“How things look on the outside of us depends on how things are on the inside of us.” ~ Unknown
I strongly believe that we are all born with an innate need to give and to share who we are, what we know and what we have with others.
When we are happy and at peace with ourselves and when love is present in our hearts, our actions will reflect our internal state of being. As a result, we will act in loving, kind and positive ways towards ourselves and the world around us. However, when our hearts are filled with pain and sorrow and when love is missing from our lives, we project on to those around us our unhappiness and our inner turmoils.
“Everything that we see is a shadow cast by that which we do not see.” ~ Martin Luther King, Jr.
There are a lot of people who, because they are very unhappy with themselves and their lives, they go around projecting their darkness on to others in the form of verbal, emotional and physical abuse.
And that’s usually how a “bully” is born…
Taking a Closer Look at the Bullying Behavior
I will be using the word bully throughout the article just so that I can make my point but once I’m done, it will be left behind…
What is a bully?
Bully is a word used to describe the behavior of a person who acts in negative, aggressive, unhealthy, toxic and destructive ways, towards themselves and those around them.
“And I came to believe that good and evil are names for what people do, not for what they are. All we can say is that this is a good deed because it helps someone or that’s an evil one because it hurts them.” ~ Philip Pullman
The origin of the bullying behavior.
In many cases, the bullying behavior originates in childhood. Since children learn through imitation, bullying can be learned at home, in schools and even on the playground.
There are many parents who bully their children, teachers who bully their students and young children who bully other children.
Why do people “choose” to adopt the bullying behavior?
The irony is that many of the people who adopt the behavior of a bully have been bullied at one point in their lives and whether they realized it or not, they started treating others in the same way they themselves have been treated.
People who adopt a bullying behavior do so because at one point in their lives they were made to feel small and insignificant by the bullying behavior of others. Because of those painful and traumatic experiences, they have come to believe that power comes from having control over others, from making people feel small and insignificant and from having control over others.
One of my favorite quotes on this matter comes from Eckhart Tolle, the Author of one of my favorite books, The Power of Now: “”Power over others is weakness disguised as strength. True power if within, and it is available to you now.”
What can you do to help a “bully”
The first thing you can do is to remove the labels you have placed on them and start challenging their behavior but not the person. To look beyond appearances, into their hearts and see them for who they really are and not for who they pretend to be.
Behind their toxic and unhealthy behavior, behind the masks they are wearing, there is a scared, lonely and frightened person that is in desperate need of help and what these people need is forgiveness, nourishment, love and understanding.
Just look how beautifully Thích Nhất Hạnh talks about this: “When another person makes you suffer, it is because he suffers deeply within himself, and his suffering is spilling over. He does not need punishment; he needs help. That’s the message he is sending.”
If you happen to know anyone who has adopted the behavior of a bully and if you really want to be of service to them, you can by showing them that there is a better way to live their lives.
No need to despise them just because they weren’t as fortunate as you are. No need to despise them for not knowing how to love themselves, their lives and those around them as much as you do. Be the first person to bring light into their dark world.
“Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that. Martin Luther King, Jr.
can you learn from a “bully”?
A “bully” can teach you to appreciate the contrast of life… to be thankful that you yourself know a better way of living your life.
A “bully” can teach you forgiveness, compassion, tolerance and kindness… hw to act in loving ways towards those who are “good” but also towards those who aren’t.
From a “bully” you can learn one of the most beautiful and powerful life lessons, to offer least deserve it, because that’s when they need it the most 🙂
What can you teach a “bully” ?
In the Tao Te Ching, the second most translated book in the world, Lao Tzu talks so beautifully about the importance of looking at everyone as either your student or your teacher. He is telling us that by doing so, no experience will ever be wasted: “What is a good man but a bad man’s teacher? What is a bad man but a good man’s job? If you don’t understand this, you will get lost, however intelligent you are. It is the great secret.” Lat Tzu, Tao Te Ching (500BC)
Only by treating these people with love, kindness, and compassion will you be able to show them there is a better way for them to act and live their lives.
Judge less and help more. Lead by example.
Take the advice of Johann Wolfgang von Goethe and treat people not as they are but as they ought to be and could be.
“If you treat an individual as he is, he will remain how he is. But if you treat him as if he were what he ought to be and could be, he will become what he ought to be and could be.” ~ Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
We are all in this together, whether we like it or not. The world belongs both to those who act in loving ways and also to those who aren’t. We all have something to teach one another. We all have something to learn from each other.
Where there is a difficulty, there is also an opportunity to help, to grow and to give.
Have you ever been bullied or bullied anyone? Why do you think people adopt the behavior of a bully? I really want to know what are your thoughts on this. You can share your insights by joining the conversation in the comment section below
P.S. The word “bully” should be used to describe the actions and behaviors of a person but not to define and condemn that person to becoming that label.