New research on the impact of bullying and bullies into adult life

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  • New research on the impact of bullying and bullies into adult life
  • geetee1972
    Member

    Perhaps a little too close to home to be comfortable but interesting nevertheless. I’m happy to say I was not one of the classic outcomes but the concept that bullying throws a ‘long shadow’ carried into adult life (where it does still have consequences) is something I can very much empathise with.

    BBC Website Link to Story

    brooess
    Member

    I’d like to see bullying properly dealt with at work, it’s much more than a childhood thing. I see it every day.
    Clients routinely bully their agencies and suppliers – poor/changing briefs, inadequate timescales + budgets, not delivering on their own actions, yet always blaming the supplier.

    Same with driving.

    I don’t know if my awareness has increased as I’ve got older but bullying seems to be routine behaviour at the moment…

    Strange how bullying affects you. For my first 10 year I was brought up in little villages in Thailand, Middle East and Africa. I was bullied as the white hairy pig boy but never really accepted it as bullying. Just playing around in the villages.

    I came back to the UK and school was okay, still picked on a bit for being foreign. It wasn’t until I saw someone else being bullied that I recognised it. To my undying shame I joined the gang shouting at the smelly, scarley kid. I guess he wasn’t coping with exhma as well I was coping with being the odd one out.

    If any one knows Robert Wright then please let him know that what I shouted at him still haunts me. I am truly sorry.

    Premier Icon jamj1974
    Subscriber

    That makes some interesting reading. Well worth following up on the formal research.

    toys19
    Member

    People tried to bully me as a kid, but it did not work. I stopped a few bullies too. But I was also a bit of a bully, nothing sinister, just mickey taking. I thought I was funny, but I later discovered that some people were made unhappy about it, which I regretted severely. I tried pretty hard to apologise, but I am not convinced it worked.I do not know how modern society deals with bullying, but I wonder if awareness on both sides is the most important thing.

    mrmoofo
    Member

    Unfortunately life is not a benign democracy -, kids bully, adults bully and you won’t bring in rules to make it stop. Within the workplace there are favouritism s, politics and brown nosing. Those who play the game become better off. Maybe we should be teaching kids that they have to stand up for themselves.
    BTW this comes from someone who was bullied at school ( by a set of triplets, whom I hope have all met early deaths) and inthe workplace I was certainly ousted because my face didn’t fit.
    Life is not soft and cuddly, it isn’t a Disney film where the meek and the good always win.
    My only advice would be don’t carry stuff from your past as baggage, or an excuse. It’s unfortunate that it happens, kids can, and are horrid to other kids. And that probably includes your offspring!
    I cannot see why the beating I got at 14 need to affect my life in a different time / different. In was just a lesson in life’s reality

    badnewz
    Member

    I’d like to see bullying properly dealt with at work, it’s much more than a childhood thing.

    Plus 1.

    I didn’t witness a great deal of bullying at school, but I’ve seen plenty among supposedly civilised and successful adults, and it is most pronounced in the workplace.

    A wikipedia quote:

    Unlike the more physical form of school bullying, workplace bullying often takes place within the established rules and policies of the organization and society. Such actions are not necessarily illegal and may not even be against the firm’s regulations;

    samuri
    Member

    “Described as “easily provoked, low in self-esteem, poor at understanding social cues, and unpopular with peers”, these children grew into adults six times more likely to have a “serious illness, smoke regularly or develop a psychiatric disorder”.”

    yes, that’s all me.

    I’m glad to see that in that article at least, there’s no real mention of victims becoming bullies themselves. That line never rang true with me. I got bullied a lot, the last thing I would ever do is put someone else through the same experience. It was an awful thing to go through and experiencing it first hand has ensured I would never treat someone else so badly.

    Premier Icon jimmy
    Subscriber

    Agreeing with Mrmoofo here. I consider myself bullied by one of my best friends as a kid, it was obvious it was just a personality handed down from his Dad but despite having not seen the guy for ~20 years, he still features prevalently in my dreams. The influence he has had on my life is pretty big I’d say, but I should have stood up for myself more because a lot of it these days would just be regarded as banter and you should give as good as you get, otherwise folk just get away with it. ‘Course, that’s where personalities come into it, and I didn’t have the balls to stand up it it to then nor do I now with folk at work. Cause or effect?

