Belief #1 The Worlds Deadliest Belief The false belief that Other people, events and things are responsible for what I think, feel and how I behave. ~and~
Belief # 2 The False Identity Level Belief What makes me good enough, important or acceptable is what other people think of me.
The Deadly Presupposition Held Within These Beliefs In order for me to feel okay I must control this, them or you.
The Bully/Victim Relationship Is a Struggle to Gain Power Over The Other In Order to Be Okay I need to exert power and control over you in order for me to be okay Youre making me feel bad so I expect you to change in order for me to be okay The Victim/Controlled The Bully/Controller
The Bully/Victim Relationship Is a Struggle to Gain Acceptance You offend me, you must change, in order for me to accept you Im offensive to you, so I must change in order to be acceptable to you The Victim/Controlled – Feels Shame The Bully/Controller – Uses Contempt I dont feel good enough.
The 11 Reasons Why Anti-Bullying Campaigns Have Limited Impact Reason #1 Anti-bullying campaigns are designed around the presuppositions of both the Worlds Deadliest Belief and the Self-Limiting Identity Belief.
They presuppose that the bully has the power to make us upset and therefore must be controlled in order for us to be okay. ~ and ~
They often encourage the victim to minimize his or her contact with the bully - in other words, minimize their offensiveness to the bully - so that they will be less of a target.
This approach can send an unintended, yet all the same subtle message to the victim.
That it is the victim who is the cause of the bullys behavior.
Advising the bullys target to stay out of the bullys way only further victimizes the victim.
By attempting to stop the bully and protect the victim, these kinds of programs regrettably reinforce and validate the bully/victim relationship. Reason #2
They assign power to a bullys words and assume a victim must be protected from those words.* *Physical violence must never be permitted
Reason #3 In attempting to control or stop the bully, these types of programs inadvertently set up a power struggle with the bully, who now perceives himself as the victim.
The bully will often interpret any attempt to stop their behavior as themselves being bullied because they perceive this effort as an attempt by another to dominate them.
And they will fight back (openly or by employing subterfuge) to maintain their position of power and control.
The bully, who now feels cornered, becomes defensive and employs a powerful justification or excuse.
He pulls out the he was annoying me or the I was just kidding around card, taking the position that the victim is at fault and he himself is now the victim who is being treated unfairly and unjustly.
Reason #4 Trying to get the bully to change by lecturing them about how their behavior is causing another to feel, often fails because...
It requires them to meet someone elses expectation of them in order to be acceptable.
Resistance is almost always inevitable because this puts them in a win-lose position.
We win, they lose In order to comply, they have to willingly surrender or lose their autonomy to someone elses expectation of them.
Further, the appeal for empathy doesnt work because: The bully uses contempt to elevate themselves above the target. Thats what makes them feel powerful and better than their victim.
They would have to abandon this position and elevate the target (thereby lowering themselves in the process) in order to express empathy. ~ and ~
With an audience cheering them on, getting the reaction from their target is FUN. Thats one of the biggest reasons they bully to begin with.
Reason #6 By attempting to protect and comfort the victim, we affirm (or make true) their victim identity by inadvertently reinforcing the position of the bully as the one who is in a position to make others feel bad about themselves.
Reason #7 Encouraging students to report incidences of bullying, resulting in an intervention and punishment of the bully, inevitably backfires.
The bully can now claim for himself the role of the injured (hes now a victim) and often retaliates, frequently engaging an audience to follow along, based on a commonly held social taboo.* *kids hate a tattletale.
This escalates the bullys behavior as he now feels justified and supported in punishing the victim for getting him in trouble.
An added benefit of this for the bully is that: He gets to distance himself from his own behavior by blaming the victim for his troubles.
Reason #8 By placing too much emphasis on sympathy and support, we may be putting a band-aid on the victims feelings, but it unconsciously validates that the victim should feel badly about what someone has said to them or about them.
This further reinforces their already mistaken belief that the bullys words actually have the power to hurt them.
Reason #9 The carrot or the stick solutions generated from the outside, by those whom kids view as authority figures, are often perceived by them as just another way of bribing or punishing them to meet some one elses expectation of them to be good.
Research shows that this type of extrinsic motivation has limited effect on self-sustained* behavioral change. *Because the kids are not intrinsically motivated to change.
With an emphasis on creating, enacting and enforcing solutions generated from the outside - rather than by the kids themselves – anti-bullying programs: Reason #10
Frequently under-emphasize and fail to use the things kids value most - acceptance and belonging – and lose a powerful leverage that would motivate them to want to change… ~and~
They fail to identify and take advantage of possible bright spots* that already exist. *For instance, not all kids are victims. What are the non-victims doing differently?
Reason #11 By teaching kids to tolerate each other instead of encouraging Active Acceptance, we emphasize their differences.
