Bullying usually perpetuates a chain of pain of bullying back or bullying others. Instead of getting revenge, self-mentor. Find ways and activities to make yourself feel better as this too helps you to NOT become a target for a potential bully.
Things happen to all of us that makes us feel stressed. Whenever we feel any kind of stress, we have three options. We can explode in some manner, we can implode in some manner, or we can self-mentor.
What is meant by explode?
What is meant by explode? Various forms of exploding-type behavior include yelling, throwing temper tantrums, lashing out at others, fighting, threatening bodily harm on others, or visiting some form of physical abuse on things, self, or people. Examples of this would include road-ragers, punching holes in walls, throwing things, slamming doors, stomping around, vandalism, becoming an emotional abuser, becoming a physical abuser, and so forth.
What is meant by implode?
What is meant by implode? Various forms of imploding-type behaviors include getting depressed, whining, crying, giving others the silent treatment, self-mutilation, having nervous breakdowns, getting sick as a result of dis-ease, feeling nervous and anxious, acquiring an anxiety disorder, becoming clinically depressed, ending friendships or divorce due to not being able to take the conflict, and making suicide attempts.
The third and most desirable option is to self-mentor in some way to make yourself feel better. To self-mentor is a way of taking care of yourself when you are sad, scared, or mad. There are many ways you can self-mentor. You can give yourself a pep talk. You can take deep, calming breaths. You can practice meditation or take up yoga. You could join a Laughter Club. You can find a trusted person to talk with. You can do enjoyable things to take your mind off the negative thoughts and feelings. You can sign up for Peer Mediation, if your school has that option or consult with a therapist or guidance counselor. You can listen to your inner wisdom.
Some additional ways to self-mentor is to take a long walk or run or get involved in some other very physical activity such as a team sport. You could punch a pillow or a punching bag. You could walk away and take a time-out so that you can give yourself the time you need to cool off. You can count to ten or one hundred. You can journal about it. You could find a way to relax in some manner.
Some people like to relax by taking a nap, taking a hot shower, taking a hot bath, listening to soothing music, meditating, spending time in nature, playing with a pet, reading a good book, watching a movie or television show, etc. What are your favorite ways to relax? You can also laugh. You can look for the humor in life or that situation and try to have fun.
Using ‘I Messages’ is form of self-mentoring
Another helpful way to self-mentor is to use an I Message and talk it out with the person who provoked your anger. When possible, counter a put-down by using an I Message.
What is an I Message? ‘I Messages’ are sentences that begin with the word ‘I’ and end with a reason or rationale of why you don’t want that put-down to be repeated. These must be said with a very calm-sounding voice. Be firm, friendly, and assertive.
I MESSAGE SENTENCE STARTERS
I want __________ because ____________.
I feel __________ because _____________.
I would appreciate it if ___ because ______.
I think __________ because ____________.
I need __________ because ____________.
I expect __________ because ___________.
I wish __________ because ____________.
Bully: Hey, Ugly!
Victim: I would appreciate it if you would not call me that name because it is not true.
Bully: Hey, Stupid!
Victim: I expect you to not call me that name either as it bothers me. Plus, I’m pretty smart when it comes to math. I do need a little help with spelling sometimes. But I’m pretty smart when it comes to division and fractions. How about you? Are you good with division and fractions?
As you probably noticed, the victim additionally added the technique of changing the subject. When at all possible, try to transform the bully into a friend, or at least, a good acquaintance.
Chain of pain aka victim-victimizer cycle
Quite often, when someone gets caught up in conflictual interactions with others, they join that unenviable process known as the chain of pain or the victim-victimizer cycle. Here is a classic example of how this might go.
A President of a company yells at one of his Department Heads.
Victimizer: President of the company
Victim: Department Head
The Department Head is very upset. He is feeling like a victim. He could have chosen to self-mentor himself by taking deep, calming breaths. Afterward, he could have talked things out with the Company President. Or he could have given himself a pep talk. Or he could get advice from a trusted co-worker or friend. Additionally, he could journal about it.