    Bullying’s rubbish, but it won’t go away from human nature.

    konabunny
    Member

    Those who play the game become better off.

    Do they?

    Premier Icon ononeorange
    Subscriber

    Can we start an STW bully-club? I had an absolutely horrible time at secondary school, it included a teacher and it still bothers me now. I should just get over it, I suppose.

    Three_Fish
    Member

    I cannot see why the beating I got at 14 need to affect my life in a different time / different. In was just a lesson in life’s reality

    Well, one incident is probably not going to have the same influence as repeated incidents of bullying, but to say that you can not see the influence is perhaps more an acknowledgment of your vision than your understanding.

    mrmoofo
    Member

    Three fishes
    It wasn’t one incident – it was nearly two years of incidents …

    I wasn’t a tough kid, my parents did try and tackle that , in a kind way, by sending me to judo etc, but I guess I was a wimp.
    But throughout life you will meet “bullies” – but a tough boss / friendly banter / piss taking is not bullying. I has to get rid of a member of staff – I am sure she will still hold a grudge and say she was bullied. But she wasn’t performing – has recreational drug issues , and took most Monday’s and Friday’s off. She came from well heeled stock – and was incensed when I wanted her to work for a living. So we had to go down the verbal and written warning route.

    Whilst nobody derives to be bullied, the weak will get “put upon”. But don’t trivialise bullying my lumping it into being given a hard time about something that might be justified!

    Three_Fish
    Member

    With respect, you still sound rather confused about the subject.

    It’s by no means unusual for people to react to stress by becoming apathetic. Tyrants are only tyrants because we permit them to be so.

    mrmoofo
    Member

    With respect, you still sound rather confused about the subject.

    It’s by no means unusual for people to react to stress by becoming apathetic. Tyrants are only tyrants because we permit them to be so.

    No, I am absolutely not confused. I’m fully aware of how people may react to stress. Maybe I didn’t give the best example but essentially she didn’t give a shit in an environment where everyone else did. The realtionship was non-tenable. BTW the company developed a real bullying culture at a later stage, with a real hidden agenda, with hit men, and shit lists. I left.
    In some sort of hippie world you can resolve tyranny – we can all sign a charter, whilst we are at it we will get rid of war, famine and injustice.
    Tyrants are tyrants because it is a methodology that has worked to increase power, wealth and access to sex. And very successfully. It’s primal , and crosses any political affilations ( Mr Mugabe, for instance). It’s about survival of the fittest and protecting your offspring. You will never stop it from happening.

    However, in the real world, that is not how it works. Society is a broad section of people – but generally run by alpha males. It’s not going to chnage soon. It may be wrong but the meel are really unlikely to inherit the earth.
    One man’s workplace bully is another mans successful business leader(read up on Steve Jobs, he is possibly a good example)

    Categorically, bullying is a nasty facet of life, hopefully it can be minimised. But ultimately, the best way to deal with it to to stand up to the perpitators. But we cannot have a group hug and decide it will never again …

    Premier Icon molgrips
    Subscriber

    Life is not soft and cuddly

    No, but that doesn’t mean we should not endeavour to make it more so. We’ve done a lot in the last century I think.

    Society is simply a collection of behaviours, they can and do evolve.

    Three_Fish
    Member

    mrmoofo, who are you trying to convince?

    My only advice would be don’t carry stuff from your past as baggage, or an excuse. It’s unfortunate that it happens, kids can, and are horrid to other kids. And that probably includes your offspring!
    I cannot see why the beating I got at 14 need to affect my life in a different time / different. In was just a lesson in life’s reality

    Easliy said , no so easy to do . When you are told you’ll amount to nothing and never be a success at anything by one of your parents from an early age on top of regularly getting punished physicaly for no apparent reason . Then to go through your school life being bullied , it is very difficult not to carry this with you for the rest of your life .
    The results of the study certainly ring true for me anyway , done the drug abuse , suffer from depresion often with thoughts of what’s the point in being here , anxiety in groups of people/meeting new people , smoked for 20 years , can’t be in relationships .
    I refuse to have kids because of all this , i don’t want them to go through what i did .

    Frankenstein
    Member

    Been name called and teased.

