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Bullies, Bullies, Everywhere

August 28, 2012

I’ve been pretty lucky in my life, especially being a big guy, to not have been bullied very much. Sure there was always the occasional “tough” guy in school but most of that worked itself out pretty quickly. By and large though I’ve not been what I would consider a bullied person. This is pretty amazing considering I was a big guy, who read comic books, listened to “weird” music and was really into computers. I think it helped that I also did a lot of “non-nerd” stuff too, regardless though bullying was never something that was on my mind too much day to day. Being a big geek I of course knew a lot of people who were bullied, nothing quite as extreme as some of the stuff you hear about today but certainly they were picked on and called names, etc. I’m sure I was too but it was just seldom to my face. Today though, sitting in a doctor’s waiting room, I witnessed a really prime example of why bullies suck and people who do nothing suck worse.

I do not see myself as “small” by any stretch of the imagination, I mean, I’ve lost now over a 100 pounds and am still on the high side of 200 plus I’m 6′ 2/almost 3″ so yeah, not small at all. Suddenly though it appears as if its okay to make “fat” jokes around me. There was this kid, about 20 or so sitting across from me and this, not very skinny himself, guy sitting next to me, maybe 25 or 30. The kid was probably pushing 300 pounds and was about 5′ 10″ or so also not a little guy. The guy sitting next to me leans over and says (not really whispering), “Isn’t that guy disgusting? How could you let yourself go like that?” Now let’s be clear, I’m no saint and can be very mean sometimes but I’m also certainly not a shrinking violet and the kid literally was sitting there on his iPad, doing NOTHING to this guy,  so I replied (cleaned up a bit because, well, sometimes I curse worse than a sailor), “well when I was about 100 pounds bigger than him it was people like you that kept me that way, I didn’t really want to give you the satisfaction of being right. When are you going to lose that extra 20 pounds or so you’re carrying?” His response was, as usual when bullies are confronted in public, complete silence. He got up and moved which I thought was proper, if he were any kind of real person he would’ve at least apologized to the kid.

I think people bully because they see something in someone else that they hate in themselves. It is really not complicated behavior, simply lashing out. If you’re picking on a fat person you are probably not the healthiest person on earth, maybe a little plump around the middle or what have you so you lash out at a bigger, allegedly weaker person. If you’re always raging about homosexuals, maybe you have some closeted feelings you haven’t quite dealt with. I’m no psychologist but my honest views is that maybe you’re just an ass and need to figure out what is making you so angry at other before you run into someone who is having a worse day than you. Again, I’m not saying I’m perfect in any of this, in fact, I’ve often used “bullying techniques” in training some of the support guys at my company, mainly so they can learn how to handle hostile customers and it is very effective to that end, it is never serious but if they can’t handle me then they’ll never be able to handle an angry customer.

The point here is, don’t be an ass, be nice to people. It takes way less energy than making their days worse and you might figure out that you’re not such a bad person and will stop being so angry at yourself. The moral of the story is to stop hitting yourself and others, it simply is not that bad so no reason to make others feel bad about whatever it is. Okay?

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