BULLYING FROM CHILDHOOD TO ADULTHOOD
The schoolyard, or the workplace, can be playgrounds where personalities vie for attention, vie for supremacy. Minefields that make you step warily, holding onto weak structures that blow up in your face. Sabotage. Pushing. Exclusion. Office politics. All the stuff that makes you dread going to school or work. All the stuff that makes you tense and fearful. All the stuff that weakens you and stops you from attaining your best self. What’s the solution?
TEACH YOUR CHILD
Parents it’s not enough to teach your child how to tie their shoelaces. It’s not enough to teach them courtesy and how not to rock the boat. It’s your responsibility as a parent to teach them to be strong in character, to be streetwise and not to assume that everyone has their back. Teach them wisdom without fear. Teach them love with boundaries. Teach them hope with realism. Teach them to paint their own masterpiece with positivity, a masterpiece that is true and vibrant and not a copy
Our parenting skills will be based on our own experiences, our personalities. We can raise bullies, or we can raise well balanced people. Is it that simple? Of course not. We choose to have children so why not give them the best chances possible to negotiate life’s pitfalls. Check out Dr Phil’s books; Real Life, Life Code and Life’s Strategies, and John M. Gottman’s Raising an Emotionally Intelligent Child. There is a vast choice of parenting guides and books.
LEARN HOW TO PARENT
We practise how to write when we start school. We learn how to spell. We learn how to read. We go to art classes to learn how to paint a beautiful picture and then neglect the most important masterpiece we will ever hold in our hands, our children. We fall at the first hurdle by not learning how to parent. Harsh, but true, and the only time parenting classes are invoked either by social workers or the courts is when the damage has been done. Let’s be real here!
I have news for you. These policies are only fancy wallpaper to cover the cracks. They are only there to protect the principals, the big bosses. Don’t rely on help from any of those sources. The only person who can help you is Yourself.
EASY TO SAY
Sure, it’s very easy to say, ‘stand up for yourself,’ but beware. When you do that you are the one accused, the one who’s considered troublesome. So, what’s the solution? Do you keep your head down and try to avoid the missiles? Do you smile and not retaliate? Do you walk the other way and take a different route? All options. Can you be strong? Can you smile and not moan at life’s unfairness? Can you put aside the fear and build a strong fortress around you, one filled with positivity? Yes! Yes! Yes! Turn your fear around and make it work for You!
You’re in the jungle. You see a man-eating tiger walking towards you. Do you walk towards it and stroke it? Do you freeze on the spot and wait for it to gobble you up? Risky! Do you run as fast as you can and climb the nearest tree for safety? How fast can you run? ‘Not very,’ you say? Whoa! Stop there. Train! Use the skills you inherently have. Ensure the walls of your personal fortress are unbreakable.
SELF TALK AND MESSAGE TO ALL
So, you think they’re talking about you? Get over yourself. Egotist! You have such a high opinion of yourself you don’t need my help or anyone else’s. Oh, you’re afraid you’ll get a bad reputation for being sarky, sassy, a biatch, a pain the proverbial. Anything else? You may as well go the whole hog now you’re started.
YOU’RE WORTH TALKING ABOUT
Here’s a few facts of life. If they’re talking about YOU, you’re obviously worth talking about, so drop the self pity. If they’re talking about you, you must be doing something right. If they’re talking about you, chances are they’re just green with envy, plain old jealousy, as old as the hills like themselves and just as craggy. If they’re talking about YOU, you gotta believe you stand out from the crowd and you don’t fit into that group because you are your own person, self-reliant and true to yourself.
YOU WANT TO FIT IN
You want to fit in? Are you nuts? Since when did you become such a creep? Get over yourself. Look at them in a huddle, faces pinched, thin-lipped spewing out crap about everyone and anything. Here you come, a glorious beast, a lioness, stalking your prey. Can you see their body language? Fear! Oh, all you see is a group of beautiful people, proud and defiant. Open your eyes! Can’t you see that’s just a cover up for how shitty they feel inside, their lack of confidence?
STRUT YOUR STUFF
Go on! Strut your stuff. You are beautiful and strong. You are the Queen of the jungle. You are the lioness of all lioness’. They see you coming, and they huddle together even closer. What do you do? Growl? Pounce? No! You don’t. Instead, you wave at them and squeak! You shame yourself and me. Strength! Self belief! Think about who’s more important, them or you!
Don’t waste your time on people who are toxic. Yes, toxic! They are not there to support you, love you, or even like you. They get their kicks from disrespecting people. They get their kicks from being part of what they perceive is the ‘in crowd.’ They see themselves as superior to everyone around them. They offer fake smiles and fake support to gain your confidence and then destroy your reputation in any way they can. Beware! Rather be friendless than kicked in the gut.
YOU ARE UNIQUE
What are your strengths? What are your goals and aspirations? Of course, you have them. Don’t be a ninny. This is not about self-praise. It’s about the REAL YOU, the UNIQUE person you truly are. Stop looking around at what you perceive is true. It’s not. Stop longing for friendships just for the sake of it, longing for popularity. Focus on yourself. It might take time, but so what? Time is not your enemy. It’s a gift to yourself. Allow yourself to grow and develop and mature into that beautiful swan. You will attract much more goodness into your life. It might take time, but rather use that time in a positive fashion than waste it on trivialities.