    Did the same to the ones who gave it out. It’s not nice.

    Beat up a few bullies and stood up for weedy kids – lucky I was ‘hard’ ish. Got my ass kicked by an older year bully and kicked his ass later – became friends.

    Bumped into a kid I knew (now 30) first thing he said was thanks for sticking up for him but he still harboured a grudge and wanted revenge on the bullies! Felt sorry for him – although he is 6ft 4 now! Bullies better hide!

    Another kid I stuck up for as he stunk/poor – turned into an adult bully. He was a nice kid but now he’s an idiot due to the bullying he had affected him.

    I don’t tolerate bullying. It’s disgusting.

    geetee1972
    Member

    Easliy said , no so easy to do

    +1 for that.

    I had an absolutely horrible time at secondary school, it included a teacher and it still bothers me now.

    Interestingly that was also my experience, that a teacher was involved although mine was at primary school.

    Among the many things I remember, I remember being sat at a table, in the middle of a very large hall, on my own having been instructed to copy out the dictionary word for word while the rest of the class attended the school’s Christmas party.

    I remember the same teacher instructing the rest of the class to send me to Coventry.

    I remember the teacher threatening my physically. I know I encouraged him to do it because that way I would have evidence of him being a bully.

    My parents got so frustrated with the problem, my dad eventually told me that just start hitting people – to ‘stand up for myself’. I was always a big child so throwing my weight around was not a problem. Unfortunately it just made the situation worse and precipitated being labeled a bully myself.

    rogerthecat
    Member

    Interesting school reunion 2 years ago, first time most of us had met/seen each other in over 30 years.

    The nice folks (and recipients of numerous bullies attention) seemed to be still nice folks and the bullies (a few turned up) still seemed to be complete arses.

    It was surprising how one or two of the nastier individuals wanted to be very friendly with some of their most frequent victims, you could see some people visibly flinch when they went up speak to them.

    As we chatted about the events at school it became apparent that quite a few people carried scars and it wasn’t the bullies.

    chewkw
    Member

    Sometimes you deal with bullies the physical ways. You hire someone to hit back hard or do-it-yourself (gunny sack covers head to waist and baseball bat will do) . Both fine. Nothing uncilivised about using a bit of brute force.
    🙄

    geetee1972
    Member

    The nice folks (and recipients of numerous bullies attention) seemed to be still nice folks and the bullies (a few turned up) still seemed to be complete arses.

    I didn’t go to our secondary school one but the reports I heard back from the one that happened last year were exactly this.

    My best friend now and from school relayed the conversation that had taken place between him and one of the main protagonists of bullying in the year (although my mate had never had a problem with him).

    He asked him ‘so what did you end up doing after we all left school Kevin?’
    To which he replied ‘Prison mostly’.

    Figures.

    Premier Icon annebr
    Subscriber

    Three_Fish
    Tyrants are only tyrants because we permit them to be so.

    someone has to be the boss

    mrmoofo
    Member

    mrmoofo, who are you trying to convince?

    Perhaps you ..
    Away from some hippy dippy sound byte shit as “lets banish tyrants”

    As the post says above ( and mine) some people have to be leaders. And many will see them as strong minded and driven. Those who do not agree will throw in the name “bully”.

    If you just want a quick, non controversial demonstration of this, look at the popularity of Dragons Den, or the Apprentice.

    Oddly, most people like being lead …

    Premier Icon molgrips
    Subscriber

    There’s a huge difference between being a good boss and a tyrant though – any prole can see this, and they have been throughout history.

    geetee1972
    Member

    nd many will see them as strong minded and driven. Those who do not agree will throw in the name “bully”.

    What an absolute crock of shit.

    If you just want a quick, non controversial demonstration of this, look at the popularity of Dragons Den, or the Apprentice.

    None of the people on these programmes are leaders and your citing of this as an example of ‘leadership’ shows you really haven’t got a clue.

    It is well known that Entrepreneurs such as you find on these programmes, make very poor leaders. They may make great business people, good at getting ideas of the ground, being totally self obsessed in their goals to the detriment of others, but they are NOT leaders.

    mrmoofo
    Member

    There is a differnce here between bullying and abuse – and what some her have mention, at the hands of parents , probably falls in the later category. In that case, I fully understand that “help” may well be needed.

    geetee1972
    Member

    There is a differnce here between bullying and abuse

    It’s an interesting question to pose but I am not sure I agree with your conclusion.

