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PostPosted: Thu Jun 15, 2017 1:14 pm 
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chas wrote:
What are the circumstances? I dunno about others, but your question is meaningless to me unless there are circumstances.


No circumstances as such, but do you think there could be circumstances where it would be reasonable to retaliate aggressively ?
It just seems to me that if people understood the nature of verbal insults and applied reason to their reactions ,half the sh1t that goes on in this world wouldn't happen. I think it would be a great benefit to young people to teach some kind of personal development/ non-religious spirituality in schools that would in part cover that kind of thing,as well as other life skills.

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 15, 2017 1:43 pm 
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rorybbellows wrote:
chas wrote:
What are the circumstances? I dunno about others, but your question is meaningless to me unless there are circumstances.


No circumstances as such, but do you think there could be circumstances where it would be reasonable to retaliate aggressively ?
It just seems to me that if people understood the nature of verbal insults and applied reason to their reactions ,half the sh1t that goes on in this world wouldn't happen. I think it would be a great benefit to young people to teach some kind of personal development/ non-religious spirituality in schools that would in part cover that kind of thing,as well as other life skills.

RORY

Hear resoundingly hear!

What would do it? Meditation, do you think? Mindfulness? A return to the old virtue of "turning the other cheek"?

I do think one of the issues about offence being given and taken is the almost implied threat when one party deliberately insults another. There's a sort of "If you react aggressively, I'll ... [do whatever]" about it. But what if I could learn not to react? Would that protect me? Or mark me out as a potential victim and so increase my risk? I don't know the answers to these questions ...

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 15, 2017 2:31 pm 
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rorybbellows wrote:
chas wrote:
What are the circumstances? I dunno about others, but your question is meaningless to me unless there are circumstances.

No circumstances as such, but do you think there could be circumstances where it would be reasonable to retaliate aggressively ?
It just seems to me that if people understood the nature of verbal insults and applied reason to their reactions ,half the sh1t that goes on in this world wouldn't happen. I think it would be a great benefit to young people to teach some kind of personal development/ non-religious spirituality in schools that would in part cover that kind of thing,as well as other life skills.

RORY

There used to be an old saying, "Sticks and stones may break my bones but words can never hurt me." It hardly served as a substantial teaching, because while anyone can see there's a certain truth to it, I was always left to wonder why I wound up feeling hurt by others' words anyway.

The fact is, words DO matter. People CAN be hurt by the things people say. People SHOULD watch their mouths because of this. This has nothing to do with the bugbear of "political correctness" that is so fashionable to sneer at these days. What it has to do with instead is simple, common decency. There's a difference, and only the lazy or the willfully monstrous deny it. Decency is what keeps a society together, not mutual predation. Otherwise, why even use the word "society"?

But how do we learn decency? I say it's at home. But I also agree with Rory that the time might be ripe for a broader cultural self-examination, and this is where schools can also be of use. Normally I would hesitate to blindly support letting schools take this on, but if home isn't enough to foster decency, then maybe that's the way to go. But how to make it stick? Peer pressure. But until everybody's had it up to here with barbarity, that might be a tall order.

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 15, 2017 2:45 pm 
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Nanohedron wrote:
Ultimately you don't have any control over another's inner workings, but you do have a say in your own.
But in some circumstances, for some, maybe not enough.

ytliek wrote:
Bully!

Which I think is a situation where the logic of the OP is insufficient.

[I somehow crossed with Nanos's last post]


Last edited by david_h on Thu Jun 15, 2017 2:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 15, 2017 2:56 pm 
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benhall.1 wrote:
But what if I could learn not to react? Would that protect me? Or mark me out as a potential victim and so increase my risk? I don't know the answers to these questions ...

Certain schools of thought mark a difference between pacifism and nonviolence: crudely put, the former is being a doormat at all costs; the latter is a goal with room for lapses. Knowing the difference between mere words, and actual imminent danger, counts. If I get taunted by everyone because I wear a shoe on my head, I have choices: stop wearing it, ignore the taunts, or go somewhere else and hope that works. Lashing out, physically or otherwise, against the taunts is taking a bad road. But if someone's going to clock me for wearing the shoe, so long as I'm not doing so to provoke a reaction then I think I have a right to protect myself, which sometimes may take only a word, and no need for physicality; or maybe it does take physical action which of course is cause for regret, but so long as it's not taken to extremes, this can be excused. The ideal, and the hard part, is to protect myself without anger. That's not something we normally think of.

david_h wrote:
Nanohedron wrote:
Ultimately you don't have any control over another's inner workings, but you do have a say in your own.
But in some circumstances, for some, maybe not enough.

Naturally, but you have to start somewhere. So long as the intent is there, improvement is always available.

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 15, 2017 3:45 pm 
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If I hadn't crossed I would have picked up from the "Sticks and stones may break my bones but words can never hurt me." instead. It was current when I was a kid in the context of cruel things said by kids in the playground that were probably a form of bullying. I think I understood the sticks and stones to be metaphorical. And I heard it both from adults in the sense of 'just ignore it' and also thrown back at a verbal abuser.

Isn't is still current?


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 15, 2017 4:06 pm 
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Nanohedron wrote:
There used to be an old saying, "Sticks and stones may break my bones but words can never hurt me." It hardly served as a substantial teaching, because while anyone can see there's a certain truth to it, I was always left to wonder why I wound up feeling hurt by others' words anyway.


The saying is empirically false. Studies show that childhood bullying, verbal or physical, does lasting psychological damage, significantly increasing the risks of suicide, depression, addictions and poverty. It shortens lifespans and affects behaviour decades into adulthood.

https://www.livescience.com/53034-child ... fects.html

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Bullying can have a lasting effect on a person's mental health: A new study finds that children who were bullied frequently when they were 8 years old were more likely to develop a psychiatric disorder that needed treatment as an adult, compared with kids who were not bullied.

