Remember that “old” playground rhyme? It ends with “Everything you say, bounces off me and sticks on you!”
There was a reason someone made up this rhyme. They were probably being picked on and it was their way of throwing it back to the person doing the picking.
I look back on my elementary school days and I can remember those who did the picking. We didn’t really have bullies that I recall. We had Billy Priebe who lived on the corner of Virginia Ave and West 54th Street though, and he would wait for us on his front porch and taunt us as girls all the way to Thoreau Park Elementary school. This was in the 1950’s and he actually taunted 6th grade girls sexually. I went to the principal. It stopped.
The bravery of a 6th grader often disappears and many times it is because in our confusion of what is really love and what is only power-over us, we lose our braveness.
We all know people who have given their power away. The number one power-stripper I can think of is abuse. Abuse come in many disguises. There is physical abuse where the abuser has to have power-over someone because it is the only way they feel important.
There is emotional abuse and these abusers use insidious underhanded ways to manipulate their victim which is another example needing to have of power-over someone.
Then there is verbal abuse. These abusers seem to think that they can just blast you with a statement. Me, I am all about a face to face talk. People who hide behind email, texts, or a statement on line are cowards.
Then there is gang abuse – the double team, or the group, who think there is strength in numbers. While there is strength in numbers – there is also total destruction when people gang up on anyone. The leader of the pack starts talking and their back-up singers jump in often in dis-harmony.
Some groups or gangs actually plan the attack. I remember so well when a Facebook group was lying in wait at a summer wine function to attack a “friend” they were mad at – and these were 40 year old women.
That is the often popular “follow the leader” playground game group. The problem is when you follow a leader who has chosen to bully anyone, you are giving that leader power over you. You are being used and often you lose something or someone important to you. It is also what I call the Double Dutch attempt at power over on the playground. Those ropes begin with a nice even cadence and at any point can trip you up.
In all my years of observing people’s behaviors in situations like this I have noticed one common ground. In a group, one person is often smarter than the rest. I recently listened to a very well-known motivational speaker talk about how a group like this can’t survive around people that are smarter than they are. That is because more intelligent people would call them out or throw them out. They won’t associate with them.
I have seen or experienced every single definition of abuse I have written about, and most recently I fell into the “war of the texts”. That will never happen again.
A special friend of mine recently saw what a group can do, the leader of the pack was provoked and the back-up singers jumped in but they were singing off key. It didn’t work, again the special friend is smarter than the group.
When you realize ALL these people have an agenda (power over) and when you recognize this, you can pick up your ball and jacks and go home. You can leave that playground. You do not have to allow anyone to ever try to use their power over you. Let me re-phrase that – you should never allow anyone to use their power over you. Let me put it this way – you can take your power back.
Over the past two years I have seen the drama that the written word can cause. I have seen it on almost every online or cellular platform. I believe most of these types of “power-over” people are very unhappy and nothing makes them feel better than to make anyone who is truly happy their target.
When you don’t wear a bullseye you cannot be a target and little minds have to go elsewhere and sadly pick on someone else who hasn’t learned to take the power back. Again it is about choice. I made mine. No one holds any power over me – not anymore.