Tag Archives: bullies

8 Tools to Free Yourself from Bullies and Attract People Who Respect You

Screen Shot 2013-07-05 at 1.19.20 PMHave you ever been bullied? Were you able to respond to the bully in a way that valued YOU?

I grew up with a mother who was a bully. My response was to shut down into a kind of frozen numbness. When I was 12 I started smoking cigarettes and at 16 I started drinking – all to continue the numbing process so as not to feel the pain.

Now, many years of therapy and meditation later, I’ve un-numbed myself, let go of cigarettes and alcohol, and found my true self. Life is filled with love, joy, and inner peace. Along the way, I had to learn how to stand up for myself and speak my truth. It took courage and perseverance, but  I arrived at a place where I can respond to people in-the-moment if they are disrespectful.

I continued to attract bullies until I learned to step into my power, be vulnerable, and state my truth.

Here are my 8 Keys to addressing a bully and giving them an opportunity to apologize. They might apologize, or they might not – I’ve experienced both. Either way, the success is yours, because you have spoken your truth. Your self-confidence builds and eventually, if a bully starts up, you can dismiss them quickly, and easily, without getting upset.

1. Be Emotionally Honest With Yourself.
Are you emotionally honest? Ask yourself: How do I feel when a person is abusive to me? Angry? Hurt? Paralyzed with fear? Numb? The important thing here is to be HONEST WITH YOURSELF about how you feel. This is the primary key to freeing yourself from the prison of victimization.

2. Accept – Don’t Judge Yourself
Keep the focus on yourself, not on the bully. Accept your present moment, whatever it contains. Beware the ego coming in and dismissing your feelings, saying things like: ”It’s no big deal”, “I’m fine” etc. The Ego doesn’t like us being put down so it might try and distract you by focusing on the bully or rationalize you out of your feelings. Stay with your present-moment reality, no matter how uncomfortable (uncomfortable is good because it means you are moving away from  an old habit that doesn’t serve you) – simply allowing things to be as they are, without judging yourself. And have compassion for yourself – you’re doing the best you can with the best conscious awareness you have in the moment.

3. Listen To Your Body
If you don’t know how you feel, your body will tell you. Are you contracted in fear or rage? Is your heart heavy with pain? Or do you just feel numb all over? Whatever is happening, allow it to be so. Your body is your friend. It acts like a shock absorber in stressful situations to help you deal with things. Pay attention because the body gives us warning signals when we are not in harmony and at ease with a person/situation. The more in tune you are with your body, the easier it is to address things early on, before they escalate into something worse.

4. Get Support
Find a friend or a family member you are close to, someone who loves you very much. Tell them what happened. This will bring you some instant relief and the powerful loving support you need to speak up to the bully. Allow yourself to RECEIVE the love of your friend to fill yourself up and build your confidence.

5. Be Willing To Let Go of the Person/Situation
Before you address the bully, spend some time in self-reflection and realize that you might have to walk away from this person, or from this situation. Friends can be helpful here to help you see things clearly. You might not have to let go, but you might. A lot depends on the response of the bully. Do they apologize? Do they “get it”? If not, they are highly likely to bully you again.

6. Speak Your Truth
Speaking your truth means respecting yourself enough to let people know that you deserve respect. Bullies will transform, or leave. Either way, you win!

Best case scenario is to speak to the bully in person, in a calm, courteous, respectful manner, simply stating how you feel about what happened. Bring a friend as a witness and for support. If that is not possible, talk on the phone, your friend standing by. Third best option – send an email or letter. Know this truth: bullies, underneath their aggressiveness, are cowards. In many instances, they are embarrassed you’ve called them out and apologize, which allows the possibility of taking the relationship to a whole new level. If they don’t apologize, see #5!

7. Be Courageous and Allow Yourself To Be Vulnerable
Courage means going into the unknown in spite of all the fears. Courage does not mean fearlessness. Fearlessness happens over time when you go on being more and more courageous. In the beginning, the only difference between a coward and a courageous person is that the coward listens to their fears and follows them; the courageous person puts them aside and goes ahead. The courageous person can say, for example: “What you said hurt me”, in spite of  inner trembling and a constricted throat.

Be willing to be vulnerable, befriend your fears, and remember that this situation is happening for you, not to you. It’s helping you step out of victim into mastery of yourself. It’s helping you expand even more into who you are.

8. Practice Expressive Meditation
Expressive Meditation techniques can help you become more aware of your feelings and be honest with yourself. The Gibberish expressive meditation is great for releasing the charge of  anger, rage, frustration and resentment, and helps you come back to a calm, neutral place of clarity.

