Why Do People Bully?

A bully is “a person who hurts, persecutes, or intimidates weaker people.” I am sure you can relate to this definition of a bully as we have met such persons either at home, school or work place.

Bullies target those who are coy, sensitive or are not psychologically strong to face unsavory remarks. Bullying seems to belong to antiquity and must have originated with human existence as it is embedded in the behavior of some people.

People bully:

chart-icn
Image from Google
  • To intimidate
  • To gain control
  • To satisfy their ego
  • To prove their power
  • To settle scores
  • Due to low self-esteem
  • Out of frustration
  • Out of emotional deprivation
  • Just for fun

Bullying begins at home and many children pick it up from their parents who might be arguing, threatening or pushing the partner to the wall to prove his/her point. So bullying is a learnt behavior.

Sometimes a parent sets an example through his own rigid behavior and high expectations. He may alienate himself from other members of the family. Children who grow up in emotionally insensitive families fail to learn the virtue of empathy. They learn to take pleasure in the pains of others.

Sibling rivalry and favoritism within a family leaves an indelible mark on the psyche of children. They either lean towards bullies or develop a low self-esteem. A girl child who is constantly badgered for being a liability and told that she must learn good behavior, as she has to get married is bullied with such words! This kind of attitude encourages the male sibling to bully her further. She learns to accept this kind of verbal and emotional bullying at her own home.

When parents are indifferent to making fun, teasing and hurting amongst siblings and don’t take punitive measures to stop such behavior, a bully may feel encouraged, as the mute message that reaches him is that such a behavior is acceptable.

In some cases children who like to bully could have been neglected at home and they grow up with the notion that nobody cares for them.

Lack of positive role models in our lives, dominance of leaders who bully and coaches who encourage the players to be aggressive give a boost to such behavior in our society.

Bullying at school is accepted as normal aggressive behavior of some children. It may begin with a little fun or unpleasant remarks out of jealousy but it doesn’t stop in case of an introvert who doesn’t share his thoughts. It is often neglected till it acquires gigantic proportions and could have already proved psychologically detrimental for the victim.

First and foremost, bullying needs to be reported to a teacher or a parent. Students who choose to fight their own battles or ignore inappropriate behavior indirectly encourage a bully.

Second, it is essential to take some action against bullying to set an example for others and send a clear signal that such a behavior would not be accepted.

Third, please remember… Bullying never has to do with you. It’s the bully who’s insecure,”says Shay Mitchell.Bullying quote

It is extremely important to sensitize children about mutual respect and kindness at an impressionable age. Talks, discussions, projects and workshops, which focus on behavior could be organized at school to nurture compassion and empathy.

It is quite challenging to approach a bully and criticize his inappropriate remarks. He may not be responsible for them. A teacher who knows her students has to approach them gently, without hurting their sentiments and self-esteem. The focus has to be on correction and not criticism of behavior.

If we dig deeper, it can be discerned that bullies too need help. Such children are themselves the victim of some insensitive behavior at home or are upset with their own self. Their own demons are larger than life. They would never share the real reasons of such behavior. Some of them may not even be aware of the reasons and the consequences of bullying on their personality.

A bully is a hard nut to crack. The right approach would be to talk to him, show him positive approach towards life without actually hinting at his behavior. A teacher who knows a bully’s behavior or a psychologist in a group can do this. While group therapy can be helpful in some cases, such a student needs a close monitoring. Parents too have to step in if they are really concerned.

When bullying enters work places, it becomes uncontrollable as employees accept it calmly with the cliché… ‘Boss is always right.’ I have heard that phrase a thousand times and told to ‘accept’…even injustice! At this stage of life when we are capable of standing against bullying, we look the other way.

I have seen that people have their own reasons for accepting such behavior. Some don’t want to lose their job; some want promotion or favors while many are cowards who have been conditioned to become a ‘yes-man’ for the sake of peace. They become the cronies of those who sit in the comfort of their chairs to bully through their henchmen and smile at their successful strategies.

I have met many bullies but refused to surrender to their dirty games. I was always guided by the words of Lincoln – “I would rather be a little nobody, than to be a evil somebody.” 

How many bullies have you met? What was your approach?

