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Bully, Repeat, Bully, Repeat, Bully, Repeat

Posted Jan 27 2009 7:16pm
I was bullied a fair amount when I was a child. As I think back over the years I think that i see a pattern. I'm 42 now and being bullied at ages 9 or 12 was a long time ago. That said, I think that Bullies tend to elicit the same behaviors over and over, because they enjoy the same response in their victim.

A group of older boys and girls would corner me when they saw me on the street and tell me say, "Adam, you are a jail bird. We are going to send you to jail." I would end up in tears by the time it was all done. They thought it was funny.

Have you ever teased the family cat? Or perhaps your cat likes to fight with you. Maybe you wiggle your fingers around in front of the cat's face and it attacks your hand. It's fun, so you wiggle your hands the same way each time hoping for the same response from the cat. The more you get the response you want and as long as that response is enjoyable, you feel a stronger motivation to repeat the behavior.

Ever get bullied? It's like you are like the cat in a way. The goofy thing is that your tormentors aren't bright enough to think through anything new or creative. Instead they expend their energies on the same behaviors that give them the response that they enjoy.

If you are getting bullied, it is important that you write down everything you remember about getting bullied. Look for a pattern of behavior that repeats itself. Look for location, environment, external events, personal roles present, time/event . . . see if you can identify what bullying events have in common. I think that you will see a number of things that are the same over and over.

If you can identify that and then document it in a journal, PowerPoint or even scrap paper, you will be in a position to gain power over the situation.

My disclaimer is that when I was getting bullied, I never followed this advice. The bullies had dominion and control over me. As an adult, having studied process improvement and quality management techniques, I'm starting to get some ideas. So, I have no personal success stories, but I think my ideas are based on universal techniques.

Let me know what you think.

Adam
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