The Victory of Walking Away

Let the record reflect that there will always be someone with something to say. There will always be someone out there, looking for the angle or looking for the cracks in your story. And people do this as if this is their job. They do this so they can discredit what they see and feel better about themselves. There will always be bullies. There will always be victims and there will always be volunteers. It is my goal, however, to be none of the above.

Life is hard enough without the nonsense that comes with the rumor mills and the gossip factories. Daily living comes with its own tasks, let alone the tasks that come with working for a living and basic survival. Life is enough to deal with without the mix-up that comes wirh outside opinions or the need for acceptance.

I used to work for a mean boss. He is what most people would call “A Dick!” He always had to be mad at someone. He yelled a lot but usually, his focus was only towards one person. Unfortunately, I was that person.
Others in the crew hated the boss too. They all talked about him but so long as the boss yelled at others (namely me) and not them, they remained quiet and comfortable to have the focus on someone else.

I was the scapegoat until I left. And when I left, someone else in the crew took my place.
This was always interesting to me because this co-worker was a favorite before I left. I suppose he thought someone else would take the heat. Maybe he figured the boss would never be this mean to him, which made it almost safe enough to call the boss a friend, right?
Wrong.

I’ve noticed this in different working situations. I’ve noticed this with cliques in the workplace. The crew of favorites smile and enjoy their status. Meanwhile, the outcasts complain and feed their rebellion.
The interesting part about this is when one of the outcasts is somehow able to move from their position and enters the favorable side. The enemy became their friend. I suppose the comfort of acceptance was warmer than they expected. The outcasts called them a traitor. And the promoted forget their old friendships.

I have seen this before someplace else, like say, in the schoolyard when we were kids. I have seen the cool kids and the ones that come with less mention. I have seen the bullies and the bullied. I have seen the outcasts alike and then somehow, suddenly, a shift changed and someone from the uncool table moved into a favorable position.

Suddenly the bullies and the name calling are not so bad. Suddenly, the crimes they detested were not so criminal anymore. Perhaps this was so because for them, they were not the ones being picked on anymore.

We are very much a pack of animals. One would hope that maturity comes along and teaches us to be more civilized. One could argue my point and to this I would say; look at the bullying that goes on in the corporate structure. Look at the favoritism and nepotism in the workplace. Look at the training we come from and the background we have. We are grown, yes, but what we’ve grown from and the social lessons from our history, which has developed our interpersonal skills. 

One of my goals is to understand more about human behavior. I want to understand this from a personal perspective to learn more about myself. However, I also want to learn this so I can understand more about the way people behave and why. As a result, the lessons I’ve learned have been both amazing and lifesaving.

Why do people bully? Where does this come from? Of all things I know, I understand that happy people do not bully others. I understand that there is a pathology behind the way we think, interact, and treat others as well as ourselves.

I understand about bullying because I once lived on both sides of the spectrum. I was bullied and I bullied people too. To say this and to understand my behavior took a lot of growth on my part. It took awareness to understand why I did what I did. Most importantly, it took maturity to stop. 

More than any goal in life was for me to feel better. However, in order to feel better, I realized that I had to live better. Actions and behaviors tell a story about who we are. I decided that I wanted my story to have a happy ending instead of a tragic one. 

I’ve seen bullies go down. I’ve seen people die alone or at best, live a lonely lifestyle. No one to really love or trust or confide in. I’ve seen this in my own life. No real friends, just friends that were seen as a mutual convenience. 

And one day . . . 
One day, I looked around. I saw all the people in my life. I saw the people that I sat with and ate with. I saw my so-called friends and my so-called acquaintances. I looked at my life and I looked at my surroundings and decided “This just ain’t for me!”

I swear with all I have, there was nothing in this world as freeing as the moment when I decided to stand up and walk away.  And I admit it was lonely at first. I was scared too until I realized I felt lonely before and scared as well.

Once I realized the old threats of mine were no longer a threat to me at all, I moved on and since then, I never looked back.
Not even once.

So I say again that there will always be someone with something to say. There will always be someone looking to knock someone else down so they can get a leg up. There will always be crabs in a bucket. But me, that’s not the life I want nor is this the life I want to surround myself with.

By the way, one of the most impactful school presentations of mine was during an initiative to teach kids to stay away from crime and drugs. I talked about bullying. I talked about what happened to me and what I did as a result. I cried. And so did the kids.

There was a boy in the class that was being bullied by some others. We worked out a deal between us and some of the other students. And you know what? This boy was never bullied again.

Dear Billy,
I’m not sure how much you remember me. But I remember you. I know what I did and why. Since you’re not around to apologize to, I found a different way to show my apology instead of speak it
.

Take care

B –

4 thoughts on “The Victory of Walking Away

  1. I was somewhat of a bully. I had certain targets. But looking back, it was because of something someone did to me, and I took it to heart that I was a horrible person, and I set out to make sure everyone else knew it too. It bothers me that I still have a bit of that old bully mentality in me, but it’s a lifelong work to get rid of it.

    In my experience, in certain ways, being the bully is worse than being the victim. Because the victim, even though they suffered, have the chance to learn it wasn’t their fault. The bully has to always live with it. I wish it hadn’t happened. If I were given the opportunity to apologize, I know that would be the right thing to do, but the shame at the thought of my face being looked at kills me.

    • I relate
      I don’t ever want to be who I used to be. I also recognize why I behaved the way I did, which is what helped me change, and, later on – the changes I made allowed me to repair some of my past and helped me to feel better

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