Bully boys and girls
Wise Word: bully
A bully is a person who abuses a position of authority to belittle people or to force them to do something that they didn't want to do. Interestingly, in Germany, people have adopted the English term “mobbing” to describe this phenomenon. Is it because the English mob is so scary?
In English, we use “mob” as a verb to mean “crowd around someone in order to admire — or to attack — that person”. If you want to talk about the German kind of Mobbing, it’s best to use “bullying” or “workplace bullying”, so that people realize you are talking about repeated harassment and regular psychological or physical intimidation, rather than about an attack that happened just once.
I've witnessed several bullies during my career. Looking back, I believe I can identify several recurring traits with each bully I've had the misfortune to meet. These people are usually incompetent and indecisive. Often, they have seriously screwed up and want an easy way to cover this up — by letting someone else take the blame. And they also claim to be unaware that they use nasty bullying tactics.
"Kids should stand up to the bullies — so there will be fewer of them at work."
At school, the pupils are told to stand up to bullies. They rarely do. Maybe if they did, there would be fewer of them in the workplace.
Do you know what became of your school bully?
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