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How To Overcome Bullying: 4 Sensible Strategies

Bullying The Short Advice

Bullying Doesn’t End When School Does

School, workplace, sporting clubs, online communities… Bullying exists everywhere. And it always will. You can remove yourself from a situation of bullying, but it won’t change the fact that you are a victim. Wherever you go, you will still be susceptible to the same tactics. Running away is simply not good practice if you want to avoid this type of attention in the future. So rather than simply allowing ourselves to be forced out of our environment because of somebody else’s insecurities, we need to stand up and take action. But it’s not as easy as it sounds. Some forms of harassment can be more intense, and some personalities are more vulnerable than others. Like anything that we need to overcome, it’s difficult. You’ll need to develop some resilience, and mental toughness. Below, we’ve listed four different approaches that can be used in conjunction with one another to overcome bullying.

1. Respond

How you respond initially to a situation of bullying will have a big impact on repeat offending. Generally speaking, an emotionally-charged response would be a satisfying result for a bully, as would a meek and timid one. The term bullying itself implies that one individual is asserting dominance over another. If you’re not comfortable being the individual that is made to feel lesser, it’s best to express this sooner rather than later. Calmly, and controlled, where the situation allows for it. But always directly. Directly addressing the issue, directly addressing the individual. Stick to the specifics of what is upsetting you, and leave any personal attacks aside. By demonstrating your sophisticated conflict resolution skills, you might be able to change the game altogether. This person may not show you the same courtesy, but they might actually understand. They’ll possibly even gain respect for you, because you aren’t the weak individual they’d once thought you were.

2. Reflect

What cause is there, if any? Did the bullying stem from a misunderstanding? Regardless of what actions may have brought upon this poor behaviour, it’s never justified. Having said that, finding a reason could be the beginning of uncovering the root of the poor behaviour. You can’t change a person’s very being, or the way they react to certain things. But you can encourage them to consider your point of view. For most people however, that will require you to tell them some things that they want to hear first. You may have done something unknowingly to upset them, that you’ve now come to realise. Perhaps you could offer an apology? It’s not a sign of weakness, nor is it a justification of their behaviour. Although, many people do mistake it to mean these things. So, it’s also a good idea to mention that despite your apology, you feel that person’s behaviour was unwarranted, and you’re happy that you both have a new way to communicate more effectively.

3. Interpret

Try to understand why that person is the way that person is. Put yourself in their shoes. It’s not easy when you’re harbouring such negative emotions towards somebody, so lets put that aside. Bullying is the result of unchecked insecurities, and a poor environment as a young person. What has this person been through, and what fears were they unable to overcome for them to behave so poorly? Simply by trying to understand, you’re showing a level of compassion that this individual might not have ever experienced. Next time they are looking to upset somebody, perhaps you can ask them if they’re okay. The other side to this point, is how you interpret the situation itself. Don’t give power to this person in your mind, because then they will have power over you. The offender is just a human being, like the rest of us. If you perceive them to be a big, scary, horrible beast, then that is exactly what they’ll be. If you can humanise that beast by sympathising with their insecurities, then you’ll have a better shot at understanding them, helping them, and in turn, helping yourself.

4. Support

Support goes two ways… Are you supporting others who are being bullied? If you support them, they might support you too. Helping other people to deal with their problems is a great way to strengthen your knowledge of conflict resolution skills. It also creates a network of people that care about one another, and can share ideas and similar experiences. You can look to friends and family for support, but it’s always you who should resolve your own issues (or at least try). Sometimes, a person’s behaviour is so irrational that we do need to seek the help of others. If it’s a matter of health and safety, then it’s certainly a good idea. But, for the most part, difficult situations present brilliant opportunities to learn. They help us to develop resilience and confidence and can build self-esteem too. Whatever the issue, there is always a solution, you just need to look for it.

