Most bullies believe they are never doing anything wrong. That’s a scary thought considering you probably believe you aren’t a bully. In reality, you might never realize that your words are hurtful because you don’t believe they are. You might not notice the pain you are causing someone. This is something I’ve realized after years of observing people in high school and college. This is important to know because bullying doesn’t suddenly stop when you reach adulthood. There will always be someone who can expose your flaws and make you feel small. Most of us don’t take the time to stop and think whether our words are actually hurting someone. So could you be the bully and not know it?
It’s okay to make fun of someone in a joking manner, but how do you know when you’ve crossed the line? The person you’re making fun of might be laughing with you, but are they secretly trying to keep it together inside? These are questions that are difficult to answer unless you evaluate how your words will affect someone. If you’re reading this and you are suddenly worried that you’ve hurt someone in the past, that’s good! It means you have a heart and care how your words and actions affect others. If it’s possible, go back and talk to that person you’ve made fun of and ask them how they actually felt. Next time you’re messing around with someone, look at their facial expression to see if they are really taking it as a joke.
If you know you are hurting someone with your words and actions and you continue to do those things anyway, then you are a bully. Bullies are people who make others feel small just because it makes them feel powerful. These are the same type of people who are behind embarrassing moments in our nation like the suppression of black rights, women’s rights, and gay rights. They are people who have no respect for others feelings. Anyone with a conscience has the capability to stop being a bully. You just have to hold yourself accountable for what you do.
This blog isn’t about making you believe you’re a bully, it’s about making sure you’re aware of how you’re treating others. You never know what your words are truly doing to people unless you start caring. Built up hurt and frustration from people being bullied can lead to many acts of violence and self-harm. So next time you’re about to make fun of someone, stop and think about that person and how it will affect them. It’s a simple thing that makes a big difference!