Though entirely well-meaning, Embrace Diversity programs are designed to get kids to appreciate and/or tolerate differences and fail to capitalize on similarities.
Eliminate the Problem by Challenging and Changing The Core Beliefs that Fuel Bullying What To Do Instead Big Picture Change #1
We give meaning to events; we dont take meaning from events and, therefore, are capable of changing the meaning. By changing the meaning, we change our experience. New Beliefs #1 - The Worlds Most Empowering and Liberating Belief
The Empowering Presupposition Held Within This Belief I created the meaning I have given to an event (for example, someones words about me). Therefore, I can change the meaning. By changing the meaning, I change the way I feel about the event.
# 2 - Self-Empowered Identity Level Belief What makes me good enough, important or acceptable has nothing to do with what other people think of me.
The Empowering Presupposition Held Within This Belief Other people dont define me or make me acceptable or for that matter... anything else.
Enable students to be intrinsically motivated to treat each other with dignity and respect by engaging with them through Mindopolys Cooperative Engagement Model Big Picture Change #2
Mindopolys Cooperative Engagement Model By Declaring a Common or Shared Want Each Person Becomes Cooperative In Creating It For Themselves and Others Common Want Acceptance What Ill do Wan t Each saying, Because I want this heres what I expect of myself
Personal Accountability in the Creation of Common Values/Wants Which Leads To Intrinsic Motivation Self- Empowerment Self- Accountability Fosters Change By Engaging Personal: Autonomy Mastery Purpose Based on Edward L Decis seminal research on what truly motivates usEdward L Decis
The Shield Programs Core Principles Principle #1 Empower Our Kids With New Beliefs:
Belief #1 Self-Empowerment Belief I am responsible for what I think, feel and how I behave. ~and~
Belief # 2 The Positive Identity Level Belief What makes me good enough, important or acceptable has nothing to do with what other people think of me.
These two powerful, self-affirmative and self-empowering beliefs enable kids to think and feel about themselves and each other in a way that supports and keeps intact everyones autonomy and dignity.
When both are accepted as true, the following becomes true as well:
I am the one who gives meaning and importance to other peoples words and actions.
All meaning and importance comes from me... not to me.
Because I control the meaning, I am always in control of how other peoples words and behavior affect me.
This presupposes: That no one elses behavior and/or words, however contemptuous or unpleasant, ever mean anything about us. ~ and ~
That no one elses words have any power to make anyone feel anything.
We do not need to control anyone in order for us to be okay.
Nor do we need any one elses acceptance of us in order to define our self as okay.
This eliminates the need to engage in a power struggle to control anyone. (Remember legislating against bullying behavior only provokes a counter-attack.)
A Bully achieves a feeling of power and superiority by creating a false inferior.
But... he first needs to identify a potential target.
His perfect target is someone who is being unconsciously held captive by both #1 The Worlds Deadliest Belief and #2 has a False Identity Belief.
The Bullys initial weapon of choice (what hell use to qualify a victim) is what he says to the target... his verbal bullets.
In order for him to elevate himself, he first needs a cooperative victim, unconsciously willing to give power to these bullets.
Without the bullets, the bully is completely powerless even though he tries to take aim.
By teaching kids how to strip the meaning from words, we empower them to de-victimize themselves and disempower the ability of the bully to use words as weapons.
The bullys contemptuous words are useless against anyone who understands this principle.
The illusion of the bullys power to make his potential victim feel inferior to him (by using his own words) or to anyone else (by using gossip) is lost.
#1 Although often preceded by verbal bullying, any physical violence (for instance: punching, shoving, restraining or pushing of another student) must be seen as a zero tolerance event ~ and ~ Two Important Distinctions
There must be effective interventions and no tolerance policies that quickly make the offender responsible through an immediate consequence to that offender.
For instance: banning them from participating in activities that elevate their social status (i.e., team sports) and/or removing them from the school altogether.
#2 In any case where a student sustains any kind of bodily harm or physical stalking/menacing, it must be seen as a criminal assault, rather than being mislabeled as a bullying incident.
Principle #2 Motivating Kids Through Cooperative Engagement How do we get kids to want for themselves what we want for them?
Appeal to what they already want... Acceptance
Does anyone have to convince you to want what you already want for yourself?
Getting kids to identify a common want, encouraging them to think about how they would be willing to act in order to get their want met, and helping them to create ways they could use to support each other to create an environment of Active Acceptance is a powerful first step to transforming the silent majority into Change Agents.
We all want to be accepted for who we already are.
We dont need to teach this to kids because its an innate desire they already have.
By engaging our kids natural motivation toward what they already want and giving them a way that they can actively create it together, we dont need to legislate their behavior
Mindopolys Cooperative Engagement Model has a unique advantage over Anti-Bullying Models because it capitalizes on our kids natural desire to have:
Autonomy: They are each, individually, in control of their own choice and in their ability to set a personal expectation of themselves about how they will go about creating what they said they wanted for themselves.
