Bully for us?

- February 5th, 2013

This new survey by Ipsos Reid says we’re basically a nation of victims of bullies. According to the press release I got today, a key finding of the poll is that 59% of Canadians report being bullied as a child or teenager and of those, 45% claim they “suffered lasting harm.” Phooey.

I don’t mean to downplay the viciousness of bullying or the harm it can do. But if we take this statistic seriously, it means over a quarter of us (26.55%) are permanently damaged from bullying in our youth. One in four people around you in the office, at lunch, in the gym, wherever you are, are walking wounded because someone taunted or slapped them and that’s why they’re anxious, irritable or sometimes do badly at school.

If true, it indicates that we are indeed a nation of fragile, spun-glass humans, weak and feeble, easily crushed by adversity. I don’t believe it. But I do worry that we’re being coached to think of ourselves as victims and it’s starting to work, especially because victimhood offers an excuse for difficulty controlling our temper or our moods. As if everyone didn’t have that sometimes.

Of course there are people who suffer such traumas in life that they never entirely shake it off, and those traumas can include truly persistent, malevolent and effective bullying. But a quarter of us? Bullied so savagely we carry the scars through our adult lives?

Please. We’re tougher than that.


Categories: Social issues

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