In many, many many cases, you should not be using the word “bullying” to describe a conflict in which you are involved.
I am so over grown men and women telling other grown men and women that they have been bullied when in fact, someone was just plain 'ole mean to them.
Words mean things. They are powerful and we can not just throw them around like used dish rags.
Here is the definition of the word “bully”:
" to use superior strength or influence to intimidate (someone), typically to force him or her to do what one wants."
In case you are still not comprehending, “superior strength or influence” is when someone is physically stronger or positionally stronger than you AND that person is actually USING their physical strength or positional influence to compel you to do or not do something. If you are missing any element of this definition, YOU ARE NOT BEING BULLIED.
Yes, I am using all capital letters and I am yelling at you. Because I should not have to explain this to adults. Saying that you are being bullied when no bullying is happening is a slap in the face to people who are ACTUALLY BEING BULLIED. You are not being bullied, sis. You are the boy who cried wolf. #StopIt
Please stop using this word to describe when another adult is mean to you. Someone talking badly to you or about you is not bullying. Someone who says things about you that you don't like is NOT bullying. Yes, these adults are being mean to you and that is unfortunate. When this happens, you have to be a grown up and use some conflict resolution skills. You may have to communicate with the other adult about their unacceptable, mean behavior. You may have to go talk to HR about the other adult who is being inappropriate. You may have to (wait for it)....ignore them. What you don’t get to do is throw around a buzz word in an attempt to shame them into leaving you alone. No one is interested in your sad, faux-bullying allegory, sis. You can’t hide behind the word "bullying" because you want people to feel sorry for you.
There are actual children in America who are out here getting bullied at school and church and in their communities everyday. Real women are ACTUALLY being bullied and harassed in their workplace. Members of the LGBTQ community have real stories of how people in power try to shame them and disrespect them into hiding their identifies. There are real-life black people and latino people and asian people who are forced (mostly by the majority) to change their hair, hide their culture or learn a new language. You do not get to join that struggle just because someone was mean to you.
The problem with overuse of the word is that when attention-seeking adults overuse the word "bully" it becomes a buzz word. Buzz words often desensitize society. People in society often pay less attention when actual victims are describing their horrendous experience. Horrendous experiences like that of Aiden Vasquez, a 10-year-old boy who was beat up by a gang bullies after they took his backpack and then beat him up. Or like Kheris Rogers, an 11-year-old girl who had to transfer to a different school because other children were physically intimidating her because of her darker complexion (By the way, Rogers is now booked and unbothered. She started a t-shirt line called #FlexinInMyComplexion which went viral and she has a whole modeling career now. So...#Bloop). There’s also the 42% of Muslim children in this country who get beat up or spat upon just because they exercise their RIGHT to freedom of religion. Doing the very thing that the forefathers of this country fought for. Let that sink in.
Grown Person...the next time someone is mean to you; before you loosely throw around the word “bully” I want you to think of these children and see if what you’re dealing with remotely compares.
Spoiler Alert: Chances are, it doesn’t.