Can we discuss one of the most insidious of all bullying tactics? Not giving eye contact. Yep. If you’ve ever been on the receiving end, you know what I mean. It’s a message that you’re not worthy. And when done as a group, watch out. You can end up in the fetal position.
It’s a tactic not only used by middle and high school girls but by many passive aggressive adults. I’ve personally used it and it works. But I didn’t feel good about it and I’m not doing it again.
It’s a great weapon because the perpetrator can get away with it. It’s subtle but effective.
I’ve decided to call people out on it. Why not? And, it’s possible to do that without lowering yourself. Most bullying can be stopped with just a few words.
Next time someone doesn’t give me eye contact intentionally, I’m going to try to get their eye and say, “Is everything ok?” And if they ask why I ask that, I’m going to reply, “Because you’re not looking at me and you seem tense.” At the very least it makes them think that they’re not as subtle as they thought they were. They’ll have to find some other means to make me feel small.
But for kids it’s different. A lot harder. I think adults should be aware of the kind of hurt it causes and at least step in with awareness and sympathy.
But that might not be enough. Anyone out there have advice?