Thank you for reading this. Please share your valuable reflections, as they are much appreciated.

If you have liked this post, please share it at your favorite social networks.

Balroop Singh.

 

 

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Why Are #YoungMinds So Vulnerable?

Mentoring Young Minds
Why is it so difficult to guide teenagers?

Why do they drift away and want to take their own decisions?
Why do they trust their peer group more than their best well- wishers?
How can they be easily influenced and manipulated by antagonists?

While parents and teachers dismiss all that as irresponsible and immature behavior, it is not very easy to understand a young mind. Psychologists have been trying to do that for many years.

Researchers believe that human brain development continues till the age of 25. The complex changes that the brain undergoes make them volatile and vulnerable. Youngsters crave individualism, freedom and self-regulation but are prone to risky behavior during this growth. Their patience and self-control is not fully developed. They can’t think of the consequences.

According to Dr. Frances Jensen, a Neuroscientist, “Teenagers make much more sense when you understand that the frontal lobes of the brain – the part responsible for judgment, impulse control, mood and emotions – is the last part to fully develop. So the brain just doesn’t know how to regulate itself yet. They’re like Ferraris with weak brakes.”

Ironically when they need their parents the most, they lose connection with them. We too are responsible for this disconnect.

What alienates them?

    1. Lack of understanding by parents: While teenagers are trying to cope up with physical and emotional upheavals within them, all they need is love and assurance that they are good enough. Most of them change, adapt and respond in a positive manner but those who don’t get the right environment seek it elsewhere.
    2. Excessive control: All they need at this stage is patient hearing. The quest to explore and experiment is the highest at this phase of life. If the rules and regulations are too crippling, youngsters take pleasure in flouting them. Setting the boundaries may be essential but one has to be flexible at times and give some freedom otherwise they become rebellious.
    3. Criticism: Teenagers are very sensitive and self-conscious. Criticism affects them deeply and they might retract into their own shell, stop sharing their thoughts and desires and could develop a low self-esteem. Such minds never come out of their developmental trauma and might react violently.
    4.  High expectations: I have seen many high school students struggling to come up to the expectations of their parents and choosing the subjects due to parental or peer pressure. In an attempt to please their parents or accomplish the dreams of their fathers, they lose their own personality.
    5. Neglect: Children, who grow up in dysfunctional families or those who have not received basic emotional support at an impressionable age, carry a baggage of unspoken words, which drag them deeper into an abyss of darkness. They always carry grudges in their heart against the world and become insensitive and apathetic. All they need is help though they are unwilling to accept it.

How can we help?

  • Provide them with safe and loving environment at home
  • Early bonding through open discussions
  • Listen to them calmly and patiently
  • Avoid criticism of their ideas and friends
  • Encourage regular exercise and creative channelization of energy
  • Encourage adequate rest and sleep
  • Avoid coercing them for career goals
  • Avoid stressful talk
  • Talk about your expectations calmly and logically.

Role of teachers:Children are like clay

Teachers are the role models for students. A kind and an affectionate word for the most unruly student attracts his attention and he leans towards the teacher who has a sympathetic attitude towards him. I have seen the toughest ones melt into tears of remorse when I tried to delve deeper, to probe into the causes of their violent behavior.

Little disappointments seem gigantic to teenagers. Teachers can convert those moments of disenchantment into stepping-stones by talking them out of negativity. A good teacher can also become a counselor, as she/he understands students better than parents. Teenagers feel more comfortable in sharing their problems with their teachers.

Young minds can be molded into positive and responsible individuals but the onus lies on us.

Thank you for reading this. Please share your valuable reflections, as they are much appreciated.

If you have liked this post, please share it at your favorite social networks.

Balroop Singh.

Why Some People Never Come Out Of Developmental Trauma

Developmental trauma

I think many people don’t understand it. By the time they become aware of this concept, which has been highlighted by the psychologists and psychiatrists, their attitudes have been formed and their behavioral traits well established.

Developmental trauma is the pain that slowly seeps into the psyche of a child, inflicting deep emotional lesions that never heal. If the emotions of a child are neglected or a parent is insensitive or tries to exercise excessive control and doesn’t know how to handle difficult situations, a child may carry those memories with him forever.

