1. MainerMikeBrown
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    MainerMikeBrown Contributing Member

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    Verbal Assaults By Bullies Can Do Much Harm

    Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by MainerMikeBrown, Oct 17, 2013.

    When it comes to bullies who make verbal assaults on other kids, their's that old saying, "Sticks and stones will break my bones but names will never hurt me."

    Huh? Are you kidding me?

    That old saying is false. Kids and teens who bully other students at school with verbal assaults do hurt their young victims.

    The thing is, for many youths, verbal assaults by other students are just as emotionally damaging as physical assaults. Take it from someone who knows.

    So for any adult who sees a student verbally abusing another, realize how serious bullying is and do something about it. Verbal assaults do harm.
     
  2. Darrell Standing
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    Darrell Standing Member

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    Kids are so friggin irrational and horrible to eachother in school...well they were in my school anway...monsters they were
     
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  3. A.M.P.
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    A.M.P. People Buy My Books for the Bio Photo Supporter Contributor

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    I found, in my experience, that verbal bullying is more effective on those without a strong group of friends or network (ie family or something) where they can wash those words off or those already with self doubt.
    The real issues is not bullying, it's the people who can't ignore it.
    You don't feel bad because someone calls you a random name, it hurts because you think it may be true.
    People always say "ignore them" or something similar and it's the best advice but it comes down to the kids self-confidence and the support he gets from others.
    Without those, ignoring the bad words is impossible.

    Of course, continuous harassment can be damaging and might become a real bother if it doesn't stop.
    Dealing with that daily is a chore no one wants.
     
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  4. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Broken bones heal. Broken spirit does not.
     
  5. ChickenFreak
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    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

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    > People always say "ignore them" or something similar and it's the best advice

    I don't agree that it's the best advice. Sure, it's the best thing to do when you encounter a roaming irrational person at the grocery, or when a relative stranger loses their temper, once, and you happen to be in range of their words.

    But school bullying isn't a random, occasional event. It's a consistent social behavior, and it happens in a context where the authorities are supposed to be regulating behavior. By allowing it, the school is teaching that it's OK. And kids who ignore that behavior make it easier for the school to allow it.

    And the argument that, "Well, kids will have to deal with the real world"...yeah. They will. And that real world is not what it was fifty years ago. Civility is being more and more strongly enforced in the workplace, and a kid that grows up thinking that he can torment others is being badly served by his education. If anyone bullied me in the workplace, I'd file a complaint and that complaint would be promptly acted on with rapid and serious consequences for the offender. That's how it should be in schools.

    Sure, there are some workplaces where bullying is still allowed or even encouraged and the lawsuit to stop that hasn't happened yet. But even there, a child who has experienced decent civil social behavior--who has not been bullied and who has not been allowed to be a bully--is going to be a child with the confidence and resilience that allows him to deal with that situation or to have the courage to walk away from it.
     
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  6. MsScribble
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    MsScribble Member

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    When people say 'Ignore it,' they're actually saying shut up about it. You can't actually ignore something; it happens, you process it. Ignore it means keep it to yourself, don't bother anyone about it. It mean just pretend your ignoring it. Its a popular thing to say to bullied girls, ie; just shut up and repress it like a good girl.
    I find this a supremely stupid thing to say, unthinking and illogical.

    Verbal bullying is also very popular in the workplace, since its usually the only way you can get at someone in that setting.
     
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  7. jazzabel
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    jazzabel Contributing Member Contributor

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    Bullying others is always a sign of frustration, insecurity and low self esteem. Mosts bullies are bullied themselves, usually by the parents, or used to be bullied, and cope with it by becoming bullies. themselves. Unfortunately, bullying doesn't end in school, and adults are just as uncomfortable and insecure in dealing with it as children are. It's all rather sad.
     
