What do you call someone who uses verbal taunts, name-calling, and other denigrating put downs to psychologically affect another person? Someone who harbors contempt for other people, who has a sense of entitlement to harm another without feeling any sense of empathy, remorse or compassion? Someone who feels they have a right to hurt the feelings of others, and who seems to enjoy doing just that? According to several websites I’ve consulted, that type of person is called a bully. Specifically, one website addressing so-called corporate bullying (http://www.bullyonline.org/workbully/bully.htm) states that “A bully is a person who has never learned to accept responsibility for their [sic] behavior, is unable and unwilling to recognize the effect of their behavior on others, does not want to know of any other way of behaving, is unwilling to recognize that there could be better ways of behaving.”Bullies are easy to spot in elementary schools. One kid picks on another because, perhaps, a boy likes the color pink or a girl gets cute notes from her mom in her lunch. Maybe Sam can’t run very fast, or Lea’s dad doesn’t live with her. Whatever the point of attack, the sole intent of the bully is to make the target feel inferior. Why does a bully do this? According to the same website, the underlying reasons are almost always:a.to avoid facing up to their inadequacy and doing something about itb. to avoid accepting responsibility for their behaviour and the effect it has on others, c. to reduce their fear of being seen for what they are, namely a weak, inadequate and often incompetent individuals, and,d. to divert attention away from their inadequacy So is this, perhaps, a letter addressing the recent SAM Center issues? No. That’s for other juries to decide. Let me just suggest that Randy Goins must have a serious need to compensate for something when he feels that it is his weekly duty to offend others. What is striking is the fact that the offenses are anonymous and at a safe distance – bullying from behind a curtain, so to speak. So perhaps in the future, rather than read a “joke” about domestic violence (once again), mentally relive the horror of having personally experienced it, and feel a burning need to find Mr. Goins and tell him exactly what I think (unfortunately at that point he will have won, knowing that he had the power to adversely affect the mood of a complete stranger), I’ll simply giggle quietly to myself and ponder where exactly his personal deficiency lies. A word of warning to Mr. Goins, though. In the workplace, such behavior is generally grounds for termination. Better get it out of your system while you’re still in college.
Sincerely,A professor who would prefer that her students not find out why she doesn’t think domestic violence is a joke