Developmental distress is not connected with inadequate care or nourishment albeit it does leave an indelible mark on a child’s developmental stages in cases of penury.

It is more significant in the building of a strong and balanced personality. Emotional aspect of one’s personality is equally important to build self-esteem, security and identity. Insecure emotional beings stem from the kind of upbringing they get at the early stages of their life.

Unpleasant memories stay in the subconscious mind and they keep surfacing, affecting our relationship with the parent or sibling who used or abused you in an unreasonable manner. Certain issues remain unresolved as we refuse to revisit them or we dismiss them as traumatic but they keep returning to haunt us.

Some people emerge out of this trauma if they try to address it or are resilient enough to understand that nothing can be changed about it. According to experts, this happens only in the later part of adulthood.

Developmental deficiencies get entrenched in our personality:

  • Emotional alienation – I have seen such people who struggle with emotional upheavals, who can’t find the right words to express their feelings, who seem to be bitter but are really suffering inside and don’t even have the courage to hug and cry. Probably they have never been hugged in their childhood when they felt the pain.
  • Masked identity – They try to cope up with their fears and insecurities by disconnecting themselves from their past and refuse to talk about it. They put up a bold front though they are broken inside. Their personal growth remains stunted unless they acknowledge and agree to accept the unavoidable that had happened to them.
  • Prejudiced perceptions – They live within their cocoon and refuse to come out. Only a very understanding and loving partner can drag them out. Some of them lack social and communicative skills and therefore don’t make an effort to mingle with the crowd. Often they misconstrue the positive overtures of others as intrusion into their private space.
  • Impeccable exterior – They consider themselves to be perfect and always blame others even for their unreasonable and illogical behavior. This façade of perfection is acquired during childhood when they could have felt inadequate or humiliated due to the expectations of a dominating parent or older sibling. They never move on!

Next time you meet somebody with behavioral issues that make you wonder what is wrong with this person, give a compassionate look and think twice before passing your judgment. He/she could be grappling with his own developmental demons.

Developmental demons

While professional help may be required to heal childhood wounds that keep festering, the first step is acceptance. Those who feel they can handle themselves by being independent and strong further plunge into darkest parts of their mind, pushing their well-wishers far away.

All children face traumas but react differently. Some grow up with a positive attitude and forget about those incidents, which were emotionally distressing while others have negative connotations about them. Those are the ones who have to deal with them all their life.

Thank you for reading this. Please share your valuable reflections, they are much appreciated.

If you have liked this post, please share it at your favorite social networks.

Balroop Singh.

How To Knock Off Indecision And Procrastination

Are you indecisive?

Procrastination is not just the practice of putting off important tasks; it speaks volumes about the inability to take decisions that we believe to be right. It also exhibits our lack of confidence and faith in unknown fears. Unless we tackle those fears, we remain in the grip of others.

Moments of indecision slip from our hands like sand; we unconsciously transfer the power that lies within our reach; we let the seconds tick through our minds, pondering over the questions…such nightmarish moments turn into regrets that stick forever.

If we have no choice, we fret and fume, we detest all those who block our freedom but when choices lie before us, we dither, we think and we look at others to take a decision. Jim Rohn has rightly pointed out that “Indecision is the thief of opportunity.”

Why are people indecisive?

  • They don’t want to displease anyone
  • They are scared of making a wrong choice
  • Insecurities shackle their thoughts
  • They lack confidence of facing risks
  • They could be perfectionists
  • They detest change

Determination and confidence are the two essential traits of a decisive mind.

Know your mind: It is the quality of a strong and well-developed personality. We all pass through the phase of indecisiveness. When we are immature to trust our decisions, we give in to the wishes or commands of others. When we start understanding our needs and desires, we ought to acquire the confidence to take our decisions.

Build Confidence: Most teenagers try to wrest the control of their lives from the hands of their parents and want to take their own decisions. Those who live from their heart are quick in learning the art of decisiveness even if it may prove disastrous but they don’t dwell in those parallel lines, which take them nowhere. Decisiveness is the most significant personality trait that leads you to success.

