Posts Tagged ‘bullying’

HA-HA SORB APPROACH TO BULLIES

People don’t typically want to interact with those they consider to be bullies or tyrants. Yet contrary to popular belief, bullies are not bad people. It’s their behaviors that are appalling. They act out their pain, loneliness, insecurities, and so on in the most offensive and unkind ways. But as I’ve stated repeatedly, behavior is only an outward expression of one’s internal issues. Having said that, many people are hesitant to interact with them, uncertain of the bully’s reactions or if they will be safe in doing so. Others label bullies in a very derogatory manner, stating that they are not worth their time and effort.

With the exception of those times when you or someone else is in imminent danger, there are some steps you can take to reach out and intervene with a bully.
HA-HA SORB Method stands for help, assert, humor, avoid, self-talk, own it, reach out, and befriend.

H: Help. Whenever we encounter a bully, we have two options regarding offering assistance: we can either go for it or give it. If we witness someone being mistreated, we can intervene if we feel qualified and comfortable doing so and if there is no immediate or severe threat to the self. An approach that is composed, confident, thoughtful, sincere, objective, non-threatening, and understanding can often diffuse the situation, give the bully pause for thought, and can prevent the situation from escalating. In the event the situation is of a more serious nature, one can call for or go for help, enlisting the assistance of those more qualified to intercede. We are called upon by God to be stewards for one another and either approach is a morally righteous one.
Ex: One can, “What’s going on here? Is something wrong/is there a problem? Can I help either of you?” Or, “You need to stop right now or I’m calling for help.”

A: Assert. Bullies, whether adults or children, seek to gain power and control over their targets by instilling fear in them through intimidation, threats, coercion, or manipulation. Any sign of weakness on the part of target affirms that the bully has authority thus enabling them to continue their aggressiveness. Assertive actions send a clear message to the offender, by the target, that they have the confidence and skills necessary to impede their efforts as they remain emotionally unaffected by their demands.
Ex: “I have no interest in arguing with you.” “I will not allow this to happen.” “What you are doing is unkind/illegal/against company policy and needs to stop right now before matters get worse.”

H: Humor. Humor is one of the most powerful tools for deflecting anger, neutralizing aggression, calming tensions, and diffusing a bully. However, there are some caveats. One must be certain that humor is appropriate for the situation and that it is never directed at the other party but only at the self or the circumstances.
Ex: “I can be a dork sometimes! In fact, my name is listed in the dictionary under ‘geek’ It says, ‘See Janet’.” “I can’t believe I did that – how embarrassing!”

A: Avoid. If there is someone who you know is a tyrant there is no shame in avoiding them whenever possible. Why put yourself in harm’s way or invite drama into your life when a simply change in your course of direction can alleviate any undue stress? In doing so, not only do you protect yourself but you are actually giving an unintended gift to the persecutor by not providing an opportunity for them to misbehave and possibly get in trouble.
Ex: If you know that individual always arrives at work precisely at 8 pm, either arrive slightly beforehand or enter through another doorway.

S: Self-talk. Our internal dialogue is responsible for all of our feelings. What we say to ourselves (our thoughts) determine how we feel and thus how we react or respond. Reminding ourselves that no one is born a bully, that it is a learned behavior and/or a defense mechanism, we can be more compassionate and understanding that this individual is dealing with issues of insecurity or low self-esteem. Their behaviors are an attempt to protect themselves from a perceived threat or to raise their image among their peers. Self-talk will either cause us to be fearful and angry towards them or be more understanding while boosting our self-confidence in how we deal with them.
Ex: “John’s not a bad guy. He’s a devoted father but seems insecure about his job. I can forgive him, set some boundaries, and find a way to get along with him as best as possible.”

O: Own It. If you are being targeted, take ownership for who you are, any mistakes you’ve made, any imperfections you may have, or for the simple truth about yourself. Doing so illustrates your awareness of truth, ability to feel comfortable and accepting of it, and diffuses the bullies authority over our feelings and response.
Ex: “Yes, I am grossly overweight and I know it puts me at risk for all sorts of health issues. Hopefully one day soon I’ll take action to improve my health.”

