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Old 2007-04-25, 09:12   Link #1
TinyRedLeaf
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Bullying vs "Lone Wolf" Behaviour

The title says it all?

Basically, it's topic that is partly inspired by recent events, but more importantly, a question that suddenly popped into my mind in a moment of quiet reflection.

We are all familiar with various forms of bullying, whether it's committed by siblings, playground rivals, school bullies (give me your lunch money!) and even workplace bullying (it's more common than you'd think).

Workplace bullying can be especially subtle, partly because power relations are much more complex (compared to school bullying, which is more commonly between peers who theoretically hold equal power). It can be a boss abusing his power by forcing unfair demands on his employees. Or, it can be the "in" crowd that actively decides to ostracise an unpopular colleague (who may not even know why he is so unpopular in the first place).

In Japan, there's the common saying, "The nail that sticks out gets hammered." Workers are scrupulously polite to their colleagues, for fear of being branded the odd-one-out who gets "hammered down". There is that urgent need to always conform. Don't stick out, or you'd regret it.

My questions:
1) What other forms of bullying have you come across or personally experienced,

2) How did you deal with it?

3) To what extent did you think the bullying was consciously carried out? This is something that I'm particularly curious to hear more about. Because, I suspect, cases when we are guilty of bullying behaviour, without being consciously aware of it, are more common that we realise.
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Old 2007-04-25, 09:19   Link #2
TinyRedLeaf
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Carrying on a related tangent.

I know that this is probably reflects "Asian" social behaviour more than "Western" social behaviour. Generally though, regardless of East or West, humans are by nature social animals who try very hard to fit in.

But what happens when you sincerely feel that you don't fit in to any group around you? What I call "lone wolf" behaviour.

Just as we're familiar with bullies, I'm sure we are equally familiar with loners too. You know the type -- the one who generally prefers to be by himself. Or, the person with such unique interests that even when you try hard to get him involved with the group, it just doesn't "click".

My questions:

1) To what extent can "lone wolf" behaviour make you an obvious target for bullying, be it conscious or unconscious?

2) What happens when you really do want to fit in, and try to "kill" your own personality to do so?

There's someone on this forum with an interesting signature -- that was what inspired this chain of thought.

It's allegedly an Ernest Hemingway quote? "I'm alone even when I'm in a crowd."
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Old 2007-04-25, 09:45   Link #3
TinyRedLeaf
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I suppose, the unifying question to tie both tangents together would be:

"Do you think that you have the empahty to notice that someone is being left out (be it by accident or on purpose), and what would you do about it, realistically?"
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Old 2007-04-25, 10:17   Link #4
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TinyRedLeaf - just edit your post and add on to them, don't post 3 seperate post. Makes it seem like your speaking to yourself.

1. Basically the main one that is usually seen. The typical one.

2. I ignored him. It worked wonders.

3. Yes and No. 99% of the time, I know i'm bullying that person, like my sisters (younger), who are always fun to annoy and bother, but they are in that age when they fight back now ^_^. Personally I would know if was bullying a person or not, even if it comes from a stereotype.

Quote:
It's allegedly an Ernest Hemingway quote? "I'm alone even when I'm in a crowd."
I find this quote relative because we feel alone even we have company. Hemingway may also say that because he feel that even though as a whole, he feels he's different from the people around him or vice versa, But not in a superior stand point of view.

Quote:
"The nail that sticks out gets hammered."
This is only true because we don't like or enjoy something out of the ordinary in a normal life. If we find something awkward or strange, we question ourselves "what is that?" Isn't it also just normal, most people try to fit into society by making themselves blend into their environment, carefully adjusting themselves to be "normal." (there are exceptions of course)
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Last edited by Aoie_Emesai; 2007-04-25 at 10:28.
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Old 2007-04-25, 15:13   Link #5
ibreatheanime
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Bullying is common of course among young children, but does it really stop? Even adults will sometimes pick on a coworker, or friend.

As for "Lonewolfs" some people do like to be alone, in my case people at my school weren't particularly picked on for being a bit of a loner.

However the kids that got picked on were the ones picked on where the ones who tried to fit in too much, and would end up loosing their orginal personality in an attempt to gain popularity.
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Old 2007-04-25, 15:51   Link #6
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Yeah, the whole hammer an nail thing aint really Japanese. It applies to everyone, and I know that from personal experience. Man I remember when I when is in middle and to a lesser extent in high school I was like a ball of rage or something. Back in elementary I would just sort of take the verbal abuse from other kids, but I was little and just about everyone got picked on even the bullies.

