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Why Turning the Other Cheek Does NOT Work

When I was growing up, I was taught that when it comes to bullies or someone who was treating you poorly, I was supposed to do what it was taught in the Good Book, and that was "turn the other cheek".

Both Mom and Dad were churchgoing folks and like most, they sent me to Sunday School, were I would dutifully try to listen and understand what the teacher was saying about the Good Book, how you were supposed to treat others, the Ten Commandments…the whole deal.

Once I started being bullied – first in elementary and middle school, then finally in high school, I learned something that they did NOT teach me in Sunday School or at home…

"Turning the Other Cheek" hurt.  It made me feel like a wimp; a victim.  And, it did NOT work.

I discovered early on that in almost all cases, Turning the Other Cheek did nothing more than encourage a bully.

I didn't understand until much later, when as an adult, I saw on interview being done where the FBI was questioning criminals as to why and how they select their victims.

The #1 way that criminals select their victims is what victim/target looks the LEAST likely to fight back?  Who looks scared or unsure of themselves?  Who looks like they would try to run away or just wilt under pressure?

Those were the top criteria.  If you take a look at that, then you look at the philosophy of "turning the other cheek", you can see why that philosophy may actually invite being picked on – or worse.

Another way to look at it is this:  when faced with a snarling, angry dog, or a bear, or anything else that is can be considered a predator, what is the first thing that you are taught?

DON'T RUN.

Why?  Because when you run, you trigger the natural response in the animal – which is to chase.

But if you stand your ground, or in some cases, wave your arms, shout, make yourself look bigger, etc…many times the animal, thinking you are not afraid, larger or the more deadly predator – leaves you alone.

Bullies, Energy Suckers, Predators and more are no different.

When it comes to being bullied, pushed around, taken advantage of or giving your power away – don't turn the other cheek or run.

Take back your power. 

To your best,

Sensei Harrison Huff

P.S. – To find out more about how you can Take Back Your Power, go to http://www.bullyproofkids.com.

2 Comments

  1. Meade Skelton
    Dec 30, 2010 @ 17:57:32

    Im sorry, but turning the other cheek is neither weak , nor whimpy. It takes much more courage to turn the other cheek than to respond in anger. If people are bullied, its not because of turning the other cheek. Its because they act as victims and expect to be bullied. The “good book” as you call it is the moral compass guide in life. Without it, we rely on our own understanding which is tainted an terribly flawed. What may work best for animals does not always work for human beings. The Bible would not say turn the other cheek without good reason. It is because of not turning the other cheek that we have had all these dreadful wars, oppression, blackmail, and hardened hearts.

    Reply

    • Sensei
      Jan 12, 2011 @ 16:02:08

      Hello Meade,

      Thank you for your comments. While I agree with some of your points, I strongly disagree with your point that “not turning the other cheek” is why we have dreadful wars, etc.

      The world was supposed to “turn the other cheek” to Hitler? The Japanese after Pearl Harbor? I could go on with historical references but the point is this: while it does take courage to turn the other cheek and not respond with violence or anger, bullies and predators DO NOT look at it that way. This is the problem with our society and many well-meaning parents and people like yourself when it comes to bullying.

      Reply

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