R: Reach Out. This is a difficult step that few are willing to embark upon. Reaching out to the aggressor puts one at risk for rejection, ridicule, retaliation or more. However, it is the first step to breaking down the barriers of fear they are struggling with and hopefully building some level of trust in the relationship. Undeniably challenging, this will no doubt take time and skillful effort to accomplish. Start small; be consistent; and like water running over a jagged rock and eventually smoothing the stone’s sharp edges, in time a level of trust can occur and the offensive behavior will subside.
Ex: First encounter: “Hi, John.” Second: “Hey, John. How’s it going?” Third: “John, have you seen Sharon? I need to ask her a question.”Fourth: “How was your weekend? Did you see the Yankee’s game on Saturday?” (Re: persistence and patience pays huge dividends.)

B: Befriend. As you establish a pleasant, non threatening relationship, the other party begins to see you as someone they can trust. In time, you can be a friend, on a limited basis if you choose, who can be influential in their progression from being an intimidator to a confident, secure, more approachable individual.
Ex: “My wife baked cookies last night. I brought some in for you. Hope you like them.” “Can I help you with that project?” “We’re having cake for Martha for her birthday. Won’t you please join us in the lounge?”

I want to reiterate that bullies are not bad people; they are the product of fear and insecurity.

“Those who are the most difficult to be kind to and befriend are the ones who need it the most.”

Many bullies have histories of having been mistreated or abused. What they need more than condemnation and exclusion is understanding, fair guidelines in the relationship, reasonable consequences for their offensive behaviors, and a strong support system. In this way, they can begin to heal their issues, get along better with family and peers, and lead morally upright lives.

“The only way to defeat your adversary is to make him your ally.”

Order your copy of Janet Pfeiffer’s Award-winning book on bullying: “THE ORCHIDS OF GATEWAY LANE” today! Available only at http://www.pfeifferpowerseminars.com/pps1-products.html
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Bully Politicians and What We Must Learn From Them

If you’ve been following the presidential debates, you are well aware of the bullying behaviors of some of our candidates. Gone are the days when politicians debated national and global issues. Shockingly, but not surprisingly, the debates have mutated into verbal warfare against each opponent. So who is to blame for this vile behavior? Many would point a finger at one candidate in particular who, from the get go, set the tone of slinging insults and vulgarities at his opponents. However, upon closer examination, it becomes quite evident that he is not the culprit.

For several decades, this country has embraced disrespect, anger, physical aggression, insults, and violence not only as a way of life but as a form of entertainment as well. Millions of people video tape, post, and view on the internet incidences of someone assaulting another person, whether adult or child; top rated shows on TV involve married couples or housewives slandering and abusing one another; today’s music is laden with violent undertones promoting aggression against women and rioting against humanity. Violence and bullying are a billion dollar industry. Those who do not actively speak out against it give permission for it to flourish and in doing become hypocrites for condemning those in the public eye vying for the presidential nomination. So it is not surprising to me at all that these debates contain the same components as Hollywood and social media.
Yet, even so, there are some who are appalled at the behavior of a handful of candidates and vow to cast a vote for another simply to prevent a mud-slinging politician from residing in the White House. Others cheer them on, feeling empowered by the audacity of those who speak what they themselves feel in their hearts. The irony is that while some admire bullies, it is this same behavior that is admonished in schools, is responsible for multiple suicides among young people being subjected to ongoing abuse; is cause for an employee to be terminated from their job or have harassment charges filed against them; enables individuals to get restraining orders against those who are threatening them; ends marriages and friendships and causes estrangements in families and much more.

This vulgar form of behavior reveals a lack of moral values and character in the bully. Contrary to what they would have you believe, their behavior is not indicative of confidence and self-assuredness but rather the exact opposite. Bullies are in fact insecure. They are overly concerned about how they are perceived by their peers and must continually prove themselves. They are self-absorbed (it’s all about them), view aggressive behavior as powerful, need to control (fear-based), have poor problem solving/debating skills, and lack compassion and empathy for others. Relying on such behaviors as insults, sarcasm, threats, ridicule, name-calling, and intimidation they experience a sense of power and control over their perceived enemy seeking to defeat him or her. Bullying, as with riots, arise out of feelings of desperation, fear, hopelessness, and powerlessness. Rationalizing, conversing, and negotiating appear insufficient strategies in achieving a desired result. In their minds, only aggressive actions will get the job done/suffice.

