The anatomy of a BULLY, from my point of view.
A) There are no parameters as to sex, age, intelligence, educational status, economic means, or place of living.
B) All Bully’s have one thing in common: Relationship issues.
C) From the Bully’s point of view, the Bully is “owed.” Someone or everyone has to make up for the LOSS that the Bully feels is owed him or her.
D) A Bully lives in fear. Fear of not being able to control well enough to get his/her needs met; Fear of anyone finding out that the Bully lives in fear.
E) Bully’s come in two forms: verbal and physical. Sometimes these forms are a mixture, and sometimes not. (Our society recognizes the term “Bully” as usually someone who is physically forceful; while we tend to ignore the vast damage a verbal Bully can inflict.)
That about does it. When a person steps into the role of being a Bully, that person is essentially saying: “I no longer will extend compassion or empathy to others; my needs of satisfying my need for power over others forgoes my link to my own feeling good about caring for others.”
We see Bully’s at the age of four. We see Bully’s as elderly who have not been able to take the steps back into humanity, which require a strength of being able face self-worth and fear.
We all have the ability to be a Bully. Most of us make the decision to embrace compassion and empathy rather than assert self-power. The vast majority of us have moments that we slip into that mind-set of wishing, for just a moment, to be a Bully. to have power over someone else. And then we “right” ourselves and pull back from the brink.
To parents: if your child seems to be showing the signs of being a Bully, do not remain silent and hope for the best.
First: look at your own behaviors–do they exude those actions that demonstrate caring, compassion, empathy towards loved ones and others?
Second: Let your child know that you are aware that he or she is struggling with making responsible and respectful decisions (see Refrigerator Rules). Provide thoughtful consequences if your child is not respectful or responsible. Reward (this can be with words or even a smiling affirmation) when your child is caring, compassionate or kind.
Third: As a family, look for ways to provide kindness and equality to others, especially to people who you do not know or that provide you with challenges.
Fourth: Find as a family ways to quietly affirm your belief in helping others with a sense of equality for all.
Fifth: Have discussions on how to understand and react to Bully’s. I will write another post on this subject, but for now, I like Barbara Coloroso’s work. There are others, of course. But she is an excellent place to start.
Be gentle with yourself and your family, and do continue to be responsible in making our world a better place.