“Bullying represents a negative form of seeking attention. The bully is an excessively damaged person asking for help in a devastating way. While compassion is a fantastic quality, our society does not have the tools to deal effectively with this scourge. As a victim of bullying throughout my educational career (including, though less frequent, at college) I had absolutely no support from anybody. People thought bullying was ‘funny’. The bully has no control of his bullying and is not going to stop because he is shown ‘compassion’.
“The bully seeks power from the very person most likely to let him have it! It is a very weird psychology. However society does not have any mechanism (certainly not in schools, although there are pockets of greater awareness) to check this hurtful and harmful behaviour because the bully will find a way outside of school environment.
“Usually, the only thing the bully will listen to is if he is challenged directly. Sadly this challenge may come at a time when the VICTIM has lost rationale and has become desperate. Domestic violence is another form of bullying. Once a victim is forced into silent suffering the results become tragic.
“Being bullied taught me how to become INVISIBLE and it took about 10 years of my life AS AN ADULT to work my way out of this ‘death’. This was my only defence. In hind sight this has given me an invaluable tool: I am now an eternal REBEL.”
~ Helge Janssen
Written in response to THIS OPINION PIECE on bullying, published today on the Daily Maverick website.