Anatomy of a bully

April 24, 2014

Home-grown bullies

Girls in ClassroomMore than half of Americans believe incivility in our society is on the rise and expected to worsen in coming years, according to Weber Shandwick’s 2011 annual survey on incivility. The climate of unbridled rudeness is evident in politics, pop culture, music, media, big business, work, schools, and now, the internet – just about all aspects of our culture. And incivility breeds bullies. Among those surveyed, 65% believed overall incivility worsened with the recent financial crisis and recession.

But, the seeds of incivility were sown in American history since before the Salem Witch Trials. American bullying is a breed unto itself, posits Roddey Reid, a professor at University of Southern California, San Diego. In his essay, Bullying in U.S. Public Culture: Or, Gothic Terror in the Full Light of Day, he writes:

“Yet, there’s a virulence and prevalence of bullying in the U.S. virtually unmatched anywhere else in terms of its reach, depth and legitimacy. Foreign observers note this and commonly refer to it as the American culture of bullying.”

Reid argues bullying remains unchecked, unregulated and under researched in this country whereas Europe and Canada have social structures in place that discourage, if not, prevent it. The reason: Americans like bullies. We watch it on reality TV, we applaud it on daytime talk shows and we practice it at home, school and work. Now, with mounting news reports of teen and child suicides provoked by merciless cyber bullies, we’re just now paying attention.

SOURCE:  Anatomy of a bully.

This is just a small part of the source website about bullies. I would recommend that if you are interesting in this topic to read the whole thing by clicking on the Source name above.

Of course bullying is a world-wide thing but as usual it is much more prevalent in the U.S. than it is in the rest of the world. Our culture of ultra competitiveness and aggressiveness seems to spur this and other similar behaviors. I guess it is a price we must pay for being a market driven capitalistic system.

I have been reading to try to find out why the U.S. is so different from much of the rest of the world when it comes to our attitudes and behaviors. What I have found is that yes we seem to be quite unique when it comes to this area.  We are definitely more Type A as a culture than most others. It seems if we can’t find something to fight about we will invent something. We simply can’t be without enemies real or imagined. We must have the bad guys to vent our incessant anger and aggression.

There are many different ways that have been taken to consider differences in personal attitudes.  Perhaps one of the more studied is Yin and Yang. I will be doing a few posts on that in the coming weeks but I will give you a heads-up here. The U.S. is undoubtedly the most Yang country on earth. Most experts on this topic believe that to be a well-rounded person or society we must have a healthy balance between Yin and Yang. Where we are Yang much of the Far East and Asia are predominately Yin. This basic difference accounts for the almost complete opposites on how we view the world around us and of course that leads others to see us as their enemy, real or imagined.

More on that later…….

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