When we think about school bullies, we'd prefer to think of those exaggerated, cartoonish types we see in movies and television shows. It's more comfortable to keep that reality at arm's length.
But despite our best efforts to turn our heads, bullying is a very real piece of every school environment there is. It has been for years, and it still is, albeit now through the amplified means of social media and the internet.
A recent group of Redditors took a moment to acknowledge those realities.
This thread, however, was not written by the victims. These were the bullies themselves, the perpetrators who discovered just how brutal they'd been back in their school days.
They, more than anybody, would prefer to find a definition of "bully" that doesn't apply to their past actions.
But alas, we must honor reality.
Some former bullies described how subtle the transition from bystander to bully was. For them, bullying was the result of peer pressure, and even took on a protective nature.
Great Jokes, or Cruelty?
"Thought I was funny. Liked making people laugh at others expense. I never thought about their feelings until I was much older."
"Now I tell my kids every day before school to be kind and every ones friend, and to stand up for people. I want them to be good humans."
It's a good thing you've learned! Your kids will thank you.
Climbing Up An Ugly Ladder
"I was bullied a lot at school. At summer camp, there were one or two others who had it worse than me, and it felt good to finally not be on the bottom rung."
"Didn't take me too long to see what I was doing, and I started to feel bad."
Your conscience wouldn't let you proceed. That says a lot about you.
A Tinged Past
"I assisted in bullying so I wouldn't be bullied too. It's one of my biggest regrets in life. Such weakness" -- Zeliv
"Yeah at least 3/4 of the bullies in a 'pack of bullies' are just doing it because they're glad they're not the victim and they just haven't realized that no one should have to be the victim." -- JeromesDream
Many students bully because they themselves are bullied. It's a common defense mechanism.
Others acknowledged that their own abusive behavior mirrored what they encountered at home and their private, family lives.
This was a common dynamic.
"One of my many bullies messaged me on FB about 15 years later to apologize and said she did it because her older brothers were mean to her."
"A lot of bullies are abused at home."
This is absolutely true. Children learn how to act from the adults around them.
Passing the Baton
"I was a bully in like 3rd-4th grades. And it was absolutely because my home life was sh**, so I visited that sh** on others. But then I knocked over a Kindergartner, making his nose bleed really bad and he started crying."
"Nothing snaps you out of being an a-hole faster than hearing a little kid sobbing for his mommy."
Yeah, that would get to me, too. You see? Being a bully is not worth it.
Surveying Cause and Effect
"I used to bully people for attention and got so hated by people around me that I finally tried to figure out why I had no friends and then it hit me that I was rude and annoying to everyone around me."
"Both my parents are alcoholics so they just ignored me constantly and the teachers would only give me their attention when I was bad, I just deeply wanted the adults around me to care."
"I'm now 19 and I have been going out of my way to be as kind to everyone as possible and I have moved out of my sh*tty parents house so I'm now the happiest I have been in my life, I'm also studying to become an allied health care professional."
"But the thought that I have hurt so many people's feelings and made them feel bad will always haunt me and I hope those people are doing well in their lives."
You're a good soul. Keep putting that kindness out into the world!
Confrontation Can Be Helpful
"My brothers bullied me at home and my parents did nothing about it. I started thinking that it was how you show you like someone."
"People didn't see it that way and straight up told me I was a bad person and they're afraid of me. That made me understand my behaviour."
Finally, a few people used the thread as a platform to share their own views on bullying in general. Some were professionals, some unfortunately had direct experience.
They discussed what leads to and comes out of these actions.
A Biased List
"I work in child safety and interview a lot of current and former bullies. You're probably not going to get honest answers out of the worst bullies."
"The people on the fringes, the ones who were bad but not awful, are going to reply. They can often reflect on it - they were abused at home, bullied by others, or just angry at the world for other reasons."
"The genuine bullies, the super cruel girls or boys almost never recognize how bad their bullying was. Either they were so deeply traumatized by other stuff that was going on (more intense violence at home) that their memories just aren't there, or worse, they don't think they were bullies. They are still bullies."
Stopping the Cycle
"I never realized it until years later multiple people told me what an a**hole I was and how hard I made life for them. When I started to look back I realized it and feel terrible. Still think about them most days and wish I wasn't that way."
"I am actually good friends with a lot of them now and they still don't let it slide. I guess the best I can do is to really preach how wrong it is to my kids and how people will forever remember how you treat them, even if you are a kid."
