I grew up with bullying. At a young age I learned to see it coming but was powerless to stop it. It came in particular from members of my own “family.” I put this in quotes because these people are no longer any relation to me in any way. Later I chose boys who bully girls. I thought that was the way it worked.
Over the years I learned that bullying is a lifestyle chosen by antisocial people with empty lives and too much time on their hands. No real friends, no enjoyment of the small things, no compassion.
Children and teenagers are most susceptible to bullying because they have little power to fight back. Many kids who are bullied do not report it because whether an adult believes you isn’t the issue—kids know the price of telling means life will get worse. Complain and your pet cat disappears. Later the bully taunts the victim with what they did to it. Many parents are clueless as to sibling bullying, or they may see a bullied child as “overly-sensitive.”
In the old days, bullying was done in person, on land lines, or by mail. Today’s technology makes it much easier. Witness the trolling and personal attacks on comments sections of political blogs. Party-line liberals and conservatives consistently use the words retard, fascist, imbecile, moron, paranoid, ignorant, subhuman, racist. I read comments to learn—but all I’ve learned is that there is precious little productive exchange of ideas. And, it’s really, really boring.
Both liberal and conservative blogs tend to be snide and sarcastic. Any questioning of their views results in a hard slap with fanatical rhetoric. They welcome your questions as an opportunity to unload more blah blah blah. Not once have I asked a question and received an answer that specifically addresses my question in a rational way. Just more fundamentalist bullshit, cut and paste from a numbered menu.
If you write about anything that is even slightly contentious, you are inviting trolls and bullies into your life. The stalkers who leave nasty comments have one thing in common—they desperately want to engage you in some dysfunctional mindgame, but they’ve already lost my attention long ago. I’m never mean to anybody because meanness begets meanness. If I’m mean to people how do I know they won’t go kick their dog? I want no part of this evil chain.
On WordPress, there is a “My Blacklist” option which I am now using. To enable, go to My Account, go to Settings (last icon down), and click on Discussion. Scroll down until you see “Comment Blacklist.” There is a space to type in the URL and IP address of the troll. You will never see or even know about another comment from them. Let them bring it on if it keeps them from kicking their dog or a family member. If they start e-mailing you personally, keep copies and report it to your internet provider and the police.