Have any of you (probably all of you) experienced a situation that could only be called "bullying" That is members of a group "ganging" up on one other member?
Could be some sort of work group or class or committee meeting or a group that meets for a pleasurable activity.
Such an episode occurred the other day in a group I belong to. I wasn't aware of it at the time but was told later.
If you are in a group and something like this happens how would you react? Would you join in the bullying? confront the bullies? Ignore what is said? Get up and leave? Think it is all innocent fun? What?
Hard to answer without knowing the exact situation, of course I wouldn't join in, but can't say I would recognize the situation as your mention of innocent fun. I might try saying something to deescalate the conversation.
Remember you are hearing the situation second hand, you might view it differently in person, right now it is just gossip.
This is a sensitive subject, as I grew up being bullied by family members.
Chances are, this behavior is not new. The members have probably demonstrated it in other ways, other situations.
I would leave the group. Life's too short to hang out with people like that.
However, I don't hold delusions that me leaving the group and telling them "why"--or telling them off--would actually CHANGE them. It wouldn't. So, I'd just shrug off any inquiries--not enough time, etc. just to keep it all peaceful.
This is so sad that adults continue to act like children.
I would just leave with no explanation. If called, however, I would be very tempted to tell them that you only associate with people who know how to play nice.
lady - This is so disheartening to hear about. For me, I would cease any association with a group that exhibits this behavior. This kind of bad behavior needs to stop!
Good question, LOS, as it happens more often than one would think - even in adult settings. I believe such activities are based on a lack of esteem on the part of the ones committing the offense - the only way they can feel better about themselves is to try to put down someone else.
So is it innocent fun? Absolutely not. Would I join in? Again, absolutely not. Get up and leave - again no way because that leaves the bullies thinking such behavior is acceptable; even rewarding.
Instead I do something else (a bit like your idea of confrontation but with a little bit of sneakiness), I join the conversation and try to turn it around by showing how absurd whatever statements were made are in actuality. Remember, most people who engage in such activities are basically cowards and will follow the strongest leader...
I also had a problem with a group of women at a dance class. I had taken lessons before so I paid for both classes beginning and advanced. At the beginning class I remembered all the steps so I just stayed on the floor for advanced next. There was something said to me by one of the women and I explained that I had just wanted a refresher on the steps with the beginners class. The women started to bump into me and step on me and laugh. There was a group of around five of them. This was in a club with the men sitting at tables waiting for us. My dh came right on the floor and said time to leave this bunch, as he gave all of them the LOOK!I felt very bad because we were new in town and I was hoping to find a group of new friends. NOT THERE!We never went back.
How did your friend handle the situation, how did it work for her?
I have to agree with Meisha - you are hearing it 2nd hand. Also, some people are much more sensitive to any type of strong behavior than others.
Before saying or doing anything, try to get more information and be more alert at your next gathering for inappropriate behavior or comments then decide for yourself.
I agree totally with this statement. I did not hear about this till later but it wasn't really second hand. I was there. I just did not hear it, although I heard what preceded it and also the movements taking place at that time so I am sure it is true.
I attended this same activity again yesterday. One of the "bullies" said that there had been four people sitting at "my" table all afternoon and I said no, there had been only three for some time and then another person joined us and so now there were four. She then told me I was wrong, that there always had been four!
I very much enjoy the activity so do not want some disagreeable women to drive me away, but several of us are taking steps to somewhat separate ourselves from the larger group. BTW the people doing this comprise about maybe 1/4 to 1/3 of the group. None of these women are particularly good friends. It is the activity that is the bond and it is free flowing with no moderator, sponsor, hostess or whatever.
Then, LOS, you have your answer right there ~ continue to participate in this group that you enjoy BUT, you are now on notice to stop any snide comments from others. Bottom line, what I said before ~ cowardly individuals follow the strongest leader and you need to step up before these other women take control and ruin your group.
Be the leader that doesn't accept low-class derogatory comments or cheap shots at others ... My money is on you, LOS! This message has been edited. Last edited by: Idaho Resident,
Excuse me, LOS,but I don't understand what you are calling bullying. Someone insists that something is true when you know it is not?
You obviously do not like some people in this group. You will have to decide if you like 'the group' well enough to put up with the petty stuff of the ones you dislike.
You should avoid using (or thinking) such "loaded" words as bullying, which everyone has a different definition of. Instead think of specifics.
