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Comment: The social dynamics of bullying

The internet is a pretty crazy place. Five weeks ago I posted “Son, as soon as someone puts their hands on you…” - it was a well enough received post, y'know, normal par for the course type stuff. Then a couple days ago it gets submitted to a few places around the internet, and over 20,000 people come and read it. There's over 120 new comments there, many of them really intelligent and insightful.

This one stands out to me by "A Psychologist" -

I've studied bullying for a number of years now. The social dynamics of bullying are very old, evolutionarily speaking. The references to dominance hierarchies and such are not ill-placed, teenagers are primates after all.

Coupled with that, they're grappling with all sorts of psycho-social issues ranging from hormones to newly placed pressures to define themselves and seek a future worthy of respect, etc.

Moreover, this is the first and last place (outside prison) where physical dominance really matters and can be exercised with relatively little consequence - so bullies milk it the best they can.

Bullies

On The Best of Sett

I recently had a minor spat with a fellow lifter who was a victim of bullying. When I read what she wrote, I was enraged. I honestly wanted to go down and deal with that individual myself. Instead, I got mad and told her to stand up to the bully.

My response was emotional because it took me back. So far back, in fact, that our exchange answered an unresolved question has been stuck in my head for many years now. I’ve never been able to answer the true “why” for starting my training.

A couple of years ago I learned that I’m quite a simple person, and most of my current behavioural oddities can be traced to my formative years. What follows is a collection of short stories about my childhood, and then I’ll make my point.

Algebra

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