Interesting piece by Lindy.
From where we are looking, online/media bullying is one of the uglier of the many ugly aspects of our current culture. The writer finds shocking and bewildering some people’s willingness to make and express judgements about people they do not know; to threaten violence; and to attempt to hurt, harm and shame other human beings. Whether or not the other person has ‘done’ anything to ‘deserve it’ or not, such behaviour speaks of the perpetrator, not the person attacked. It is projection. The level of objectification, sense of entitlement and lack of empathy revealed are the antithesis of a person-centred way of being, and illustrate the extent of the personal and cultural shadow (pain and trauma) we carry.
The writer has been on the receiving end of the ‘don’t respond’ advice, and has mixed feelings – this advice sometimes seems to speak more of the advisor’s wish not to get involved or upstand, than justice or the interests of the person under attack. Lindy’s choice to engage with her attacker feels like a brave one, and – at least in this instance – a decision that pays off. The writer personally believes that congruence and at least some engagement (whether that be with attacker(s) or content) is needful from an ethical perspective, and in terms of self respect and justice. It is surely important we call out bullying behaviour – whatever form it takes.
Palace Gate Counselling Service, Exeter
Counselling in Exeter since 1994