Across time, age and countries, the fairer sex has been looked upon as the softer ones: caregivers, expected to nurse and babysit families, never mind what Google Map says about your location coordinates.
The softer, maternal aspect of humanity, turns out, is also the nastier bully in real life situations if Dr. Garie Namy of the Workplace Bullying Institute is to be believed.
- There is an institute for workplace bullying?
- Ermahgaad. Weren’t women nice?
- Just kidding. Yes and no, respectively. (Duh.)
You are the Mother of All Forgetful People if you are forgetting that this face of femaledom has been captured on celluloid ages back and over again: remember Mean Girls?
While growing up, it seems to me that girls internalize this habit of criticizing each another and in no tome, it comes pretty naturally.
It is the girl equivalent of excited teenage boys discussing their first mustache.
A better looking pair of earrings, an unusual lip color, anything, they all popularly evoke hotdog feelings. Samantha Brick from Daily Mail, UK talks of being hated for being pretty. Not cool.
People want to be smart. So smart people pay you bad compliments that make the rest of your day suck.
Step 1: Ensure no ducks are given.
The number of smart people around, my, it isn’t any wonder that most forget when the yapping needs to stop. Call me boring, but gossip hasn’t done much good in the world, yes?
It hasn’t fed hungry kids, it hasn’t cleaned up slums, and it hasn’t educated people… It has only entertained you for a few minutes each day at the cost of someone’s peace of mind.
In a competitive, professional environment, it only turns more vicious.
All those stereotypes of ‘casting couch’-ey girls aren’t much of fables, simply because yes, there are females who believe that by using their sexuality to their advantage, they hold sway in any situation involving a man in power. It makes for a great watch when fictionalized, but trust yours truly, when the stereotype cuts you off a possible promotion at the office or a concert date with that guy from Wales, things stop being so nice and your background music comes to a screeching halt.
From badmouthing colleagues to subtle hints and not-so-subtle ones (read as giving out secrets), the fight for dominance, especially in an ‘old boys’ network’ where women have to strive to assert their hyper-agressiveness and competence, sees stakes up high.
Psychologists are facing an elephantine tide of harrowed women even as the cubicle gets dirtier. Most find it hard to trust people after having had theirs raped in public.
Does this trouble you?
It troubles me.
More so, because I have witnessed the higher powers at work, like all other girls. I know, right?
What funny is, mean or not, scheming or not, even bullies go through a bad time. We all know the theory: weak from the inside, people hurt others too feel better.
Light and dark derive their existence from the other. Bullying and ragging will continue to be the darker side of a world where everyone hopes to smile, laugh, work and grow together. But ask yourself, ‘Is it too hard to be a little nicer to people?’
You define new depths when you treat someone based on appearance or language or habits. If there was ever a world record for being shallow, it would be yours, Bully.
Wonder if you could forego mentioning her love handles (during your much-deserved coffee break, yes). See if you can overlook her broken English and listen to her instead. Observe if being less judgmental makes things better for you, because trust me, it will; for you and for your victim. You realize what fear takes hold when someone plays darts with your weaknesses. Instead of shooting down other people’s self esteem and sense of dignity, how about make new friends?
Friends who understand what it is like to want to hide under a pillow. Or a mattress. Or under it.
These would be people who would be considerate to you if you let them be. And soon, you would find concern for them in your heart too. The Chinese characters used to represent ‘considerate’ in Japanese are pictographs for ‘people’ and ‘concern’.
This character also stands for ‘excellence’. So Bully, when you’re considerate, you’re a genuinely awesome person. Someone who empathises with their sadness and challenges and hurdles surmounted.
From someone who is detested worse than an untimely turd-dropping mission, you become a person who is genuinely respected and loved. Those are two things you’d been looking for all along, right? It can all be yours Bully. You need to make a gamble and halt your game.
Take that chance, try talking to people, and really listen. Karma tells me it is good for the heart, and you know there shall be friend who at least listens to you if not play agony aunt.
Respect and love, Bully. You don’t get those things as freebies with your fifteenth taco. You will have to face your enemy that is you, sit down and have a talk with him, talk him into all of this because the sense in it all is beginning to dawn on you.
Respect and love, Bully. You give some, you take some.
Forget turned, tables might be thrown at you as you try being civil for once. Whatever you do, consequences of your actions shall cometh back to bite you in places you never imagined existed. Regardless of your behavior in the present, you will face a reverse food chain unfolding its limbs for you.
You create a stinky poo cause, it has a stinky poo effect. It’s just as Newton told us. To make sure the Lord doesn’t smite you again, you better be creating good causes, eh?
Competitiveness is necessary just like a reasonable amount of pressure is. Stupidity isn’t.
Stop being stupid already.
And to everyone else, just don’t pay attention.
Do you think there is a difference between in how men and women bully others? Would love to know.