The Disguised Bullies

Thanks to the internet, bullying has become a hot topic as so much is happening over the internet. People find bullying on the internet a much easier thing to do because they are hidden by the monitor and it makes them feel like they have more power. Those kinds of bullies are what I call the obvious bullies. They are bullies in real life just like they are on the internet. Their bullying is a constant part of them and stems from feelings of inadequacy.

There is another kind of bully that I call the disguised bully. They are the ones you least expect and yet can be the most vicious. These are the ones that appear perfectly normal, kind and loving ….that is until something happens that they do not like and then BAM… they hit with a vengeance. And you find your mouth dropped open when you start reading their comments as you wonder in amazement where all this vitriol comes from.

The news media seems to be one place these people are found and in groups. I have witnessed this for several years. You have people who use the internet as a way to spew their hatred and they can attack in such a way that you feel the intense emotion in the words…so intense it almost makes you sick. A good example is a young woman who recently was in the news for wearing an inappropriate Halloween costume and people reacted so strongly, hunted her down, called her work, called her parents and the young lady lost her job.  The anger and hatred were palpable and vicious. It is one thing to express disapproval of what someone does but to go to such extremes as what happened to this young lady is not normal. To wish death upon her, to wish torture upon her, to want to ruin her, etc is just not normal and the easy access to people’s information makes these kind of people dangerous.

I saw this happen in a wildlife group a year or two back with what people termed “sweet little old middle-aged and up ladies” who turned into something that stunned me. Sitting behind their monitors threatening others, spewing venom at others who did not agree with them, hunting them down on the internet, calling their parents, their work and trying to basically ruin them became epidemic. It did not matter if the target was an adult or a child. The hunt was on to ruin and hurt them because the person did not agree with them. It is not normal to make comments such as they wish to “string them up by their private parts and skin them” when the other person did something that was legal by law…they hunted. It is not normal to sit behind a monitor and try to ruin other people. Something is wrong mentally when people do that. And these are people who have no life other than sitting behind the monitor and so this is how they handle the ups and downs of life by attacking and bullying others.

The internet has made many people lose perspective. It has made them think they are powerful and can say and do anything they want without consequences and so they have no filter. And people rush to newspaper sites, do not read the article from beginning to end and begin spewing all the discontent in their lives onto these articles about others or they join groups and if someone dares to disagree with them…they spew anger and hatred. And many will just sit looking for places to post this hatred and anger…it does not matter what the topic is. They just need to vent.

Much anger is transferred I think…anger at the economy, anger at how things are going in the government, anger at their own life situation..and so the person takes that and they are afraid to vent about those things so they turn it on to someone who is “safer”, someone they think can not come back at them because they can vent and not leave their names. They turn it on to people who are on the other side of the monitor so that they do not have to see the damage their words have done and it is easier to be this horrific bully.

For every choice we make…there are consequences. When we make the choice to attack, bully, belittle, demean, insult, or harm someone else there will be consequences to pay. Oh, it may not come right when the person does it…but the consequences will come. Eventually someone will know it was you or will track you down and call your work, or your friends and the cycle continues. It is like abuse and the ease of sitting at a computer and bullying others is so great that people have lost the ability to talk like adults, to reason and to accept that people have different views.

Where is accountability? Who died and left these people in charge? Why do these people not just step away from the computer until their anger subsides? And how do these people…these disguised bullies….learn how to filter what they say? I believe in being authentic, being true to who I am and in being kind to others. If I say something that hurts someone, it is not done intentionally to strike a wound and I will apologize. I will not grovel and apologize over and over but I will apologize. Nor will I ask anyone that deletes me because they are upset to put me back on their friends list. I find this deleting friends, adding friends, arguing and fussing very high school behavior; adults throwing a fit and deleting others instead of talking like adults. I graduated from high school a long time ago.

Thanks to the internet, we have this new level of bullies that I call the disguised bullies who come off looking like sweet, Christian, loving people until you say something they do not like and then you can become scorched and wounded with their pent-up anger and discontent which probably has nothing to do with you at all. You probably said something which triggered a volcano pent-up inside them. Which goes to prove that unless we each learn to monitor our own emotions, we all have that in is. We all have within us the capability to be “that” person who wants to lash out and hurt others.

So, what makes normal people different from the bullies?  We have learned to filter what we say, learned to stop before we let all that pent-up emotion over something that is entirely irrelevant to the bullying come out of our mouths; we have learned to be accountable for ourselves. We have recognized that if most of what we see on the internet, on Facebook or other groups is making us angry all the time, then it is time to take a break from it all to get our emotions in order. We have learned that there are consequences to pouring our anger out on others.

3 thoughts on “The Disguised Bullies

  1. Pingback: Bullying: From children to adults. | Pinellas Community Foundation

  2. Well said. School yard bullies grow up to be bullies in the workplace – and there are a lot of them. Possible because honest, loyal, compassionate people are no longer admired and seen as role model. The modern “winners” to be copied are aggressive (no matter who are what they hurt),with “it’s only wrong if you get caught” attitudes, and accumulating money/bottom financial line is all that matters. When those types of people move up into upper levels of business and politics, those attitudes go with them and the company adopts those concepts.
    You are right. People are very angry – had enough – feeling powerless and push over the edge by the unstable economy, the destruction of traditions that built this country, and a government taking steps to control every single breath people take (which takes away what little control people have over their own lives – so more anger over feeling powerless and ignored)
    You see the angry bullying behavior in traffic, in the internet, and in the malls. People feel like no one pays any attention unless they get violent or ugly.
    Brutal world. Won’t change until the causes of the anger are addressed – and not counting on that.
    Stores opening on Thanksgiving – like people aren’t exhausted enough and don’t need a time when it all stops…oh, but they are paying double wages for the day – all hurry to get all those bargains for Christmas presents…lost what’s important. Lost our way

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