Bullies actually have the advantage against their targets in most social situations which is unfortunately the reason why they’re so successful. Usually bullies have the social support of friends that will back them up while their targets don’t. The bully is almost always the more aggressive one who won’t stop until they’ve overpowered their target (won). The bully knows that due to the social environment and the culture that they can get away with their bad behavior without truly being held accountable; and most bullies know how to bully subtly (with finesse) without getting in trouble and making their behavior obvious and noticeable. These factors make the bully damn near impossible for the target to beat or even be protected against. Usually targets have few to no REAL friends that will back them up against bullies. Usually the target is less aggressive than the bully. Sometimes the target will not be as aware of their social environment and how powerful the bully is socially, or the bully’s intentions.
Bullies know how to bully in a way that won’t get them in trouble, but when the target stands up for themselves and reacts; of course is the target that gets in trouble regardless of what the initial perpetrator did. So much for justice, equal treatment, and getting both sides of the story. They usually have more charisma than their victims and know how to bully others without making themselves obvious to everyone else. Sometimes the victim will be the only one who acknowledges or even knows about the bully’s bad behavior because the bully is so popular and well-liked by others, even if others know what’s going on, they won’t say or do anything about it. A lot of times, they will even support the bully which makes the bully even more powerful and harder for the target to beat. Because then they know they can just call their friends over to help bully the target. It could be physical intimidation or even just help spreading gossip about them, but they will do anything and use anyone to overpower the target.
Authority figures are quick to say that people should report it if they’re being bullied. But it’s not always that simple, and reporting it won’t always stop the bullying. Many bullies won’t stop their behavior just because the target reported them. Some will actually become even harsher. They may damage the target’s reputation behind their back (which isn’t something management, human resources, or teachers can always stop/prevent) by gossiping about them or ridiculing them. Some authority figures themselves will become annoyed and irritated, and portray the target as a tattle/snitch that can’t “handle” their own problems if they go to management when they are bullied. Managers are very quick to say “I am not a babysitter”. But then when something terrible happens or someone’s in trouble, the first thing that they will say is “Oh they should’ve reported it to someone if they were being bullied or harassed”. Anybody see a contradiction? Many authority figures won’t even take bullying seriously if it’s reported. Some are very light-hearted about it. But bullying is no light-hearted matter, and the effects are no light-hearted or laughing matter (even though many bullies themselves may think so). Bullying should be a fireable offense, or at least taken more seriously. It wouldn’t stop there. One of the bully’s friends may try to pick up the torch, but if the target, allies, and management/teachers stay on top of it, bullying could be eradicated or at least minimized in the workplace/school/social situations.
We have a culture of toughness, aggression, being strong, independent, and conflict. If someone’s being bullied, other people actually have the audacity to say “oh it’s that person’s fault. They’re weak, they need to stand up for themselves. You gotta be aggressive. You’re supposed to get stronger. You gotta be on the ball. You need to think on your feet. Don’t be so sensitive.” You see what they did? They didn’t even acknowledge that the bully was wrong in what they did or empathize with the victim. They blamed the target that it happened and accused them of being weak willed and not aggressive or tough enough. Why the hell should someone have to be this hyper-aggressive person who’s ready to fight and make snappy comebacks on a moment’s notice just to have some respect and not be trifled with? What’s wrong with being a regular level headed person with a good head on their shoulders who respects people and just wants to live a normal life? I don’t think they deserve to be bullied. Plus when someone has just been bullied, the last thing you should do is blame them for it or claim that they are somehow deficient in behavior or character traits. If you’re that person’s friend or you give a shit about them at all, you should support them and have their back. Tell them good things that will uplift and encourage them. Don’t antagonize and patronize them. Be real with them but gentle and understanding. And don’t treat them like a baby or as if they’re weak. Not everyone is or can be hyperaggressive. Just because they aren’t does not mean they should be bullied. And it doesn’t justify it at all. But people who do that are just one more way the system favors bullying.
Bullying is often social and bullies are often socially more privileged than their victims. How many times have you seen a bully who has several friends, attractive girlfriends/wives, and even a loving supportive family while their victims do not have those support systems in their lives? How many times do you see victims of bullying live their lives alone while their bullies do not?
One thing bullying does (especially for those who are unfortunate enough to be veteran targets of bullying) is teach you to fear. Especially if you’ve been bullied from a young age. If you’ve been taught to fear your whole life, it’s going to affect you.
Up until recently, bullying was perceived as a good thing and a natural rite of passage in society. Thank goodness that at least now, bullying is recognized as a legitimate social ill. It’s absolute bullshit that people try to make it seem like bullying makes you stronger/tougher, “it’s just a part of growing up”, or they’lle say kids will be kids.
Oh and of course if you’re upset about bullying and sick and tired of the bullshit of bullying, it’s your fault and it’s your job to “get over” your unhappiness. Well “getting over” problems is one thing, but for some people certain problems/issues in life are lifelong. Just because you get over it once or twice doesn’t mean it won’t happen again or that next time you’lle be successful.
And of course counselling is usually utter shit. Most of these “professionals” do not have the skills, understanding, or give a shit about victims traumatized by bullying.
The culture that we live in promotes bullying and allows it to flourish. It benefits bullies and demoralizes victims. And it continues in a cycle for both throughout life. Until culture changes to where people take bullying seriously to the point when bullies are shamed, denounced, and hardly supported by anyone; we will continue to have a system that favors bullying.