“Seniors Bullying Seniors” Workshop



The “Old Boys Club”, and the “Popular Girls” are alive and well, though decades older. Time and again I have found that as we get older, our attitudes and opinions regarding somethings may change, yet what doesn’t change are behaviors we learned as children that have served us well through the years but are now a detriment to ourselves and those around us. Aggression is just such behavior. As children we learned either from our parents or siblings that in order to get our way, we could throw a temper tantrum, or become angry, or physical. When you are angry, people tend to do what you demand in order to diffuse the tense situation. Just because we are 80 years old does not mean we suddenly become nice people, especially if we were nasty bullies our whole lives.

In this workshop we examine what bullying and cyberbullying is, how it makes you feel, and how it affects others. What can you do to change your approach, and learn to get along with others?

Learning Objective:

The three main types of bullying are:

-physical…pushing, punching, kicking, stealing, damaging property
-verbal…words, threats, lying, falsely accusing
-psychological…getting into someone’s head, saving seats at a table for “no one”

Words are weapons

-Words can hurt
-Words can kill
-Choose our words carefully
-The same words can mean different things to different people

What does bullying look like

-criticizing or ridiculing others…
-clothing, social status, religion, sexuality, money
-insults or belittling jokes
-whispering when the target enters the room
-Invading personal space
-making fun of physical/psychological disabilities
-offensive gestures/facial expressions

Effects of Bullying

-withdrawn, depression, anxiety, low self-esteem, physical/emotional pain
-anger, annoyance, fear, retaliation, isolation

Bully types

-Vengeful Angel
-goes to their room after being bullied and becomes a cyberbully to get even
-The Power Hungry
-Bullying is about power, they like to brag, listen and report to supervisor
-The Mean Girls
-Even though older, nasty people won’t change if they haven’t learned different

Don’t be a bystander

-85% of all bullying occurs in front of others
-If you see it, report it immediately
-If strong enough, gather a group, and stand up to the bullying on the spot.
-“Stop right now, Agnes. That’s incredibly mean, and we won’t stand for that here.”

Tips for the residents

-Have clear rules about bullying including definitions, reporting, investigations, and results
-Have ongoing monthly resident meetings about bullying
-Establish an Anti-bullying committee to deal with any complaints that come in.
-Constantly evaluate and poll the residents to see if changes should be made to any policies

Tips for the bullied

-Make notes of the incident including who said what, where, when, and who saw or heard it
-Tell a friend
-Inform your board
-Don’t reply to a bully or retaliate
-Report all threats to the police, board, and committee
-Ignore the behavior or share the actions without anger or emotions
-Maintain eye contact with the bully and stand firm and strong. No signs of weakness
-Try to figure out what is causing their bad behavior

Tips for the bully

-Ask yourself…
-Am I breaking the law? Harassment, Assault, Threats?
-How does this action reflect on me? What does this make me look like with others?
-Talk to a professional counsellor to learn why you are acting mean? What’s behind it?
-A counsellor can teach you better ways to get your needs met, or express anger or depression
-Know that you will be held accountable

Bullying is a crime

-Threats, Assault, Harassment are crimes in Canada
-Anyone 12 years of age and older (ALL OF YOU) can be…
-arrested charged, and go to jail for committing the above offences