However middle school was a lot worse because middle school aged kids are vermin. No joke, they think they're mature but they aint, they think they know everything but they know nothing so it makes them pretty brutal if you aint "cool" i.e. dress like the dress, talk how they talk, listen to their crappy music and the like. So because of that I'd been bullied pretty badly but its here that I got sick of it and just started knocking motherfuckers down.

High school though I was lucky enough to get into a magnet/honors program with more mature kids. That isn't to say they were matured, but they're company was much better than say the general population. I wasn't really bullied because at that point I had started lifiting and practicing martial arts, so I just looked like I would kick your ass. Still, there were a few jerks I had to take care of though. I still wasn't taking any crap.

I've never really tried to fit in, and I guess I paid the price for it. I've always been the dude to hang out with the other outcasts and I don't really go with the grain. It is just who I am I didn't make a concious decision to be that way. But don't get me wrong I still made plenty of awesome friends who love to party and get drunk and stuff heh. Its just that we also have shared interests like say all the nerdy stuff I like. So I guess you could say that I'm a part of my own group that is seperate from the mainstream but I aint to interested in hammering down differences and making sure everyone behaves like me. Like you kow elitist groups that sneer at "conformity" but they themselves have their own parameters to conform to...like the goths, emo, ect...but that is a different story.
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Old 2007-04-25, 16:03   Link #7
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I'm a kind of a person who doesn't mind being alone. However, I do have moments where I want to be with someone (whether be it with a family member, a friend(s), or a girlfriend (which for me I've yet to acquire one).

For your questions, TRL:

1. I've been the victim of two types of bullying, school bullying (in 3rd grade and 6th grade) and a type of bullying (during 7th to 9th grade) where a small group of homophobic people accuse of you being gay for no reason.

2. For the first one, I dealt with it by trying to ignore the guy. When he came at me still, I responded in kind; I bullied him, both physically (but rarely) and verbally. During 6th grade, I skipped the ignoring part and went straight to verbal abuse; threatening to kill the guy (which I still regret saying that because I was a 6th grader and the bully was a 4th grader and I still remember him going completely pale when I said "I'll send you to hell after I kill you.").

During my middle school years, I ignored those the new bullies. Yes, they did spread rumors about me and my friends, but thankfully, those guys were ignored (since in my middle school, the ones at the top of the popularity hierarchy knew me and 'counter-rumored' to protect me). So, if anyone is getting bullied right now, ignore your bully. If you think that you can't, you can always consult the consulars. Forget that you're going to be called snitch all the time. Bullying can severely damage one's psyche.

3. I can actually answer this question based on my experience. Although I can't remember if I did bully my bully (since I pulled a 'bullied becomes the bully') out of conscience or not, I bully my friends whenever I felt like it (to be honest, me and my friends like to call names and annoy the living crap out of each other. We're mean to each other, but that just shows how much we respect each other as friends. So, that means, if I'm mean to you jokingly, I consider you close to me as a friend).

As ibreatheanime stated, bullying often happen during childhood, simply because children doesn't fully understand what they are doing. Sorry, to restate what I've said, people who are not mature enough doesn't understand the full consequences they can cause to themselves and to their victim (more to the victim obviously).

I want to say more about the third question, but my study for my final exam beckons me. I'll come back later and try to say more about this.
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Old 2007-04-25, 19:12   Link #8
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During the first years of my high school life, I was the lone-wolf type, finding no place to fit in. I wasn't bullied, just ignored. At some point, I got a certain degree of friendship with other lone-wolf type of people, with which we shared some interests. However, all of sudden, I decided I didn't want to be with those guys, so I decided to "fit in", whatever the price was. I started smoking, drinking harshly, and I almost got into pot. But, as it was, there was no way I could fit in, since I wasn't being myself. After a short nervous breakdown, I got into a state of peace with myself, and with who I was, that lead me to find true friends, and my true self, too. I'm now a mix of those two types of personalities, though I don't smoke anymore nor go to late-night parties. I do like very much beer-drinking gatherings (in my country you can drink at 18, if you're watching my age ) and relatively closed house partying, while retaining many of my "nerdy" likings.

So, moral of the story is, don't try to fit in. This may sound cliched, so many people might need experiencing by themselves what not being yourself really means.
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Old 2007-04-25, 20:07   Link #9
ibreatheanime
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We had a kid at our school who was the type who tried too hard to fit in, rather than be himself. This kid tried every image in the book (emo, prep, nerd,) to try to be popular, and usually ended up in him being picked on more. I felt sorry for him, and personally tried to be nice (although he wasn't my favorite person) I told others not to mess with him.

