Love is a 4 letter word.

Love is a 4 letter word. So is the word bull.

A humanistic management colleague of mine, Jyoti Bachani – signed off an email with the phrase. Love is a 4 letter word. I loved it and made a note to myself to muse on it in a blog post.

I love love. I love to act on my love – not just love acts, but acts of compassion.  Love feels good.  And in my teachings on how to make bullies stop, I talk a lot about having compassion for the bullies. The mindset of compassion turns out to be a really powerful approach that helps make bullying stop because it both removes the reward for the bullying AND helps insulate the victim at the same time.  Get my book to read more about the science behind this approach.  And yes – there is science behind this approach.

I decided to write my musing on love being a 4 letter word in my bullying blog because bull  – the root word of bullying is also a 4 letter word and it strikes me as a useful way to understand bullying behavior. Bullies are like bulls.

Bulls can be quite scary.  They charge, they gore, they can cause harm. They can kill.

There are many ways to fight bulls, but perhaps the best one – is to not fight them at all. There is a sport called Bull Leaping.

This bull leaper or recortador doesn’t view himself as being in a fight with the bull. He loves bulls. Thinks they are awesome creatures. His goal – is not to hurt the bull. Or to kill the bull. But simply – to avoid the bull. He allows the bully to come at him – and – gets out of the bull’s way.

I have written about the art of winning by refusing to fight before. It’s similar to the art of tai chi.

The point is that you don’t have to hate the bull or bully, to best the bull or bully.  You can in fact approach the bully from a place of love and compassion. You can win, by not fighting.  The point is – you don’t need to be afraid of bullies. You can learn how to avoid them and make them stop.

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