things one can do about bullies. The most important, which may be the hardest thing to do if you’re mousy, is to confront them. Not just the Type A bullies, but also the Type B bullies. When you are trapped in a corner, call the bully out, and put them on the spot. Vocally identify the situation as bullying, and ask the bullies flat out why they are bullying you. Ask them why they’re trying to alienate you and make you feel small.

Call the passive Type B bullies out for their laughter OR their silence, which is complicit. If the bully’s best friend says nothing while the bully attacks, look that friend in the eyes and ask her if she is okay with what the bully is doing;, and what does that say about her that her best friend is a bully. Let her know you hold her accountable, too.

Calling out a bully a) identifies the situation for what it is, and b) holds everyone accountable. No one — especially not the Type B bullies — want to be called a bully. If you don’t call it “bullying,” then they will walk away believing they did nothing wrong, or that it was an argument you lost.

Calling it bullying marks it starkly as such; it is the legal difference between a fight and an assault. You will get reactionary responses, such as denial or dismissal. Make sure you express your disappointment with those who did not speak up, or who laughed; tell them you’ve lost respect for them, and walk off, and then avoid them forever — unless they apologize. Just don’t let them off the hook — make sure they leave knowing they bullied you, or did something wrong.

For the Type A bully, it if gets to a point where you genuinely fear for your well-being, you need to report it, and/or get the police involved.


About TCDH

Blogger with an opinion.
This entry was posted in Commentary, People, Personal, Rant and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

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