You can learn to express your emotions without being emotional.

Expressive techniques for healing grief, sadness, and emotional pain, help with the emotional wounding that can keep you in a victim state. You will experience pain transforming into peace and love.

From personal experience these 8 keys work! By speaking your truth you attract people who treat you with courtesy and respect…. because you are treating YOURSELF with courtesy and respect!

I look forward to your comments.

Watch the Live Hangout on Bullying with Gotham Chopra, Shane Koyczan, and Other Special Guests!

Our third Google+ hangout in the “Aspire to Inspire” series focuses on the crippling effects of bullying. Gotham Chopra is joined by poet Shane Koyczan, whose video for “To This Day” went viral due to it’s honest, heartbreaking prose about the lifetime effects of bullying. Other guests include: Martin Shervington who will offer insight from his experience in psychology and life coaching, Margot Leitman – a comedian who just released her first book “Gawky: Tales of an Extra Long Awkward Phase,” and Kevin Epling, the National Co-Director and Michigan representative for Bully Police USA.

If you haven’t seen the Shane’s poignant viral video, check it out (and have your tissues at the ready):

Subscribe to The Chopra Well and don’t miss our final “Aspire to Inspire” hangout on cancer survival, this Monday!

Be the Anti-Bully: There’s No Such Thing as an Innocent Bystander

In case you haven’t heard, bullying is a hot topic this school year.  It is likely you have already sat through a bullying awareness assembly at school, seen your favorite celeb blog about standing up to bullies, or have read about another tragic teen suicide triggered in part by bullying.  And if you haven’t been a victim of a bully, I’d be willing to bet you have witnessed some of this drama firsthand.

“So what?” you’re probably saying. “It’s not like anyone is actually pro-bully.”

The thing is that it’s not enough just to know the signs of bullying or how to report to your parents or school administrators that you’re being bullied.  As

To be a person of character, to make a difference, to save a life…you have to learn how to be an anti-bully.

When it comes to addressing and ending bullying, it is not just about dealing with the bully and his/her victim.  There is a third person involved who makes the biggest difference of all.  The bystander.

The bystander sees it all. You know what I mean. The bystander witnesses eye rolls, the name calling, the Facebook wall posts and likes, the Formspring messages, and even the more aggressive bullying techniques like physical violence.  But often times the bystander does nothing. After all, were we not taught to mind our own business? Don’t we have our own problems to deal with?

Here is the deal. The bystander is all of us at one point or another.  We have all seen people being treated unjust or victims of mean-girl drama or guy bullying. By not taking a stand for what is right, the bystander becomes a contributor of sorts.

When it comes to bullying, the bystander is not innocent. In fact, anti-bullying bystanders who adopt a “cruel’s not cool” mentality can make the biggest impact of all.  Think about it. If a bully is shamed by his peers for the names he calls his victim at school or if she is chastised for the false rumors she spreads on Facebook about her victim, why would they continue to behave this way?  Removing any social stock that a bully feels they obtain via bullying can go a long way to neutralizing this behavior.

Bystanders stay quiet for a variety of reasons but the ones I hear most often have to do with fear of being ostracized themselves or retaliation from a bully.  The good news is that all of this bullying awareness has caused parents, school administrators, and even the police to start taking bullying much more seriously. Some might even argue that there is liability for authority figures who don’t take bullying reports more seriously.

So if you see something, say something. It will be ok.  As the bystander, you have the power to step in, stand up for what’s right, and maybe even save a life.

Here are five tips about safely reporting what you see: 

  • Recognize that bullying is not just a schoolyard fight. Social drama, mean girl behavior, and spreading false rumors or name calling online is also considered bullying.
  • Report incidences of cyber-bullying, which most parents and administrators don’t see.  You can print out pages, remove identifying info if you want, to prove what you are seeing.
  • Go to the top.  While you may have a teacher you feel more comfortable with, most principals and assistant principals have been trained to take bullying reports very seriously.
  • Don’t rest. If you witness repeated bullying, say something again or report it to someone else if nothing has been done to stop it.
  • Don’t let other people define who you are.  You may feel pressured to stay quiet or mind your own business but if you want to be a person of integrity, you will stand up for what is right. Period.

 

 

Jerry Weichman, Ph.D. is a clinical psychologist focused solely on teen and preteen issues.  Dr. Jerry is in private practice at Hoag Hospital’s Neurosciences Institute in Newport Beach. Dr. Jerry is also the author of the teen self-help book, “How to Deal,” and is a noted public speaker on teen-related topics including parenting, bullying, and adolescent coping skills.  To receive tips for teens and parents, register your email at www.drjerryweichman.com.

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