However, he instead chooses to continue the Victim-Victimizer cycle by taking out his frustrations on someone else. He is too afraid to take his frustrations out on the President of the Company as he hopes to get a raise or a promotion. Also, he does not want to get fired. So he yells at his Secretary.
Victimizer: Department Head
The Secretary is very upset. She is suddenly feeling like a victim. She too could have chosen to self-mentor herself by taking deep, calming breaths. She could then talk things out with her boss. She could give herself a pep talk. She could seek advice from a trusted co-worker or friend. Additionally, she could journal about it.
However, she instead chooses to continue the Victim-Victimizer cycle by taking her frustrations out on someone else. She is too afraid to take out her frustrations on her boss as she hopes to get a raise or promotion. Also, she does not want to get fired. So she goes home and yells at her husband for no good reason.
Victim: Her husband
Her husband is very upset. He is suddenly feeling like a victim. He too could have chosen to self-mentor himself by taking deep, calming breaths. Then he could have tried to talk things over calmly with his wife. He could give himself a pep talk. He could seek advice from a trusted family member or friend. He could even have suggested that he and his wife meet with a marriage counselor to help them work through their challenges in a healthier manner. Additionally, he could journal about it.
However, he instead chooses to continue the Victim-Victimizer cycle by taking his frustrations out on someone else. He is certainly not afraid to yell at his wife; however, their anniversary is coming up soon and he wants to be extra nice to her. So instead, he yells at his kid.
Victimizer: Husband of secretary
Victim: His child
The kid is very upset. He is suddenly feeling like a victim, especially if he was not doing anything wrong that might merit such condemnation. He too could have chosen to self-mentor himself by taking deep, calming breaths. Afterward, he could have tried to talk things out calmly with his father. He could give himself a pep talk. He could get advice from a trusted family member or friend. Additionally, he could journal about it.
However, he instead chooses to continue the Victim-Victimizer cycle by taking out his frustrations on someone else. He doesn’t want to yell at his father as he doesn’t want to get grounded. Plus, he was hoping to get a raise in his allowance.
So instead, the kid becomes the victimizer by kicking the dog. The dog bites the cat. The cat bites the mouse. The mouse bites the flea. Hopefully, by now, you have gotten the idea of how the Victim-Victimizer cycle or the Chain of Pain works.
So, instead of getting revenge when you feel upset or subjecting others to your feelings of stress, find ways to self-mentor instead. One way that many people self-mentor is listening to music.
A fun activity for parent and child
To further reinforce the importance of using good posture, play these two songs about bullies. Learn the songs and sing them together. Practice the skills indicated in the songs to make your child much more bully-proof. Here’s the links:
1. Click this link for “Anti-Bullying song for kids #1: My Bully Buster Song” on rootshed.com
2. Click this link for Another Bully Buster Song on YouTube. (Song is embedded within this article.)
Now that your child knows that self-mentoring can help him or her achieve a happier life now and in the long run, it may feel like a worthier activity to practice and perfect.
Please note: This article was originally posted in 2009 under the former publishing tool. When it was discovered that it had some missing links and videos, etc., I edited it and re-published it as you see above.
Return to Hub page for “Avoid Bullying with these 12 tips”
Two stories that include additional ways to self-mentor
1. Control Your Anger with SPAM (Stop-Ponder-Appreciate-Moment): Emily and Mike have a great deal of trouble keeping control of their temper. The guidance counselor teaches them about a method of Anger Management called SPAM (Stop, Ponder, Appreciate, the Moment). The story is called “Control Your Anger With SPAM.”
2. SPAM and Stairstep Thinking: Jason is offended and angry that Blake put him down. The rest of the morning went from bad to worse. At lunch, his best friend Lee taught him how to use the SPAM method of anger management and Stairstep Thinking to psych himself into feeling better again.
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