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As I sit here and reflect today on some stories that have been in the media recently, I wonder when is bullying Acceptable. #bullying, #Adam Goodes, #Bronwyn Bishop.

My answer ………….

NEVER! 

However I notice there are times when people think it is okay.

People say, social media and the media in general have a huge part to play in this, but ultimately we decide if we bully or we don’t.

The definition of bullying is: “…use superior strength or influence to intimidate (someone), typically to force them to do something…..”

Isn’t that what is happening to Bronwyn Bishop, Adam Goodes and everyone that is held up by the media for public attack?

The worst case scenario of bullying is suicide.  Have we learnt nothing from Charlotte Dawson’s suicide.

If Bronwyn and Adam were to commit suicide would that be enough for the bullies within us.

Don’t kid yourself the bully lurks within all of us.

Stop, think and ask yourself these questions before you buy into any bullying debate:

  1. What am I concerned about with this person’s behaviour that I feel I need to speak out and judge?
  2. How would I feel if it was me receiving this message?
  3. When did I gain the right to tell a stranger what they should do, think, act or feel?
  4. Why do I feel the need to speak out so strongly about this action or event?
  5. Am I prepared to accept the worst case scenario that my message may cause?

I am not saying don’t have an opinion, I am not saying that people should not be held to account.  What I am saying is:

  • If you use emotive words like “grow up”, “sook”, “idiot”, “weak”, “get back in your box”, “resign now”, “go back to where you came from”…..you get the picture…there is a very real possibility that you are bullying.
  • Think about if it is your right to demand an action of individuals or groups
  • Think about the consequences of letting your “inner bully” speak for you
  • Reflect on how you would feel if you were that person, or even better if it was your child that was receiving the message

Leave the bullying to the experts “The Media”, have your opinion respectfully and move on knowing that you were able to put your point across but you did not buy into the potential physical or mental harm that can be done to an individual who is being bullied.  Ultimately the decision is yours and not for me to judge, all I ask is that maybe from now on we all reflect before saying or typing those words.