No, I did not say the remark made to me about the number of people at the table was bullying. I said the person who made that remark had been one of the bullies.
You are also wrong in saying that I do not like some of the people in this group. That is not true (well till now)
I actually liked all of the people in the group. Some had been long time friends or acquaintances so I liked them better but did like all.
I am using the word bully in the way I think it is specifically used today. that is singling out one member of a group and treating them unkindly, cruelly or sometimes even criminally. This can be done by one individual or many.
Often the first step in bullying is to laugh at someone for the way they dress or speak or anything that sets them apart from the main group. This is what happened in my group and what I call bullying and the person who told me about the incident also defines it as bullying.
We all have gone to school and all have seen examples of bullying.
I find this true, too. Ridiculing someone. It just escalates from there.
I'm curious as to what difference it made regarding the number of people at the table. Is there some kind of charge involved?
At any rate, I hope it all works out for both you and your friend to where you can still enjoy the activity.
No not really. This is Mah Jongg and it is gambling but for change (most often a quarter or fifty cents and a cap of three dollars a session) so you could "make" this much less with three players. However with three you also stand a chance of getting a joker during the first part of the game wherein with four at a table it is not possible, and jokers make winning much more possible.
One of the woman the other day was taking it upon herself to reassign numbers of people at the tables. For some reason the irate woman felt compelled to make the change but wanted to complain (wrongly) that the table I was playing at had remained static. It had not.
I really enjoy this game but there is a vast difference in the experience of the players. Some have been playing 35 - 40 plus years. Some have just finished classes. I have been playing a year and 1/2. Its not brain surgery but it is mentally challenging and you should be on your toes. Also some people are sore losers (sad to say!)
I have very strong feelings about bullying. I think it's horrible. I would probably confront the bullies. I don't believe that this kind of thing is ever innocent.
It definitely looks like bullying. I would try and defuse the situation by laughter. "Oh you know that I can count, there were only three people, I really can count to four" But, I know that people like this often do not give up easily, they really like to cause discord and arguments. They are only happy when they cause problems for others.
Just heard about something that was more snobbery than bullying...
A woman I barely know whose husband has done really, REALLY well in the business world (read dollars here), was with her daughter at a new school decorating daughter's locker. The girl and mother beside them were hanging a small chandelier in that girl's locker. Woman I know complimented the decorations and asked where they found the chandelier and other items. Other mother looked at her, then TURNED HER BACK without ever answering or introducing herself or anything. Can you imagine?! I don't know the second woman, but there's a very good chance that the woman I know could "buy and sell" her twice and have money left over.
Bullies will continue to bully until someone stands up to them and directly confronts the situation. Their behavior at whatever age is not appropriate and they need to know it.
Seems like an enjoyable activity soon becomes not so fun with someone bossing table members to move. Is this a usual standard that table members switch out places? Is the "bossy lady" the hostess of the group? You know the old saying "who died and left you boss?" Harummpf!
Sherry, Decorating the locker with a chandy? Oh my...welcome to a whole new world of decorating. Did she have the electrician wire the locker also? LOL.
~Like sands through the hourglass
~So are the days of our lives
There is a fine line between confrontation(which isn't always bad) and true bullying. Then there are always people who have the "it's their way or the highway" approach to situations that arise- they are usually very strong, bossy people, not bullies. I'm not sure of all the details, so I'm reluctant to call Emily's incident bullying.
Perhaps it was battery operated.
Very true to the first part.
2nd part- LOL I was wondering how much I've missed in the past few decades. No wonder schools are implementing school uniforms and everything else! I was having issues with parents coming in to "decorate" the lockers. What's that about? What happened to a kid taping magazine photos inside their lockers?
OMG that is truly rude. Who the heck did the second woman think she was? To say nothing of the chandelier in a locker. boy talk about setting your kid up for potential "bullying"
I think I will tell what the incident was that the members reacted to. To play Mah Jongg you need a set for every four (or three) people. the facility has two but usually there are three tables. The facilities sets are cheap. One member was carrying her set in each time to make up the needed third. This set is preferred by all because it is a nicer set with easier to read tiles.
Now every member owns her own Mah Jongg set but they are heavy for us older people so no one else but this one member carried hers in.
