Bullying can be dealt with in a way that is both strong and fair. By developing the confidence to stand up for oneself, and the ability to respond to bullying in a way that is assertive and respectful, one can overcome the fear and intimidation that often accompany bullying, and ultimately achieve a greater sense of self-respect and self-esteem.
Learning to Fair Charge
How do you do this? Let me tell you a little story. When I was young, I played soccer. The practice I remember most is the fair charge practice one of my coaches had us do endlessly. Two players would line up – coach would roll the ball fast in front of us, we would have to charge to win the ball to be able to take a shot on goal.
This practice wasn’t just about running fast and beating the other person to the ball. The point was to learn how to do a fair charge. In soccer, a fair charge is using your body and shoulder to hit the other play and push them off the ball. As long as you don’t use your arms, you can hit someone, push them off the ball and take it from them. This is a fair charge.
It’s astonishingly hard to do. Our instinct is to reach out and use our arms to brace for impact or to push the other person. If you do that, you will be called for a foul and lose the opportunity to score. So learning how to suppress your instincts, take the hit, and hit back just using your body and shoulder takes practice to be able to do it reliably.
The player has to learn to be ok with charging hard, taking the hit that is two players charging into each other using just their bodies and shoulders and know you will be ok. To do this well, you have to let go of your fear and allow your desire to win that ball take over. You aren’t doing this to hurt the other player. When done correctly – no one gets hurt. But you do have to be fearless to do it. And you can learn to do it with practice.
That team that focused on fair charges when to the state semifinals. We lost to the West Torrance Teddy Bears and everyone I am still friends with from that team is still traumatized by that loss. We should have gone to state and it was our mistake that lost us that game. By playing fearless and fairly, we were an unstoppable force. Other teams couldn’t understand why we never got charged with fouls. The answer was – we never once fouled the other team. We just played hard and fair and were willing to take a hit to win.
What does this have to do with bullying?
Learning to do fair charges in soccer is the same as learning to stand up for oneself in the face of bullying. Just like in soccer, where players have to learn to give and take hits fairly, people who are being bullied need to learn how to respond to bullying in a way that is both assertive and fair.
In soccer, players who are afraid of being hit or who are too aggressive in their charges can end up causing harm to themselves or others. Similarly, people who are being bullied may either become passive and allow the bullying to continue or become aggressive and retaliate in a way that is unfair or harmful – ultimately hurting themselves more than they hurt the bully.
Learning how to fight back against bullying – fairly
By learning to do fair charges in soccer, I learned I could be compete aggressively, but in a way that didn’t hurt myself or anyone else. I could win, without cheating. The same skills are needed to get bullying to stop. You can learn the skills necessary to respond to bullying in a way that is assertive, but also fair. This way you don’t get in trouble, but the bully does.
The way to do this is to use the techniques I teach on this site. I teach you to understand the dynamic and how to control it using simple responses that will help you win. But, just as with fair charges in soccer, the techniques are counter intuitive and require practice to master. But once you do, you won’t have to worry about bullies harming you anymore.
First start with: Why Bullies Bully and How to Make Them Stop – https://bullyvaccineproject.com/why-bullies-bully-how-to-stop-them-using-science/
Then peruse the following free video lessons: https://bullyvaccineproject.com/video-lessons/
Finally, there are downloadable tip sheets and documentation logs you can use to help deal with your bullying situation. https://bullyvaccineproject.com/courses/downloads/
Everything on this website is free. You don’t have to register for anything. Just – take what you need and please share it with others. Together we can stop bullying and make the world a better place – for everyone.