I just watched Taylor Swift’s Mean and it makes me think of what the Introverted Thinker says about high school fights. I asked if she sees a lot of bullying.
“Oh, mom, mostly it’s not bullying. Mostly it’s misunderstanding.”
She said that mostly the fights are mistakes. “Mom, one girl isn’t really thinking and she says something as she’s leaving. She is not even trying to hurt the other person. But she says something that is not thoughtful or can be taken wrong.
Then the other girl thinks about it and gets all upset. She talks to her friends and then snubs the first girl. The first girl doesn’t remember the comment and has no idea that it has hurt anyone. She doesn’t know what the fight is about, so she feels attacked out of the blue by the second girl and her friends.
It’s silly and it’s usually a misunderstanding. The first girl made a dumb or thoughtless or confusing comment. It gets taken wrong and then it all escalates from there.”
It is hard to go back to a person who made a comment that feels really hurtful and ask: what did you mean when you said this? There is bullying and meanness as well. But my daughter thinks that it’s mostly not deliberate or thoughtless cruelty: mostly it’s thoughtless comments.