About anything, from being seen as too nerdy, liking the wrong clothes to being overweight can make children easy targets for bullies. Such a high premium is placed on fitting in through school and college that it’s easy to lose our identity and forget that success is based on our ability to stand out. The coaching session lasted two hours and we discussed some other important issues as well. Increasing a kid’s self-esteem generally takes longer than a session, but I could equip him with a quick fix for handling bullies at school. And he cheerfully wrote down the ideas I gave him,so he can refer to them as and when he needed.
We all face bullies in our life. I have people in their thirties and forties telling me how they are bullied at workplace by peers or bosses, at social parties by so-called friends or in their own home, by some of the closest people in their lives. While there is no one-size-fits-all approach for bullying, we must begin to at least stop viewing ourselves from the eyes of the bully and stop cheating ourselves by not standing up for ourselves. We are constantly pressurising ourselves to look a certain way, be it a certain pay package and position, an acceptable marital status or parenting a certain way – this list is never ending.
I will close this blog with the techniques I left my coachee with, in the hope that many more parents can help their kids, not just by telling them these points, but also by demonstrating how high-esteem people stand up for themselves, in their very own lives.
Step 1: This is not your fault. There are so many reasons why bullies do what they do.This has little to do with you, and a lot to do with bullies’ personal issues with themselves. So do not view yourself from your bullies’ eyes as you will see an inaccurate self-portrait.
Step 2: Try the self-esteem exercise. Write down all the good qualities that make you stand out from the crowd.This is the person you actually are! Next time a bully makes you feel you are something less than this amazing collection of positive traits and talents, then recall this list.
Step 3: Play dead – Ignore the bully. This is the most recommended anti-bullying tactic and should be your first resort. Sometimes, all a bully wants is to get a reaction and if he doesn’t receive it, he will get bored and move on.