Ignoring bullies is sometimes useless advice

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Joe90
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01 Jul 2021, 3:25 pm

For decades the said way to deal with bullies is to ignore them and then they'll get bored with it and stop. This does not work with all bullies. There are several types of bullying, but, believe it or not, a lot of bullies aren't actually looking for a reaction. If they call you names, no matter how much you ignore them, they know that you can still hear them. Or if they throw things at you and you don't react at all, they know that you can still feel it, and even if you look like you're holding your head up high but really you're crumbling inside, they might know that and carry on harassing you for years.

Let me tell you a story about a girl my boyfriend once knew. She got bullied every day on her way home from school. But she ignored them and tried not to let them get to her, and she thought by doing that they'd grow bored of it. But the less she reacted, the more they got mad. Then one day they decided to follow her home to see where she lived. Once they knew where she lived, they went there one night and tried setting her house on fire, because they really wanted to make her unhappy. It worked. Luckily they were caught by a neighbour and the fire was put out before it done any damage, but if it hadn't, the girl and her family could have been seriously hurt or even killed. My boyfriend doesn't know what happened to the bullies after that, but the moral of this story is that it doesn't always solve the bully situation by ignoring them.
Oh, and this girl didn't do anything to deserve this. They just picked on her for no reason. She was a nice girl.

I think ignoring them might work on younger children who are just teasing. Or some forms of bullying among teenagers and adults. But some bullies really will not stop no matter how much their victim ignores them. Some bullies don't get joy from a reaction, they just get joy from the taunting and harassing and whatever else they do. And when bullying gets physically aggressive it's quite hard to ignore them when they're beating you up.


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funeralxempire
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01 Jul 2021, 3:30 pm

Some bullies are better addressed by leaving them twitching in a puddle of their own fluids.


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Cuppacoffee
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01 Jul 2021, 5:04 pm

Agree that it doesn't always work.

Poor girl :(

However, my son got caught ignoring bullies TWICE today at school :D :D :D
And they got caught badmouthing him and being aggressive. I ​can barely believe it.

Physical stuff is harder to ignore. But self defence can be classified as fighting and get you punished, especially if you have no friends to vouch for you (my son's experience).



Summer_Twilight
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02 Jul 2021, 11:02 am

Based on what you are telling me, there are bullies who pick on someone because there is something about that person that they dislike. Therefore, they don't want that person around.

-There are children who are raised in home environments where their parents and family members teach them to hate individuals who live on the spectrum based on stereotypes. Some parents teach their kids that it's okay to pick on those who are on the spectrum.

It depends on what values are taught at home and it also depends if one of those bullies has serious problems of their own.

- For example, if one of the bullies has narcissistic traits and has convinced their followers or flying monkeys to do and do bad things to that person, because the leader is always jealous of that person.
- Also, there are people who are just plain mean spirited

In my case, I lived with two roommates in a nice rental home for a whole year and I hoped we would become friends. That said, both of them bullied me instead of being friendly, or supportive.

A. One of them was very mean spirited and would yell at me and make me fell bad when things didn't go her way. Just about everytime she went off on one of her rants, I would cry. She also played a really nasty trick on me that was quite immature for a 26-year-old.

B. The other one was more passive aggressive. Basically, she invited me to a Mardi Gras party of hers but it was out of obligation. She was very rude to me during and after the party. Especially since I attempted to get drunk in order for her to accept me more, because she herself was a heavy drinker. On instance, she wrote me a nasty note by making me feel bad for having a hangover and that I was not allowed to eat the leftovers. They were for people who didn't go to the party. Excuse me?



Last edited by Summer_Twilight on 02 Jul 2021, 11:15 am, edited 1 time in total.

Fnord
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02 Jul 2021, 11:15 am

The only thing a bully respects is a bigger bully


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02 Jul 2021, 11:57 am

Fnord wrote:
The only thing a bully respects is a bigger bully


Or a blunt instrument if push comes to shove. Setting a house on fire with people inside is defiantly shove and I imagine well within the law to beat the arsonists half to death with it.



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02 Jul 2021, 1:02 pm

I sort of figured why the advice exists other than utter laziness.

The basis is to do with social dynamics. Kinda like the subconscious social script between parties (i.e. perpetrators and victims).

A victim would either avoid, fight, freeze, anxious deflecting, submission, etc...
A victim has (predictable) reactions anticipated by perpetrators.


Someone who is not a victim would not react or become reactive, the drama would simply pass through them.

As opposed to unawareness, or any less of a choice reaction that is more to do with emotional dysregulation, or basically ego defensiveness really.
Which many kids are either unequipped nor are properly taught...

Nor do humans in general are emotionally gifted enough to initially have that kind of handling as a child.


A non-victim breaks the bullying-bullied script like dynamics.
Non-victims would catch bullies off guard and be repelled by them or reverse the dynamics by making the bullies reactive no different from their victims.


'Ignoring' is supposedly one of the reactions of a non-victim that would put bullies into place, and therefore was assumed to be the action taken in order to emulate non-victims. :roll:

Or at least emotional profiles that are more socially adept, too emotionally mature or detached, wiser than the usual victim's capacity.

Obviously it doesn't work like that.
The same can be said with 'confidence' or 'assertiveness'.
Facades and various coping mechanisms can only go as far.

Ignoring is not an appropriate nor a natural reaction of a victim.
A victim is better off taught lessons around emotions, attitudes, and specific social skills that are closer to spotting BS and calling it out...



Me ignoring bullies as a pubescent is as impossible as ignoring or denying that I've been dealing with misophonia.
Never took the advice of people telling me to ignore bullies -- no, I wanna punch them in a gut whilst they do it to provoke me.


