Yes. Kind of. Definitely feel compassion for them.
Compassion is defined as: sympathetic pity and concern for the sufferings or misfortunes of others.
All people have problems. ALL people. Bullies have their own problems. Often – it has nothing to do with the person they lash out at. My son has a friend – who acts out every time his father is away on business for instance. He doesn’t get mean because he’s a bad person. He gets frustrated because his dad is away.
My point is that – you don’t know why the bully is behaving badly – only that they are behaving badly. People that behave badly – deserve our pity and concern – because – something is definitely wrong.
There are several benefits for feeling compassion for a bully.
- Feeling compassion for them feels way better than feeling sorry for yourself.
- It humanizes them and that reduces your impulse to bully them back
- Most bullies REALLY don’t like being pitied. And the more you feel compassion for them – the less they will want to bully you because – you won’t be fun to bully.
As to the question – should you do something nice for them? That depends. I think the answer is – don’t be mean to them.
Just be a nice person – even to the bully. You can stand up and tell them to stop with compassion instead of anger.
In those moments when they are behaving nicely – definitely reward their niceness by being nice back to them.
There was a kid who tried to bully me in grade school. He got past that and we got past that. So – definitely be open to a bully – NOT being a bully because – they are humans dealing with their own stuff.
The point is – if you want to train a bully to not bully you – think of them like you are training a puppy. Positively reward the behavior you want – and don’t reward the behavior you don’t want.
Be nice – but don’t be a push over.
All the materials on this website are free. If you can afford a donation – great – if not – access whatever you need. There are training videos and coaching videos to help you learn the behavioral science of how to get unwanted behaviors to stop and how to apply that science to the problem of bullying.
Also – please share with anyone you know who is struggling.