Bullying Pt 6 – Do we really want to get rid of Bullying?

So everyone is against bullying, and there are loads of people saying that we need to get rid of it.

But is that really true?

For one thing, it’s impossible, bullying has always has been, and always will be part of human nature.  So anyone attempting to remove it totally, is just wasting time and effort.  (That doesn’t mean we can’t change where it is, or how it happens!).

 

But for another thing, where would we really be without it?

Ignore the fact that it’s painful to be on the receiving end of it for a moment (I’ve experienced enough of it, to know exactly how you feel about it).

But think about it pragmatically.  Did you need to learn to stand up for yourself?  Or did it make you study more, because you weren’t going out partying with the cool kids?  Or did it mean you got a pile of friends who weren’t as cool, but really nice?

There are kids who are terribly traumatised by the fact that they were being bullied at school, and I am not in any way under-estimating how they feel.  I’m just suggesting, that telling them that they are a victim of bullying will make them even more unhappy and disempowered.  Whereas looking for who is not bullying them, and who loves them, and what they are gaining from the bullying, will lead them to understand life, and come out of it strong and empowered.

Yes, it is heart-wrenching to see your child unhappy.  But, its our job to give them the tools to stand up and be counted, and take the control of their life, rather than be controlled by it.

Note: All kids are different, so what they get out of bullying will be different.  Unless you really know a child’s situation fully, it can be difficult to see why it would help them to be bullied, so try not to jump to conclusions, and be open minded.

Bullying Pt 5 – Is there too much Like in your life?

So this post follows on from the previous one about the fact that only 50% of the world likes you at any one time!

I was attempting to look at my life as a child, bullied from the moment I entered school at 4.5, right up to when I left after A levels.

My mother was clearly over-involved in my life, and my father was hardly around, especially when I was younger and he wasn’t getting in until way after my bed time.

However, it’s not like I was spoilt, as both had considerable health issues and alcohol problems as well.  So when I was looking at the balance of support and challenge, I wasn’t so sure it explained howcome I was bullied at school.

Aha, but then the penny dropped.  Because my parents were very much older than was ‘normal’ then, I didn’t get much chance to play with kids my own age until I went to school, so I lacked social skills and hadn’t been taught the tougher social skills of dealing with people being nasty.

Plus I was very ‘responsible’ as a young carer.  So when adults or teachers came across me, they thought I was adorable, all curly haired, smiley and polite.

Therefore, when you look at the balance of the fact that not everyone in life is going to love you, it was pretty much a sure thing that I would be bullied at school.  In fact I remember that only 1 teacher in my whole school time disliked me, which was when I was doing my A levels.

Of course, because I was bullied from so early on, I gradually took on the persona of a wimp as well.  Which also attracts bullying, because it is attempting to help you to stand up for yourself, which I totally needed to do both at home and at school – I was always thinking of other people too much.

Also, although to me it felt that I was bullied ‘all the time’, actually it wasn’t all the time, and many of the kids that bullied me, would now remember being friends with me and being fond of me.  For them it would have just been every now and again that they succumbed to social pressures to have a go at me.

So this is why those ‘sunny’ little children get bullied at school.  The bullies are an extreme challenge, to balance out all the fact that everyone else thinks of them as so wonderful and to teach them how to deal with nasty people and grow a tougher skin.  (I was just a bit of a slow learner when it came to that!).

Bullying Pt 4 – We Can’t Be Liked By Everyone

Lots of us are very driven by what people outside of us think, and so it is important to us that we are liked.

Other people are totally aware of their own value, and therefore only worry about what they think about themselves.

The ideal is a bit of both, because the internally focussed people can lack social skills, and the externally focussed people can become paranoid and deeply upset when people don’t like them.

 

The problem for us people who care about what the world thinks, is that it is NOT possible for the whole world to like us.  Think of people like Robbie Williams, tormented by the critics, because he wants everyone to love him.  An extreme example is people who don’t understand that we can love multiple people, so they manipulate in order to attempt to be ‘the most loved’.  So we are attempting to have something which is impossible, hence it’s likely to make us very stressed!

 

My little boy said to me the other day ‘but not everyone loves me like you do’, bless him.  He is very concerned by the inconsistency of his friends and that not everyone loves him.  So it is my task over the coming weeks to point out to him that somedays he doesn’t like kids either, and that it can be great for them, because it gives them a chance to play with other kids.  Plus, that when kids/people do like him, it really suits him that those particular people do, versus other people who could have done.  For example, it might give him a chance to play with one of the little boys, rather than get more bruises from playing with the boys who are a year older than him all the time.  So life isn’t boring, it’s different and varied.  Plus if one of the kids doesn’t like you, it means that others will, because you are connected by the fact that they aren’t liked by them either.

 

So, to set your child’s expectations reasonably, there are a couple of options.

1) For 50% of the world to ADORE you and 50% of the world to really DISLIKE you

2) Or for 50% of the world to be flexible and like bits of you and not other bits, with only 25% ADORING/DISLIKING you.  (you’ll find that the flexible people will then like & dislike opposite bits, so it is still 50/50 for like/dislike in your life).

 

We’ll all face both situations in our life in the different places, neighbours, friends, families, work, clients, customers etc and when you get your head around it, there is a great deal of comfort in knowing that at any point in time only 50% of the world will be disliking you.

Not ALL people, just half of them.

So you are always going to be liked by half the people you meet!  That’s great.  That’s loads of people!