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How Bullying is Like an Addiction


What do you do if you are an adult and one day, you wake up to find a group of your close friends in your living room, telling you that they are there for an AI – Azzhole Intervention – and you are the subject?

If you are like most people, the first thing you are going to do is get mad and defensive.  You are going to threaten to kill them, throw them out of your house, never talk to them again or some other form of a temper tantrum.

You may “lash out” at each one of them, personally attacking them on their shortcomings, mistakes, personality flaws and more.

After that doesn’t work and the shock passes that you are being called on the carpet for your B.S., you may start the next phase, which is being hurt.

You may break out the tears, say that you can’t believe this is happening, that you thought we were friends, this isn’t how you treat a friend, blah-blah-blah…

Next comes my favorite, St. Victim.  This is where you break out the Catholic/Jewish/Name-Your-Religion/Mother Guilty Victim role.  You know the one:  “It’s not my fault/I didn’t get hugged enough/you don’t know how hard it is/I lost my job…”

The list goes on and on.

Finally, when all of that B.S. is over, you come to the realization – they are right – YOU are the problem.

In this way, being the bully is very much like an addiction.  Once someone has been a bully, gotten the power rush or relief from the experience and gotten away with it, they will continue on with it – and nothing will change it.

Unless, the targets of their bullying stand up, take back their power and turn the focus on where it needs to be, which is the person doing the bullying.

People who bully – children included – do it for multiple reasons, not just from low-self esteem.

Many people and kids who bully DO have low self-esteem, but that’s not all.  They may be insecure, or they may be frustrated in other areas of their lives and acting out.

There could be trouble at home, work, finances, you name it.  In some cases, the bully has a superiority complex, where they feel so over-confident that they get cocky and too big for their britches.

Whatever the reason, when someone is the bully, it is because it is somehow making them feel better – either it is boosting their self-esteem because they feel better when they get you to react a certain way, or they are venting the pain they are feeling on someone else.

Either way, nothing will change the dynamic of the bully until you stand up to them and confront it head-on and then, the bully has to go figure out what the problem is and address it.

It is very similar to what someone I know who is a member of Alcoholics Anonymous told me.  He said that alcohol isn’t the problem, it’s what an alcoholic is covering up or trying to make go away by drinking that is the problem.

This is how bullying is like an addiction.

If you had a loved one that drank too much, to the point where it was a problem, ignoring it, walking on eggshells or other behaviors would only make the problem worse.

Just like with an addiction, the only course of action is to confront it head-on and start the process of getting the bullying stopped, finding out the root cause and moving forward from there.

If not, you are empowering the bully and giving your power away.

It all comes down to taking your power back.  Taking it back from the angry spouse that is yelling and sniping because they are hurting to the abusive boss; from the employee that won’t perform no matter what to the kid down the street that won’t let up on your kid.

Confront the bullying, just like you would someone who had an addiction.  It might be tough, but in the end, you’ll discover it was one of the best things you ever did.

Take back your power,

Sensei Harrison Huff

 P.S. – Bullying is like a poison that is spreading through our schools and our country.  The harsh reality is that our schools ARE NOT trained to make bullying a priority; their priority is getting good test scores.  The other sad fact is that the traditional teachings on how to deal with bullying do not work.  To learn more about what does work when it comes to bullying, go to http://www.bullyproofkids.com.



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