I will not try to pretend to be a saint though, throughout my life I have made fun of kids, and I have been mean. Although I wasn't someone who picked on a kid everyday, I still made fun of kids so I was still a bully. I regret this and everyday I try to be nicer

However as WanderingKnight said "don't try to fit in" I am glad that I never tried to "fit in" I simply acted like myself, and eventually found a tight group of friends who share intrests and are fun to be with. I am extremly happy and I recomend being yourself to anyone.
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Old 2007-04-25, 20:14   Link #10
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I agree with what Ibreathanime and WanderingKnight said. You should never try to fit in, but try to be yourself and let your self fit in. Don't make it happen, let it happen.
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Old 2007-04-25, 20:55   Link #11
TinyRedLeaf
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Interesting responses.

As I've expected there would be those who responded to bullying by:

1. "getting even"
2. "beefing up", to make yourself less of a target
3. "ignore", and remove yourself from the equation altogether

As for the "lone wolf" types, as I suspected, they make natural targets for bullying.

While the sound advice certainly is to trust yourself, don't force yourself to blend in, just be confident about being yourself, as your replies have shown, ultimately what you want is to find someone, some group whom you can identify with to some extent.

The question then really, how much do you try to spot people who display the warning signs of being left out? And then help him/her to fit in? ibreatheanime's experience, I would guess, is probably as far as most of us would go. We can't, after all, try to help someone who doesn't ask for help.

But still, do you wonder sometimes, "What if I've tried harder?"
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Old 2007-04-25, 22:03   Link #12
Knightmare213
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TinyRedLeaf View Post
But still, do you wonder sometimes, "What if I've tried harder?"
Definitely.

There were times, and are times, where I just kick myself in the head for not seeking out people who would've been friends for my entire life. I'm happy with my current friends (although I admit that we have been out of contact with each other for a long time due to our respective studies), but I always thought of the possibilities what my life would be like now if I had been with him/her as a friend. Would I be a better person (both physically and mentally), or worse? If I had been a friend with his person instead of disliking them, how would my life be changed?

I'll admit I'm not the most sociable guy in the world because of my over-shyness. However, if you come to talk to me and somehow initiate a conversation with me, I'll try to be your I-know-that-guy.
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Old 2007-04-25, 22:26   Link #13
TinyRedLeaf
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There's the other interesting thread going on at the moment about "crazy teachers", which is related to this topic, lol.

I wonder, to what extent have your parents/teachers intervened in cases of bullying? Do you even expect them to intervene, or would you prefer to settle it on your own?

I've read some disturbing accounts of bullying in Japan, particularly those that lead to the hikikomori behaviour, where the parents' reactions are quite unbelievable. A Japanese parent's first reaction apparently, when they learn that their child is being bullied, is to say, "You must have done something wrong for other people to bully you."
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Old 2007-04-25, 22:45   Link #14
ibreatheanime
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Parents who say things like "well stop being such a wuss and stick up for yourself" talk without thinking. If you were a parent would you really want to support fighting and bullying other students as a way for your child to "stick up for themselves?"

Sometimes parents intervening just causes more trouble, in one case a kids mother heard that a couple of kids had been saying mean comments about her daughter. So the mother lectured all the kids and talked to the parents of those kids. However this just fueled the fire and caused more bullying.

As far as I remember every instance wher teachers have stepped in has helped only temporary. I believe that when kids are punished for bullying they steer away from the kid they are bullying for awhile...but then eventually turn back to their old ways.
I am sure that there are some cases where parent/teacher intervention has helped solve the problem, however I can't think of any instances that I know of personally.
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Old 2007-04-25, 23:02   Link #15
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Hmm...true, there are limitations to what parents and teachers can do to solve bullying specifically.

But I've interviewed several teachers before, and quite a number of them have interesting stories to tell about their experiences in handling socially withdrawn pupils (whom we've noticed, are magnets for bullies).

One teacher's experience sticks in my mind. She had a girl in the class who always refused to talk, even when she tries to get her engaged in class discussions. In the end, she decided to be patient, and just leave her alone for a while.

Well, the time eventually came for a geography field trip to Indonesia, our neighbouring country. And lo, the girl suddenly became very talkative. She was clearly excited, and had a lot she wanted to share. To this day, the teacher doesn't know what triggered that change, but she's very glad she was there when the "click" came.
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Old 2007-04-26, 00:26   Link #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Knightmare213 View Post
I agree with what Ibreathanime and WanderingKnight said. You should never try to fit in, but try to be yourself and let your self fit in. Don't make it happen, let it happen.
So this mean make yourself netural? I don't really think this is possible if your interests aren't some what similar as the group you make contact with.

