Miami Dolphins Alleged Bullying – Hazing/Bullying Rips The Human Spirit

by Dr. Karen Ruskin on November 4, 2013

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Bullying- whether you are an adult or a child, the emotional wear and tear on the human mind, the human spirit, is real. If you have not heard, in the news as of late is the topic of NFL bullying. Specifically, Miami offensive lineman, Jonathan Martin, and guard Richie Incognito are a part of a bullying scandal. Some label the problem behaviors as hazing, others as bullying. Call it what you want, either way, hurting another in this manner rips at the human spirit. Below you will find 11 of my insight reactions to this current saga.

  1. The relationship a male has with his team can destroy one’s inner spirit, play skill, and zest for life. Or this team relationship can bring one to the highest reaches of emotional wellness, emotional and physical strength, and athletic skill.
  2. One time being bullied, several times being bullied is tough enough and disgusting enough. Ongoing bullying – horrific. It says much negative about the person/persons participating in the act of bullying/ongoing bullying. Ongoing hurtful behaviors wears and tears the emotional wellness of the person going through this trauma.
  3. No one – child nor adult, goes through life without being within 1 of 3 categories: 1) Bully, 2) Bullied, or 3) Bystander. Often the bystander is experienced by the bullied as a bully since they are part of the experience of not helping, thus hurting.
  4. Let’s make brotherhood of true brotherhood a tradition, rather than hazing a tradition. Let’s have a motto: ‘There’s no B (bullying) in Brotherhood’. Typically, bullying behavior in sports is labeled as “hazing”. Let’s call it what it is! It is injuring the spirit of another human being with one’s most powerful weapon of hurt – hurting one’s emotional spirit. The difference between hazing and bullying is a gray area with blurred lines. Hazing and bullying are both emotionally abusive behaviors of which need to cease to exist. We do not hurt the inner spirit of another to have fun, for if we do that says something ugly about us. Hazing, bullying, harassing, emotional abuse, conduct unbecoming . . . there are varied terms that come down to one thing – if another human being is hurting you have crossed the line.
  5. The mental emotional muscle when it comes to bullying defense is weak for many. Depending on one’s life experiences to date, some people are more vulnerable then others. A person’s size, physical strength, nor athletic ability can combat emotional bullying – as it is a knife cutting the emotional and intellectual mind muscle.
  6. Ostracism is a real thing that causes anxiety. Of all anxieties, ostracism/not belonging, is one of the worst. As it plays on one’s heart, cuts at your spirit, and pounds on your passion.
  7. The mind and the body are intertwined and completely interconnected. So if you haze/bully a teammate, it is not shocking that this emotional behavior will affect the physical game play whole. This is ‘Psychology 101′ in my book. The higher ups in the NFL should have talks with their players upon signing on – the expectations of their behavior and why.
  8. All it takes is one person to create an environment of emotional hurtful intoxicating suffocation for another human being. All it takes is one person to drive another’s emotional wellness into the ground.
  9. Does a normally really nice person hurt others emotionally with consistency? Absolutely not. There are warning signs all along the way. Mean is mean. Hurtful is hurtful. A person who is downright verbally abusive to another human being with consistency is someone who not only carries with them demons from the past within, this is a person who has shown their true colors in various ways.
  10. As a Psychotherapist I have seen through the years adults leave jobs, change their gym, move to a different town . . . – all due to adult-on-adult bullying.
  11. It is not uncommon for children and adults alike to feel trapped when bullied by another human being. Specifically, a child may be afraid if he/she tells a teacher that they will be socially ostracized by others for telling. The person being bullied often feels he/she should be able to handle this problem/cope with the problem – child or adult. Adults often are concerned that if they go to their boss about a colleague, or communicate with a “higher-up” about one’s boss’s abusive behaviors, that they will be seen in a negative light. Hence, children and adults alike often feel trapped not knowing how to resolve nor escape the problem.

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Follow Dr. Karen on Twitter or Facebook. Media Psychotherapist Guest Expert; Relationships, Parenting, Human Behavior, Analyzes Hot Topics In The News. Has appeared on FOX News Channel's: The O'Reilly Factor, FOX & Friends, FOX & Friends FIRST, America Live, Hannity, America's Newsroom, and FOX Business Network's: Cavuto. Go–to for FOX News Boston including the regular segment; Ask Dr. Karen. Also appeared on ABC's Good Morning America, Lifetime, Discovery Network's Destination America, The Steve Harvey TV Show, and more. Sought after Radio Guest Expert. Columnist. Often quoted in various print media: FOX Business, FOX News Magazine, Boston Globe, Boston Herald, Care.com, Good Housekeeping, Yahoo Shine, Parents, Parenting, CNN, TIME, Woman's Day, Men's Health, USA Today, and more. Owner/Founder/President: Dr. Karen Ruskin & Associates, Inc. Based in Massachusetts. Author of: 9 Key Techniques For Raising Respectful Children and Dr. Karen's Marriage Manual. Copyright 2012.

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