(Originally published March 7th, 2011)
Bullying is not new. And with the coming of the internet, it has taken on an even grander reach than ever before. But, when it comes right down to it, bullying is the same, no matter how it's delivered. But, the strategies for defending yourself or your child against the effects of bullying must match the "type" of bully if they are to be effective.
This article explores the 3 bully "types" and how they relate to you or anyone who is being bullied. Because, unless you understand the nature of the assailant, and what's behind his mode of attack, you really can't expect to be very effective.
I know that last statement may sound strong - it may sound too much like warfare - but it is, nevertheless, true. And the reason it's true is because...
Bullying is an attack!
It's an attack on your person, either mentally, physically, or emotionally.
And, until it's treated as such - until a victim or potential victim of a bullying attack, whether it's bullying in school, or bullying in the workplace, is given the proper tools and skills to deal with this type of attack - there will be little to nothing done to stop bullying.
This is true regardless of the popularity or believe-ability of the anti-bullying program being sold!
But, my purpose in this article is not to discuss what's wrong with most anti-bullying programs. My goal here is to shed some light on the 3 distinct types of bullies, and their methods, as-well-as to show you how this information relates to you or any victim, on a very personal (and usable) level.
The 3 Bully "Types"
There was a time when "bully" meant the kid in school who threatened to beat you up if you didn't give him your lunch money. But today, the term is understood to identify anyone who uses force, or the threat of force, to get what they want.
If you're a parent serious about helping your child to not only deal with bullying, not just now but, for the rest of his or her life... download my free ebook, "How to Really Bully-Proof Your Child" here: http://sunburymartialarts.com/749-2/
That being said...
The 3 types of bullies that one is likely to encounter include:
- Physical Bully - This is the person that I referred to above. This is usually a male, but in some cases can be female. This is the person who seeks out smaller, "easier" targets where they know that they have the advantage of size, strength, or power. The fist is the preferred weapon of this bully and, in order for the victim to survive, he or she must learn how to handle physical violence.
- Mental/Psychological Bully - This is the person who resorts to name-calling, insults, intimidation, and other tactics meant to demean, belittle, or insult the victim's intelligence, confidence level, or self-esteem. These bullies are typically female, but again, can be males as well. Words are the preferred weapon of this type of bully and, a higher degree of self-confidence, presence, and self-worth are needed to beat this bully.
- Emotional Bullies - While it's true that all bullying effects the victim emotionally, what I'm talking about here are the bullies who use our own emotions against us. They make us wonder if it's us - if we misunderstood what's going on - or if we are the victim of a self-serving, manipulative, and cunning "friend." These are the bullies who use what we normally see as positive things against us. Things like friendship, love, and our relationship to them are actually their weapons of choice - things that we would never consider to be weapons at all. And, the courage and commitment to set fair boundaries and rules within a relationship are the primary weapons for dealing with this very dangerous type of bully.
Just as bullies choose their victims based on the characteristics of the victim, the bully also chooses how he or she will attack based on his or her own make-up and belief about themselves. So, a larger, stronger, and more physical person will naturally choose physical intimidation and assault over getting into a psychological battle of intellect and wits with a smarter person. And, an emotionally stale individual will tend more toward manipulation of your emotions rather than being more obvious with mental or physical attacks.
Although it's true that there are no hard absolutes, and that the above is only a guide, there is something that you can bet on. And that is the fact that, if you or your child are the target of a bully, that you have already been assessed by them, and been identified as someone over whom they have the advantage. And, that there is something about you that is not only triggering the bullying...
...but there is something about the way you react that feeds the bully's sense of control and satisfaction.
Just like with the cases involving muggers and criminal assailants choosing victims on the street. You never find the aggressor looking at a superior person - a defender who is stronger, better prepared, etc., as a target. That means that you'll never see a smaller mugger looking at a larger, armed, or trained victim thinking, "I'll attack them. They can kick my butt!"
So, how does this all relate to you or your child? The point is that if you are being targeted with bullying activity...
That you are exhibiting traits and signals to the bully that, for them, says that you are an easy target. And, responding the way you do, gives the bully the power, and the "permission" to continue to do it again. To fix the problem - to really make the bullying stop - you will need to either change the way you carry yourself, or you will need to change the way you relate to the bully altogether.
The truth is that, as long as there is a benefit - as long as there is value - for the bully when they do what they're doing; as long as their are no consequences that they can't live with, then they will continue to do what gives them power over you or your child. To change the game, you must change the ROI, or "return on investment" for the bully.
Regardless of whether you see the new options, or this different way of doing things, as "you" or not!
Isn't it time that you and your child learned how to really defend yourselves against bullying in school and everywhere else? Isn't your health, self-confidence, and well-being worth getting real solutions?
By learning what really works to stop bullying behavior in it's many forms, having multiple options for each bully (because no single technique, tactic, or strategy is guaranteed to work), and by developing the skills that do just that...to stop it from harming you when it comes in your direction!
If you're a parent who's child is being targeted and desperate about getting the help they need to not only deal with the bullying, but to defend and protect themselves against it... not just now but for the rest of his or her life, I understand. My free ebook, "How to Really Bully-Proof Your Child" is a great place to start. It details some of my own troubles and my parent's frustrations when I was being bullied throughout my early school years. It also shows you why most anti-bullying programs don't work, and gives you some helpful advice for making your child bully-free.
You can download it for free here: http://sunburymartialarts.com/749-2/