Bullying disguises in different ways. Though most know the obvious one, which is direct aggression and verbal abuse toward the victim, they aren’t aware of the subtle one—to exclude and ignore a person from the group. I’ve been there on several occasions. It has happened to me as a kid, teen years, and at different points in my adult life. Many adults don’t realize they are bullies. Bullying stems from insecurities. To dislike someone without knowing them and not even bother to try to like them is wrong. If your answer is, “I don’t know. I just don’t like him/her,” then it’s probably more of a personal issue within you. Toxic and negative people are a different story. I get it. Such a person is difficult to cope with.
I question my actions mainly with my family and people I know because they know how to press my buttons, and I know how to press theirs. However, with acquaintances and colleagues, I’m polite. I’m not going suddenly go up to them and say, “Hey! Tuna face!” A person who knows me would either laugh or call me something else in return. Joking in good spirits lightens up the mood. With people that I am not comfortable with or that I don’t know well, I don’t tease as much or at all. I mean, who knows what “tuna face” can cause to their psyche.
One time, I was with a group of people who were a tough crowd. No one laughed at any of my “jokes.” They stayed serious and quiet. I bolted out of there because that’s another way of saying, “We don’t like you.” I mean, maybe I wasn’t funny. Still, some people giggle or address the joke in politeness. If I had said a racial slur or insulted someone, okay. I wish I remember what I said. That’s how I know it was silly because if it was something inappropriate, I’d be contemplating it for a long time, and I’d feel bad about it. At any rate, this is another type of subtle bullying–to make a person feel uncomfortable and unwelcome in a group setting.
That reminds me of a joke I made in a different scenario. My cousin asked me, “Hey, Ana. Do you have floss?” I replied, “Well, we all have flaws?” LOL! Get it? He rolled his eyes and called me a nerd, and my siblings laughed at how not funny the joke was, which that made me laugh. We all had a good laugh due to a “none funny joke.” That’s how you know you’re welcomed in a setting.
I, personally, don’t like being in environments where I don’t feel welcomed. I mean, who does? And yet, we can’t help finding ourselves in settings that are out of control, for example, work and school. People may dislike you for no good reason. By the way, if you’re a writer, think about them as characters for your stories. In a fiction world, you can make them pay. Just kidding don’t do that. Or should you? They make great believable characters. Going back to the bullies. The best way to get back at a bully back is not to care about their insults or actions. Be independent because when you accept yourself, the right people come into your life.
On the last note, I encourage you to talk to the new person, the person sitting alone, and the quiet ones. It’s easier for certain people to dive into socializing, not so much for others. Give those quiet ones a little shove and talk them. If you have children, encourage them to be the one who stands up for the outsider and quiet kid.
Please, let me know your thoughts on all this. Thank you.