We are living in a time where bullying and bigotry, in all its many forms, are being both amplified and applauded by other bullies to an alarming degree. It has emboldened bullies in all of our lives, mine included.
It’s Not OK.
If you have ever defended someone or excused their bad behavior by saying, “Oh, that’s just the way they are,” it’s not OK. What you are saying is that it is acceptable for them to bully, to lie, and to injure.
It’s not OK.
Maybe you don’t want to expend the energy it would take to call them out on their behavior, which is an exhausting endeavor. There's a pattern when you do; the bully then claims to be a victim, you get sucked down the rabbit hole of a twisted thought process, and a rousing round of the blame game ensues. You might feel empathy for them because you’ve had a long relationship. Or, you might think it’s easier to just walk away.
It's not OK.
Ending a relationship with a toxic person might be the right course of action for you, but it’s not OK to do it without calling the bully out on their behavior. They must know. Why? Because the reality is that they are not feeling empathy toward anyone else.
I am often still shocked by how cruel people can be toward each other. Some of you might think I should know better. By and large I am surrounded by people who would never dream of being purposefully mean. Those types of people pop up now and again, but in my immediate circles, it’s rare.
I believe that calling people out on their BS is necessary, whether they are a national leader, a person with whom you work, or a member of your family or circle of friends.
Right now, in one of my circles, there is a person who is insulting and belittling. Worse then that, they are downright mean. I had to call out the behavior and let them know that what they are doing is unacceptable and that I choose not to be with them if this is how they are going to behave.
It's not OK.
It is unacceptable to insult and belittle any of us in this circle with words or actions, especially when they’ve been asked to stop. It is unacceptable that they never apologize for their role in the chaos they create, even when the rest of us say we’re sorry there was tension. And it’s not OK that instead, they double down on their position without regard for other people’s feelings or launch ad hominem attacks.
It's not OK.
Bullies are not victims because we’re calling them out. We sometimes are calling them out because we love them enough to say it’s not OK.