Mastery This model provides everyone with the ability to master the art of how to develop true personal power through choice, self-control and self-accountability and learn how working together toward a common goal to create it is far superior than waiting for someone to provide it for you.
Purpose This model gives kids a common, highly desirable, self-achievable, yet shared vision that will intrinsically motivate them.... far beyond what we could impose upon them.
And by encouraging solutions generated by kids for kids, we encourage self-accountability.
As each of them says, I want this and this is my expectation of myself to create that for myself. So heres what you can expect of me.
This encourages kids to trust each other as they come together to create what they all want.
Principle #3 Taking a Pledge to Become The Shield Create The Shield by mobilizing a no longer silent majority made up of an supportive community of parents, teacher, administrators, counselors and students.
Instead of Trying To Control Kids to Move Away From a Not Want (Stop Bullying or Anti-Bullying)
We Focus Most of Our Energy In Creating and Sustaining a Positive Move Toward What We Do Want By Creating an Entire Social Campaign
We can start by holding a contest for the best Graphic Design for our Programs First Shield (The kids popular vote wins)
Then... By sparking in all kids, including would-be bullies, their natural competitive desire to lead and be respected, encourage them to create their own:
Personalized Brand Name and Graphic for an Individual Shield for Their School
Collaborate with students to create an entire in-school campaign with arm bands, t-shirts, etc.
Asking them to come up with tag-lines... (The only label I wear is on the inside of this shirt)
Encourage the older kids to create fun, provocative, kid-inspired The Shield Program videos that could easily go viral.
Hold a contest for the Best The Shield Videos submitted by each grade and school
Engage the more technical kids to work with adults in our community to create a phone app that easily lets kids reach out if they become a cyber or text target.
Something that would easily enable anyone to show support using social media and texting to create a shield for the victim by lending an affirmation of acceptance.
This means an act of Active Acceptance the minute something negative gets posted or texted by creating an avalanche of support:
Hey, I dont think this is true about you. This is just one persons opinion. It doesnt mean anything about you.
Essentially drowning out the bully or bullies.
By working with kids, we can identify possible bright spots* that already exist and can be taken advantage of. *Whats working already?
Principle #4 Teach Kids How To Use Reflective and Re-directive Language Skills and Avoid Becoming a Target
There are effective ways of conversationally disengaging a bullys attempt to gain power over, control or manipulate.
This may serve to eliminate the escalation of bullying (both cyber and physical) as they are most often preceded by verbal bullying.
Here are just two examples of how knowing what to say can thwart a bully without creating a confrontation.
What To Say: Example # 1 Bullies love to bait with questions.
Dont take the bait. If you think youre being baited, answer a question with a question.
Use some version of: Im curious, why do you ask?
This not only frustrates the bullys attempt to bait you, it puts them in the position of having to explain their motivation for asking the question in the first place.
What To Say: Example # 2 Bullies love to throw a zing to see if it has a desired effect.
You can also use a question frame to create and send a message of a non-defensive, so what? attitude toward the comment.
Im curious, why did you just say that? or Im curious, do you really think that?
Again, this reflects the comment back to the bully and requires him to have to answer the would-be targets question, which forces him to examine and own his intention.
. Turning the energy back to the bully is a very effective way of answering without having to lash back, become defensive or try to ignore it.
Principle #5 Work With the School to Create Active Acceptance Zones In Places Kids Congregate
The School Library Benches on Outside Grounds An Open Community Room Lunch Tables
Areas become clearly marked as Active Acceptance Zones with The Shield Logo design of the school prominently displayed upon them
This minimizes any guesswork that kids have to make when kids seek to socially engage with other kids.
They no longer have to question or become anxious about whether or not theyll be accepted or fit in.
Because Active Acceptance Zones let everyone know they do fit in and anyone can take an active role in helping others to feel welcome too.
This strips the bully of the power to shun or exclude anyone by using the schools social structure for his own purposes.
Turning the Tables: If students and staff ensure the ratio of tables in the cafeteria with The Shield far exceed the number without them - making this the new norm - it redefines those who choose to sit in cliques to now be regarded as the un-cool outliers.
Show Your Support Register and Add Your Name to The Shield PledgeThe Shield Pledge (well keep you informed and share valuable information about how you can participate and make a difference) ~ and ~
Then watch Mindopolys Jim Cervelloni speaking at this years FlourCity TEDx The Worlds Deadliest Belief Make sure to leave a comment, like and/or share. Together we can make a difference.
We give meaning to events; we dont take meaning from events and, therefore, are capable of changing the meaning. By changing the meaning, we change our experience. And Remember...
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