Thursday, January 20, 2011

Hatefulness Without Prejudice. Adult Bullying. By ABC.

I am in my 50s and have never been affected by prejudice as a child or as an adult where I live in the state of Connecticut.  I have not been spared from hatefulness however and have learned about one of the most painful types of hatefulness there is.  It is hatefulness without prejudice, a hatefulness for no reason at all, referred to as "bullying". Children deal with school yard bullies who steal their lunch money and push them in the mud while adults are faced with a more serious version.  I first experienced bullying on my job, a job that I loved and thrived in for over 25 years, finally forced out by a "serial bully boss" after 30 years.   Adults can be bullied by just about anyone, sometimes people they least expect, like a new neighbor or a new pastor at their church. The most likely places to find workplace bullying is in education, health care and in any of the "helping professions".

By "bully", I don't mean just the arrogant and the rude, but those with a level of psychopathy, having physical or emotional mental disorders which compels them to behave in this way. Bullies are thought to feel a type of satisfaction, and enjoy causing others emotional distress.  They actually plan emotional assaults against their targets.  Many bullies are incapable of feeling empathy or suffer from feelings of inadequacy and shame brought on by harsh early childhood experiences. The best performers may be targeted for this reason.  Bullies cannot be reasoned with because there is no real reason for the abuse other than the bullies whim or need to subjugate, control or even eliminate from a group, or cause others to shun the target.

Targets of  bullying are rarely believed and are faced with denial at every turn because hatefulness for no reason, just doesn't make sense. This type of hatefulness leaves no physical scars, only the emotional distress of a target who becomes obsessed searching for the reasons why suddenly someone they trusted, would turn against them and manipulate others against them as well. Family, friends and bystanders become more skeptical by the targets emotional distress, while the reasons that targets obsessively search for, simply don't exist. 

I was brought up to be proud to be an American and was taught that our country of the equal and the free, is a place where any child can dream of, and actually become president some day.  Being a girl, I knew this was not true.  Prejudice, although never mentioned, made this dream a lie to all but white, Christian, boys.  The outcome of the last presidential election, has made this dream real, for both black children and girls of both races. This is a positive sign that prejudice, a terrible type of hatefulness, is losing against the increasingly popular consensus that all people are created equal.  Can we beat hatefulness without prejudice or reason?  It's my belief that we can.

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