Bully Isn’t the Bad Guy

Bully behavior will never be “stopped” because its human nature in action triggered by something.

With all the attention on prevention and punishment we’ve lost sight of the empowerment opportunities.  Neither the bully nor the bullied operate from a position of power and choice; each feels trapped in a game of survival.

Bully survival: Stay on top of the food chain.

Bullied survival:  Escape the bottom of the food chain.

Until survival triggers are removed, bullies and the bullied will continue to do whatever it takes to survive.  Even though community awareness is high I don’t believe the issue is getting much better; our bullies and victims are just better at surviving.

Bullies are clever to bully with greater awareness and plausible deniability. 

Bullied becomes ever more watchful for threats lurking behind every corner.

There is no “bad guy”

Bullies don’t wear a black hat—she’s not the bad guy.  She is simply expressing a very human trait—meanness.  We don’t need lessons in meanness any more than we need lessons in kindness.  Humans come equipped with a fully range of emotions.  What we learn is how to express these natural emotions and to put these emotions into context—personal context as in “what’s in it for me.”

Bully behavior will never be “stopped” because its human nature in action triggered by something.  It takes time to decode the trigger and then more time to alter the environment causing the trigger.  How much time?  I don’t know because we haven’t even gotten started yet.

Exploring this perspective more: Observe and Alter

Observe your own bully behavior

Yes, you too are human and therefore a bully at times.  Think back to the last time you beeped your car horn at a parent taking too long saying goodbye at school drop-off or the time you interrupted someone in a loud voice.  Subtle forms of bully behavior because you’re exerting your will through intimidation.

  1. Observe the events leading up to the situation.
  2. Try to recall how often you have a similar emotional reaction to things.
  3. Find a common pattern and break it down to find your contribution to the situations.
  4. Experiment on yourself by making a small change in your behavior for 1 week.
  5. Did it help remove your bully trigger?  If not, experiment again.

Related Articles:  Thinking in Shades of Gray, We Can’t be Trusted.

Related Tip of the Week:  Have Faith,  Peer Pressure,

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Author: Lorraine Esposito

Lorraine Esposito Lorraine@Peacemaker-Coach.com 914-410-7502 Lorraine Esposito is a certified professional life coach, mentor coach, owner of The Center for Coaching Mastery at Westchester Community College in New York, and nationally recognized author of The Peacemaker Parent, Solving Problems for Today, Teaching Independence for a Lifetime, Lorraine is the featured life coach for a popular New York radio station, WFAS 103.9 FM and is in collaboration with and featured blogger for the National Football League and USA Football adding a ‘coach approach’ to coaching youth sports. Lorraine’s client base includes CEO’s in the entertainment industry, White House and Capitol Hill public affairs staff, entrepreneurs, global TED speakers, award winning writers, new coaches just starting out, successful business women between 40 and 55 looking for more out of life, and parents needing a little help making good on their parenting promises. Lorraine’s career matches the diversity in her coaching practices. Starting out in the rural mid-west, Lorraine has owned four small businesses; the first, an automobile repair center, started at age 16. Her corporate experience is mainly in negotiating multimillion dollar contracts as the buyer of domestic in-flight food and beverages for Trans World Airlines and then as a procurement manager for the New York City Transit Authority. Lorraine’s strength has always been creatively finding solutions to even the most complicated goal. In addition, Lorraine’s 30 years as a professional fitness coach continues to add depth to all her endeavors. She has been featured in various print, broadcast, and on-line media and is a public speaker regarding personal leadership to community and school-based audiences. Lorraine lives in New York with her husband and two teenage sons.

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