In this day and age, it's hard to decipher bullying from 'goofing off.' It's hard to gauge a person's feelings when society tells people to "deal with it" and "move on."
That's why, right now, I need you to stop and think. I need you to think about what bullying is...
You got it? Say it to yourself again.
Do you think it's physical? Do you think it's verbal? Do you think it's emotional? How about all three?
According to the Wikipedia page for "bullying," it's a habitual practice of using force, coercion or intimidation to dominate others. This act is seen most among school-aged children, in a school setting-- but bullying can continue into all stages of life; which is why it is extremely important to stop it in its tracks. It's important to teach children not to do it, it's important to teach adults to be active bystanders, it's important to show kindness. It's important to forgive and it's important to apologize to those who you may have hurt.
To anyone I was ever mean to:
From the bottom of my heart, here is the most sincere apology I can offer: I am so very sorry.
I am so sorry that I thought it was a good idea to tear you down or insult you in some way, shape or form. I am so sorry for thinking that it would make others like me, I am so sorry that I did to you what was done to me.
I am sorry that I tried to tear you down, that I wanted to hurt you. There's no reason as to why, other than I needed someone to feel the way I felt. There's no amount of apologies in the world that can erase the things I said, but I want you to know I think about you quite often, and I hope you're doing well.
To the person who was mean to me:
I finally forgive you. I am so sorry that someone hurt you, the way you hurt me.
I am sorry that someone tore you down, and make you weak. I am sorry that the only way you could see yourself happy again, was to hurt someone the way you were hurt by someone. I want you to know that from the deepest part of myself-- that I forgive you, and I want you to forgive yourself if you ever think back and regret what you did.
To realize why someone teases, mocks or bullies another person, you would have to go back to day one. Everyone one leads different lives from the second they are born, to the moment they die; but it has taken me, my entire twenty years of life, to realize that there is no excuse. Nada. Zip. Zilch.
Bullying is an endless cycle:
-Person A was bullied by person Z
-Person B is bullied by person A
-Person B bullies person C, who then in turned bullies person D, E and F
It needs to stop.
There's never going to be an end to it. It's not plausible but it is important to do what you can to make it less prominent. Here are a few websites to share with your peers, your students, your family, and your friends, to advocate for those who bully, and those who are bullied: