We can all be bullies at times, sometimes without realising it; it’s about how the receiver receives the information we send to them. So what is bullying? And how does it happen online? Growing up we might have said it was ‘ganging up on someone’, which I know means mobbing now!
Have you ever been witness to the following in the chat rooms or in the groups: seen someone tormented, threatened, harassed, humiliated, embarrassed or otherwise targeted by another member? Has this happened to you? Have you done any of these to someone?
That is bullying.
Do it once, well, it can be forgiven. After all, we all let our tempers get the better of us, especially when we can type pretty fast and we’re not face-to-face with the person we’re attacking. But twice? Three times? That’s a big no-no.
Have you ever been reported online? Or received complaints?
I guess another way of asking this is can you understand why someone may feel tormented, threatened, harassed, humiliated, embarrassed or otherwise targeted by another member?
How many negative comments do you get after you’ve posted your ‘opinion’? Sometimes we’re not aware that our own brand of humour is just that; our own. Others don’t share it. So what we think isn’t bullying really is.
Have you ever said any of these:
“I was only joking”
“Can’t you take a joke?”
“You’re so sensitive”
“I didn’t mean any harm by that”
“You didn’t take me seriously, did you?”
“No offence meant”
If you’ve had to use any of these phrases, trust me, you’ve offended. It wasn’t taken as a joke and whether harm was intended or not, it was caused.
What to do?
I’m asked this a lot. What do I do if someone is attacking me? Well, you don’t let the bully turn you into a bully! You’ll be surprised how effective the solution is, and I’d love to see if any of you can try it a couple of times and let me know how it works.
IGNORE THE PERSON! Yep, I wrote in caps, and no, I’m not shouting, I’m YELLING… because it’s so simple, so effective. Don’t reply to their cutting remark. Don’t leave them a comment in a group, don’t update your status with reference to the attack you’ve received, don’t leave comments on their profile. Just ‘click’ away and ignore them.
Hmmm, not easy I know. But try it. Please. Let me know how it works out for you. •