In the cross-hairs of a bully.

The idea for this blog sprang from a discussion about starlings, the badass bullies of backyard bird feeders.  A wise woman made the point that starlings were merely engaging in survival of the fittest.  As much as those greedy birds and the equally obnoxious gray squirrels annoy me every time I look out my window to see them hoarding food or destroying feeders, I have to agree.  It got me thinking though about bullying in the context of human beings. 

Webster’s Dictionary defines a bully as “one habitually cruel to others who are weaker.”  Unlike their animal counterparts, human bullies aren’t in the game merely to survive.  I have no doubt that there may be an array of complex reasons that drive why a person becomes a bully.  Notwithstanding, their objective is simple, power.  How they go about obtaining it also straightforward.  Target the weakest individuals and make their lives so miserable that bystanders are paralyzed with fear to do anything about it.  No one wants to be in the cross-hairs of a bully.  They’re a vicious lot. 

Most of us have a known or maybe even been a victim of a bully somewhere along the way from the playground to adulthood.  Small person that I am, I was no stranger to bullies who picked on me for my size when I was a kid.  As a woman in the legal profession, I tangle with my share of bullies on a regular basis.  Here’s what I’ve come to learn about them.  They all have the same Achilles heel.  The quickest way to bring a bully down is to aim for his ego.  Remember when Ralphie in the movie, A Christmas Story, beat the living daylights out of the bully, Skut Farkus?  Being beat up by a little kid half his size threw a giant monkey wrench into old Farkus’ ego.  He didn’t bother Ralphie again after that. 

Unfortunately, pure adrenaline like Ralphie’s isn’t enough most of the time to bring a bully down a notch or two.  You better have your game on if you intend to get in between a bully and his power.  Plus, the law frowns on punching other people in the nose.  Instead, one has to be strategic, brave, patient and relentless waiting for the perfect moment to strike back.  I guess that’s why so many times we don’t have the energy to defend ourselves or others against bullies.  It’s easier and safer to stay out of their cross-hairs.  However, among our sense of self and all those complicated emotions that we humans are equipped with is sapience.  At some point, our wisdom about what is right and wrong speaks louder than our own self-preservation.  This is the moment that bullies fear.  It’s the little fist that comes at them out of nowhere hitting them square on where it counts most.

I hope someday that we humans will evolve away from some of our more nefarious traits such as the desire for power and greed.  Maybe if enough of us can find the energy to take on a bully or two that will be a positive step in the right direction.  Peace.

 

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4 thoughts on “In the cross-hairs of a bully.

  1. In my work life, I had dealings with several bullies – both as supervisors, and those I supervised. They are the extreme definition of coward. ” All hat and no cattle,” they do prey, and are proud of it. I found that they almost always backed down when I looked them in the eye, destroyed their fatuous arguments and then simply gathered strength to silently wait for their stutter. Bullies do what they can get away with, and difficult as it is, when we stand up to them they wither like the pricked ego balloon they hide behind….. Guess this spoke to me, huh? Thanks Bev, great blog as usual.

    • I’m glad you were able to take them on. You go, girl. I like most people, but bullies, not so much. Thanks for taking the time to stop by and comment. Now, go make those bullies stutter!

  2. A very timely piece, Bev. Given the recent events both political and on-line, we’ve all felt the reminiscent sting of a bully. It’s sadly a kind of unexpected knee-jerk response to injustice that most walk away from, rather than confront.
    There’s a TV show, “What would you do?” where just these kinds of situations are set up. Average people in real life situations are give the chance to speak up for the “underdog” and it’s disheartening to see a majority turn a blind eye because they don’t want to “get involved” or as your put it so well, get in the cross-hairs.
    Again I feel saddened how we as humans/people/citizens have lost some of the values and honor that guided our forebears.
    Sorry for the rant, it’s been on my mind as I churned ideas for a blog 🙂
    B

    • Jeanne, I’m alway glad when you stop by to weigh in. You definitely were not ranting. In fact, I’d love to read more of your thoughts on the subject. It’s an important one, for sure. I vote for a blog on the subject from you. Take care and thanks for taking the time to comment. I’ll be looking for your next blog.

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