The Lies We Tell Ourselves
"Reading this thread, it seems there are no 'real bullies' in the world, only 'not a bully but I bullied' bullies." -- MHeraclea
"Yeah lots of cop out answers. I might be biased since I was bullied horribly in elementary school, and middle school as well. Elementary school was mostly being bullied on the bus, middle school was more emotional/gossip oriented bullying." -- jupiter_sunstone
So whether you were the bully or the bullied, take this thread as a reminder that if you have a hunch, you're probably right. It helps no one to downplay what happened back when you were young.
But you can learn from it all even now.
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We are in a fragile place right now when it comes to bringing children into this world.
Not everybody is meant to be a parent.
In fact, many people should never be one.
So I find it commendable how many of us acknowledge that and chose not to procreate.
Redditorucinangel wanted to everyone to vent about why children are a "no thank you" in their book of life. They asked:
"What is the biggest reasons why you don’t want children?"
I have never wanted children. Best decision ever. But y'all do you if you feel differently. How do we feel?
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"I like sleep too much."
"I took two naps today.. definitely couldn't do that with kids."
"I don’t want to be a parent."
"This is reason enough."
"I am a parent. One of my friends told me she didn’t want kids and said she hoped she hadn’t offended me by saying so. I said absolutely not, no one who doesn’t want to be a parent should be one. It’s an unquittable job. You have to want it for the long term."
"I don't want kids because they're expensive and I don't have any free time. I have yet to break it to them though. Maybe after soccer practice tonight."
"I miss having free time. I can't hang out with friends last minute after work because I have to pick up my kid and feed her and get her to bed."
"It can really wreck you physically and emotionally. Even if it's an easy pregnancy, your whole body/hormonal makeup changes wildly. People act like it's 9 months of sitting in a field, making flower crowns and serenely stroking your growing belly."
"Nah bro, it's mood swings, having your guts kicked from the inside, your hair changes, eyesight might change, all kinds of crap I had no idea about until my friends started popping out kids. Like I knew it was intense before, but I had no idea how intense."
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"A two person income with no children is too sexy to pass up on."
Kids are EXPENSIVE! I like $$$ too much as well.
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"All that noise… hurts my head."
"I'm barely capable of taking care of myself, so I definitely shouldn't be responsible for a child. I also think it would be a crime to make a child using my DNA."
"I commend this sentiment so much, and I wish more people would follow. My brother is 40 years old and never had kids, simply stating he knows he wouldn't be capable of taking care of them. There's so many unwanted kids in this world because people don't think this through before having them."
"I got a cat and the amount of anxiety and panic I regularly have over being responsible for an animal that doesn't need to be taught to walk is nuts."
"I don’t even have any pets, but I watch my sisters dog and a friends cat every few weeks, and the amount of time I spent staring at them when they’re sleeping to make sure they’re still breathing is too high."
"I grew up poor so u bet ur a** I'm enjoying my money not having to worry about diapers and baby formula."
"I feel this so much. I was the kid who never had the money to go to the movies or the concert or whatever it was my friends wanted to do. I make decent money but am so stuck in poverty mindset I'm terrified to spend it and I genuinely don't feel like I will ever feel financially stable enough to feel comfortable supporting a kid."
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"Wouldn't make a good parent. I'm 56. I don't see myself changing my mind on this one."
"My older brother got a vasectomy at like 27, no kids. He knew it was a very good idea. I actually agreed (I have three myself, he, ummm, probably wouldn't have been a killer dad). They're not for everybody, and you have to really spoil 'em if you expect a decent nursing home someday."
Kids aren't for everybody. That is truth and that's ok.
When visiting any place for the first time you want to do your best with the locals and the culture.
You're a guest.
Whether it's someone'e home or if it's as vast as the scope of the entire country.
You want to experience all you can while being respectful.
So let's discuss hitting up America for the first time.
RedditorPraglikwanted to share some must knows for the people whole and visit our land.They asked:
"Americans of Reddit, what's something anyone visiting the US for the first time absolutely must know about or be aware of?"
Welcome to America. A few beginner rules...
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"Do not under any circumstances try to bribe a cop depending on where you come from that might seem odd but trust me you will get in trouble if you try."
"Don't get out of your car if you're pulled over by the police unless directed to do so. Police here take their own safety very seriously so they may see someone quickly getting out of the car as a sign of aggression. Coupled with the fact they carry guns and generally don’t have a track record of deescalation, it’s possible you might get shot."
"Drinks come with ice by default."
"And refills! Soda is cheap as hell. No one's coming to pour it into a glass for you, it's made on the spot and you can have as much as you want."
"And everybody wants to put lemon in them but they never wash the lemons you have to ask specifically for no lemon in your water."
"If the price says for example $5, you need to be aware that is $5 plus taxes."