  8. T.Trian
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    T.Trian Overly Pompous Bastard Staff Supporter Contributor

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    There are several ways to deal with verbal/social bullying. I don't, as such, advocate this, but it's just a subjective observation:
    Sometimes it causes more trouble, but it looks like most bullies cower under the threat of physical violence. And by "threat" I mean a situation where they know they most likely will get badly hurt by their "victim." A simple verbal threat doesn't cut it. Unfortunately, to instill that kind of fear, they usually need a precedent, i.e. a previous beating that has left them changed for good. Or they know the victim has done the same to someone else, fear by proxy. A violent reputation is a double-edged sword, though.

    Another thing I've observed: people with a pronounced capacity for violence have a different air about them (in comparison to those more unacquainted with the world of violence) when they start to get angry. Most people usually get scared around such a person when things start going sour, so if you do have that air, it's often enough to repel bullies. There aren't even any clear signs, the person just starts to stand/talk/move a bit differently, their facial expressions are a little different etc. In any case, that's usually enough to grant them the respect (prompted by fear) of others unless the others are drunk in which case they'll likely walk into a world of hurt.

    I've observed this in practice several times. E.g. a guy who's known for taking a piss at everyone until they crack, was perfectly normal, even polite and friendly when dealing with a person whom he knew would knock his teeth in if it came to that. Again, just an observation...
     
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  9. Tara
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    Tara Contributing Member

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    I don't think it takes a violent person for a bully to stop; bullying is a way for bullies to make themselves look better and stronger while they make the victim of their bullying look weaker. I've never seen a bully pick on a person with lots of selfconfidence, not even if that person was alone, or someone who couldn't care less about how others feel about him/her.

    I would say the best way to take care of a bully is pretending not to care, they'll probably lose interest soon enough. And yes, I know that's not as easy as it sounds, but by making a teacher interfere you will (probably) only make sure the bully doesn't pick on someone when the teacher is there, but when the teacher is not around.
    I think self defense classes for the people getting bullied could work, or another way of giving the victims of bullies a way to defend themself when there is no one else around to defend them.
     
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  10. ChickenFreak
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    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

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    I've never heard of that working. I know that for two and a half solid years I ignored verbal taunting, never responded, never acted as if I could even hear. I "ignored", just as is always advised. And it went on for two and a half solid years and only stopped because everyone went on to a bigger school, the bullies chose new victims, and they didn't choose me that time.

    They know that you care. It's not as if "ignore them" is some super secret concept that they've never heard of. They know that you're bleeding behind that wall, and it motivates them all the more to break the wall and see the blood. The kids in my case got desperate enough once to call my house (this was before widely accessible Internet allowed bullies to invade kids' personal lives all the time) posing as someone that I wouldn't ignore, to get me off my guard.

    And having some bully-free time would be bad why?

    But I'm not talking about the teacher saying, "Aw, that's not nice; stop that now." I'm talking about the kids, at the rare times when the teacher is a witness, facing serious consequences. The bullies in my case were ambitious kids; something that interfered with their school record or their grades would have had meaning to them. And a culture in which bullying has reliable consequences could become like the culture regarding sexual harassment in most US workplaces--no matter how much of an arrogant entitled jerk you are, you fear those consequences and you modify your behavior.
     
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  11. Tara
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    Tara Contributing Member

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    Let's put it this way then: it worked for me.

    I'm not saying it's bad, I'm just saying I've seen too many cases where interference of an adult or anyone for that matter only made the bullying (and I'd day therefor the entire situation) worse, to a point where the bullying wasn't just limited to "verbal assaults" anymore".
     
  12. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    the 'good' news among the bad is that at least in a couple of bullying cases [one in canada and one in the us] that caused the bullied child to kill herself, the perp kids are being prosecuted!
     
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  13. thirdwind
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    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

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    Yes, I heard about this. It's good news indeed. I'm glad schools and law officials aren't sweeping things like this under the rug. I really think things like this need more media attention so that more people are aware that such things are happening.
     
