BULLYING

DEFINITION

Bullying

The act of intimidating a weaker person to make them do something

Discourage or frighten with threats or a domineering manner; intimidate

We’ve all known one, I’m sure, but have you ever been one? Are you one now, and would you recognise if you were one? Such difficult questions, right at the beginning of the discussion!

So how do you spot a bully? You may instantly recognise him from school. The stereotypical large framed older male, usually not very bright, he uses his size to push weaker, smaller people around, generally intimidating everyone who crosses his path. Never charming, always aggressive. Sound familiar?

But as he gets older other people get bigger too, and he may lose his size advantage.

Usually he is distinctly lacking in social skills. That was easy, wasn’t it!

So how do you spot the next bully, the office bully, who bullies his work colleagues or subordinates? Or the next bully, the charmer, who bullies his wife when he gets home?

Unfortunately these characters are everywhere; who knows, you may even be one.

So what causes people to want to intimidate others? Namely, because they can. A bully will never pick on someone larger than him, that would defeat the object of being a bully, and he may get a nasty surprise. He will always pick on someone physically weaker, like a female or a smaller male than himself, or at work, someone in an inferior position. The bully also targets emotionally weaker individuals like females (although not exclusively, and remember there are female bullies). They will use hurtful language and physical threats, which may become real at some point. Your average bully is a thoroughly unpleasant individual. If that’s you, have a good think about the way I described you. How do you feel?

You may have been bullied as a child, and maybe you are trying to get your own back on the people that bullied you.

Bullying makes life hell for those on the receiving end, especially if the perpetrator is a close family member you love.

How many women suffer at the hands of a man who pretends he loves them, but takes out his frustration on them when he gets home?

You, the man; you, the bully, who is so weak inside, you have to hurt others with your vicious words and your hands that leave a mark for all to see.

“Why do women stay with men like that?” people ask. “Why doesn’t she just leave him?” “Why doesn’t she go to the police?” Of course, bullied women have thought about the same things countless times, but to a wife, who may also be a mother, there are a whole range of issues to think about. She isn’t just thinking about herself, and that is the saddest part of all. “Where would I go? Would people think badly of me for leaving my husband? Would people judge me and think it was all my fault; that somehow I had driven him to it?” At this point we need to STOP.

The only person to blame is the bully – whatever the reason (Sorry I’m under a lot of pressure, it won’t happen again etc). The bully is to blame. He must seek to develop awareness of himself in action, if the relationship is to continue. The same goes for the office bully, and the school bully.

For the victims it is mental torture, being afraid in case they say, or do something to you. Unfortunately, once you start with the “please don’t,” or “please stop,” they seem to take that as a signal to go ahead and intimidate you more. The more you show weakness, the stronger they become. They feed on your fear.

Be still, be silent. See through the fear that is draining you of all of your energy and stand tall. Never engage a bully verbally. Use the power of silence against him.

This may sound like an impossible task for you who has been the victim for so long. Use their power and anger against them, it is the only way. Reflect it back, not by using any magical force field, but by standing calmly. Breathe deeply through the nose. One, breathe in – taking in strength. Two, breathe out – releasing fear.

Always remember the power of the breath to still the mind and calm the body (yogis have been doing this for thousands of years). Feel the power to look into his eyes even if he raises his fist against you. “You cannot hurt me.”

Not a stare of defiance but one of inner strength. The second step forward is to offer him your compassion. Ultimately, the man who hurts others, is the one who needs our help. We don’t feel sorry for him, we feel compassion (the humane quality of understanding the suffering of others and wanting to do something about it).

I know this sounds crazy to you, because you are thinking “Wait, I am the one who is suffering;” But without wanting to help them, they will continue to hurt you. The third step is the most difficult of all. But to leave whatever situation you are in is the only way forward for you, and for them.

There is no time for talking about reconciliation; bullying is torture and you wouldn’t stay with a torturer until he worked out his problems, would you? If anyone asks you why you are leaving, you must tell them it is because you are being bullied.

You must regain your inner strength. I guarantee that as soon as you leave the situation, you will feel better. If it is a loved one you are leaving, remind yourself why.

Do not listen to their cries of “Please stay, I’ll change I really love you…”

You have done more than enough for them. You must be strong and silent.