"Plus extra recycling taxes on plastic water bottles in certain states (like California) So that pack of water bottles listed for $3 will cost over $5 after taxes."
"That’s literally false advertising. If a product is advertised (say on television) at a certain price, that’s how much you pay."
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"Plus tip, if it’s served to you."
Tip. Tip. Tip. And tip properly. 20%.
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"24 hour Diners. According to stuff I read in Reddit, our diners are legendary. ETA: I’m American and I eat at them a lot. I was just surprised how much visitors from other countries love our diners so much."
"I think it’s really funny that the CA DMV official drivers manual says, 'do NOT make eye contact with another driver, this will make them MORE angry.'"
"If you screw up while driving put your hand up as a way to say sorry/my bad to the other driver. It diffuses situations because it shows them you didn’t mean to do that. Many times drivers think something was intentional when really it’s just human error."
"I live in SoCal, and the Los Angeles area has the most brutally aggressive drivers I know. Sure, other countries like Vietnam etc. are a free for all, but Los Angeles drivers literally want you dead."
"The CD is not free, never accept something from someone on a street."
"People will follow you around and thrust the CD (usually their mixtape) in your hand and then as you’re walking away with a CD you didn’t even ask for they start telling you you need to pay for it and then they refuse to accept the CD back so they make you pay for it or they keep harassing you. Happened to me in Venice beach."
"GO TO NATIONAL PARKS!"
"But be respectful! Our parks are beautiful, but often dangerous! Stick to set paths, look up local wildlife, and get an idea of common dangers. A park in the northeast will have drastically different dangers than Utah. And always have plenty of water with you. States often have very gorgeous state parks, too."
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"Do not eat exclusively at chain restaurants then go home and talk about how American food sucks."
So much to do and see. What would you add to this list? Let us know in the comments below.
The world is full of crazy people.
It feels like that more and more as I meander in my local shopping center.
But a little crazy I can deal with.
I want to discuss the people who leave an imprint of fear.
The people who lack empathy, remorse... and a soul.
You met many of those?
Redditor playmesomethinnice wanted to see who would fess up and discuss the person or persons that leave us shook.They asked:
"What type of people are you scared of?"
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"It's a bit hard to categorize, but for me it's people who can't be reasoned with."
"Like flat earthers. I met one in the wild last summer and it was the weirdest experience. My friend slept with him anyway and I'm still mad at her for it, like don't reward him????"
"People who are manipulative liars. Who get you to care about them and then play the victim just to watch you suffer."
"This. It scarred me so much I lost faith and trust in humanity. I was not the target but I’ve seen it with my eyes on a dear friend of mine."
"Had an ex who lied about having cancer and a twin sister who died in a car wreck, makes no sense to me we were in high school at the time lol."
"There is an odd category of people who seem to be able to get away with anything they do. May it be with their looks, skills, wits, power and everything in between. Them. I'm afraid of them."
"My ex husband is this type. I witnessed him get away with crimes, and not just get away like not get caught... like he got caught, went to court, and somehow convinced the prosecution and judge to drop all charges. It was at that moment I knew real fear from that man."
Lacking in Brain
"The dangerously stupid. F**king up and hurting others but come out unharmed to sheer luck."
"Oh like my father in law who was torching weeds right by his shed that then caught fire and spread to an electrical box, deck, tree, and outdoor bar and then laughed about it cause 'I did something just like this at our old house too.'"
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"I don't remember who said it but, 'It's not the people that are unsure that bother me, it's the people that are so certain that scare the hell out of me.'"
It's all about sanity levels. Or lack thereof.
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"The drunk guys at bars that always have that stare."
"People with a short temper."
"I would add people with a short and unpredictable temper. Those kinds of people who can be totally fine one second, then you do something that doesn't even cross your mind could be 'wrong' and suddenly they're yelling at you. People who explode at seemingly random stuff, no consistency, and particularly at moments you wouldn't expect."
"That's the worst. I'm not particularly used to being yelled at and I'm also rather non-confrontational, so I just don't know what to do when someone does yell at me when I'm absolutely not expecting it. Those people scare the sh*t out of me. I'm constantly on edge when I'm around them and I always feel like I have to walk on eggshells."
"People who refuse to take responsibility for their mistakes."
"They think it keeps them out of trouble, failing to recognize it causes so much more trouble for them in long run. A former friend of mine seems to have their brain constantly working on writing excuses for everything (to the point they can't keep their owns tory straight much of the time)."
"With the idea that any decision they make has to be the fault of others. They convince themselves that their every move was beyond their control and they were forced into it by others and then if they still suffer consequences they think it just means they are the victim of injustice. Tragically failing to realize they effectively deprive themselves of any control over the decisions."
