Bully! And, I don’t mean the British kind.
Bullying. An issue that is worldwide and not gender or species specific. I’ve seen footage of killer whales playing “kick ball” with a baby seal, chickens imposing their “pecking order” and monkeys bullying a lower ranking member of their troop.
Bullying at some point, may have affected all of us. I was lucky enough to have been bullied (to the point where I thought I might be beaten up) once. It was over a note that was passed in high school and a misleading bit of information. It all started when my friend, who will remain anonymous, Jenn… I mean, Gertrude, and I were passing notes in class (getting the most out of our public education) and she was saying how she thought “Scott” was soooo cute. Now, I’m not exactly sure how… but, the girlfriend of Scott intercepted this note and my ‘friend’ told her that I was the one who thought ‘Scott’ was cute. I remember understanding that her fear was insecurity based, not to mention, that she ran with a group much different from my own, AND I was a bit afraid of their group. They would corner me in the stairwell, shove me into my locker, and generally threaten me on a daily basis. This was a loooong time ago, long enough that I should not remember all those details, but, it left an impression. A couple actually (and no, in case you are wondering… none of them permanent). But, the one thing that had really scared me the most, was that they really didn’t care what the truth was… they enjoyed bullying me.
Why do people bully? Maybe understanding the “why” of it can assist in knowing how to deal with it properly. I think we’ve seen all too often when a gang of people bully and terrorize someone for something they may not understand. Because they were “told” to do this by another? Because they fear being “bullied” and outcasts themselves? Because they need that validation that badly? Maybe because they like to pick on others… who knows.
We are seeing on youtube and other places about bullies taking it to the point where a suicide is committed. Or, where the bullied turn and end up bringing weapons to the school to do a little intimidating (or worse) of their own. So, what is the answer?
I’ve posed this question on my facebook account: Looking for a few creative / non-violent way of dealing with bullies. So far, I’ve received a reply about using tennis balls and duct tape and another stating that they prefer to do the bullying with psychological, intimidation, etc. lol Now, I just need one that suggests wearing a Jason mask and wielding an axe and my list will be complete.
I’ve seen little blurbs on using humor to deal with bullying and also to ignore it. Ignore someone picking on you? In theory, that is a really great suggestion, however, in the real world, you just want to kick that person’s ass. So… I thought I would do a search on the internet to see what suggestions it has for dealing with bullying. Here are just a few suggestions and links from friends, the web and my own experience:
- One of my most trusted friends says to enroll your child (or self) in a martial arts class. I think this can be excellent especially if the person who is being bullied struggles with self-esteem and confidence. Martial arts teach children and adults about control, about body awareness, and using your mind instead of emotions.
- For my own children, I think seeing that the world is full of people outside of the 100 or so in their class is another way to help deal with this. I have signed up my son (and I) for volunteer work in a serving kitchen once a week. It may not help with being bullied, but, it will broaden his horizons and put him in touch with dealing with people who are more interested in the “greater good” than what his hair looks like that day.
- This article at kidpower.com has a lot of great advice on how to handle yourself and bullying situations: http://www.kidpower.org/resources/articles/safety-tips-bullying.html has lots of great information on how to deal with bullying.
- When I was in my 20’s I took kickboxing (real kickboxing… not cardio kickboxing). I worked one on one with a martial arts teacher for over a year. One of the best lessons I learned from him was to stand up tall. Walk with confidence and don’t show fear even when I felt it. I honestly, think that advice alone may have saved me a few times when I was alone in vulnerable situations. So, whenever you are feeling scared or insecure in yourself… sit or stand up, pull your shoulders back and look straight ahead. Bullies are going to be less inclined to pick on someone who looks confident than someone who’s shoulders are hunched over and their head is down.
- Get help. Call a teacher or a friend (although we are all tempted to call our hot-headed friend who we know will do some serious arse kicking… refrain) 😉
- This article here on how to “Deal with Bullying at School” at wikihow is good too: http://www.wikihow.com/Deal-With-School-Bullies
Lastly, at least for right now, with all of the cyber bullying that goes on it is easier to block those people, report them, or avoid them. Don’t give bullies full-time access to your life or the lives of your children.
We all may know someone or have someone in our life that enjoys getting their little “digs” in. Putting you down in a way to make themselves feel better only you can decide if that is the kind of relationship you want in your life OR, if you are the antagonist… are you the villain in your own story?
The whole point of this blog, is to try to make our lives a little better a week at a time. Some of it will stick and some of it we will be happy to abandon (like the week without sugar) 🙂
Hopefully, the links here will help you or someone you know who is dealing with bullying. Never hesitate to share your constructive thoughts 🙂
Your Challenge: This week, make yourself aware of any bullying going on in your life, a friend’s or your children’s and implement one or two of the suggestions above and don’t forget to check out the links… great source of information there.