In this instance there were lets say 9 players. That means that one player always has to sit out. It is very structured the way this happens so no one has to sit out very long (a matter of minutes or one trip to the ladies room LOL)
However it also happens that if a player is sitting out from one table there may be an opening at the other table first and so she would have to go there, it could happen that a player at that table could leave for the day and so the new addition to that table would have to stay there the rest of the time.
This is what happened. The player who brings her set in each time wanted to sit out till a space where her set was became available.
The four people at the other table mocked her and laughed at her for this. And my friend who was sitting with them and told me about this said it was not done with any kindness but maliciously.
Good thread LOS.
Of course I would have had to be there to know exactly what I would do. I grew up being the strongest, tallest, most athletic and rebellious of my three sisters. I guess I could have turned out to be a bully myself but always stood up for the underdog. I was never bullied or picked on myself being 5'9" 130lbs at 13.
I am sure if the situation warranted it I would have stood up for the person being bullied and put the others in their places. I have never been one to back down or shy away from confrontation. Though I've never been in an actual physical fight, I usually will put myself between the bully and the victim.
BTW...DH is the same way, he stands up for anyone getting treated unfairly, both personally and professionally.
So this one member who is younger and has a nicer Mah Jongg set was being picked on by the older members with a cheap set....sounds like jealously rears it's ugly head yet again.This message has been edited. Last edited by: zone9alady,
Yes, ZL, I am the same way although not so physically big. I remember once many years ago when I took the bus to work, a young mother with two or three tiny children was struggling to board the bus, when the bus driver said to her, "c'mon lady hurry it up" I told him I was going to report him.
When I was in 5th grade I saw a group of kids taunting a what we now call a special needs kid and I did nothing. I have always been very ashamed of my inaction and now speak up.
Have you ever watched the show "What Would You Do?" with John Quinones? It has similar situations and I love that there is always someone who stands up for the victim, even though there are still many who don't because of fear of retribution.
Of course, I wasn't there to witness this, as you weren't either, but I think much ado about nothing.
The "malicious" comment is just gossip, I don't know if it was "bullying", I would just stay out of it and not discuss any of this with anyone.
I was there. I was the person. And I know it is true because when I said I wanted to stay at the table with my set I could see the other players roll their eyes. But it is true I did not hear the other comments or the laughter.This message has been edited. Last edited by: lady of shallot,
Well, I might have been irritated if you, the member in question, held up the flow of the play by refusing to play only with her tiles. Just cuz they're nicer and easier to see, is it really that big of a deal LOS. I'd let go of this and not call it bullying-- I'd say you were more embarrassed by the whole thing. And yes, there have been times when I was the odd man out and took the brunt of it from everyone . No big deal-not like it happened all the time.This message has been edited. Last edited by: mamaspoon,
Honestly, I think your friend was unkind to you. You were not aware of things said behind your back, why did your friend tell you? Now you feel uncomfortable and unliked by other members of this group.
I would not label what took place as bullying, but unkind.
I still would not mention it again to anyone, and just continue playing and being nice, you can't change some people.
Mama spoon, it is that big a deal because I was doing everyone a favor by carrying the heavy set in twice a week and they need the set.(well not my set but a third set) For them to ridicule me was shortsighted on their part and also unkind to me.
By not wanting to go to the other table I did not at all interrupt the flow of play except for myself. The other table could continue the
play in the normal way.
Meisha, you are right that my friend should not have told me. There was a misunderstanding in that I had sent her an email saying I wanted to talk to her about Mah Jongg and she must have thought I meant that incident. I didn't of course what I wanted to say was completely unrelated.
BTW I sent the membership an email saying I would not longer be bringing my set in and that someone else should bring theirs. Actually what would be most fair would be for the regular players to rotate bringing in their sets. However because we do not have a leader only a facilitator between our group and the university where we play, don't know who would organize that.
LOS, I don't want to be unkind to you, but honest, I do think you, in a small way expected "special" treatment because you brought the game set. Others did not like that attitude so they responded in an unkind way, right or wrong it is done.
Again, I would not mention it again to anyone, you are putting others in an uncomfortable position, they probably don't want to take sides or get involved.
Your email saying you won't bring your set continues and escalates your problem you will do better to let it go.
Maybe you can call your "friend" who told you all of this and say in hurt and angry you overreacted, and now want to drop it.
Do you think your actions will make all uncomfortable around you now, what action can you to end that.
Only you know if this group is worth it to you.
I guess what you are saying Meisha is that it is expecting "special" treatment from a group of compatriots in an activity to not be mocked?