I was able to truly ignore bullies... When names and remarks no longer identifies me -- therefore being unaffected and ignorable.
The real ability to be above the damn drama.

This is what these so-called advisors do not tell and/or neglect mention.
Adults do not explain to kids the intricacies of emotional regulation, self-other dynamics and ego mind's associations. :shrug:
Nope, more like let them figure sink or swim.


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Joe90
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02 Jul 2021, 1:53 pm

Not everyone who gets bullied are on the spectrum. Non-autistic people can be bullied too.


When I was 11 I got bullied walking home from school. It all started off with me overtaking a couple of girls who were walking too slow. They started shouting "run!" at me when I was in front of them, and I just ignored them, but it didn't make them stop. Every day they'd deliberately let me pass them so that they could shout "run" and call me names like "b***h" and "spazz". I was too timid and weak to stand up for myself, so I thought ignoring them would be the next best thing. But I began feeling humiliated having them shouting names at me in the street, and the advice to that was probably "they're the ones that should be embarrassed, not you", but it's not who looks embarrassing but it's who feels embarrassed. Those girls were choosing to do this and were getting joy out of it and didn't seem to feel any shame in it, but I was the one who was feeling embarrassed.
Then one day I decided to stand up for myself, so when they let me pass I stood still and shook my head. They asked why, and I said that I didn't want to. But this just made them worse, and after that they started cornering me and trying to steal my sweets and money, and tried 'peanuting' my school tie.

The only solution to this was to find an alternate route home from school, and luckily there was so I started taking that route. I guess those girls only bullied me because I was there for them to target and always on my own, but when I wasn't there any more they obviously stopped.

I think bullies mostly pick on kids who walk home on their own. I only had to be on my own because nobody wanted to walk home with me. There were other girls in my class who walked home but every time I tried to join them I could tell they didn't want me there.


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funeralxempire
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02 Jul 2021, 1:57 pm

Joe90 wrote:
I think bullies mostly pick on kids who walk home on their own. I only had to be on my own because nobody wanted to walk home with me. There were other girls in my class who walked home but every time I tried to join them I could tell they didn't want me there.


Usually they're in a pack and the victim is alone, that power imbalance contributes to making the victim feel powerless.


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04 Jul 2021, 4:04 am

I was never bullied by a pack, usually by only one person.
Not the same person, but usually by one or two.
And I was usually never harrased walking to or from school.

How I dealt with it was turn the other cheek. I don't remember, but I was told by my grandmother that I by 4 years old stopped believing in Christ, so it had nothing to do with religion, just morals.

Well, it didn't work, but I fail to see how any other method would had.
Hit them? Tease them back? Talk behind their backs?
Talking to teachers/parents were of course out of the question, anyone who's been bullied knows that.

So ignoring bullies? I don't know, it's useless, I agree, but I don't have an alternative.

/Mats


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04 Jul 2021, 4:29 am

Sad reality.



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04 Jul 2021, 5:21 am

"Ignore the bullies" is advice from people who ignore the injustices and cruelty in the world.

Also i am horrified by this story! Those "children" deserve to be jailed. (or rehabilitated whatever it is called)



Summer_Twilight
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04 Jul 2021, 8:39 am

Joe90, (Offtopic)I hate the words spazz and I think it's a very nasty thing to say. A man on the spectrum, who I had a crush on called me that behind my back because he didn't like me, while he led me around.

As for bullying, there was an older girl who lived in my neighborhood. She another girl in the neighborhood pushed me under the water in a kiddie pool. She also called me the R word.



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04 Jul 2021, 9:39 am

Lost_dragon
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05 Jul 2021, 2:07 pm

I was bullied on and off for ten years and ignoring it never helped in my situation but I'd often receive this advice from others just to ignore it. This never worked. Especially when it came to physical bullying, I interpreted this advice as acting like you're not in pain, which I developed a skill in, but by doing so this actually made it worse. People saw this as a challenge, to see how much pain I could tolerate before reacting, it became a game for them.

The only time this advice was vaguely useful was when I had a bully who I had to be friends with because her mother insisted. I developed a mask where I could pretend to be her friend and tell her what she wanted to hear even when she was being horrible to others, I was able to disconnect and build alliances with her so she'd leave me and others alone and I could gradually cut ties with her behind the scenes and provide support for others affected by her. So when the time came where her mother stopped interfering, I was able to cut her out of my life.

As a result, I have developed an ability to an extent to tell manipulators what they want to hear whilst also stabbing them in the back. I remember when an old friend of mine ended up in an abusive relationship and I had to pretend to befriend her abuser so he'd allow me to interact with her. I had to gain his trust so he'd allow me to see my friend. Once I had that ability, we were able to plan an escape route and contact relevant authorities.

Anyway, I think that's less of a ignore them method and more of a pretend to befriend them and then betray them.

Collecting evidence might also be worth doing, if it's a repeat offense and the bully keeps trying to frame you for something. It depends on the situation.


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08 Jul 2021, 5:43 am

I think 'ignore' is the wrong word.

If you can't stand up for yourself for whatever reason, or there's no authority figure you can go to for help then I think you're down to one option.

That option is to work out exactly what the bully is getting out of bullying you and cut off the supply. I think that's what people mean when they say 'ignore'. They're assuming the bully is after your reaction or attention. This can be true, so 'ignore' is kind of good, if overly simplistic, advice. There's often more to it, but if you can engineer it so the bully isn't getting the response they want, they'll usually either escalate or move on to someone else.

Escalate is the problem and is specific to the bully in question. Some bullies are just cowards and will move on to easier prey. Occasionally you come across a genuine psychopath who will rise to your challenge.