As part of the #1000Speak event on bullying, here are my thoughts:
What do you do if you see an act of bullying? It doesn’t matter who or where, or at least it shouldn’t. What do you do if it’s your child or a neighbor’s child? What if it’s a co-worker? How do you respond? Does your character permit you to turn and walk-away or does it hold you accountable for improving the world around you by speaking out? I would suggest that you don’t need to get violent or confrontational. But a simply worded question might be, “I’m curious, why are you doing this ? Interrupting the bully will divert their attention. Questioning them with conversational tones will hopefully calm and engage them. Paraphrase what you hear them saying so that you understand. I always try to calm and engage them. But what if the person is larger or very aggressive and it’s you they are trying to bully? Interrupt their rant and say something like “Excuse me, I want to discuss this with you, but I have a prior appointment.” and leave. Usually bullies count the people they bully to be polite. They probably don’t know that they do, but if you interrupt them and leave, it will most likely defuse the situation. Do you have the character to stand up to bully? Are you willing to be better and demand better?
What do you do if you see bullying? Leave a thought.