  14. T.Trian
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    T.Trian Overly Pompous Bastard Staff Supporter Contributor

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    I did that for 3 years as a kid, listened quietly to all kinds of shit spewed about me and my family. Then I got sick of it, tried verbal retorts for a short while (a week or two), found that ineffective, and then resorted to violence as a last option (since in our school the teachers just didn't care and ratting out your bullies usually resulted in vicious retaliation). Anyway, that worked and from there started my bully-free years (excluding a few initial bumps on the road).

    I'm not sure if things are different between boys and girls / men and women and if so, how. I know girls usually tend to pick on other girls a bit differently than boys (from what I've heard, physical violence is rarer among girls), but I don't know how a response like mine would work for a girl being picked on by girls.

    Come to think of it, I know of one incident: there was one girl in the same school (we were 14 at the time), in another class. She came from a poorer background (mom was an alcoholic, dad was who knew where) and at one school party, three divas started picking on her, essentially calling her white trash in front of everybody. In the end, she wiped the floor with all three even though she was the smallest of them, beating one of them until the diva's boyfriend stepped in, but at that point the three had make-up smeared on their faces from crying while the lone girl was all fire and brimstone. As far as I know, the three avoided her since that episode.
    But what works for one, doesn't necessarily work for another.
     
  15. Tara
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    Tara Contributing Member

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    I would be lying if I'd say I've never used violence; I have to admit it's likely the most effective way to take care of bullies, but I just don't support it. Violence is and has always been my last resort and even then I would only use violence if the situation really got out of hand.
     
  16. jazzabel
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    jazzabel Contributing Member Contributor

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    I'm not sure there's anything anyone can do on their own to stop bullying. I was never bullied until I moved to a certain primary school in another part of the country. Instantly the biggest, nastiest asshole in class, who looked 17 when he was 10, started to terrorise me on the account of my accent. Literally beating me daily, pushing me, breaking my glasses, tormenting me every chance he got, he even threw me 2 metres down on iced concrete once.

    Initially, I was too ashamed to say anything. I also don't keep my mouth shut, so I fought him the best I could. But he was just too strong, and had 4 older brothers who were cheering him on. He lived not far from me and would ambush me when I was returning from school.

    At some point I started to complain, so first the school psychologist 'explained' to me that he was in love with me :confused: and that's why he is trying to murder me. Several months later, after he threw me off the ledge, my dad, a colonel in the army and his dad, chief of police, met and both brought guns to the meeting. My dad basically said let's have it out right now you piece of shit.

    Bully's father backed down, and the asshole was too scared to even look at me until 8th grade. It was a pretty mad situation, but I imagine nothing short of that would be enough to sort out some bullies, and their idiot parents. :mad:
     
  17. T.Trian
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    T.Trian Overly Pompous Bastard Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Isn't that essentially supporting violence but only as a last resort, i.e. it does have its place albeit a limited one?


    "Oh, no, our Tom/Dick/Billy/Jane/Mary would never do such a thing!"
     
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  18. Keitsumah
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    Keitsumah The Dream-Walker Contributor

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    sorry, but LOL! I wish i had that happen to deal with my bullies (though my dad is a First-class soldier). and dafuq? that psychiatrist needs his screws tightened!

    I used to go to a private, Christian school, and was bullied day-in-and-day-out just because i liked animals, and they liked me (yeah, five minutes outside and i still attract every cat, squirrel, mouse, whatever around me :p and i can't complain). Now that i look back upon it, it was just absolutely ridiculous. Then i found out that there was a big drug bust not a year later after i moved! I can't help but feel that they had that coming...

    So we moved away to Nebraska and now i go to a public high school, where i have been teased before, but it was nowhere near as bad as at the private school. I have more friends than i can believe (one of them beat the crap of a potential bully), and my brain has done a one-eighty on me. I thought public schools were bad and private schools were safe.

    Guess it just depends on the school, but then i prefer public schools now.
     