    If you can give a clear explanation of the difference between the two I am prepared to have my opinion changed though.

    mrmoofo
    Member

    GT
    I used that as a trivialised example. One that you failed to grasp, so my bad – it was an example of how that aggressive and go getting personality is seen as cool and now.
    I hate the in yer face attitude of modern life. But I’m not going to change it – I have to adapt.

    As for you “witty retort” “that is a crock of shit” pray explain …

    Junkyard
    Member

    If you can give a clear explanation of the difference between the two I am prepared to have my opinion changed though.

    Bullying without actual harm is not an offence a [ verbal]abuse can be an offence.

    And many will see them as strong minded and driven. Those who do not agree will throw in the name “bully”.

    What utter bobbins. There is a world of difference between a string leader and a bully.

    Oddly, most people like being lead …

    Sounds like the “strong” justifying what they do as helping the weak which is also bobbins

    geetee1972
    Member

    As for you “witty retort” “that is a crock of shit” pray explain …

    OK tension ratcheted back – apologies for the rudeness of my remark.

    I was taking issue with your comment that strong minded and driven are traits that other people might also call being a bully.

    You gave the examples of individuals on the Dragons Den and The Apprentice as examples of what might be regarded an uncomfortable fact that we need people like that to be leaders.

    We don’t. Far from it. People like Alan Sugar, at least the persona he portrays in the TV programme, do not make great or even good leaders. They are typically destructive individuals whose careers tend to derail within large corporate environments above a certain level.

    At the first level of leadership, then yes, the traits of someone being dogmatic, micromanaging, manipulating, strong minded etc, will enable a certain amount of success. But beyond that level, those are the very traits that cause careers to fall apart.

    It is intersting that the examples you gave are all people who have been very successful in their own ventures. I argue that they could ONLY have been successful in their own ventures.

    That makes them valuable in one way, wealth creators, but absolutely not as leaders.

    Often it is the necessity to do your own thing precisely because you can’t fit into a corporate environment that stimulates the entrepreneur in the first instance.

    And yes, I can back this up with research. I have a paper I can share called ‘Derailing Characteristics of Leadership’ written for a PhD thesis that goes into detail on the subject.

    mrmoofo
    Member

    It’s an interesting question to pose but I am not sure I agree with your conclusion.

    I’ll open that up to the STW massive. I would suggest that what you were subjected to by teachers was “abuse”. But also pretty std parctise whne I was at school – along with corporal punishment. Slipper in front of class, quite common, caning – not so coomon. With 2013 sensibilities on, that was abuse.

    i had a Germa master who could match that sort of behaviour. I would be more than happy to dance on his grave. Maybe my view is tinged with what the severity of “normal” punishment was.

    TBH getting slapped around by the triplets on my way home from school nights was unfortunate and upsetting. But I blamed myself for that one for being too weak.

    geetee1972
    Member

    OK I would agree with you 100% on that Mrmoofo

    Sonor
    Member

    I was bullied by the same kid from Junior school right through to secondary. Didn’t do very well and got put into a class full of the “lowest achievers”. Some of the kids weren’t bad, so I then engineered a situation that lead the bully to upset these kids, and they chased him across town one day after school.

    I got hauled up in front of the year head and asked whether I knew anything about this, I said I didn’t. He never bothered me again.

    Found out that his father was an alcoholic, who abused his mother. The bully ended up in prison in later life, convicted of assault. I still don’t feel too much sympathy for him.

    chewkw
    Member

    Slight hijack …

    geetee1972 – Member

    And yes, I can back this up with research. I have a paper I can share called ‘Derailing Characteristics of Leadership’ written for a PhD thesis that goes into detail on the subject.

    What is your conclusion?

    Are they born leader or or shaped by the environment?

    😆

    geetee1972
    Member

    Are they born leader or or shaped by the environment?

    Great question. To clarify first, this was not my PhD research. It was done by a colleague at a consultancy I worked for, so I’ve read it but I didn’t write it.

