Are bullies psychopaths? Probably not – and assuming they are won’t help you fix the problem. Focus on fixing the problem – not on diagnosing the individual
Why a bully is bullying doesn’t really matter. This is a behavior. We can stop unwanted behaviors – regardless of why they are happening – using a behavioral conditioning technique known as extinguishing a behavior. So focus on learning the technique and don’t spend too much mental energy wondering WHY.
You may never learn why a bully bullied. But usually – it has nothing to do with the victim and everything to do with the bully and what they are going through. Some bullies may be psychopaths or sociopaths. But assuming that they are – will cause you to respond to them in a way that won’t help you make them stop.
Our number one goal should be – how to make them stop.
How to make a bully stop – extinguishing a behavior
The technique is simple to explain – hard to actually do.
First – stop rewarding them. Anything that smacks of submission or emotion- will likely be treated by a bully – as a win. Don’t let them win.
Instead – emotionally practice feeling sorry for them- compassion. Practice being emotionally neutral.
This really is it – in a nutshell. It’s so simple it couldn’t possibly work – except it’s the only thing that does.
How do this work in reality?
The bully triggers you – by doing something they think you won’t like. You respond as if you weren’t bothered at all or in a way that shows pity for the bully.
The bully responds to your non-response – by trying again. And again – you respond neutrally or with pity and compassion.
If they are really vested in this – they will try again. And you will do this again – and eventually – they will give up and break off.
Do this enough – and they will leave you alone.
Is this easy to do?
No. It is not. It takes practice and courage to do this. And then some more practice and self doubt and more practice and frustration and more practice. I’m not going to lie to you – there is a reason most attempts to make bullies stop, fail. What I can promise you is – this really is the only way to make them stop.
Register for the site – it’s free – and take advantage of all the training videos and downloadable documentation logs and learn what you need to make this work – I can’t put it all in one blog post – that’s why I built this website.
What if they are being physically violent?
Don’t call it bullying. If you are getting beat up – say – you are getting beaten up. Bullying is – harassment. It’s a pattern of obnoxious behavior designed to both make you feel bad and socially ostracize you.
If someone is beating you up or threatening to beat you up – you are well past bullying and into the realm of physical violence. If you tell a teacher – you are being bullied when what is really happening is that you are getting threats – the teacher will not understand what is going on. So – please – find the courage and tell someone – exactly what is going on. If you are getting threats – say – someone is threatening me.
Yes – the adults around you will probably freak out. Yes – you will be worried that they may make the situation worse. But guess what – if you don’t speak up – it will get worse. It’s already bad. So speak up and ask for help.
Adults have trouble with this – children should not be expected to handle these things on their own without support and training. So – ask for help.
Or – join my website and get the training you need so that you feel confident enough to start tackling this. And I do recommend – you do your learning – before making changes so that you can anticipate and plan for – retaliation.