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Australian Boy Shows One Way to Handle a Bully – and More…

Last night, a video from YouTube (now taken down) was featured on a national news channel, showing an incident of bullying that was – quite frankly – shocking.

It was shocking, not only because of the graphic nature of the content, but because of the lessons it taught regarding bullying.

The video – shot at a school in Australia – showed two boys; the smaller of the two boys was the bully (lesson one) and he is clearly seen taunting the bigger, overweight boy (lesson two).

The smaller boy taunts for a few moments – and then hauls off and punches the bigger boy right in the face.  The bigger boy takes the shot, and just stands there – to which the bully hits him again.  (Lesson three).

This goes on for a few moments longer, when the bigger boy explodes. (Lesson four)

He grabs the smaller boy around the waist, heaves him up into the air – and literally spikes him like a football onto the pavement.  The smaller boy was fortunate he didn’t land on his head or he could have been seriously injured, possibly even paralyzed.  (Lesson five)

The lessons taught here are invaluable for you if you are a parent, or maybe if you are the victim of a bully boss, abusive relationship or more.  Let’s look at the lessons…

Lesson one – the bully is NOT always the biggest, meanest you-know-what.  I personally know grown men, over six feet tall, that are pushed around emotionally by their wives.  Their wives use emotions like guilt, frustration and fear of divorce to get their way.  And this is in no way restricted to just wives; this can exist in all sorts of relationships, both professional and personal.

Lesson two – the target of the bullying was a larger, overweight boy.  I have spoken on this subject at length, both in my speaking engagements and the book, “Bully Proof Kids”; kids that “stand out” as “different” are easier targets for bullies – especially if they are overweight.

Lesson three – the one I have been screaming from the rooftops for years, is that turning the other cheek does NOT work.

In some instances – SOME, and they are rare – it does work but, the emotional damage done to the person who is turning the other cheek can last a lifetime.  In every instance that I know of, from personal experience and from working with thousands of adults and children that have been in similar circumstances, the self-image and self-esteem boost that comes from standing up to the bully in their lives far exceeds the potential reprucussions, no matter what.

Lesson four – This is what happens when you “turn the other cheek” for too long; it bottles up and eventually comes out in many forms.

It could be you drinking too much; it could be depression, anxiety, sleeplessness.  I have seen cases so intense were people developed neuromuscular conditions like fibromyalgia.  Kids will stop doing things they love to do, like sports, reading or hanging out with friends.

I’ve seen people quit their jobs, uproot their families and move, just to get away from bullies at the workplace or in the neighborhood.  I’ve heard of parents that snap, transferring their child out of school to a new one or filing a lawsuit against the family of the bully.

All because they kept “turning the other cheek” until they couldn’t stand it anymore – and snapped.

Lesson five – Violence is rarely the answer to anything.  But,  if you find yourself in a situation where you are being physically assaulted – legally defined as, “an intentional act by one person that creates an apprehension in another of an imminent harmful or offensive contact” – you have the right to protect yourself.

Unless you are being physically harmed,  you always want to stand up to the bully or address the situation in a non-violent manner.  In the instance of this boy standing up for himself, he did the right thing by protecting himself – but the severity of his response was way over the top.

These are powerful lessons for you as you educate and prepare yourself to stand up to the bullies in your life.  Armed with this knowledge, you will be prepared to handle the issue of bullying properly should the situation ever arise.

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