There is also going to be a certain amount “fighting up the food chain” in any group of young (or old people). The problems arise when there is mean, vindictive mental, emotional and physical cruelty involved.
Who gets bullied the most? Those teens from different ethnic backgrounds, from a single parent and who has changed locations frequently. Couple that with social awkwardness, under-weight, over-weight and any other outcast characteristic.
The bully themselves are usually cowards who, as a Japanese swordsman once said, “Cowards are bullies who get together for a show of strength.”
The trick is to break the bully’s strategy, as primitive as it is. It is similar to Marc MacYoung’s five stages of an attack.
First, the creep has bad intentions. Whether they are guy or girl, rich or born on the wrong side of the tracks, they deliberately want to hurt or belittle someone.
Second, they want to “interview” you. Like a strange dog sniffing someone out. They will bait, insult or test their target first. Bullies want to feel safe before launching a bullying an attack.
Third, they position themselves and the intended victim. They need a private area or a public area or have a greater number of friends. They need an advantageous position.
Fourth, they launch their attack. The public, degrading insults or the physical abuse.
This is usually too late as the victim is in a defensive position.
Fifth is the reaction. The bullies enjoy seeing their victims in pain.
So, let’s disrupt the sequence.
See the trouble coming. Watch for the little cliques or the dumb smirks on some people’s faces. They will mutter in low tones to their friends before approaching their victim.
Second, win the interview. Do not react to the insults or the baiting. Make a joke of rude comments or act confused about what is being said. It frustrates the heck out of the bullies. They might try to get close with questions or requests for the time, a light or money. Just step around them. Act pre-occupied. Bullies hate being ignored.
Third, avoid being crowded or be in a vulnerable position. This one guy often made fun of me in class. Constantly, so one time he started to say something in the hallway, so I snapped the back of my fist against his temple. Not too hard. But, got his attention. Later, when he was walking home (without his friends) I called him on his insults. It shut him up and he stopped bothering me.
Fourth: take the initiative. Another time, a school hockey player was making fun of me in the gym dressing room. He was a jerk and had no real friends there and I knew no one was going to help him. So, I walked up to him and kicked him in the hip with a round house kick. It happened so fast that he got scared and shut up. Had I started arguing with him, he would have built up his courage and probably beat me up. But, my sudden action took the fight right out of him. Consequently, he never bothered me any more. Even suddenly invading their space, will make a bully back down.
Do not be predictable.
Fifth. If you do get hurt. Don’t let them see it. The bullies thrive on seeing people in pain or degraded. It is sick. But it raises their fragile egos.
You cannot win all of the altercations. But, you can make it harder for the bullies and make them look for easier targets. You cannot rely on the school or workplace to protect you. You have to take your own action. Or even change schools. You need to focus on your studies and not be distracted by a bunch of ignoramuses.