Maybe I am missing something which you could point out to me. What have I described that could indicate I expected "special" treatment?
In bringing in my set I was doing a favor for the group as a whole but in what way does that translate to my "expecting" special treatment? I mean where does that come in?
BTW I played this afternoon and behaved as I always do and so did the others as near as I can tell although there were only 8 people so I got to interact with only three of the other players.This message has been edited. Last edited by: lady of shallot,
LOS - It is very difficult to express the dynamics of a difficult situation on a discussion board. We each read our own biases into what others write.
IMHO - if someone brings an extra set of tiles for the group to use, then, thank you for bringing the tiles to help expedite play. To only want to play your tiles, although something I would probably want to do myself, I would refrain from doing because then I did not bring the tiles to help expedite play, but to make play more enjoyable for me. Unfortunately, some members of the group took it upon themselves to make fun of you and try to make you uncomfortable for doing this. Something I think/hope most of us would refrain from doing.
In the future I would try to be more alert to the group dynamic and make sure the type of behavior you experienced is not aimed at another member of the group.
As others pointed out - your friend did you no favors in reporting how childish some of the other women acted, especially when it was so hurtful to you.
That's a good point, Charming. However as I said I didn't mind bringing the tiles in to share but they are heavy (10lbs which is a lot when you are 78) and they must be carried from a parking garage to the play site. The weight of the tiles is why all the other players (all of whom own at least one set themselves) never bring in their sets. Because of this weight and because I am also carrying a purse and a water bottle, I have to leave the parking garage through the car exit (around the arm) since the two doors that are the pedestrian exit are too heavy & cumbersome for me to handle with the set. Also instead of going in the end of the bldg (the usual entrance for us) which again is two doors, I must walk to the middle of the building where the two doors are automatic and then walk back to where we meet.
I guess the bottom line is that I am altruistic enough to want to share the set and to carry it in, but I am not altruistic enough to then not get to play with it myself. Esp as it is far nicer than most other sets.
BTW I am playing next week privately with the woman (& others) who relayed this info and I offered to bring my set which she is pleased with because of what it is.
You are right too about being alert to the group dynamic. I usually just be me, which is outgoing, light hearted, inclusive and friendly. All good qualities but maybe not necessarily such desirable qualities to this group.
I have a neighbor who also started playing with this group as a newbie and she thought the more experienced players were inpatient with her so she stopped playing.
I did not find that to be true. To me they would answer questions and point out missteps in play, however they definitely are more focused on the game than on being friendly. In fact this seems to be true even on the several occasions when we have had a lunch or something else as part of our activities. Not impolite but more stilted and reserved.
This is the first time I have participated in an ongoing activity that is age restricted (not a necessity but an actuality) average age about 75 and it is different.This message has been edited. Last edited by: lady of shallot,
LOS - Sounds like Mah jongg is becoming quite popular. I have played on line quite a bit, but never with real tiles. Perhaps with your neighbor and others learning the game, perhaps the facility where you play will consider a 2nd session, perhaps a little more social oriented than your current group.
I really recommend it Charming. It is not too difficult but difficult enough to be challenging.
The tiles are beautiful and it is easy to set up (only need a card table)
Many people play in private homes and we sometimes go to a local golf club (courtesy of a member) to play there. also a community center could accommodate players.
One negative about private play is that sometimes group make up the rules as they go along rather than abide by the American Mah Jongg league rules.
LOS, I've just been catching up on all the posts since the last time I checked on this thread and have to say that what you have described is just plain old-fashioned rude behavior, but not really bullying. However I am on your side that any such comments were not merited. Myself, I would simply forget them and continue to enjoy playing there. Life is too short to let thoughtless comments from clueless individuals stop us from enjoying our lives and activities which give us pleasure.
Now, want a practical solution to the situation? Continue to load your tile set into your car at your house (I know, a lot of work) and when you arrive at the facility, go in with your purse and bottle of water. As individuals are setting up the tables, announce that you have brought your set - it's in your car - and, if others will bring it in and then help re-load it at the conclusion of the game, then you are happy to share it with all.
PS. I understand the comment re private rules for private play! I had to explain to my husband years ago when we were first married that, of course, everyone gets $500 when they land on "GO" in Monopoly - not just the $200 the instructions specify when you "pass" Go - obviously an over-sight on the part of the ones writing the directions!This message has been edited. Last edited by: Idaho Resident,
Oh yes, we all know "private" rules, I learned Train Dominoes several years ago and the way DH's family plays is quite different from how the rules that came with the set read. Funny how they forget to update the written rules!
