“I WAS BULLIED, HOW DO I DEAL WITH IT NOW?”
“HOW COME I HAVE BEEN BULLIED SO OFTEN?”
It is Not About Size…What is Really Going On?
Sean was 5 feet 8 inch tall and weighed about 160 pounds. He was one of the biggest kids in his grade 9 class room. He was being bullied by kids almost half his size. He was starting to get depressed and he didn’t know what to do.
In my work over the last 30 years I have had occasion to see bullying in many forms from preschoolers to seniors. We have all witnessed the attention and resources that have been brought to bear on this phenomenon. Let’s look at what is really going on.
Bullying is Here to Stay
Society seems determined to eradicate bullying. However, this is futile. It is like trying to empty the Atlantic Ocean with a bucket. Nelson Mandela said, “I am both a result of people who respected me and helped me; and of those who did not respect me and treated me badly.” Mandela’s wisdom is based on 27 years in prison being bullied for his race and politics and some sound scientific principles.
Seven Kinds of Bullying
Perhaps it is time to apply some science and common sense to bullying. First, bullying is not new and as noted above, isn’t going to go away, ever. Second, bullying is a tool which comes in at least seven forms including: spiritual bullying (act this way or suffer damnation), mental bullying (act this way or I won’t love you), vocational bullying (act this way or I will punish you), financial bullying (act this way or I won’t share my wealth), social bullying (act this way or I will reject you), familial bullying (act this way or I will disown you) and physical bullying (act this way or I will assault you). Third, bullying is a tool each of us uses ourselves, directly or indirectly, according to someone in the past. (See also The Dance of Bullying).
Now let’s apply some science to bullying. First, bullying, like all things, including relationships, must comply with the first law of thermodynamics – the law of the conservation of energy. This law states matter and energy can’t be created or destroyed, only transformed. This simply means communication is an energy exchange. Second, bullying must also comply with the law of symmetry. This law states our universe is in a state of balance or equilibrium from subatomic particles all the way up to galaxy clusters. This simply means bullying is an event with a negative and positive charge counterbalancing each other in a dynamic equilibrium. Third, positive and negative charges attract each other to restore the equilibrium which is fundamental to the universe. This simply means the bully and the bullied are unconsciously attracted to each other to serve the evolution of both parties and indeed our entire species.
Bullying is a Social Learning Tool
Bullying is a learning tool our species has been using since the dawn of time. And, bullying serves our species as a means of learning vital lessons for our survival and evolution. It means the bully and the bullied are in a dance and unconsciously drawn to each other so each can learn important lessons about themselves and the world. It means the “bully” is there to learn respect for others while the “bullied” is there to learn respect for self.
Intervenors Must Consider
If intervenors of any kind, whether teachers, parents or community workers, take the simplistic approach of punishing the bully and comforting the bullied, they ignore the physics of the situation. This approach magnifies and perpetuates the imbalance. This is reflected repeatedly in the research literature which shows the same children bully others and the same children get bullied.
Intervenors who understand the dynamic of balance, use a very different approach. When the intervener recognizes the bully is overcharged or exaggerating themselves and the bullied undercharged or minimizing themselves, they approach the dynamic realizing each person is in need of new information and skills to return themselves to equilibrium. Once they have restored their own equilibrium they also have learned important skills for their future. One needs only to review how our own bully experiences have both cost and benefited us to see the truth in this.
Intervenors Carry a Special Responsibility
However, the intervenor, because of their level of responsibility in these situations, has an added, prerequisite responsibility. They have the task of ensuring they do not carry any illusions (negative or positive emotional charges) from their own experiences about bullying. They need to be able to understand and appreciate the role bullying has played in their own evolution. Without this awareness, there is the tendency to take the simplistic approach cited above and thereby sustain bullying.
Learning the Enlightened Approach to Bullying
There are very effective techniques available such as “The Demartini Method” and the “What’s Next Approach” for those who wish to take an enlightened approach to bullying. It is time for a new approach to bullying, one which reflects new insights not just from psychology, education and sociology but also from other sciences including physics, chemistry, biology, geology and cosmology.
Points to Ponder and Remember
1. Bullying is a social learning tool used by individuals so they can learn, either to respect others (the bully) or to respect self (the bullied).
2. Bullying has been an instrumental tool for our species in our evolutionary journey and so, will not ever disappear.
3. Since bullying is like beauty, in the eye of the beholder, everyone at some time has been perceived by others as either a bully or a bullied person.
4. There are new intervention tools available like The Demartini Method™ and the “What’s Next Approach?” to deal effectively with bullying at any age or in any situation.
The Dance of Bullying – a Breakthrough Tools for Teachers and Parents – an award-winning book by Ken Pierce
The Physics of Bullying – a seminar by Ken Pierce on DVD presented at the International Restorative Justice Conference 2010.