All of us have experienced bullying and all of us have beliefs about why they do it. Most of what we b believe about bullying is wrong.
Our early experiences especially the traumatic ones have a lot of influence on us. It colors our self-awareness, what we think about ourselves and how we think of other people.
A lot of what we think of other people is wrong. Especially bullies.
I get paid to teach adults in the workplace how to stop harassment. In most cases I am brought in, not because there is a bullying problem, but because there are interpersonal problems that people are labelling as bullying problems.
Most people view interpersonal conflict through a moral lens. I’m good the other person is bad. In reality, we all have baggage. We all trigger other people’s baggage without realizing it and we all behave inappropriately when we feel threatened. The result is that good people can become convinced that other people are evil bullies when everyone involved is actually a good person, doing their best.
This doesn’t mean that actually bullying doesn’t occur – it totally does. It just means that the reasons why people bully and whether people realize they are bullying may not be what we personally think it is.
We need to stop the cynicism about bullying. Cynicism makes us distrust people but worse, it causes us to assume that they won’t change or can’t change. It’s a fatalist view.
The reality is – most people are good and there are things you can do to make most bullying stop. So stop being cynical. Learn how to stop bullying using behavioral science techniques and start viewing people for who they really are instead of who your adolescent mind thinks they are.