Conflict Resolution Series: Holding Your Ground While Bullied
Most of the challenge, we have focused on forms of conflict that have a goal of resolution. The premise being that good skills will equal good outcomes. The more you know about conflict, how to avoid it, and how to resolve it, the better equipped you are to face down someone in opposition. Most conflicts can be mediated unless the power is inequitable.
When it comes to bullying, the rules shift. Bullying is a form of on-way conflict. Someone with very little self-control or ethical standards is slinging mud and accosting others with their vile behavior. Bullying is as real as rain and can cause tremendous harm. Facing a bully can feel intimidating and downright scary, no matter your age or status. Why? Because:
Bullies don’t fight fair
Bullies expose or exploit
Bullies are loud
Bullies are relentless
Bullies are driven by dark hearts
There is a saying - hurting people hurt others - and there is a time and a place for offering grace for those who unwillingly and sometimes willingly hurt others, but not in the case of a bully. Bully behavior must be handled in specific ways in order to keep people safe and protected from the damage.
Bullies come in all shapes and sizes. They affect all socioeconomic groups and attack all age ranges. Bullies aren’t just on playgrounds and classrooms. They are on social media, in public places, and in your mailbox. A determined bully is not deterred by social norms or consequences when they have a target.
Holding your ground against bullies may not look like you’d expect. It isn’t about beating them back with anger or raging in their faces. Sometimes it’s about ignoring them and taking the higher ground. First off, get in touch with how a bully makes you feel. Some feelings include:
All of these are normal - as is anything not on the list - and can be expected in the wake of being bullied. Just being aware of the feelings is important.
Next, realize that the bully’s plan is to humiliate and scare you, so you seem weak and filled with shame. Realizing the goal helps you override their intent with your knowledge that you don’t have to fall for their plan. You don’t have to agree with what they are saying, and you don’t have to resort to any behaviors they are trying to illicit. Behaviors like:
Falling into Depression
If you know that their goal is to cause you pain, you can thwart their goal by refusing to fall for it. Once you have set your mind not to fall for their plan, you can take action to remove yourself from the situation.
Don’t read the hate letter
Turn and walk away no matter what the bully says
Close your eyes and pray
Stare them straight in the eye, don’t blink or say a word
A bully only has the power you give them. Set your mind to hold your ground when being bullied, and you can beat them at their own game.
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