They need to become aware of themselves and their actions, but not whilst you are still there, as they would be liable to carry on where they left off.

The key to disarming a bully, however strong he is physically, is to treat him with silence.

The more silent you are, the stronger you become; language is his weapon, let silence be yours.

It is time to talk to the bully inside…

So who are you really? You who intimidates others. Are you powerful? Do you feel strong when you make people feel afraid, does it make you more of a man? Will people show you more respect? In a strange way, you are just like a criminal who intimidates weaker people to get what he wants; using threats of physical violence, and using threatening words. You are no better than a common criminal, and you should be treated as such – no mitigating factors allowed. Whether you are still at school, in the workplace, or in the home, you deserve no respect from anyone. You have earned nothing but their contempt. You should be denied all access to those you intimidate, much like a criminal is segregated from the public. Just answer me one thing: “Do you really feel you have earned the right to hurt people?”

Who gave you that right? Your father? Did he bully people too? Are you just imitating him, or are you really that weak that you have to hurt others? Soon we will find out. You probably don’t want to stop; you probably wouldn’t know where to stop, but I know when to stop, and that is Right Now.

Right now, you are aware you are a bully, that you hurt people, even when you try not to. Somehow something deep inside makes you want to hurt people. But it is you that is hurting inside, isn’t it? No one will listen to your pain, and you have to let people know, don’t you? You want them to feel what you are feeling, don’t you? But that’s not the way to do it. You need to become aware of what you are feeling right now. You need to tell yourself: “I can heal. I want to heal. I want to be whole. I want to feel love. I do not want to hurt any more.” And in this moment, you are love. You have opened yourself up to the world; you have unlocked the prison of your mind, and let love in.

You can heal, but first you have to do something very brave. You have to face your victims – maybe not in reality at first, but visualise them in your mind. Now apologise to them. Do not ask for their forgiveness; ask for their compassion instead. You may not be able to do this on your own, so please get someone to help you, whether it be a doctor or a therapist. You need help.

You can help yourself, but the most important thing is to heal the violence and anger that is raging through your body, and to build up your own self-esteem, so you can start to deal with people, without needing to control or dominate them.

Everyone is on this earth together, and everyone deserves to be left to carry on his or her life without fear of intimidation from others.

Bullying is real, and of course, you can report it to the police. You may choose to take the person to court, where they may be convicted, and they may go to jail, or receive a fine, but like all violent people who are merely locked up, they will not be healed when they come out into society again.

As compassionate human beings, do we not need to recognise that people need help, and offer it to them in order to protect others in the future?

This may be hard for you to decide, so I ask you to think about it carefully in case this situation ever arises, or you are in the middle of this situation right now.

The bullying of partners (especially females) is more rightly called domestic violence (violence in the home), and often, when the police are eventually called, the man has convinced the partner to say nothing was happening (under more threats of course), and will play the part of the lying charmer to the police, who will probably do nothing. You will be back where you started.

Violence is sickening to most of us in the world. It is not a part of being human. You do not have to put up with it.

Up to now we have been really talking about two adults, whether in a work situation, or at home, where the victim could walk out at any time. When you’re a child you can’t.

Even if you have a little bit of money, where would you go? The world is a scary place. Who would believe you? If you went to the police wouldn’t they just take you back home? Your father or mother, who were abusing you would make up some lies and you would be released back into their “care.” It is an almost impossible situation as a child or adolescent. So what do you do? You just lie back and take it, vowing to (a) take revenge on your parents when you get older and (b) take out your hurt and anger on someone weaker than you – maybe even your own child. It is an unfortunate fact, that children of abusers often become the very person they despised.

There are charities that are starting to help children of abuse, but these are few and far between, and it is hard for children to open up to strangers, especially about things like this. I feel so, so sorry for them. I wish I could do more. I just hope that people get to the children before it’s too late, before they have suffered so much, that they themselves become violence.

Brought into the world, laughing, and smiling, only to be beaten, tortured and mentally abused.

I just have one question for the parents: How can you?

How can you do it to your own child?

The one you created.

The tiny helpless child…

Did you bring him into the world to abuse? To hurt?

I give you my compassion today. But only because I want to help the child.

Transcend violence. Seek help. Find compassion and love which are the only way. Do it now. Do not make people suffer any longer.

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