I hate bullies. Well, I don't hate the person per se; most of the time I don't even know the bully well enough to stir up the passion of hate. But I do hate bullying behaviour. And I hate that behaviour with a passion.
I was bullied a fair amount as a kid - more so in elementary school than in high school. I have no respect for people who resort to bully tactics. People often have negative things to say about bullies ('Bullies are really cowards', 'Bullies don't have self-confidence', 'Bullies always back down when someone stands up to them'...) These things are often said by people trying to console the kids/people being bullied. I don't buy into those 'words of wisdom'.
I'll tell you what I think. I think people bully others because it works for them; because it provides some sort of positive feedback. Whether it is lunch money, a prime spot in line, or a sales contract it doesn't matter. Bullies bully because in the end they receive something that benefits them. They may be cowards, they may not. They may be self-assured, they may not.
We were on the short end of two bullies today. One wanted money for providing an unrequested service, the other wanted choice time-slots in a limited schedule. Both of them were demanding and unpleasant. Both of them didn't respect us (it just so happened that Tara dealt with them both and didn't back down).
The question in my mind is how do you properly respond to the bullying behaviour while properly valuing the inherent worth of the bully. I don't know the answer. I know it is really easy to dismiss the person as a whole - I was guilty of that twice today. But that isn't the proper response. I just don't know what the proper response is.
(This photo is of my awesome brother-in-law Tim. As far as I know, Tim has never been a bully - he was just pretending to be the Hulk)