Bullying/Banter – Just Evil behind another name

There is a challenge doing the rounds on Facebook at the moment, now these challenges are not something I normally get involved in however this one was about Bullying! The challenge goes…….

Be careful who you bully challenge!
Post two pictures: an older photo and recent picture!
Watch how many people react to the transformation, just never let anyone put your confidence down and make you feel worthless.😝 if tagged you have to do it …………..now I do not like this whole if tagged you have to do it, some would argue this is a form of peer pressure or bullying itself and may pressure some people not happy with who they were, or like me or they are now into posting something they didn’t want to do, so I just said I’m not tagging anyone if you want to join in great. I then posted the following two pictures

The reason I took part in the challenge even though I do not like images of me now is that having been a victim of bullying later in life I am determined not to let them win. My bullying happened to be by a senior employer and really made me feel like a failure at work. It got to the point where I was feeling too sick to even contemplate work, and this was on top of my pain and disability. I never really spoke to anyone about how bad I felt and how bad it got partly because I needed to work for my sanity and health and this person held the power over my job, partly because the person was female, and partly because the person had a way of doing it in such a way that there was little real evidence and I got to the point where I started seeing every decision anyone made at work (even friends) if it involved me as part of the conspiracy. Fortunately I escaped and got another job that was nothing to do with her. I never made an official complaint like I say the person was clever and manipulative and I had little real evidence. It made me think though, I know there must have been times I made comments to people that were meant innocently but if they were suffering I could have compounded misery. I think it is something that we can all do, it is that fine line that we get between Political Correctness gone mad and that comment to someone who is having a bad day.

Bullies though, they don’t care, they chip away at people, they find a weakness, sometimes just a small thing and slowly, bit by bit they make that small thing into a huge great big gaping hole in your chest and heart. They are like leaches sucking the life out of people. It is no wonder so often children who are victims do not speak up.

I at times wish I was back to that person who was fit, strong, confident, sporty and took life for granted, then I realise that last bit, “took life for granted” it is a negative and had it not been for my car accident I would have missed out potentially on so much. I now see so much more beauty in the world, yes of course there are horrible things going on, horrible people and so on and so forth but the simple things like the 15 starlings on my freshly cut lawn hunting for food this morning and watching the baby blue tits on granddads TV in their bird box below

SAM_1363 (2).JPGThis I mean, the simple things in life are much more precious to me. I’m not saying I didn’t enjoy life before, just that I was much more selfish back then, I only had me to really worry about so I could go out when I wanted, drink what I wanted and do whatever I wanted. I know at times I must have said things to people without worrying about their feelings joining in with the jokes and not worrying about how the person on the receiving end was feeling.

This becomes the huge difference between banter and bullying. As a mentor I regularly heard the phrase it’s only “banter” it became a get out of jail free card for them to believe they could say anything and get away with it. I explained more times than I can recall that saying it is banter does not mean it is all ok to say whatever they want. You  have to watch what you say to others and in places such as the workplace you have to ensure that your banter doesn’t offend anybody else within ear shot. It was difficult to get some to understand that how you speak with your mates is not an apporopriate way to respond to staff and in the workplace.

You can certainly start to make someone’s life hell just because they are different with “banter”, the fine line to tread is extremely difficult. For example my best friends laugh and joke about my disability, I cannot spend a day out with them without N putting their foot in it or one of the lads laughing and joking about me or my disability. Winning a frame of snooker leads to jokes about letting the “special one” win and I laugh along with this and I know my mates would be more sensitive in different situations. I also know that if people who do not know me well, or are dealing with me in a professional situation did the same I would be livid. I blogged recently about people physically pushing me out of their way in my chair, you wouldn’t do this if I wasn’t in my chair so why would you in the chair! This low level stuff on its own doesn’t seem too bad, but if day after day someone says or does something to you just because you are different in some way, well that bullying becomes intolerable. Unfortunately we live in a world where so many people care only about themselves and not others that this sort of behaviour has become the norm for so many people. If children then see adults behaving in a certain way they do the same (look at pre watershed soaps) and so the circle starts again.

Different however isn’t bad, it is good, it should be embraced, every single one of us has it in us to be different, and that is what makes us unique and us. Do not mix this up with me denouncing equality, I am all for equality I just believe it can and should be achieved by embracing what it is that makes us all different.  There is no place in this world for bullies and there is no place in this world for bullying so parents speak to your children and encourage them to speak up, adults do the same and bullies, just stop, think, and then imagine yourself or your loved ones on the receiving end of the abuse.

quit these

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