Monday, July 26, 2010

No quarter and no quitter

Kiefer I'm sure we've all had to deal with a bully or two in our lifetime. Unfortunately, they're everywhere, in school and in the workplace, as children and as adults, online and in real life.

I've never had a tolerance for bullies; I'm not sure if it's because of a sense of injustice, or if I learned early on that people would try to intimidate me because of my small size. I remember being on the school bus when I was in high school, sitting with someone I cared about very much, and some pipsqueak in the seat behind us making a few remarks. I'd finally had it and whipped around and said, "Why don't you just SHUT UP?" Silence.

I got called a pit bull a while back based on some comments on Facebook. I don't know about that, but I do know that any sort of condescension or patronizing behavior, whether because of my gender or my lack of height, really gets my dander up. I worked hard to learn my profession, and when it comes to that, I do know what I'm talking about. I don't have all the answers, but I'm certainly not an idiot about it. As for being vertically challenged, there are still people out there who think that because I'm petite, I'm not to be taken seriously, or that I'm easily intimidated. Even if they're not much taller than me, if they've got a couple of dozen pounds on me, they think that somehow makes their opinions more...weighty. (Ha!)

Quitters I've known people who seem to have based their whole lives upon intimidation and bullying. Threats of lawsuits, threats of telling someone deep dark secrets about you, threats of trying to get money from you, threats of harassment, threats of...I don't know, blowing up the world if you don't bow to their demands and submit to their control? Give it a rest, Dr. Evil. When someone practices this as a way of life, it becomes laughable. I suppose there are people that cower under such treatment, but that person isn't me.

When someone tries doing that to me, or even worse, tries doing it to someone else I'm close to, my instinct is to get all five-foot-nothing of me right up in their face. I honestly don't know what the best tactic for dealing with a bully might be, but in my world, passivity is not an option. Over the years, I've found that most bullies back down in the face of a direct challenge. I've never gotten into a fist fight because of it, but I suppose I would if I had to. Usually the crazy-ass fury in my eyes will do the trick. I don't lose my temper often, but when I do, it's not pretty. I'll get on a step stool if I have to so that I can get in your face. I've also found that words are a highly effective tool, especially with those who are a little challenged in that regard.

Bullies seem to thrive on controlling a situation, and I've found that a confrontation can really help to defuse whatever power they think they have. They do not like to be unmasked for what they are; if they are used to getting their way through intimidation, they will not appreciate being called on it, and they will not react well to such scrutiny. They also don't react well to rationality and logic; they focus on the emotional and will do their best to draw you into their hysterics and drama. Keep your cool...it will make them even crazier, which will lessen their power over you even more.

Most bullies will end up being quitters, much like Sarah Palin. She has said that the media scrutiny is what caused her to quit as Alaska's governor. If you can't handle a little scrutiny and deal with that sort of pressure, Sarah, how in the holy hell do you think you'll handle the questions if you run for President? Oh, please do. It would be ever so much fun!

Quitters2 I've found that when confronted with reality, facts, and the truth, bullies will usually cut and run. I know of someone who has had a serious problem with me for several years now. It's been a lot of fun to watch them go through serious contortions as they've attempted to deal with my writings and handle my challenges to their own distorted reality. The funnest of all has been seeing them try to deal with matters of science, especially Microbiology. That's kind of my deal, and it's really sort of stupid to try to out-Microbiology me, unless you have a similar degree or experience. (Again...confront the bully and they will fold.) Over the course of a few years, they've burned through multiple blogs, at least a half a dozen. When something bothers them, they flame out and either take the blog private or delete it completely. I don't even remember how many blogs they've gone through, coming up with different cutesy names, attempting to get more readers, and ending up with a couple of family members, at the most, reading them.

I'm still hanging in there, and I'm closing in on four years of blogging.

Nutwood Junction, like the Dude, abides.

7 comments:

  1. You are one of my heroes, Beth. I mean that, for real.

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  2. Beth I share the very same view as you on the bullies situation I too draw myself up on my full 4ft, 7ins. !!! and snap !!
    can't say, thankfully, that I have ever really been bothered by bullies...maybe one look in my eyes tells them back off even before they begin !! Cowards the lot of them I say.
    Sybil x

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  3. Bullies are cowards. Keep going, you're only three months away from your 4 years!

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  4. I have no pity for bullies who meet karma in the end. Palin will be exposed along with the rest of her goon followers.
    P.S. I work next to the Bill who wrote that quitters quote!

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  5. It's so good to have you back from vacation and blogging again.

    XOXOXOXOXO

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  6. Stopping being all cute and secretive has certainly eliminated some of our regular enjoyment. We can only hope for another cycle of "outrage".

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  7. I hate bullies! Unfortunately, it doesn't just stop at school. The adult bullies are just as bad.

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I'm funny how, I mean funny like I'm a clown, I amuse you?