Of Force, Threat, And Coercion [E]

You get pushed down for no reason. That’s not good. They had a handful of ugly names to call you. That’s not funny. And they plotted something against you… That’s not right. All of this came with a compromise… you can’t fight back. That’s not fair.

Looking back, I always see myself being insulted, taunted and attacked by a bunch of students (classmates, to be exact). They started it, but they always get away with it. Unfair, isn’t it? Unfortunately, they remain invincible despite being apprehended by school teachers and faculty staff. And yes, they’re not going to stop until they did some serious trouble to their victim. I often think of what would possibly happen to me if I got beaten up and become a disabled person. That, I dreaded thinking about it.

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Thou shall not exert your power to the weaker ones. But of course, the so-called big boys knew how to make a poor victim cry…

A common incident of bullying I experienced: Take this, fourth year high school. I might be a little immature that time to get mad at my classmates for hiding my backpack or plotting something terrible against me, but it’s hard to control my anger that I couldn’t help but cry it all out. Yes, a 16 year old guy who is a crybaby… that would be me, of course. Take that, ignorant fools. But how can I fight back, when they’re all powerful and I’m nothing? As for the rest of my classmates… well, some of them, they’re more of an accomplice (but never proven guilty). Some of the teachers tend to be harsh when it comes to bullying, some of them aren’t. This infuriates me a lot, as they are supposed to discipline the students aside from teaching. And then I let it pass.

Another incident of bullying I experienced is more of extorting money out of my allowance. It happened more than ten years ago, back when I was in second year high school. Apparently I was experiencing a little rejection from my seatmates that time, and since then I’m stuck with some of the average guys in class. Some of them are okay, some of them aren’t. And I happen to be seated with a classmate who appears to be okay, but there’s something in him. Of course, he might have problems with his family that he somehow became a delinquent. And that’s how he started hitting me for money… of course, I give in and started giving him just a small amount. It later occurred to me that I’m gonna get stuck with it for the rest if the school year so I try to opt out of it. Finally, that incident came to an end after my mom confronted him for what he did to me. Somehow I feel sorry for him, simply because he appears to be nice. I don’t know why I easily get coerced, but I’m glad that thing’s over.

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Bullying can be physical or emotional. It’s basically using superior strength or influence in order to force a person into doing what one wants. It could be a simple name-calling, or a serious case of harassment and threat to a victim. It may involve racism and discrimination, like in the case of differences of social class, race, religion, sexual orientation, and so on. It can happen at school, at work, or even online.

So what makes a person bully someone? Was it because he wanted to prove how strong and terrifying he is? Or is it that he hate the person he was bullying? Stereotyping? Or maybe he distinguish a person as a freakishly looking weirdo, so that’s why he started making fun of him?

Bullying has negative effects to a person’s mind and well-being. First of all, bully victims suffer from emotional and behavioral problems. It can cause anxiety, depression, low self-esteem, and increased susceptibility to illness.^ It can trigger suicidal tendencies and/or violent behavior.

In the end, bully victims may end up becoming shy and timid, eventually becoming an introvert and avoiding people. At times, they tend to mistrust people. Or worse, they ended up killing people or killing themselves.

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There are a couple of things I learned from this experience, something that every victim must keep in mind:

First, if they call you a bunch of funny names but didn’t hit you or steal your things, then just ignore them. If they keep insulting you, then try to keep your cool. Well, some people think that keeping silent about a simple verbal name-calling or taunting wouldn’t help at all. In my case, I always react at a simple [unfriendly] insult that I hit back at them with curses and more insults, in a futile effort to make them stop. This may trigger an even greater trouble, if you aren’t careful with your words.

Second, never keep your problems to yourself. Seek help if things started to get serious. I admit that being the silent type I was, I rarely even mention about my school life that they keep wondering what’s wrong with me. I could have told them about what happened, but in my mind I feel terrible about involving my parents to this problem… something that I should have dealt with myself.

Why I never bothered to do these back when I was in that situation? I don’t know. I was bound by fear and cowardice that I never learn how to stand up for myself that time. I could have saved myself from further trouble if I didn’t let myself down just because of these stupid insults. I should have known better.

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How does it feel like being bullied? It depends on how sensitive you are to such harsh insults and verbal attacks, or how strong you are to endure such physical attacks. In my case, I almost feel powerless since I was all alone and I’m up against a few people. I’m at a greater disadvantage too, since I couldn’t fight back. Even if I could retaliate against my unworthy classmates, I still couldn’t.

I hate it when the stronger ones are hurting the weaker ones, so this bullying has to stop. We don’t want any more people suffer due to a senseless intimidation. If you think you can go ahead and bully someone, then imagine yourself in their place. You wouldn’t want to feel the burden of being harassed and pushed down all the time, right?

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