Recently, I saw an add in a national magazine about bullying prevention. This add stated that “No one should ever be bullied in their life, ever.
This organization pledged to “stop all bullying in the world”. Well, good luck with that one guys! While you might be thinking this sounds like the right thing to do, it is truly the wrong approach to bullying prevention.
Bullying is here to stay. It will never go away. As long as we have unhappy people in the world we will have bullying. This is a sad but true fact.
What we have to do is teach our children and ourselves how to deal with mean teasing and bullying. We simply must teach our children, or ourselves the “emotional intelligent” way of solving problems with bullies.
We are turning our children and ourselves into victims when we say, “This should never happen to you. Everyone in life has to be nice to you. Life should always be good to you.”
This creates a “victim mentality” because the world will not always be nice to you. When children grow up with the “victim mentality” they can’t handle real life. I sound really mean, right?
Let me tell you more and maybe you will see things in a different way. Read these thoughts on bullying and see if you change your mind:
Top Ten Bullying Prevention Facts and Tips:
1. People who bully are not very happy people. It goes against normal human nature when we bully. You don’t always see what is going on with people who bully.
Counselors usually get to see what is on the inside of bullies. When I pull a student in who has bullied another student I see the inside of that person.
Usually, something is going on at home and the bullies life is in turmoil. Often, the bully is being bullied by a parent, or older sibling at home.
Until all human beings on earth are happy and come from loving and caring homes, mean teasing and bullying will not go away. It is like saying,“There should never be war”, or “murder”, or “crime”.
Yes, I would love to see a world without all of these terrible things, but humans have yet to evolve to this state.
So, I am sorry to say that bullying is a fact of life that you must accept, but you have the power to change it for yourself if you want to.
Bullies usually say and do mean things to you, but their personal inner self talk to themselves is usually a lot worse. Bullies usually do not like themselves.
Sometimes, they are narcissistic and are totally in love with themselves. These people lack empathy for other people. You can’t make a narcissistic person have empathy if they don't want to.
2. I bet you have bullied in your lifetime. Yes, you. I know I have, and yes, I am a counselor. When I was a child I was chubby.
I got picked on and called names from bullies and mean teasers. I learned to “bully back” very early on in life. I said mean things to the bully and the mean teasers.
This morning I drove to work in the dark on an icy mountain road. A car was tailing me and I truly hate this. I pulled over and let the car go in front of me.
Then, I pulled onto the road and I flashed my brights on because I was mad at the car driver for following me on the tail of my car.
To that driver, I could have been considered a “bully on the road”. Stupid, I know. I admit that I was wrong to do that.
So, I have to accept that I have bullied in the past and have done it in the present. I may do it again (in a mild way I hope) in the future.
But I accept that I am far from perfect. I am human. Do you acknowledge and accept your imperfections?
3. Are people bullying you, or just being mean to you? Are you exaggerating? When you blow things out of proportion it makes you look silly.
Bullying is when someone hits you or hurts you with physical violence, mental abuse is ongoing, or threatens you in some way.
Having someone say to you, “I am not going to be your friend”, or “I don’t like your haircut” is a mean tease, not bullying.
We used to say to students, “If someone thinks you are bullying them, then in their eyes, you are a bully.” Now we are saying, “Is this really bullying, or is it a mean tease?” We are now trying to teach the differences to students, clients, and adults.
If it is bullying you need to tell a trusted adult, or call for help. If it is a mean tease you need to use a positive coping skill and stand up for yourself.
Disclaimer: This website and its content is intended for trained licensed mental health professionals and school certified mental health professionals to use for their clients / students at their own discretion.
*If you ignore the disclaimer above are using these techniques on yourself and you feel any discomfort or upset it is highly suggested that you seek out a licensed mental health professional immediately.
"Beyond Art Therapy" is the concept from Dr. Stangline that combines all creative fields in therapy. It is not the traditional "art therapy" but goes beyond to include sand tray therapy, play therapy, mindfulness, meditation, color therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy, and a vast majority of other therapies.
For any other type of mental health emergency call your local 911 / Police Number immediately.
Dr. Stangline does not offer advice / suggestions to anyone who is not a professional mental health provider, or a student who is studying this field and has questions about mental health programs of study.
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