Tag Archives: bully

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.

Gabrielle Bernstein: How to Handle Negative Comments

Recently I’ve faced negative comments on my social media feed. While my immediate response was to forgive and delete, in time my ego got the best of me. I found myself stuck in the discomfort of negativity and personal attacks from people I’d never met. I felt sad, hurt, and worst of all, defensive. But rather than lace up my boxing gloves, I chose to find the lesson in the Internet backlash. I called on a message from A Course in Miracles, “In my defenselessness my safety lies.” In this video I share my experience and the spiritual solutions I used for handling negative comments.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on handling negative comments!

More from Gabrielle Bernstein:

Calming Meditation

A Meditation to Help Treat Addiction

Interview with Daphne Oz on Healthy Eating

Family Survival Tips… 3 Steps To Peaceful Living

url-1We are witnessing a critical time in the breakdown of the family unit.

We need to create unity in family life…whether it is in a blended family or single parenthood. This is needed for peaceful living, a peaceful state of mind for you and your children. Let’s explore how you can feel less pressure parenting and offer a loving, peaceful environment for your family…you, your spouse, your children.

“Peace Smarts is a program/curriculum designed to bring a peace culture into the lives of youth grades 5-12. Parents, teachers, and after-school programs have adopted the principles to build communication skills, conflict-resolution techniques, creative solution and problem solving on issues that concern youth.
From building self-esteem to across curriculum subjects such as the environment and drug and alcohol abuse, we teach kids with tools to succeed in life. Statistics show that youth today are living in the confusion and turmoil, often bullied not only by the peers, but from the media and society at large that sensationalizes degradation and disrespect: from the political arena to celebrities that are poor role models.

What children need is an ethical structure that allows them to feel what is right…and ultimately be able to perform right actions: when it counts, under pressure, and to stick with their convictions.

How do we build a Peace structure?

1. It starts within…the ability to tune into your true nature.

This includes teaching a child that they can deal with their unresolved feelings and challenges; whether it is anger, worthlessness, or the syndrome “I want to be accepted and to fit-in. Parents be mindful, we model what our child sees on a daily basis. Creating a quiet-time in our home. Having the agreement that reflection is good and that slowing down is necessary for balanced living.

Spend a few minutes each day, to listen to soft music. Practice breathing deeply, and learn to quiet mind-chatter. Take time in the garden, or in nature (at the park) hiking, bicycling, and ultimately getting away from chaotic rushing.

2. Find interests that the family enjoys together. Have fun and create daily memories to be shared always.

Interest Examples: A painting project to spruce up the child’s room, or a drumming session with each family member participating. Eating meals together is vital. Avoid stopping at fast-food places. Prepare meals together. Play, have fun, laugh, sing, make-up songs, dance, enjoy your precious time.

The essence of family activities is communicating, beyond the role of parent and child. Having mutual interests keeps the line of communication open. This vital practice opens trust. When the time comes that child needs to turn to you, when they are disturbed or in trouble, the groundwork has been set. They will know it is safe to turn to you… for assistance, advice and comfort. This is a state of empowerment and a safety net.

3. Boundaries are necessary for peaceful living.

Having family meetings to establish what is acceptable and what isn’t is vital. When your children are involved in decision-making they learn to be adept decision-makers. They build confidence that their opinion counts and they learn to listen to other points of view without resistance. They learn to be a team player, in a Peaceful family think tank that benefits the whole.

Consequences for not abiding for the rules set: can be agreed upon by all family members. Honoring those consequences builds character and helps a young person to understand the meaning of integrity, accountability, and resilience.

When the family is viewed as solid unit, a team to be relied upon…we learn what unconditional love, respect and honoring truly is. How we treat one another will make Peaceful living a way of being…

*****

Creating PeaceMakersMerrie Lynn Ross writer/filmmaker/comedienne/child advocate creator of “Peace Smarts” nationally acclaimed programs serving over 2 million parents, children, and teachers.

Mallika Chopra: Where Do We Draw the Line with Bullying?