The scientists also found strong evidence that being bullied as a child puts kids at high risk for depression as a young adult, according to the study, published online today (Dec. 9) in the journal JAMA Psychiatry.

The findings suggest that being victimized by bullying in early childhood increases the risk of depressive disorders that need psychiatric treatment later in life, said study author Dr. Andre Sourander, a professor of child psychiatry at the University of Turku in Finland.



http://www.bbc.com/news/education-23756749

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Bullying in childhood "throws a long shadow" into victims' adult lives, suggests research indicating long-term negative consequences for health, job prospects and relationships.
The study tracked more than 1,400 people between the ages of nine and 26.
School bullies were also more likely to grow up into adult criminals.
The study, from Warwick University in the UK and Duke University in the US, concludes bullying should not be seen as "a harmless rite of passage".

...

We cannot continue to dismiss bullying as a harmless, almost inevitable, part of growing up. We need to change this mindset and acknowledge this as a serious problem
Dieter Wolke, University of Warwick
All of those involved in bullying, as victims or aggressors, had outcomes that were generally worse than the average for those who had not been involved in bullying.




Sustained bullying of all kinds is violence. Teachers & parents who ponder the above and decide that if there aren't too many bruises nobody got hurt - which is usually the easiest option - are betraying the kids they're supposed to protect.

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 15, 2017 4:27 pm 
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david_h wrote:
Isn't is still current?

No idea. I assume it's been lost, having encountered Millennials who don't know who Grace Slick is, or how to read an analog clock. Sic transit gloria mundi.

s1m0n wrote:
Sustained bullying of all kinds is violence.

I've always said as much. Even unsustained it qualifies, IMO.

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 15, 2017 4:45 pm 
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david_h wrote:
Isn't is still current?


It's no longer uncontested, but it's still the majority attitude. Bullying is a difficult issue for adult authority to deal with. It's difficult to determine the truth; the bullies are often the popular kids with large cliques of supporting witnesses, and the victims are usually isolated kids trapped in the omerta of childhood, who have learned that complaint does no good and exposes them to later retaliation. What overworked teacher with 30 other kids to attend to wants to jump into that rat's nest? It's easier to ignore it, and the saying provides a false but convenient 'common sense' excuse for doing so.

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 15, 2017 4:51 pm 
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So I think we could agree that calling someone a lazy drunk is bullying.

One might then ask if it matters that the shoe fits.

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 15, 2017 5:00 pm 
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Nanohedron wrote:
Even unsustained it qualifies, IMO.


I added the modifier because all too often, adults who might have been generally popular kids can recall a few episodes where their peer group gave each other a hard time, but no real harm was done. If that's your experience, it's hard to see how anyone's been hurt. Yeah, the kid got insulted, but so what? I've been insulted like that, and I wasn't harmed. What they don't see is that for this kid, it's all day every day.

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 15, 2017 5:12 pm 
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Well, I have to reiterate that in this discussion I'm referring to behaviors intending to hurt. There's that word "intent', again. If my friends and I are in the habit of affectionately busting each others' chops and we're all at the bar getting pixillated and I call one of them a lazy drunk, that's a very real contextual difference, not to mention the pot knowingly calling the kettle black. Even so one doesn't know if one might open unknown wounds.

Must we handle each other with kid gloves always? I hope not.

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 15, 2017 5:26 pm 
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rorybbellows wrote:
chas wrote:
What are the circumstances? I dunno about others, but your question is meaningless to me unless there are circumstances.


No circumstances as such, but do you think there could be circumstances where it would be reasonable to retaliate aggressively ?
It just seems to me that if people understood the nature of verbal insults and applied reason to their reactions ,half the sh1t that goes on in this world wouldn't happen. I think it would be a great benefit to young people to teach some kind of personal development/ non-religious spirituality in schools that would in part cover that kind of thing,as well as other life skills.


Taking offense and retaliating aggressively are two entirely different things.

Yes, there are plenty of circumstances: You say it in front of my boss, who happens to be your best friend and will believe anything you say.

You say it in front of my kid who's at a very impressionable age.

Etc.

But just in general: Who are you to judge me? And it is a judgmental thing to say.

I have no idea what spirituality has to do with it, but then I'm not a spiritual person.

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 15, 2017 6:06 pm 
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Nanohedron wrote:
Must we handle each other with kid gloves always? I hope not.


No. What I mean is that adults who are around children in herd formation need to learn to tell the difference between bullying and horseplay, and they can't do that by being passive. Putting the onus on a bullied child to "come to the office and tell the principal if anything like that happens again," and then ignoring the problem until he does is worse than useless. The bullying is going to happen again the moment the teacher's back is turned, and if he complains every time he's going to look - and likely be treated - like a crybaby or wolf-crier.

Teachers have to know their kids well enough to understand where the power imbalances are, and well enough to understand what's not being said. Being bullied alters the victim's behaviour. Teachers (and parents) need to be taught to recognize these signs, and when they see them, they need to drive the process of discovering what's going on. Putting the onus on the kid to seek support, or to 'toughen up' won't work. Indeed, the adaptations that 'toughen up' a kid in the face of bullying are exactly the ones that do all the damage later in life.

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 15, 2017 9:19 pm 
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Late to the party but this reminded me of something.

rorybbellows wrote:
Would you mind explaining why intent is important.


I have given pleasant compliments to people that were close to me and they knew that my intent was malicious.

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