Friday, May 1, 2009

Bully for you

In spite of its being spring and very bloomy out, I've been stumbling across an awful lot of angry people this week who are looking for a fight with some inoffensive person or other. Why do you think that is? It's all ages, but mostly people of the male persuasion. The economy? The 'flu? A deficiency of ice cream?

Here's the thing: I've never been very good at walking away from a bully. And what I am good at - putting together on the spot a rational argument for preferable behaviour and uttering it without a single shake in my voice - only works some of the time. If it doesn't intimidate or shame the bully it's just humiliating and ratchets up the tension. Some day, this is going to get me into a lot of trouble.

I wish there was a Skills Mart where I could swap some of my verbal ability for the kind that hostage negotiators use. It's not like I don't already have compassion for others, or a morbid writerly interest in what exactly motivates meanness. But I also wish I could just walk on by. I mean really - negativity breeds more negativity, and given the choice, I'd gladly spend my days in the land of tiny happy.

1 comment:

Karen said...

Oh, yeah. I know exactly what you mean. Having faced my share of bullies, on my own and on my kids' behalf, I can say that it's easy to say, "Just keep walking." A lot harder to do, when every fibre in me wants to a) make them stop, and b) make sure they never do it again.