Have you ever had a situation where someone is bullying you, or someone you know, and when you circulate the situation to see if people are seeing what you’re seeing, someone says, “I don’t know… he’s always been nice to me.”
This is the bullying equivalent of, “I was just following orders.”
People who sit by and let someone they know treat another abusively or poorly under the heading of “they’re always nice to me,” are only enabling the antagonist.
How many people could say that Jeffrey Dahmer was always nice to them? I’ll bet O.J. Simpson was very friendly to many people. No doubt Bill Cosby was a great lunch buddy for many. I’m sure there are people who thought Ted Bundy was nice to them.
When someone is being physically or emotionally abused by another, whether or not they’re nice to you is irrelevant.
One of the tactics of a bully is to rally people around their cause and convince them that the victim is a really bad person who deserves it. When people participate, often without realizing the full extent of the bullying, they’re just as guilty.
If someone comes to you for help because they’re being treated poorly by another, even if that other is your friend, do your diligence, your research, and find out if it’s true. If so, do what you can to help.
To stand by and ignore poor behavior because you’re not the one threatened is to give your tacit approval. And a cowardly thing to do.