Bullying Myths – 4 Common Misconceptions and 1 Critical Truth

There are as many opinions about bullying as there are about politics. And everyone certainly has the right to their point of view. But opinions that aren’t based on solid information, empirical facts, or significant personal experience are worthless.

* Violent Video Games & Violent TV Shows Cause Bullying

Over the years, the number of television shows and video games that have been tagged as ‘violent’ now number in the hundreds. Millions of children have been exposed. If there were a causative effect, no one would have the impulse control to reign in their aggression. While there have been several studies that purport to demonstrate that watching these shows and games causes kids to act out, another equally viable conclusion is that its the frenetic action that gets children stirred up.

* Bullying Toughens You Up

No sensible person would argue that being assaulted, harassed or discriminated against ‘makes you tougher’. Kids experience chronic bullying show symptoms consistent with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, and frequently carry the damage inflicted on them into adulthood. Bullying is corrosive.

* People Who Get Bullied Are Wimps

Children who are targeted for a campaign of social cruelty are often intelligent, creative, and empathetic. Bullies, on the other hand, exhibit traits such as: skill in deception and manipulation, sadism, and aggression. Picking on a kid who can’t or won’t fight back isn’t a sign of toughness… its very much the opposite.

* Ignore a Bully and He’ll Go Away

This is terrible advice from every perspective. Primarily because it’s impossible to do. (Could you ‘ignore’ someone who belittles you, or actually beats you on a regular basis?) Anyone who repeats this ludicrous cliche is out of touch with reality – and the kid on the receiving end of this nonsense gets the clear message, “your crisis isn’t important… don’t bother me with your problems in the future.” It’s a great way to shut the lines of communication. Besides, when does ignoring a problem ever fix it?

* Bullies Have Been Around Forever. You Cant Eliminate Them, So Concentrate On Empowering the Victim.

There are two main schools of thought when it comes to solving the issue of bullying. One states that its the responsibility of society to fix the problem. Yes, bullying has been around before recorded history, but in an enlightened age, the covenants of society dictate that everyone follow certain rules of behavior – it’s everyone’s job to act appropriately and its everyone’s job to enforce the covenants.

Another perspective is that each person, as an individual, is responsible for their own thoughts, feelings and actions. Trying to change the heart or mind of another person is as futile as trying to change rush hour traffic – however, we CAN alter how we deal with the challenges in our lives.

In other words, some people will look out at the ocean, see a storm, and decry the injustice of the weather. They will demand that it’s everyone’s responsibility to build more safe harbors. Other people will commit themselves to building stronger boats.