TED Conversations

Singer Songwriter & Vocal Coach, Lizanne Hennessey - Voice Coach


This conversation is closed.

Bullied... or ignored. Which is worse?

Shane's powerful presentation on standing up for yourself against bullying, and acknowledging your true beauty, got me thinking.

Bullying is a destructive act. It forces individuals into a category through labeling and name-calling that can sometimes cost that individual an entire lifetime to break out of.

But, what about ignoring an individual? Is denying someone's existence as destructive... or more so?


Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.

  • thumb
    May 11 2013: Hi Colleen, a great question and I have heard the term leveling before.

    I do agree that bullies are trying to level the playing field and the rewards are fleeting. How does a victim of bullying defend themselves when these hateful words reach so many people even ones they do not know? Colleen there are so many ways to deliver these horrible and most likely untruthful words. Before the introduction of all this technology I think the profile you share would be accurate. In this 21st century, to some doing the bullying it is a game, a sick game and they feel no shame. They get a thrill from starting this mob like mentally of slurring someone, and they know who to pick. You are right Colleen, the victim has truly nothing to be ashamed of for there lies no truth in the words but, how in the world does recover their reputation and dignity? How does one recover from the hateful words shared about them that reached ones that only know of them but don't know them? Maybe the shame I would feel is that someone chose me as a target never really knowing why.

    Colleen, technology is a wonderful thing. If not for this Internet I would never have had the opportunity of sharing a conversation with a smart and insightful woman as yourself for geography would never allow it to happen!

    It does give rise to all sorts of new and unexplored negatives. New lessons to learn by all.

    thanks again for your reply!
    • thumb
      May 11 2013: Hi Mary Ellen,
      I just checked your profile for the first time, and realize that we are neighbors in New England! Sweet!

      I agree with you that with our technology these days, cyberspace bullying reaches MANY people in a moment! I think in the old days, kids had some safety net....the home/family....school/friends, etc. Now, with the internet, there is no place to escape, and that is problematic for a lot of bullied kids!

      I still think that those who bully feel something. I volunteered with incarcerated offenders for 6 years......they are human....they feel! The next thing is....how do we get to them?

      One method we used in the "cognitive self change" sessions, is to demonstrate to them that bullying really shows how insecure they really are. Bullying, dominating, control over other people is weak....not strong.

      I believe we can use technology as a beneficial tool....just as it is sometimes used as not so benificial. If enough people truly believe, and demonstrate that bullying is weak, and not strong, there may be a chance?

      My glass is ALWAYS at least half full:>)
      • May 12 2013: How good of you to bring up social media, Colleen.

        Personally, I think the negative effects of social media are quickly outweighing the positive... I am hearing a lot of reports on bullying via Facebook, which leads to horrific, out-of-proportion things, from mass destruction caused by a 'Project X' to murder.

        What I am also hearing about is 'Social Envy'. When peoples' posts are not reacted to enough, they don't get as many virtual 'happy birthdays', or they feel jealousy about what someone else's posts, it hurdles them into a state of insecurity, depression and isolation:

        Is this not a form of bullying ourselves?
        • thumb
          May 12 2013: Lizanne,
          When a person uses the computer/internet as the focus of his/her life, it doesn't surprise me that when things do not go well for them in that form, insecurity, depression and isolation may result. It certainly is a choice that some people make for themselves.

          Social media, computers, internet are tools we can use for beneficial purposes, or for destructive purposes. In my perception, it is like anyting else in the life adventure, and we have choices.

          I do my little part, by not participating with social media very much....except TED, which I believe is a valuable tool. I immediately delete anything that is off color, and only forward constructive, encouraging messages. I realize I am only one little person......what if EVERYONE......or at least the majority of people in our world did that?
      • Comment deleted

        • thumb
          May 12 2013: I found you and your comment Kate....reply button or not!

          I enjoyed volunteering at a terminal care facility, and spending time with dying friends and relatives for the same reason Kate. It is not unusual, at the time of death, to do an evaluation of life, and I like taking that journey with people. Many folks are uncomfortable with the dying process, and don't want to be around those who are near death. I am comfortable with the process, and feel honored to be asked to "be" with someone at that time of transition.

Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.