Inside the mind of the school-yard bully
May 25, 2011 - The bully's unconscious mind, his/her blue print says, "Unless I get caught, I'm free and I love the thrill of both the chase and the kill! It's great to be the King of the play ground. I am the strongest/largest, I'm in charge, I own this place! Might is right! He's not one of us, he's an outsider and dad says he threatens our way of life so I';m helping keep those outsiders down! He's fat, she's ugly, she/he deserves whatever I decide to give them!"
I remember, as age 9, walking home from Albion Gardens Public school, fearing they would be waiting for me again. My heart was pounding, palm's were sweaty and the siliva had left my mouth and my body was shaking. My unconscious mind was once again, preparing for battle. "Fight or Flight?"
No place to run away, the only way home is through them. Their cause and justification was to take me down for winning at lunch soccer and perhaps, over celebrating. That was the cause, the trigger of their behavior. The affect another beating. Their justification was beat him and he won't show up to play tomorrow. My unconscious mind recalculated and sent the message, "Take the beating and tell mom I feel on the stairs." I challenge you, the parent/reader to break the chain and empower your children as I have. Let's eliminate the acts of hate and replace them with love and affection and a prosperous child.
Bullying is Real!
Now as a Clinical Therapist, on a weekly basis I work children in similar situation. They are being verbally or physically abused and their neurosystem can send that limiting message for a life time. The damage is real, the negative energy associated with it is humiliation, embarrassment and with drawl. Adult blocks can be a memory stored in our unconscious mind, limiting us and keeping us imprisoned in fear, depression and low self esteem. There have been thousands of suicides due in part to the bully.
Why Do they become bullies?
Joy Berry, teacher, says it best, "There are no bad kids, some kids have family problems. I followed our class bully home. When I got there he was baby-sitting for his two younger siblings. His posture told me it all. He feels inferior, feels out of control, feels powerless and afraid, he's angry and craves attention."
Bullies go after the weak prey -- so avoid being their target. They smell out low self esteem, poor body language, social awkwardness, and look for kids without any friends. A passive, smaller "different" child is the target of the bully.
A 15-year-old, Australian, Casey Heynes was tormented for over 10 years for being fat. The infamous Youtube.com video of Casey being punched and antagonized shows a classic victim with his back up against a wall. The bully, Richard, punches, intimidates him repeatedly in the face might just have the bully take warning. The outcome is not typical. You can hear Richard and his gang, intimidating the usually passive boy. It happens, the unconscious mind, designed to keep us alive, over rides the conscious passive role of the victim. The survival program kicks in and in a millisecond. We witness the hunter become the hunted when Casey "snaps." He picks up the Richard and drops him on his head. It is an act of survival, the unconscious mind senses, "We are in danger, pick up Richard and drop him on his head and defend against his gang."
The fear spell is broken and the bully get's what they give. The result is physical and psychological damage that can last for a life time.
Types of Bullies
The Tank - Pushy and ruthless, loud and forceful, the Tank assumes the end justifies the means, expect no mercy, they attack people they do not respect, and that covers most of the people around them. The Tank plans his attack and makes no-win comments such as "Why are you so weak? I own you!" And it always occurs in an isolated setting. The Tank thrives on his premeditated designed escape route.
The Sniper - This covert operator identifies your weaknesses and uses that against you, through sabotage behind your back or well-aimed putdowns in front of the crowd. The use of a cell phone, Facebook, texting or egging a class mate on to do their dirty work are good examples.
Other forms of bullying include extortion bullying, vandalism and bystander bullying. The Authority Bully are teachers, coaches, parents, who expose victim's weakness to center out and humiliate him.
So What is the Solution?
Be a responsible parent and talk to your child. Ask them specifically, "Do you feel safe going to school, is there anyone bullying you, you can confide in me, do not be embarrassed. I've been through it and will help you."
Triggers include grades dropping and a reluctance to study. Self esteem is lowered the child is lethargic and has become uninvolved in school activities. The unconscious mind reminds the body that to stay in one piece avoid the bully, don't go to school.
If your child's body language sags, if they do not make quick eye contact, if they are silent, you need to ask more and better questions. "Please tell me son/daughter, I love you and want the best for you, tell me what is happening."
Again, watch for body language, eye contact or lack of eye contact. Keep drilling down, mind probe your child, ask about certain kids.. "So and So's mom said her son was bullied by So and So, that is why I'm asking you this,, I love and care about you and am here to protect and empower you.
Empowering your Child Now!
Take action against a bully. Tell your child to look the bully right in the eye and tell the bully that you are going to tell the teacher or another authority. Supply your child with a whistle that will alert the authorities and draw attention to the negative behavior. Just having the whistle will make the child feel safer. Point out shelters, compassionate, responsible people they can trust to feel safe. The extreme, go to the police and get a Police Protection order (PPO) keeping the bully away from your child. Consider a self defense course.
Teach coping skill to your child. Walk the playground and point out areas to avoid. Have an open dialogue with them, let them know it's OK to tell you anything, do not suppress fear. Fear and false fear will tear you up inside and exhaust you. Teach him to avoid the bully by surrounding himself with friends.
I challenge this community to break the chain of hateful bullying!
Scott Cooper CHt, Clinical Therapist/Life Coach 248-933-3368