PIP_bullying

By Mallika Chopra

My daughter recently told me about an incident with some of her friends. A group of them were together singing, dancing and having fun. One friend, a free spirited, earnest girl, was enthusiastically participating, feeling secure in the trusted circle.

My daughter heard another friend, who had a cell phone with her, laugh and say, “Let’s record her,” without the other girl’s knowledge. My daughter said no, feeling intuitively that it would be inappropriate.

This incident brought up several issues for me.

  1. All the girls involved in this scenario are really nice, kind, good girls. In fact, I feel very fortunate that my daughter is surrounded by such wonderful friends.
  1. I was in the room, and had felt uncomfortable with the cell phone in this particular situation. But I did not take it away.
  2. Our children are living in a new world where everything they do has the potential to live forever online, whether they upload them or not.
  3. Was this a potential incident of bullying? I’m not sure, but I think so. And I am proud of my daughter for knowing it was inappropriate to record another friend without her knowing.

Bullying has happened throughout the ages. In the last few years though it has gained more media attention – from Lady Gaga to Demi Lovato to tragic incidents where young kids have been humiliated both online and offline, and it has ended in the worst situation imaginable for parents.

Kids can be mean. Perhaps it’s part of their exploration of boundaries and their power in social circles. As parents we can teach our own kids the importance of kindness, respect and treating others as we want them to be treated. And, we can guide them to stand up to bullies.

I tell my daughters that when someone is being mean to them, it’s more a reflection of that person’s insecurity. Of course, when my daughter was teased by a friend and locked out of a room, I was livid with anger — not really accepting my own advice and immediately thinking “What a little b….!” Yes, I will admit my own thoughts waver often from what I aspire to be as a good mom.

In our first episode of Perfectly Imperfect Parents, my co-hosts, Dr. Cara Natterson (author of The Care and Keeping of You books by American Girl) and Dani Modisett (author and creator of the book and play, Afterbirth) discuss bullying. We would love your thoughts on how you have addressed this issue with your kids. We can all learn from each other!

Subscribe to The Chopra Well to get updates on the latest episodes of Perfectly Imperfect Parents!

More on conscious parenting by Mallika Chopra:

Back to School Bliss!
Talking to Children About the Batman Shooting
Mommy Days – Balancing Work & Kids (in a somewhat frenzied way!)

Confronting the Bullies on the Bus

Can you remember a bully from your school years? Did you ever confront him or her? I remember our elementary school bully. He teased me mercilessly for having a weird name and a tendency to blush. I slapped him in the face once and got sent to the principal’s office. So unfair, I thought.

Stormy Rich, an 18-year-old Florida high school student, recently experienced the same injustice when she stood up to a group of her peers for bullying a girl with special needs. The teenagers all ride the same bus to school, meaning the bullies have the rest of the students captive for torment during the morning rides. It sounds dramatic, I know, but as a former bus rider, myself, I remember how these things go.

As Rich said, according to Take Part News:

They would be mean to her, tell her she couldn’t sit on certain spots on the bus…just because she doesn’t understand doesn’t mean that should be happening to her.

Apparently Rich reported the bullying to her school’s officials but saw no action taken. It was then she decided to step in and confront the bullies, herself. It’s unclear what Rich actually said and did, but whatever it was caused her to be labeled as a bully and her bus-riding privileges revoked.

Regardless of what actually happened, the fact remains that bus drivers, school officials, parents, and all other adults involved in student life need to seriously examine how quickly and effectively they respond to reports of bullying. How long will it take us to step in to prevent emotional and physical violence?

From Take Part:

The bottom line is something more needs to be done to combat bullying in our schools. Three million students will be absent from school this month because of the emotional and physical toll of bullying, and according to the organization Ability Path, children with disabilities are significantly more likely than their peers to be the victims of this mistreatment.

As long as adults let bullying go unchecked and, as in Stormy’s case, punish those who rebel against it, then they are little more than bullies, themselves, in my book.

Were you or your children ever bullied? How did your school respond? Keep the conversation going in the comments section below.

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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