Everyone thinks they’ve been bullied.
Everyone has had someone say something mean
been called a rude name
felt completely unseen
felt left out of the game.
Growing up means learning that not everyone thinks you’re great.
Growing up means knowing you’ll get called out when you’re weird.
Don’t be so intense, trying to fit everyone inside your fence
If they’re just being nice, don’t make them want to slice
their wrists rather than interact with you
is a natural reaction to those things you do.
starts out small, don’t demand their all
Everyone has met the kid that’s on the bullhorn
the irritating thorn who blames everyone for the scorn
he invites himself. If you want deep contact
don’t start combat if interaction contracts.
If you want a friend
Be a friend.
A few years ago, I was overheard a conversation between a Special Education teacher and a new student on the autism spectrum who was visiting the high school in preparation for attending the following year. She explained to him that in high school, if he was doing something inappropriate as a grade 8 student with poor social skills, a grade 12 would call him on it, and that wasn’t bullying, that was social correction. It was probably the most effective way for him to realize his own responsibility for the irritations of others; social correction was an enlightening concept for him. There’s a line here. Some behaviour is not appropriate! It’s important that bullies receive just as much social correction as ‘victims’ do. “We don’t treat each other like that” goes both ways. To other students, the student in question was a bully, in the way he monopolized the class room with irrelevant questions or self-indulgent narratives. He impacted them negatively, and they retained the right to tell him he needed to be quiet. He responded better to students than teachers giving the same message. What do you think? Is there such a thing as ‘social correction’ or is any negative feedback just a form of ‘bullying?’