Bullying seems to be a growth industry.
While bullying is hardly new, the 24 hour news cycle seems to thrive on elevating bullies to star status. Various forms of social media makes it ever more easy to attack others from afar behind the seeming safety of a smart phone. Shockingly, it’s possible we may soon elect a bully-in-chief.
We know a few things about bullies.
Bullies appear strong, when at their core they are quite weak.
Bullies project confidence and control, when their behavior is in fact rooted in profoundly deep insecurity.
Bullies never assume accountability,
Bullies can’t work alone. They require someone to victimize, a target.
Bullies, left unchecked, can destroy lives and imperil cultures–big and small.
More times than not, when we confront bullies to their face, they cower. Yet often, once they are at a safe distance from their intended victims, the bullying starts anew.
Bullying will never go completely away. In fact it may well be part of the human condition. But there a few antidotes to bullying.
Whenever you can, take your ball and go home. First time, every time.
Speak out, challenge, refuse to tolerate bullying behavior wherever you encounter it.
Promote openheartedness as a counter-acting agent.
And, whatever you do, never put a bully in a position of responsibility.