Therapists used to say to clients, “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?”
If it is truly bullying and you are being hurt or threatened you need to tell someone who can stop it, or call the police right away. If you are at a school, tell a teacher, school counselor, or principal. If you are not, just call the police if someone threatens you, or hurts you!
4. Bullying Prevention Tip Number Four: The Pecking Order is Alive and Well in Human Behavior:
The pecking order viewed in chickens living in a hen house is alive and well within us today. It is part of the “animal planet” we live in. Like it or not, humans are animals even though we are on the top of the food chain. We see animals with bully behavior both in the wild and in human society.
We also see animals who become “victims”. If you don't belive me go do some research with a field of cows, or horses. Go and watch the birds, squirrels, deer, even your own dog. One of the greatest area of study is "Behavior Science".
I have learned so much as a therapist from this area of study and highly recommend you pick up a book on it if you are interested. I suggest "Behavior Science for Dummies" if you are just beginning to study this field of study.
Why do some become the “aggressive bully”, and some become the “victim”? There are many variables to each situation.
Yet, I can tell you that if you have a chicken that is being picked on by one flock of chickens, then you move that picked on chicken to another flock of chickens in a completely different setting and place, that chicken will still be picked on.
That is because that one picked on chicken has adapted body language that says, “I am a victim, pick on me!” The same is true with children at a school.
You the parent can change your child’s school, but they will most likely take the same “victim mentality” to the next school and have the same problems.
It does not matter if the school is a public school or private religious school. Bullying is everywhere. It is not going away.
We can try our best to stop it as administrators, counselors, teachers and parents. But we can’t control what unhappy children, or unhappy adults for that matter, do.
Unhappy people will always try to hurt others, or they can turn it inward and hurt themselves. Until we can change all of these tradey in the world, we will never stop mean teasing, or bullying.
So, we need to learn how to deal with it and teach our children how to deal with it. This is an ongoing lesson in life. I am still learning every day how to deal with people who are mean teasers or bullies. Each situation requires a different “treatment plan”.
It can be quite challenging to come up with new "treatment plans". But, if you can do this you will have higher self esteem and learn that you can handle people in almost every situation. Try it and you will grow from doing this.
5. Bullying Prevention Tip Number Five: Bullies are Unhappy People!
Don't forget that adults deal with bullies too! Unhappy children grow up to become unhappy adults, unless they get help. These unhappy adults go out in the world and get married, have children, get jobs.
Unhappy adults often spend a lot of their time bullying others. As an adult you will run into these adult bullies. Stats show that one out of every seven people you meet will be mean to you, or bully you in some way.
Sometimes, bullying is due to something therapists call “transference” and the person doing the mean teasing, or bullying, does not even realize it.
"Transference" is a subconscious response that the “bully” might not even acknowledge on the conscious level. For instance, maybe you remind the “bully” of a mean teacher in the past.
You might look like that teacher, or have a body language that pulls the “bully”back to that time and place. It will be automatic “dislike” for this bully.
You won’t know that, and the bully won’t know that "transference" has just happened. You will think someone is being mean to you and bullying you (Yes, they probably are) and the bully will not like you and won't understand why.
6. Bullying Prevention Tip Number Six / Accept the fact that not everyone will like you and you will not like "everyone" either:
This leads me to the fact that, “Not Everyone Will Like You”. We are human and naturally we want to be liked by other humans (Most of the time.).
But, not everyone will like you, and you won't like everyone. Some people might even hate you. But, don’t let that be your problem. It is their problem, not yours, and you can’t do therapy on that person to see why they might not like you. It could be conscious, or unconscious.
Most of the time it is based on jealousy. I see that a lot with my students and clients. That person wants something you have (conscious or unconscious again), or you remind the person of someone they don’t like (again conscious or unconscious).
So you see, you have no control over the situation. You can’t make people do things they don’t want to do. You have to take yourself out of the situation. Don't put your energy into it. It is not worth it.
See Bully Prevention Tip Number Seven for something you can do.
7. Bully Prevention Tip Number Seven: Set Boundaries! People are often afraid to set boundaries. Start to set small boundaries and build up to bigger ones in the future.
Boundaries are “Little, or Big Fences”. Think of yourself as a house. You have a fence with a gate. This fence can be any size you like.
You need to learn to lay down that fence when someone picks on you. Your fence should say to the bully, “NO, You can’t cross this fence! I won’t allow it!"
Bullying Coping Skills are fences (a.k.a. boundaries). You have to be creative to find one that works in a particular situation and with a particular bully.
Start practicing on the little mean teasers and build up to the bully. It takes a lot of practice. You have to use your body language, eye contact, voice, etc.
This is called “emotional intelligence” folks. Using your fists, or bullying back makes you a bully too! Don't teach your child to be a bully by hitting back!
8. Bullying Prevention Tip Number Eight / Don’t Just Walk Away and Don't Ignore The Mean Teaser / Bully:
Okay, you can try walking away and ignoring a bully, or mean teaser, once or twice, but I bet it won’t work! Ignoring and walking away tells the bully / mean teaser that you are giving in.
It says you are a “victim”. You have to use a bully prevention coping skill and lay down a fence (boundary). Often, you can use humor, or body language. But you have to do something.
When you learn how to use coping skills you build up your self esteem and you feel really good about yourself. If you bully back, you feel bad about yourself because you just lowered yourself to the bullies level.
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.
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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