Thursday, July 23, 2009

Using Emotional Freedom Techniques for Bullying

Bullying is a lot more prevalent than we realise. It isn't just confined to a children's playground. Bullying often occurs with adults too and not only in the workplace. How do we define bullying? In short, it can be any time you say 'No' and the other person does not take 'No' for an answer and keeps persisting. This is your first clue that this person is trying to control you. This is usually why we get that uneasy feeling, but may justify it away. Maybe we think to ourselves “I'm just being silly”, “Oh, that person is really pushy”, or “Should I have said 'Yes', was I being mean?”.
The most useful definition of bullying I have found is the following from Dan Olweus
"A person is bullied when he or she is exposed, repeatedly and over time, to negative actions on the part of one or more other persons, and he or she has difficulty defending himself or herself."

This definition includes three important components:
1. Bullying is aggressive behaviour that involves unwanted, negative actions.
2. Bullying involves a pattern of behaviour repeated over time.
3. Bullying involves an imbalance of power or strength.

Types of Bullying include:
1. Verbal bullying including derogatory comments and bad names
2. Bullying through social exclusion or isolation
3. Physical bullying such as hitting, kicking, shoving, and spitting
4. Bullying through lies and false rumours
5. Having money or other things taken or damaged by students who bully
6. Being threatened or being forced to do things by students who bully
7. Racial bullying
8. Sexual bullying
9. Cyber bullying (via cell phone or Internet)
Perhaps the most insidious types of bullying are numbers 2 and 4 - Bullying through social exclusion or isolation and Bullying through lies and false rumours . They are the most difficult to 'prove' at the very least. You may find yourself in the position where others may not support you or believe you, in which case you may doubt yourself even further, which is a vicious cycle. It is like as if the bully 'smells' this insecurity and may 'up' their tactics. Trusting your 'No' response initially is a healthy sign of self trust and may help things digressing any further with the bully. It is a sign of knowing who you are and being comfortable with that. This is one of the most effective ways of you not being bullied, as bullies usually 'pick on' people they feel they can pick on. EFT is ideal for treating all the different aspects and issues involved here. This in no way places blame on the person being bullied, nor condones any bullying behaviour. Rather, it puts the power back into the person's hands to act on their instincts and do something about the bully without the situation continuing and getting out of hand.

Many many people have left jobs, homes, relationships and so on because of bullies. And the bully stays, continues with their behaviour because far too often there have been no consequences, and goes on to their next 'victim'. In many cases they are even 'rewarded', particularly in the work place, as bullying can be viewed as a 'managing' of people. Doing something about it, while you can, and before your self esteem is so low that you don't know whether you are coming or going, will, without a doubt, help everyone in the long run. Using EFT for all the feelings (particularly fear, stress, doubt, humiliation and lack of self trust) that come up is invaluable.


Lahn said...

Noreen, excellent post. And timely. I agree it is much more prevalent than many would like to believe. Recent study revealed that more than 30% of children with food allergies are bullied. One example would be to smear peanut butter on a child's face if he/she is allergic to it. It's not only cruel but potentially life-threatening. Thanks for addressing this important issue and a way to deal with and heal from it using EFT.

Noreen Barron said...

Thanks Lahn, that's so sad to hear that people would do that. Where do they learn it? I think at home. I don't think it's an exaggeration to say that we've all been bullied at some stage and we can end up blaming ourselves. While we can work on the feelings it brings up in us, we also need to change how we interact with each other, don't we?