    There are two parts to the question here. First are leaders born or made? The answer is a bit of both. All the research shows that leadership is a composite of four different factors:

    – Experience: Have you had the chance to experience or practise the level of leadership you are aspiring to either formally or informally. Note that here we are talking about the development of skills and capabilities needed at that level of leadership and this changes as you progress up through the leadership ranks. Typically, what works at one level, will most likely cause failure at the next. A great example is micro-managing at the first level, i.e. where you’re supervising people doing the work. This is something you need to do to get the job done, but if you try to micro-manage at the next level up, you’ll fail because you just won’t have the bandwidth to do it. You need to switch from micro-management, to delegation and trust.

    – Motivation: Do you want to be a leader, not everyone does, as was hinted at earlier and even those that make it to one level or another don’t want to go all the way. There is a huge difference for example between being the CEO versus executive management or being leader of the party versus a junior/cabinet minister.

    – Cognitive ability, also known as mental horsepower. There is a strong correlation between leaders their intellectual ability and the more senior you get, the more that becomes a factor. But bear in mind that it’s more of a ‘good enough’ factor rather than an exponential one, i.e. the smarter you are doesn’t mean the better a leader you are. You only need to meet a certain threshold.

    – Personality factors; do you have the right make up to be a successful leader. As with cognitive ability, this is more of a ‘good enough’ scale but there are some interesting quirks, which brings us to the whole derrailing leadership question.

    So these are you proto-typical rising starts, the ones that look set for the fast track: aggressive, confident, focused, determined, you know the type. Almost always the ones with the loudest voices and the sharpest suits (yes The Apprentice candidates are classic examples!)

    But for some reason, about a third or half way into their career, they seem to drop off the radar, never quite making it above the mid level of leadership. You see them in large corporates floating around, making lives harder for people below them.

    The research was done around five characteristics of personality and how closely associated (correlated) they were with this kind of failed leader and found a very significant relationship between these five characteristics and the failure. They were ego-centred, intimidating, manipulating, micro-managing and passive/aggressive.

    All of these underlying personality traits were shown to cause significant derailment of executives and other middle managers.

    crikey
    Member

    The NHS is a living embodiment of the Peter Principle in my rather extensive experience.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peter_Principle

    The principle is commonly phrased, “Employees tend to rise to their level of incompetence.”

    chewkw
    Member

    geetee1972 – Member

    All of these underlying personality traits were shown to cause significant derailment of executives and other middle managers.

    Interesting but you have forgotten that the illustration of personality traits merely explains the set of skills a person needs in order to manage the situation. i.e. only to “get by”. Get it right the person is labelled as leader and get it wrong the person is a maggot or zombie.

    deadlydarcy
    Member

    Interesting discussion, just wanted to go back to the bullying/abuse stuff (as perpetrated by teachers). I went to a secondary school, in Ireland, run by Christian Brothers. Corporal punishment had been banned in 1982 (but only made a criminal offence in 1996) – which was around the time I went from primary to secondary school. The change in law went over the heads of quite a few of the older Brothers – and one I remember in particular was Brother Finnegan – of “Biff” Finnegan as he was popularly known. 😐

    I got a fair few whacks from him over the years but for generally being an smartarsed troublemaker (what a surprise eh?). However, I do remember (even though they didn’t happen to me, they’re still vivid memories) two instances where two guys got beaten for, I dunno really…being a bit slow, not understanding something and being unable to repeat an explanation of it while stood up in front of the class. One of these was with a closed fist! I can still remember fuming at the injustice of it to this day (but of course, saying nothing). I imagine Noel does too.

    Now, the administration of the beatings to me and to Noel were borne out of frustration on Biff’s part so I imagine he possibly felt similar feelings while and after administering them. However, while I didn’t enjoy mine, because I got them for being an arse, I didn’t feel the same injustice as Noel. I could get on with my day and resolve to not get caught again. (I’m not condoning what happened to me at all.) How do we think Noel feels about it to this day? I imagine he’d dance on Biff’s grave to be honest. I would if I’d got the mother and father of beatings because I couldn’t understand something.

    So to the bully/abuser/whatever, he deals stuff out, for whatever reasons he has. The receiver is the one who has to deal with it and work out why it happened, and how to avoid it happening again. Some of the posts here border on blaming the person who receives the shit for perceiving treatment as bullying because he or she is weak. I know the weak one when it came to Biff.

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