For me personally, I had lots of interests in school so it was quite easy for me to fit in the different groups. When I first moved into the town I live in today, I was the only ethnicity of a specif group in the entire school, till about 8th grade. Plus I had a feminine name to start with, so I had some fun times with that, though it got annoying at time. My last name is never pronounced correctly too.
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Old 2007-04-27, 10:48   Link #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TinyRedLeaf View Post
There's the other interesting thread going on at the moment about "crazy teachers", which is related to this topic, lol.

I wonder, to what extent have your parents/teachers intervened in cases of bullying? Do you even expect them to intervene, or would you prefer to settle it on your own?

I've read some disturbing accounts of bullying in Japan, particularly those that lead to the hikikomori behaviour, where the parents' reactions are quite unbelievable. A Japanese parent's first reaction apparently, when they learn that their child is being bullied, is to say, "You must have done something wrong for other people to bully you."
You kind of reminded me with this thread

http://forums.animesuki.com/showthre...light=Bullying

The problem with bullying is that every one tries to tackle it from one side when it should be tackled both ways (the bully and the one being bullied).

As per loners most of them just need time to either adjust, if they are transfered from one place to another as in most cases) or to try to find their own balance, is fitting in in school really important if you already have friends in another place [gym, local football club, etc...] or do you really need friends in where you study.
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Old 2007-04-29, 15:04   Link #18
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Well when I was little I got bullied alot...and I was quite a loner also

but when i met my friends who shared the same interrest as me...It just immediatly stopped. 0_0

Then when I went to middle school...i was alone again cause my friends went to different schools....and that was when i got bullied alot again...and was alot more aware of it too.

Its quite funny cause the person who bullied me failed that year... >)

Then the next year two guys bullied me alot...and they failed that year also and had to be transferred to a lower education......ha..ha....(raises arms)..HHAHAHAHAHHAHAHA XD

0_0"...^_^".....well the year after that I met a girl that transferred to my school and she and i became friends. ^^

so to this day I didnt get bullied again....but then another girl got transferred..and it looks pretty much that she's having the same problem with getting bullied as I a few years ago....so I gotta find some guts to stand up for her...by myself ><"
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Old 2007-04-29, 16:03   Link #19
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Eh, I'm a loner at school, haha.

It's just that I dislike the way kids conduct activities up there. Plus, I like having real friends. Not the "community" friend you say "Hi" to every morning or to chat about menial things with. Plus, a lot of the kids up here back stab each other with insults when one of the members of their group is away. I used to have a best friend of 7 years up here but he wants to belong to the crowd so we aren't friends anymore.

Being a loner isn't bad, especially when you are in an environment you don't like. The teachers at my school are worried more about their comfort zone rather than teaching the children. The administrators of the school are under suspicion of using money for their own activities and only 1/4 of the school population actually cares about learning. Thus, the kids are rowdy, arrogant and cruel to one another. Why would I want to be apart of that?

My old "friend" up here tries to invite me to eat with his group of "friends" but I always turn down the offer. I've sat down with them before and all they do is talk about people and criticize anyone that doesn't conform to their standards.

Thus, I'm a loner at school for a reason.

However, I'm very outgoing and fun once I get out of school. I talk to all kinds of people, play sports, watch anime and socialize whenever I get the chance.
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Old 2007-04-29, 16:21   Link #20
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Never been really been bullied. I have suffered from discrimination, but it wasn't that bad since I lived in Amsterdam and not everyone is white over there. I have been in 2 fights with random people I never seen before. For reasons like that I looked at him or something. Although I have provoked him by saying;"Why the fuck would I look at you". There was also a time where I have supposedly bumped a person. Still was pretty random.

Though I have kinda bullied a few individuals, but some people are simply annoying. Like people who walk with my friend group, but no one really knows him and invites him self to parties where he didn't get invited. So yeah I get pissed of at those people. Though my bulling what I have done is only on a mental level.

Mind you all this was in High school and there isn't much reason for that. Though you can't really call it bullying since it's just speaking my mind.

Well with the friends thing there isn't really need for trust, since there isn't much drama anyhow. They are good for fun and going to parties is more fun when you friends to talk to. Especially for someone like me, since I don't drink alcohol I do have need for conversation. I could live without friends though, but that would make life less fun.
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