Dismiss fears and sneers: Boulders of fear block our path but we have to take a detour to avoid them. When I decided to quit a secure job at the age of 24 and start a family, my colleagues looked at me in bewilderment, some even scoffed at my immaturity but I didn’t look back. I have never even had a regret though I could never reach that position, which I had secured at that young age.Be decisive!

Support: If you don’t have the nod of your family or partner, you may vacillate and wonder whether it is the right time to take a decision. Time is never right if we think too much. ‘Now or never’ is a good guiding force to knock off the monster of indecision.

Trust Yourself: Procrastination slowly gets entrenched in our personality and becomes a habit. It corrodes our confidence, smothers our thoughts and restricts our actions. We become mere puppets in the hands of people around us. Sometimes unilateral decisions lead us out of the conundrums of life.

Are you a puppet? Do you take your own decisions or procrastinate?

Thank you for reading this. Please share your valuable reflections, they are much appreciated.

If you have liked this post, please share it at your favorite social networks.

Balroop Singh.

 

 

Personal Transformation Secrets

Personal TransformationThere are thousands of stories about personal transformation and the oft-repeated word is – positivity! The word seems to suggest that the moment we write that word down in our journal, the moment we start thinking about it, change within us starts.

While the stories of personal transformation inspire, there are many people whose inspiration lasts for a few moments, who like to wallow in self-pity and don’t make any conscious effort to move on from the dumps of depression.

Positive thoughts need constant ignition. That’s why one appointment with a therapist is not sufficient. What does a therapist do? He just listens to our disappointing thoughts and veers them towards positivity.

I can say with great conviction that positivity does help but personal transformation is a very slow process. So slow that we don’t even notice it.

In many cases it doesn’t occur at all…why?

  • Negative influence around us impedes our first step, detrimental discussions about persons who work against our progress especially at work place sway our thoughts so much that we fail to see how much such people can harm our personality.
  • Getting stuck in the past, whining about who hurt us and why and submerging ourselves in the sea of sadistic thoughts doesn’t let us move beyond what we are and what we wanted to be.
  • Obsession of success can take us far into the barren lands of transience, which seem to be so alluring that we lose connection with our own self as well as our treasured relationships.
  • Arrogance of wealth and power refuses to knock us down its exalted pedestal, from where we see ourselves as perfect.
  • All those persons who ride high on the clouds of perfection refuse to accept that they could become better persons.

I know a few who don’t even possess the courage to acknowledge that they had hurt somebody at some juncture of life, knowingly or unknowingly. Some are those who continue to hurt and say ‘why should I change now?’ They believe that people deserve the treatment that has been meted out to them because of their imperfections. Ironically they refuse to see that nobody is perfect!

If you want to change yourself…

Accept your inadequacies:

Do you consider acceptance of your weaknesses equivalent to lowering of your self-esteem? Has self-love created a rift between you and your dear ones? If so, it is time to introspect. You may be aware of the reasons; the moment you acknowledge them in your heart; you could initiate personal transformation.

Get in touch with your inner self:Personal transformation quote

Do you sweep embarrassing issues and questions under the carpet? Do you postpone their discussion? Do you live in the world of denial? There must be some fears and insecurities, which could be hampering your growth. Unless you let them reveal themselves and make peace with them, personal transformation doesn’t ensue.

Cultivate kindness:

A kind heart overlooks all mistakes and forgives all. Do one kind act everyday. It could be as little as smiling at somebody. Kindness is immensely cathartic for the body and the soul. It calms our nerves and introduces us to empathy. It enhances our confidence and provides a strange satisfaction. Studies have revealed that kind people are happy and healthy.

Understand success:

Success may be an important goal of your life but it loses its meaning when we shoot past other aspects of life. Success is being happy, being at peace with yourself; being able to look after yourself and being content. A successful person is the one who is emotionally balanced. Addiction to success often proves self-detrimental. The corridors of success are illuminated more by our emotions.

“Transformation is not automatic. It must be learned; it must be led.” – W. Edwards Deming.

We have to allow ourselves to become a better person. You can read more about personal enhancement in my latest book.

Have you ever struggled with frustrations? Do negative thoughts pester you?

Thank you for reading this. Please add your valuable reflections, they are much appreciated.

If you have liked this article, please share it at your favorite social networks.

Balroop Singh.