Bullying. Why it occurs, how we will never ‘Stop It’, and where we are going wrong as parents.

SHORT VERSION: The purpose of bullying, in life, is to empower the individual because they are not empowered in one (or more) area/s of their lives. It’s a feedback mechanism to make a change to ultimately stimulate the individual to grow and has the ability to transform their character.

The purpose of bullying is to teach the individual to to stand up for themselves.

In whichever area of your life you are not empowered, you will subconsciously attract the opposite into your life. For instance. If you are not empowered physically, your health will suffer, from a bullying perspective, someone will “overpower” you physically. If we have a physical trait we do not like about ourselves (hair colour, weight, height etc) and do not ‘own’ it, we are not empowered in this area of our life and so we display shame/guilt/deflation, and attract the opposite into our life – which in many cases comes in the form of a bully who displays confidence, pride, or narcissism to counter balance. 

From this view point, they are not actually “over-powering you” they offering you the stimulus for “empowerment”. We cannot get rid of ‘negativity’ in life, it’s fundamental to our biology. The bullying you experience is a feedback mechanism to bring balance into your life. 

Though deep introspection, it’s possible not only to look upon your experiences of bullying (or any trauma) as “possitive”, no matter how traumatic, because of the balancing effect but to look upon them with “Gratitude. In many cases, individuals that we have interviewed for our podcast, 20 years later are able to “thank” the bully for empowering them. They realise the huge benefits that came from this difficult experience.

Providing you we’re able to learn from the process and bring yourself into equilibrium

I was asked on Dubai Eye Radio this month, if I could summarise my feelings on bullying in one word. 

My answer was “Gratitude”. 

When you can appreciate your previous traumatic experience, for ultimately becoming a beneficial life force, that shows up positives in other areas of your life, you neutralise the negative energy and ultimate it has no power over you. 

Alternatively, you hold onto this “Victim mentality” focusing on the “Negative”, fantasising about a false reality and holding onto the shame and guilt, with zero ownership over your own circumstances, “This happened to me” or “This happened to my child”.

Rather than, “I attracted this into my life because I am not empowered in this area”.

This person (or situation) will forever control you, and it will manifest in other areas of your life. Neutralising this is a skill, a “tool” that you can implement into other areas of your life too in order to live an inspired, happy and successful life, without holding onto “baggage”. 

Consider that the cycle of bullying repeats, time and time again all the way into adulthood, until, as an individual you ‘overcome’ the bullying, become empowered in your disempowered traits and bring balance into these areas of your life. 

So, if your child is being bullied, ask yourself, “Where are they not empowered in their life? When you answer this, you can make a plan and accelerate your transition through this difficult stage. You can start to implement practical steps to develop resilience.

For the majority of young people I’ve mentored through bullying, they are not resilient enough to overcome the bullying themselves (which is why it repeats). So why are they not ‘resilient enough?’, well, unfortunately that disempowerment typically stems from the way in which they have been over-protected by one or both of their parents.

For these parents, when the bullying occurs, rather than equipping their children with the tools to overcome it alone, or as we say “acting proactively’, anticipating the bullying to occur and preparing their children for it…. Instead they act ‘reactively’, they panic, blame others (not their child or themselves), they do not take ownership and they aim to quickly remove their child from the situation, because the experience is painful – and we want it to stop. However, ultimately, we stop it when we overcome it, not when we are removed from it. We may stop the single situation, but not the learning process. We will re-attract it into our life.

Building Resilience

When we remove our children from the situation, it disempowers them and prevents them from developing resilience. If you are able to look at this objectively and have found yourself doing this with your child with bullying, you are likely doing it other areas of their life without realising. 

How does this method of parenting, ‘over-protecting’ show up in other areas? In their sports, their education, their health, their social situation or even in your language with them? 

Do you encourage your child to own the possitive and negative traits of their character or do you over inflate their perception of themselves, fantasising on their possitive? 

Where are you “saving them” and unintentionally disempowering them? 

How will this show up in their life and what will they attract into their life if they are not empowered in that area? 

The Cycle Continues and the victims become the bullies.

Now the reason the majority of young people who go through bullying actually become bullies, is a counter balance to the experiences they have had. 

Consider your child has gone through bullying, they have lived with guilt, shame, fear, altruism and deflation and when they overcome this transition they move into the opposite, ie: narcissism, pride, ego and this often manifests into bullying others. 

Ultimately, through this stage you can teach them why they attracted bullying into their life, so that they can notice 

 The vital ‘post-traumatic-growth’ work we do with young people once we have mentored them through bullying is providing the transcendent state/position, noticing the positives and negatives in their behaviour, which gives them the chance to neutralise these huge polar shifts. They develop a balanced approach, they understand why bullying occurs and where it comes from.

We don’t STOP bullying in society. Of course, we should aim to reduce it by education and equipping our children – that is our responsibility (as educators, parents, schools and society), but preventing it entirely is fantasy. It’s the fantasy of pleasure without pain, of growth without atrophy.

Instead We STOP the cycle of bullying repeating in a child’s life by educating and empowering them, teaching them to own their traits and having the courage as parents to build resilience in our children. 

Bullying is a difficult transition that has an incredible ability to transform your child’s character. It takes courage from both children and parents. This is how you stop the cycle of bullying. 

I’m running workshops across the UAE to help parents mange this transition and capitalise on this opportunity for growth, check it out here: www.notavictim.live

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