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Why is it so hard for people to get along?

In high school it's apparently cool to pick on someone who's more vulnerable than you are. Why? Why isn't it cooler to make friends with them? Why is it cool to be a complete bastard to another person and why is is a nice person usually misunderstood as a brown noser or else a loser who's trying to get friends? Why does the nice guy always finish last?

Why, when people get into arguments, do they resort to personal attacks? It is not the people themselves at issue here, it's their ideas. Or are people and their ideas one and the same and that's why arguments tend to become battles to see who can insult the other faster?

Why am I getting depressed about something that has almost nothing to do with me? If I were in their position, would I be the same way, or would I be kinder? Can one person really change the world? I doubt it.

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The following comments are for "Why?"
by Lily

Great advice for Lily. I couldn't have said it better myself. Highschool and even Junior High are bad for classifying groups. But it's amazing how people usually snap out of it when they are faced with the real world of competition and bosses.

( Posted by: kimberly bird [Member] On: December 8, 2003 )

First of all, thanks for the advice, Pen! The most frustrating thing is that I know I should speak out, but I'm afraid to, because I also know that I'm going to be the next victim, and I don't usually stand well under pressure. I don't know if there's a more frustrating feeling in the world, because this means that I'm basically a coward :-|. The other problem you already mentioned- that people would probably expect me to speak out all the time. I guess I just need to train myself . . . maybe I'll get used to it.

Kim, do you really think that this gets better once people get out of high school? I suppose it would, but it doesn't make sense- why are people like this for six years of school (2 years of middle school + 4 years of high school) and then suddenly snap out of it? Oh well . . . one of the many reasons I've decided to be a psychiatrist and write as a part-time job ;)

( Posted by: Lily [Member] On: December 9, 2003 )

Yes, bullies can and ususally get dealt with in the real world; it either makes them more assholes or humbles them a bit. My brother is a trades foreman, and he is forever dealing with the young men freshly out of highschool who believe they know it all. There are three things my brother won't tolerate on the worksite, disrespect of women, co-workers, or himself. Many smart-ass young men usually straighten out after awhile. It's part of growing. And I always believe that what comes around goes around.

My middled daughter was bullied constantly in grade 6, would you believe it. We did all we could with the parents of these kids, but no real help there. When Junior High came along, we took her to a school far away from the trouble makers and enrolled her in my boxing club. This girl is now full of life and self confidents again.


( Posted by: kimberly bird [Member] On: December 9, 2003 )

As the youngest in my family, and for a long time, smallest among my peers while growing up-I know a bit about bullying.

As long as the human species is hardwired for aggression,there will be bullies. One of the tidiest methods for handling a bully is to cause him or her public embarrassment: something on the order of his/her losing control of one or more bodily functions.

Of course I jest. The main thing to remember about bullies is the majority bully because they have a major hole in their lives (not just being A-Holes). One of the biggest jerks I knew growing up was a rich kid. He got everything he wanted except boundaries and consequences and love from his parents. He was one of the saddest kids, and later, adults I ever knew. He was frozen psychologically at about 12 years of age.

Bullying is an expression of anger, and is only temporarily satisfying (bullying always escalates)-like scratching at poison ivy welts. Bullying can also be an expression of a weaker personality trying to give the impression of dominance (young, dumb, smartass guys ala Penelope's story).

What advise can I give you? Try to understand your enemy. Have compassion. Pick your battles. And have back-up.


( Posted by: Alastair Gruell [Member] On: December 20, 2003 )

Stand up
I have always been picked on and have this to say, stand up for will allways make the assholes pause and in that pause is thier whole insecurity complex just waiting to be thier apperant slow wittedness, this will make them splutter. then it's on to thier reactions, WHAT FUN!!! by this time they should be getting good and mad and less coherent. this is just more feul for your fire. tell them how no-one likes them and watch them react!!! ask them why they are like this...did mommy hurt you? can you show me where on the dolly? The idea here is to get them doing the pissed off impotent rage dance...a sure signal to anyone watching that this jerk is just a child.
PRESTO no more problems. embarrassment usually causes them to back off as they can't handle you. or just call them on it and demand a fight I had one guy ask me to throw the fight because he thought better of it. but by all means stand up for your will get easier...

( Posted by: wally 5 [Member] On: December 20, 2003 )

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