Saturday 17 November 2018

Hanging with the hard men

 

Stock photo
Stock photo
Brendan O'Connor

Brendan O'Connor

It's never a good idea to try to be something you're not to fit in with the hard men.

Bullies come in many forms. They are rarely as obvious or straightforward as some guy who punches you in the face and takes your lunch money.

One of the most insidious bullies is the guy who keeps asserting you are friends. He won't ask you for your input on this, he will just declare you are friends. It can be very destabilising for the bullied person, because on one hand they're thinking, "hang on, we're not friends". But on another hand they're slightly relieved at this acceptance by the bully - almost grateful. It might mean less trouble. And then, on a third hand, the bullied person hates themselves for that, for being pathetically grateful that the bully is showing favour. It's a complex business being subtly bullied.

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