Monday, September 24, 2012

Are You A Bully?

Are you a bully? How would you know?

See how you answer these questions:

Do you enjoy teasing someone to see how far you can go?
Do you pick on people smaller, shyer, quieter than you are?
Have you ever bothered someone who is new in school?
Do you like to threaten people just to get a reaction, even though you don’t intend to follow through?
Do you like to pull tricks on someone that involves his being embarrassed?
Do you do things like trip people, take a book or something they are carrying and refuse to return it, or show something personal like a note that person has written, to a big group of people?
Do you like to get in someone’s personal space because it bothers her?
Have you ever gone into someone’s locker, desk, backpack, or personal items to find something you can use to make fun of him?
Is someone who cannot afford the things you have, a person you would make fun of?
Do you look forward to lunch time because you can really mess with someone then?
Do you make it a point to pick a fight in a bathroom where you can corner the person?
Did you ever decide someone just looked weird, so you picked on her or on him?
How about someone you don’t even know, you just felt like teasing that person?
Do you think it’s harmless fun to be mean to a person—just a part of growing up?
Have you made fun of someone’s name?
Have you made fun of someone’s sibling or parent?
Have you mocked someone with a foreign accent or with a speech problem?
Do you think it's funny to tease someone with a disability?
Have you ever gotten several other people to join you in picking on someone?
Have you been overly pushy or rude with someone who is elderly?
Do you feel like it's natural for a boy to intimidate a girl?
What about someone who is very tall, short, skinny, or overweight?
Do you think it’s funny when someone insecure or shy has other people laugh at him or her?
Do you join in the laughing when it’s happening, although you didn’t start it?
Do you ever pick on someone that you actually envy or are jealous of?
Did you ever set up or visit a website that was created just to pick on someone?
Have you been a bully using Facebook or Myspace?
Did you ever send someone a text message just to be mean, or to scare someone?
Have you ever followed someone, or stalked someone, to scare or annoy him?
Did you ever give out someone’s phone number or email address when you shouldn’t have?
Did you ever spread a bad rumor about someone?
Do you think all the above are just examples of harmless teasing?

If you see yourself in any of these situations, you are a bully. You are a bully even if you don’t actively participate, but stand by, watch, and do nothing.

Has someone been a bully to you? Is that why you think it’s OK to do it? 

What if other people in your group of friends are doing it? The next time you see a bullying situation starting up, if you’re not feeling brave enough to say anything, then you still have a good option: Get away from it; that is, go elsewhere. At least you are leading by example, if not by words. And consider whether these are the kind of people you want to be friends with.

If you feel you have the power to bully, then you also have the power to stop. Bullying is a BIG deal for the victim. You probably don't realize just how hurtful the situation is, if it hasn't happened to you. Try to imagine yourself in the other person's situation. How would you feel?

Want to really show some integrity, compassion, intelligence? Befriend someone who looks isolated. You don’t have to be together constantly: just say hi to this person every time you see him. Offer help with something like getting a locker open or finding a classroom. See if she has someone to sit with at lunch. Something small like that can make a big difference in a person’s day.

Keep this in mind: A bully thinks he or she shows power when being cruel to someone else. Does that sound like the person you want to be?

“He who controls others may be powerful, but he who has mastered himself is mightier still”
                                -Lao Tzu,  Tao Philosopher

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