One who is truly confident acts from a place of mutual respect for all parties, even those they disagree with, and an eagerness to openly debate any given issue coupled with a true desire to find the most promising and lasting resolution. Opposing viewpoints are not perceived as threats to their intelligence, competency, or the outcome of the issue but rather as necessary elements to creating a win-win situation for all those involved.

For whatever my opinion is worth:
One of the biggest downfalls of the target occurs when they take personal offense to the bully’s words. What the bully is saying reflects their lack of integrity and is in no way reflective of who you are. Therefore, when dealing with a bully, it is imperative to remain in control of your emotions. Bullies seek to get a reaction from their targets as a way of gaining dominance over them. By remaining emotionally detached from their words, the target is able to maintain their composure and reply intelligently and with dignity rather than react emotionally. Always speak and/or respond with confidence. Be assertive, rather than aggressive, and set boundaries whenever necessary.

Attacking any individual is rude and disrespectful, and reveals a level of insecurity not indicative of a strong leader. One must remember to attack the issue and not the person. Refrain from trading insults. Refuse to lower yourself to their level but rather set the standard to raise them up to yours. Stick to the real issues of the debate and leave personal attacks where they belong – buried deep in obscurity.

Order The Secret Side of Anger, Second Edition or The Great Truth @ http://www.pfeifferpowerseminars.com/pps1-products.html
Listen to past shows on iHeart Radio @ http://ow.ly/OADTf
Listen to my newest iHeart Radio show, BETWEEN YOU AND GOD, @ http://ow.ly/OADJK
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“I Caused Hurricane Sandy: Facing the Fear of the Unknown”

I take full responsible for the recent “Frankenstorm” that ravaged the east coast, destroying homes and businesses, displacing millions of people, causing billions of dollars in damages, and more. I am fully aware of being careful of what you wish for and may have been irresponsible in a recent request. I’ve been under enormous pressure for more than a year and a half and desperately wanted a week off so I could clean my office, do yard work, and take care of other personal business. The Universe knows I never voluntarily take time off so I think it may have inadvertently caused the devastating hurricane that knocked out my power for eight days, allowing me plenty of time to clean out all the paperwork in my office and uncover that desk I was certain was still there. I cannot even begin to express the remorse I feel for those whose lives were disrupted by my reckless universal petition.

No matter what impending threats lurk in our future, there is a certain amount of fear and anxiety we face when confronted with the unknown. A storm of this magnitude had not occurred in more than one hundred years so there was much to be concerned about. How can one calm the inner storm that looms within?

First, understand that fear is a lack of trust – trust in the situation about to occur, trust in one’s own ability to weather the certain changes, trust in God that He will provide for us everything we need to get through.

Second, I need to prepare for what may transpire. Do I have a generator, lots of food and water, batteries and flashlights, have I secured anything outdoors that may not withstand hurricane winds, and so forth? Having a plan and taking action creates a sense of power in the situation and brings a sense of comfort and control.

Remain vigilant and address each issue as it appears. Only deal with as much as you can handle in that moment.

Reach out to others for guidance, assistance, strength, hope, etc. Utilize every resource available. Use time and resources wisely.

Remember, real power lies in our ability to choose, to make the wisest choice possible given our abilities, time, situation, etc.

Built on your past successes. We all have them. Remind yourself of how you were able to handle prior challenges.

Accept that which we have no control over. Recite the Serenity Prayer as a reminder.

Stay positive and be grateful. Any day that you can get up and do something is a good day. There are millions of people who can’t.

Have faith and trust in God. “Fear not for I am with you; be not dismayed for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” – Isaiha 41:10

Don’t allow fear and anxiety to paralyze you and dominate your thinking. Life is filled with uncertainty – it arrives on our doorstep each day whether we ordered it or not. No matter how unwelcome it is, remember that nothing lasts forever and this too shall pass.

Visit www.PfeifferPowerSeminars.com to learn more about anger and fear. Pick up a copy of The Secret Side of Anger and my latest book, The Great Truth: Shattering Life’s Most Insidious Lies That Sabotage Your Happiness Along With the Revelation of Life’s Sole Purpose.