I would like to share with you a set of skills proven over time to block bullying. I teach these same skills to adults and children in my therapy work. Worldwide statistics suggest that bullying in some form or another is happening all the time and can happen to anybody. School and workplace bullying is a major cause of stress and all the health issues that come from repeatedly being put down. Put down’s are an abuse of power and can be physical, verbal, social, or cyber. Bullying costs the community big dollars in lost productivity and poor mental health outcomes. Your own life experience will tell you there’s not much you can do to stop the existence of bullying but for a lot of different reasons some people know how to deal with bullying and others don’t.
What I have done from my observations and conversations with clients is distill the behaviours of those people who deal effectively with bullies. Using just four thinking fixes 7 out of 10 adults and children being targeted by bullies can stop bullies themselves. The four fixes are the “Bully Blocks”, and the method is like a kata. Kata is a martial arts term describing a set of prescribed moves.
There are some important cautions for you. Not all the behaviour described in the media is bullying, single events are not bullying we are all capable of having a bad day and letting off some steam inappropriately. That doesn’t make us all bullies. Bullying is a pattern of repeated put downs that can be physical and/or mental. For example, with all the publicity around this topic the new bullying is a pattern of repeatedly making accusations against others. The last point is the idea that someone who is being bullied is a victim. Please reject the victim tag this is another harm. Telling people or yourself they are victims encourages negative personal narratives. You can be targeted by bullies but don’t have to be a victim.
- Works for children and adults;
- Addresses the issue of people being targeted thinking there is something wrong with them;
- Empowers people being targeted;
- Helps anyone understand bullying at the same time it teaches how to deal with it;
- Reduces the bystander effect;
- Increases the chance of bullies being caught out;
- Decreases the amount of time the bully has to target you.
The fixes fit together to form a single set of responses that deal with the most common issues of bullying. The fixes are meant to be used with the Calm Confident Me (CCM) stress management program. Calm Confident Me packages the best of therapy techniques and practical experience in an 8 week self-improvement program. Once you know in everyday terms what it is you are doing to stress yourself out and simple ways to manage your stress reactions, you can relax more and get on with enjoying your life. You can try it out with a money back guarantee in the privacy of your own home; Calm Confident Me teaches stress management techniques to help you become calmer and happier. Being calm helps you put into action the Bully Blocks kata.
The four fixes of the Bully Blocks kata are:
- Game, understand the bully is playing a game with you. It might be a mean game but it’s still a game. To win the game you just need to figure out what they want. Their behaviour is just that theirs not yours there is nothing wrong with you the game is proof they have the problem;
- No Satisfaction, if you can figure out what the bully wants, you win by not letting them have it. If they want you to be sad you literally win by putting on a happy face;
- Network, networking has two sides one is where you are so nice that others are not tempted to join in with the bully (bystander effect), the other is where you have a plan with your friends on how to deal with this, at school kids are encouraged to have a friend discreetly get the teacher, for grown-ups it would be for the friend to make careful notes before reporting with you to an authority;
- Avoidance, if you know where they are, don’t go there or if it’s online pull the plug on the communication.
It’s a simple four steps that is at least 70 percent effective. But what if this doesn’t work? For adults the choices are often tougher than for children. If it’s your boss and you find the situation toxic, get legal advice. You may find the best course of action is to find a new workplace. If on the other hand this involves your children as an adult you will need to take action if after 2 weeks they are not reporting any improvement. Please be aware that if Bully Blocks are working sometimes the bullies will escalate their behaviour i.e. they are continuing to try and win the game. If the bullying is happening at school talk to the teacher and if needed the administration, online bullying needs to be dealt with by contacting the ISP but most importantly by controlling your child’s internet usage. Kids need an adult to pull the plug on unhealthy communication.
I really hope this is of help to you or someone you know. The four steps are easy to learn and like the Calm Confident Me program with practice become automatic.