A while ago, I delved into the subject of online bullying. Subsequently, I had a much bigger reaction than I anticipated. Quite a few people contacted me confidentially (of course.) I then looked closely at the people who instigated the bullying/stalking/harassment using ‘mainly’ social media. Surprisingly, I found common traits.
SIMPLE WAYS TO DEFINE A BULLY
- They do not participate in group activities away from the internet, unless they are with people they are familiar with.
- They do not have many interests away from the internet.
- They do not participate or watch any sport in a team capacity.
- They refer mainly to themselves using their social pages.
For instance, a football match. It has a start and finish time. This is a great way to battle out any competitive spirt in fun format. However, I have noticed most bullies don’t participate in any sport or visit live games and events which involve team spirit. I believe this is because they have a fear of losing. They don’t want to play a fair game. Yet, it’s not about the winning, but more so taking part. Fair team-playing with set rules would make a bully feel entrapped.
All in all, a bully is not a team player- they want to be viewed as a leader. If you have an online bully, take a look at their profile. How often are they participating in team playing events? You will probably find, never – unless there is some type of agenda involved. So, the best way to beat a bully is to get involved with teams and groups away from the internet.
As soon as you have found like minded people, there is every likelihood they will retreat for fear of exposure. And … sadly find someone else. But then … that next person in turn, will also go on to learn how to get past this cycle of abuse. Bullies teach us valuable lessons. And actually, their resentment and cowardice make us stronger.
For me, having hobbies makes me feel empowered. Perhaps you are the same? But when things get tough, I turn to new things happening in the community and there’s always something positive and productive taking place, everywhere we go. I enjoy spending some of my time alone. I enjoy the blogging community, for instance.
But, remember, people can be anyone online. When you find a kindred spirit within your online community, perhaps try to meet them in person. But of course, ensure your safety first and always ensure the friends you make online are real people. For children, never meet strangers unless you have permission from your parents or guardians and always take a friend along with you.
Basically, being online can be great fun. And if you count the positive aspects – a bully is a small factor within the bigger picture. Surround yourself with team work and love, and watch them fade away. Make sure you have fun in the real world, before anything else. The rest is a bonus! Most importantly, love who you are, find your own self worth and before long your entire world will change for the better. Self-fulfilled prophecy. Think about the future with optimism. Paying attention to bullies is a form of self-harm. But remember, they are just ‘little dots’ online and out there in the ‘real’ world, most people you meet will be beautiful. Keep walking and stay close to those who love you.
There are lots of useful websites and support groups both here in the UK and globally, offering support and advice if you feel you are being affected by your experiences online.