Final Note

Bullying presents in many different forms, so there can be no one solution to overcome it. The strategies mentioned above encourage us to exercise control where we can, and use understanding and critical reflection to overcome situations of bullying and harassment. Just remember, that bullying is led by fear. And those being bullied, are allowing themselves to be bullied because of their fear. Overcoming our fear is no simple task, but doing nothing certainly won’t get us anywhere at all. So if it’s not working, try something different. There is always a solution that can improve your circumstances.

As always thanks for reading, and we’d love to hear if you’ve ever used any of these strategies in the comments section below.

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What Does Valentines Day Mean in 2019?

The Short Advice and his Valentine on Valentines Day 2018

For many of us, love has become a need that is as readily met as our primary needs of food, water and shelter.

And so, we do often take love for granted. Thats why Valentines Day serves as a great opportunity to celebrate love, and to express your gratitude to your significant other for their affection and support. However, some people would prefer to ignore this special day…

Because commerce ruins everything.

Well, not really, but it is an interesting perspective. The commercialisation of significant dates in our calendars brings out the inner cynic that lives in the shallows of us all. And fair enough too. So, should you completely can Valentines Day? We say no. And here’s why…

Celebrate your love, AND slap the man.

Kill two birds with one stone on Valentines Day 2018! Take a moment to do something nice for your loved one. Focus on the parts of your relationship that are special and unique. Express your love and devotion, but make it personal. Write your own love letter, rather than have Hallmark Cards do it for you! Besides, wouldn’t that be a far greater gift for your much-deserving counterpart? We definitely think so. But what else can we do on Valentines Day to slap the sales and marketing team at every department store that’s selling love heart chocolates?

Some things to do for free on Valentines Day 2018 include…

Picnicking (if weather permits), home-cooked candle-lit dinners (because where is the effort in paying for a meal?), hand-written love notes (OMG beb I love you, 4 real), making and presenting a photo album, or simply reminiscing on all of the reasons you have to be grateful for one another. So, don’t get duped by the sales team this V-Day, and the common misconception that you should express your love by overdrawing your account. If you can implement the ‘Celebrate and Slap’ protocol this Valentines Day, you’re bound to have a more fulfilling experience. Perhaps you could also invite a few of your single friends around for dinner too? Wouldn’t that be a selfless and inclusive act to show your people that your plutonic love knows no bounds? Absolutely it would.

Maybe you are that single friend that doesn’t have a Valentine this year?

For too many people, this is perceived as being an absolute disaster. “Nobody loves me, I am disgusting and repulsive, I’ll never find the one, I am destined to die alone and miserable…”. Hmmm. It’s no secret that having love and happiness thrown in your face when you’re feeling a bit vulnerable can certainly highlight one’s insecurities. But it is important to remember that we’re all insecure, and feelings of negativity are perfectly normal too. It is how we respond to these emotions and insecurities that will define the course of our future happiness. So don’t dwell on your shortcomings, remind yourself of all that you have to be grateful for. Today is not the day to let your fearful-self take you on a rollercoaster ride of swiping right and sending bulk messages to every person you’ve ever been romantically involved with. You CAN be stronger than that.

“But if I don’t find someone now, I’ll be lonely forever!”.

Being happy alone is an art. It’s okay to want to be in a relationship, but if you allow it to dictate your every move, you’ll forget about what makes you special, and so will everyone else. It takes strength and determination to focus on our own personal development, but when we do, when we truly commit ourselves to the idea, our happiness can soar. Our goals become far more realistic, our passion is noticeable to others, and, ultimately, we become more attractive in the eyes of potential love interests. But perhaps that is now a secondary concern for you, and reaching other life goals has now become equally as important…

In the coming weeks…

We will be discussing the art of being happy alone in greater length, so be sure to subscribe to post updates so that you too can become a desirable candidate for Valentines Day celebrations in 2019 😉 (if thats what you want, of course). As always, thank-you for reading, and we’d love to read your thoughts in the comments section below.