"People who who are unwilling to accept the limits of their knowledge."
"I hate that my limits are there. I want to know more. And I wake up in the middle of the night wondering about James Joyce books and the NASCAR jeopardy questions I don't know."
"My boss hates me but said I'm the only person who is the best on all the machines. I suck at people, but I'm the machine whisperer. I'm the skinny *itch who can tell an autoclave to behave. A DSD to suck it up Sally. I'll even help the front desk with Bob Marley printer."
"Because he be jamming, not my job, but I have a personal vendetta against that machine. I fixed a Gameboy that was sitting in water for 2 weeks. Nintendo does make them good. Yet, I cannot for the life of me can't use an automatic car. Stick or nothing."
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"Be scared of the man who has nothing to lose. Be very scared."
"With money diminishing more people are feeling trapped and in a corner."
I believe I've met all of those people. God help me.
There are just some people who need a good, spiteful talking to.
The amount of poor behavior I witness on the daily is astonishing.
How are we like this in these modern times?
Instead of serving shame, we're serving justice for improper deeds.
Be a better human.
Redditor ValenFrost wanted to share what people need a little bit of bad spotlight. They asked:
"What do you think people actually deserve to be shamed for?"
I shame anyone who doesn't use a turn signal.
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"Leaving pee on the toilet seat when you have guests."
Stay with the truth...
"Knowingly spreading lies about someone."
"My life was legitimately destroyed by someone knowingly spreading lies about me. I’d been in a new town just a few weeks. It’s been almost 10 years and I still can’t make friends and my kids still have issues with their friends being allowed to hang out with them over it. All over something that never happened."
Don't Toss It
"I remember when I was a kid this guy in a 7/11 threw trash on the ground and another little girl looked at him and said 'you're littering' in that you're in trouble voice. And the guy just said something along the lines of 'I'm an adult, it's ok.'"
"Ummmm so I’ve had a work training that I planned, for MONTHS, and we already had to move the training once because of an internal work crisis. The training was moved to today. It's in an hour."
"This morning alone, 4 people have asked me to move it and they’ve known the training date for months. It’s so disrespectful. Moving the training from our previous date was a $500 fine, and if you can’t make it, that’s on you. Your poor planning does not constitute an emergency on my behalf."
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"Selfishness that harms others."
"I think most of us do in some ways. Hopefully people might decide to try harder at minimizing the harm we do while surviving and entertaining ourselves and others."
Humans really need to be better.
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"Trying to skip a line."
"A lady came up to me once, asking to skip 30 people in line to buy a banana for her crying daughter at Disney, and I told her I can't speak for all 30 people behind me."
"Especially a traffic line where it is going one way and you get every other 15 vehicles behind that will go to the middle lane just cut in line to wait behind even more traffic."
Not Always Right
"Being entitled and treating customer service workers badly."
"I work in a restaurant and my boss will argue with you and kick you out if you don't behave, downright telling people they are the worst people are so surprised every time they get told to leave after insulting a staff member."
"I dealt with this hard during the early days of the pandemic at Gamestop. When we got crappy no-mask customers when I was working with my friends, we would be rude right back and borderline harass them out of the store. The next several customers would always praise us for not taking s**t. Everyone hates crappy customers, including other customers."
"Finding the fault in others while ignoring the same fault in yourself."
"An unfortunate truth is that a lot of adults stop emotionally maturing when they’re still children. When we’re kids, we can’t really imagine that there are adults who are less mature than us, but it’s actually depressingly common. Something stunts their ability to mature and then they’re just stuck with the emotional maturity of a teenager."
"They develop physical skills just like everyone else, and seem to live successful lives. They have careers and homes and families. But they also can’t connect with people on a deep level, lack the ability to introspect (so they can’t handle any criticism of themselves), and they can’t grow as people. It’s very sad."
“what the hell dude?”
"I watched someone try to run over a cat with their car in the Walmart parking lot, like 3 times. It was 2 am and they were speeding and swerving trying to hit the cat. Poor thing was running away terrified. I got out of my car and shrugged at them like 'what the f**k dude?' and they drove off."
"Tried to give the cat food and be nice to it but it wouldn’t come near, I think it’s just going to be terrified forever."
"Edit: I don’t understand it at all. I can at least conceptualize evil for the sake of personal gain, but what do you get from trying to murder a cat? It’s evil for the sake of evil and it’s freaking sick."
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"Listening to music from their phone without using earphone in a public place."
Well all of those people deserve a little shame. Some... A LOT of shame! What is wrong with people?