Are We Being Seduced by Bullies?

This morning I watched a clip of the President of the United States bullying his way through another public diatribe. A crowd of his supporters was jeering, chanting, and risking their health during the COVID pandemic just to be a part of his blood sport.

It’s one thing to be a bully. We have all been exposed to bullies in our lives. They are damaged souls who feel the need to damage others. It’s quite another thing to observe all the folks that support bullying behaviour. That is highly disturbing.

Watching people laugh and chant in support of the bully-in-chief is revolting but not shocking to me. Some would put this group expression of hatred and derision down to the ignorance of a few. My observations are quite different.

I have repeatedly observed situations where the majority of people choose to support a bully. The rise of Hitler in Nazi Germany is one of the best examples of this. He exuded power and played to his populations’ worst fears, deepest prejudices. Film footage shows thousands of Germans chanting at his rallies.

On a more personal level, every bully I have encountered has had a substantial following.

Bullying begins early, starting with that girl in your third-grade friend group that decides to pit all the others against you. They follow her without question. The next week someone else will be the target of her ‘shame campaign’.  

Or how about the older boy on the school bus who mocks you every time you climb aboard. The entire busload of kids laughs with him. You begin to feel ‘less than’. 

Or what about your senior year of high school when your entire class gangs up against you because you stood by your values and made a tough decision to do the right thing. Two ring leaders encourage them to hiss and call you names whenever a teacher leaves the room. Those that stay silent are complicit.

Many years later a work colleague decides she needs to have your job. She stands in the privacy of your office to berate you, whispers poison into strategic ears, and starts small rumours which expand like the concentric circles on a pond. You learn that you can trust no one. Some turn their backs on you. Those that stay silent are complicit.

All of this (and more) has happened to me throughout my life. But then, we all have crosses to bear. The major lesson here is that bullies and tyrants will always have a following. Many humans are easily seduced by those that seek to have power over others. 

Social media has made this crystal clear in recent years. Suicide rates are up, especially for young people who are bullied online. Politics are meaner and dirtier than ever. Self-serving greed is destroying the ecosystem that has long supported us.

It’s time for humanity to connect with its moral compass and confront all the bullies attempting to suck the air out of the room. If we blindly support corporations, billionaires, would-be dictators, or even our fellow citizens who flout programs and practices designed to protect us, then we are part of the problem. If we stay silent we are complicit.

Surrendering to the seduction of bullies that seek to hook into our base desires and fears has the potential to destroy our lives and our planet. We must cast off our blinders and take stock of who and what we are following. Can we do it?


11 thoughts on “Are We Being Seduced by Bullies?

  1. Well said Sharon. I could not have said it better. The underlying issues of greed and power have been with us since the beginning of time. Will this be the time to confront ourselves with the harsh reality of who and what we are and change the dynamics going forward. I would love to think so but I am losing faith more every day when I see what humans are capable of. Someone once told me to live with hope and so that is what I will do.

    Arlene Macdonald

    Liked by 1 person

    1. LOL Actually I think we have enough bullies here to go around. Because we see so much of him on TV here, it’s pretty easy to use him as the best example of a bully right now. We are all rooting for the good guys in your upcoming election. Hugs.

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    2. This is right on…well written…bullying it is…it makes me so angry. The world is so divided and this bully just keeps on going, like the energizer bunny. How far does it go? It is truly like a cult and is hard To believe this is going on in our world. Many of my friends are part of this cult…it’s a challenge to keep quiet and not give my opinion. I am glad I live in Canada, but it too is affecting us…we have our issues as well.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes we have our issues too. There are bullies everywhere. It gets worse when they start leading entire countries. My biggest problem is with the people who follow them. And that problem is getting bigger and bigger I think. I try to remain hopeful nevertheless.

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  2. You hit the nail on the head with your commentary. As you’ve experienced bullying yourself, you know how it feels to be targeted and how hurtful it is too see so many people stand by and do nothing.

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  3. Hi Girlfriend, Happy Thanksgiving. It was so good to hear from you. You are so brave to drive back from the coast by yourself. I would not even consider it. I have been fighting a vertigo attack for the last week and today think I might be on the mend. Everyone is fine here. All healthy and busy with work despite Covid .Madison came home for 4 days to celebrate Thanksgiving and that has made it special. Not a thing new here but do miss social occasions like our lunch together. Keep Well, Arlene

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    1. Hi Arlene, Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family. I have a feeling that this message was meant for someone else. Happy to get it anyway. I sympathize about the vertigo. I had a bad bout with it a few years ago. Take care, Sharon

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