Arm yourself with tools to fight bullies
THE serious matter of bullying is an ongoing topic in the news - stories about those in school yards, work places and online who are victims of ongoing attacks of physical assault, verbal threats, teasing, destroying others property, or sending and posting inappropriate comments or images online.
It is a problem that's probably been around in some form for as long as man has walked on Earth.
Sadly humans have for thousands of years targeted victims for their perceived differences, be it culture, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, personality, ability or disability, religion, physical appearance, age or economic status.
At least we are talking about it and putting the topic on the table.
But even though it shouldn't be tolerated I'm not convinced it is something we can easily fully eradicate from our society.
Generally those who bully others do it because they; like having power over others; want to be popular; are trying to get attention; assume that bullying is acceptable; or see it as a way of communicating their own feelings of fear, anxiety or jealousy.
How do you change the actions of a bully? You can't.
What we can do is to build resilience in ourselves so when faced with bullying, we are armed with the necessary tools to fight back.
I recently came across a video where author and speaker Brooks Gibbs explains bullying and how best to tackle the tormentor. Dominance behaviour as he calls it, can be dealt with by building emotional resilience. It's about protecting emotions from the effects of bullying behaviours.
We all deal with difficult events such as being bullied in different ways. We interpret, react, respond and adapt differently to situations.
We can't stop negative or stressful things from occurring. There's always going to be ups and downs but we can strengthen our capacity to deal with problems that occur.
A bully's goal is to take away power. They look for a reaction from their target.
Bullies often lose interest if they aren't given the satisfaction of getting one.
Those being bullied constantly express their feelings of being scared, left out, lonely, sad, depressed and confused. Their self-esteem is low, they don't want to go to school or work, and they become withdrawn and struggle with life in general.
To avoid this, individuals need to be empowered to give them a better chance to stop the bully. Victims need to stand up and say enough.
Easy to say - but not always easy to put into practice.
From a young age, children need to be given practical help and ideas on how to beat the bully, in hope one day the word bully can be erased from the headlines. Everyone deserves to feel safe.