LOS it appears you have worked it out. I think we all want you to continue to enjoy your game.
Happy games to you!
This actually did happen last Monday. Not with me but another woman. This woman always has her set in her car and she also parks in handicapped parking. I don't know exactly what her handicap is except she uses her arms awkwardly so maybe it is arthritis. One of the other players did go to her car and get the set but then when the table the Hand. woman was playing at ended their games the other woman had left and no one else offered to do it. I don't know what she (HW) will do in the future.
Friday the "bean spilling" woman brought in her set and maybe she will continue to do that each time. She is one of those people who really extends herself to help others. For instance she will go in early sometimes and set up all the tables and wipe them off and take home the facility sets and wash them.
If I'm the first one in I set up one table and get out one set and set that up.
Oh about making up the rules as you go along. My Dad used to be terrible in playing scrabble. He would hide the dictionary in his lap and also sometimes turn over letter tiles to make them blanks!
I think a good solution for you is a rolling bag. I use mine all the time and it's much easier than carrying heavy things. Look for a bag with a rigid extending handle, not soft handles that put too much weight on your arm. I like this Olympia rolling tote. I bought it at TJ Maxx for $19. I just found them on Overstock.com
Anon, we have all kinds of rolling bags, big and small. I often wonder why school children here do not use them.
Whenever DH & I see kids struggling home from school with those heavy backpacks we wonder what future health problems they will have because of that constant weight.
Although a rolling bag is a very good solution, don't think it would work too well (taking everything into consideration) in this particular situation.
On Monday the venue had only 3 players and four others of us were playing at a golf club. This to accommodate my good friend who needs an earlier starting time.
LOS, Sounds like the bossiness of some players might be costing the group members.
I hope ya'll are able to work through this.
Actually Charming I just remembered that Monday was a relig ious holiday for some folk. that would have decreased the numbers.
We'll see tomorrow when we usually have more players than on Mondays anyway.
LOS, Thanks for the comments re backpacks! I have often thought about them so I'm going to start a new thread with my questions. Hope your game play gets backs to normal soon...
If only ONE member defends the person being bullied! Maybe you LOS?
Others may have personally expierenced/witnessed bit-chy clique attitude... fearfully hesitate to speak up or long for an opportunity to join forces to OUT the bullies.
Several years ago I joined a Srs TaiChi class as a beginner = regulars seemed to think they "owned" a specific section of the floor - BAH!
LOS, surely you can speak up without being confrontationalThis message has been edited. Last edited by: tessa89,
After reading all of this thread I have to say that if the ladies in this group are snooty, I would find another group, or create a new one. I just really hate to be around people who behave as you have described Lady of shallot. I seek out friends who are friendly, nice, courteous, thoughtful and fun. There are plenty of those types around, so why waste your time with anything else.
This is a very specific group activity. . . the playing of Mah Jongg. This is open to the public (one must only be a member of OLLI* to join in)
There actually are not other public groups for this, any other games are privately held in people's homes (sort of like bridge would be played)
These women are not snooty, rather I would say they in this instance were short sighted.
Yesterday I happened to be playing at tables with all three of the women concerned. I found I had no trouble being my usual self and hold no animus towards any of them. It's just that now I will no longer bring my set in to share.
*OLLI, stands for Osher life long learning institute. It started here in Portland but is available through out the country, connected to colleges/universities. They offer classes based on what instructors (need not be professors, just people with a deep interest in an activity or subject) want to teach. This is available for people 50 years and older. They also sponsor group trips, other special interest groups like music, etc.
Just a side note: when I graduated from college (this campus) at 52 I was accepted into grad school. At that time the program was in the law bldg. Now it is in the OLLI bldg. Even though I left the program after one term (it was not for me!) I still have a feeling of comfort sharing that space with the students. In fact one day going into the building I ran into one of my co-students, who now works for that program. She is much younger, in fact she went to college with my DD.This message has been edited. Last edited by: lady of shallot,
We have OLLI programs here through Coastal Carolina University. They put on excellent programs and bring exceptional opportunities to adults in the community.
My problem, I get so wrapped up in day to day I forget about their programs until it is too late in the semester to take advantage of the ones of most interest to me. Thank you for the reminder.
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