Sunday, January 17, 2010

Responding to bullying: Winning through losing

This series of posts explores the roots and provides recommended responses to childhood bullying. Here’s the introduction to the series:

 Dealing with Bullies and Bullying: Introduction

Winning through losing

“Winning through losing” is a concept that requires a high level of personal maturity but can provide a valuable tactic and life lesson for a bullying victim.

The power of agreement

An example of “winning through losing” would be when a bully says something like, “you’re a dork” and the individual on the receiving end agrees with him to keep peace and act like the bigger person. They might say “You are right…I am a bit dorky but I’m working on it.” The power of this approach lies in the fact that a lot of times the bully is simply trying to get a rise out of his victim in order to affirm himself (or herself). This is accomplished by embarrassing/humiliating them and maybe trying to get them to cry.

What if the bullying escalates?

A bully may lose interest if they can’t get a rise. This is the ideal reaction. If instead, the bully persists and the encounter escalates to the point of violence, (or threats of violence), the victim should take a passive ready stance. This is performed with the hands and arms raised, palms facing toward the bully, (the widely understood “take it easy” or “please calm down” gesture). As an added benefit, this hand and arm position provides a barrier between the bully’s attack and the victim’s head and face.

Reacting from a ready stance

If the bully shoots in for a tackle, the recipient should take a step back and push straight down on the bully’s shoulder blades.

If the bully throws a punch, move one or both hands to intercept the attack (blocking). This will buy a second. If there’s no other options available, the receiver of the attack should deliver a palm strike to the nose. This will stun the bully for a second or two and allow them to be pushed out of the way long enough to make an escape.

Most importantly: Get away fast

In any of these situations, the child should run as fast as they can to the nearest adult for help. Once again, I have to warn that this action will most likely leave the bully plotting their revenge and direct parental follow-up, as well as greater awareness on the part of the bullying victim is recommended.

No comments:

Post a Comment