Bullying was a huge topic in the media this year with suicides that occurred as a result of bullying, as well as celebrities sharing their stories of being bullied as kids. The ‘it gets better’ slogan became popular to help youngsters get through the tough times.
It recently occurred to me that bullying doesn’t necessarily stop after high school.
I see adults use more discreet forms of bullying as power-plays. Think about a boss or co-worker you had who wanted to exert his/her power over you or somewhere with whom you worked. He/she might make inappropriate and/or degrading jokes to put the other person ‘in their place’ and/or to make him/herself feel better and more powerful. A family member might use such tactics to bully his/her husband/wife/son/daughter/brother/sister, etc to do what he/she wants. Or, most recently, I saw it on my facebook profile. After posting an innocent photo with a friend at the pool, a ‘friend’ made a series of mean comments about the weight of my slender friend, concluding with hurtful comments on her health and unlikely ability to conceive children. She’d never met this girl, yet my friend was left feeling hurt and attacked by a stranger.
I guess it goes to show that while ‘it does get better’ because we get older and stronger, and hopefully learn to filter the harsh words and actions of ‘bullies’, that the mentality of the bully doesn’t go away just because we get older.