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  19. jazzabel
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    jazzabel Contributing Member Contributor

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    I'm so sorry @Keitsumah that you've been through that too. And I know what you mean about wanting your dad to protect you, but for real. The problem is that only a man who is violent anyway (as my dad and my bully's dad were) will go that far. His protection of me was more like protection of property, how dare anyone lay a hand on what's his. He never really knew how to emotionally relate to me and his temper caused me much grief. Just as well that his personality was used for good for once.

    Most guys are much gentler, and that makes them lovely people and great (or at least not appalling) fathers. But the drawback is that they don't have the violent streak that will make them act violently in the situation. They'll fantasise about what they would do if anyone does this or that, but when push comes to shove they freeze, or back down or know better than to start something that can end really badly. I don't know the right answer, but to tell you the truth, I'd preferred a milder mannered father, at the expense of moving to a different school, something a sensible parent would arrange. :)

    Still, things work out one way or another, and I hope you'll never have to go through bullying again. I had a wonderful time in school after that, only to experience severe bullying later in high school. It thankfully lasted just a few weeks, some girl whose boyfriend was trying to go out with me for a year, I didn't like him, then they hooked up and as soon as she rallied support of some morons, she made my life hell. Not for long, as I moved to a school a few streets down, and continued to have a great time. And my life turned out an order of magnitude better then any of my bullies. I know because recently they all sent me invitations for a reunion via facebook, of course I didn't go, but I saw all the photos and messages and all I can say is
     
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  20. T.Trian
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    T.Trian Overly Pompous Bastard Staff Supporter Contributor

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    My dad also had that capacity for violence, which he taught me through martial arts. They aren't for everyone, but especially the "rougher" martial arts / combat sports (regular/kick/thai boxing, kyokushin karate, judo, Brazilian jiu-jitsu etc) are good for this purpose in the sense that because you get hit / kicked / thrown hard a few days a week and get to dish out real pain in return (all in good spirit, though, the camaraderie in clubs is often strong), you learn how to fight. Having that skill in your back pocket helps a lot with confidence: you rarely fear a person whom you know you can put down if you so choose, i.e. they are at the mercy of your whims. Many people also sense this and think twice about stepping on your toes, especially if it's just the two of you alone.

    There's also the thing that tough martial arts / combat sports, styles where you do get your ass kicked, teach you humility and respect. I don't mean Eastern philosophy or anything (might work too, I just have no experience / knowledge of the subject), but go to any MMA, Judo, or muay thai club, and you'll find that most of the toughest guys and gals are very humble and nice people. Sure, there are bad apples in every group, but usually the humiliations you endure throughout your "career" humble you enough that you know better than to act cocky, especially when there are a dozen people in your club who you (and everybody else there) know could wipe the floor with you.

    Not the way to fix the problem of bullying, just a way that may help some.
     
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  21. jazzabel
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    jazzabel Contributing Member Contributor

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    I agree @T.Trian that aggression is best channelled in a combat sport. It brings with it the discipline and understanding the consequences of your actions.
     
  22. DPVP
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    DPVP Active Member

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    so my observations form school and work. its not that big a deal, its like a verbal arms race. if your willing to give it back as hard or harder then it either stops or becomes good nature verbal jujitsu. if you dont have the back bone to stand up and give it back, you got bigger problems to worry about.

    i also have to disagree on the violence thing. everyone man has a point they will be violent. protecting themselves or family is an obvious one where you see men use violence.
     
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2013
  23. ChickenFreak
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    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

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    Sorry, no. A lack of skill in coming up with rapid hurtful remarks, and a lack of interest in developing that skill, is not a "bigger problem" than being bullied.

    Edited to add: Joy in cruelty is not an essential trait to be cultivated, it's one to be discouraged, and it's time for schools to start doing that job.
     
  24. 123456789
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    123456789 Contributing Member Contributor

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    Surely we can come up with worse things than "verbal bullying," like humans evolving into the Eloi, for instance.
     
  25. ChickenFreak
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    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

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    Sure. And that means that we should completely ignore all problems and wrongs that are less than any other problem or wrong?
     

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