And dealing with bullying

Written by Jay Anderson

As humans we are all "relational beings" -this means that connecting with others is actually really important for us and for our survival. Sure, there are some people who's personality is more introverted, who may like their own time and space, and other people (usually the exception) ....who may have social anxiety -worries and fears about either being In social places or concerns about what others think about them (often these fears are irrational, out of context or based on a previous traumatic experience, that then impacts on that persons future).   So think about that little baby, it needs people, as a growing child......surrounded by caring people, into a young person and then an adult -part of a family, a community-with friends and other interactions.......so....all of us, need each other!

So, for all of us, being with friends, or family, colleagues or partners is actually an important part of life.  Another important part of life .... Therefore, is feeling valued, being connected and cared for. So respecting others is a natural part of life and important to our survival. It's important to be able to interact with others, to collaborate and to connect.

Many of our original cultures are systems that consist of individual, couple, family, extended family and community. In all those aspects, interacting together is essential for survival - for survival of the individual and the group.

Therefore, negative behaviours would be unusual and usually not tolerated by the group, or the individual. It's important for people to work together and that helps everyone!

The word respect can be defined around "treating others with care and consideration". This is an essential part of successful communication and interaction with others. As a "value" ...then 'respect' is a significant component of human interaction -it allows us to consider another's position and situation and combined with empathy can allow for positive and successful inter-relationships

Several key areas where respect is important are the family, the workplace and school. It's important that adults can be good role models for children -both in the home and in the community. When children experience respect and are helped by their parents and other significant people in their life, then they can develop and understand why it is important in life.

As people, we are all "individual" with different personalities, different interests, different views. So, we won't always agree with another person, or get along with them. But we can be polite and respectful-understanding that they have a different view or a different interpretation of something.

Helping our children with bullying behaviour then involves considering actions, responses and behaviour in a broader context.  The first step Is not treating the other person the way they have treated us. So, not responding with negativity or criticism or sarcasm (when that is what is given).  A typical response is usually about not engaging with the person -which may mean leaving the situation or going somewhere safer.  It maybe about giving a neutral response such as "wow, that's tough" or " I didn't know that" or " that's a surprise".

One key component of dealing with another person's bullying behaviour is whether. we take on board the negative or hurtful comments. Being able to separate the "behaviour" from the person is essential.  So understanding that What "bob" said, it's not true, and clearly there's something in his life going on that means he is directing his anger and frustration at others.......

As adults, we can be strong, respectful of others, and resilient. Our children too can learn important values and develop resiliency. We can help our children understand others better, and learn respectful responses which can improve the interactions of everyone in our community.

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