Bullying and why the anti-bullying movement frustrates me

I was bullied as a child. This is how I dealt with it. Feel free to share this with others. (Take control of your life)

Thank you for taking the time to view my vlog today. In my video, I mention 4 ways things that you can do to help someone that is being bullied. I have listed them for you below

  1. Empathize

Empathy is the best thing that you can give someone that is being bullied. Empathy is not creating a silver lining. It is not selecting a magical phrase to minimize the pain that the bullying victim is experiencing. Rather, it is making yourself available to connect with the person and letting them know that they are not alone. Renowned author, Dr. Brené Brown, states, “rarely does a response make something better. What makes something better is connection.” (Click on hyperlink to view her lecture on empathy)

  1. Empower

Don’t be scared to teach your loved one how to defend themselves. Ask yourself, “What skill does this person need to defend himself/herself?” Some people can benefit from learning self-defense techniques. Others, can benefit from learning how to verbally defend themselves. Each person is different. Ask them what they need. Don’t have them do anything that they aren’t willing to do.

  1. Encourage

Speak life into those that are hurting. Give a compliment. Give them words of affirmation. Here is a small list of phrases that you can use.

  • I believe in you.
  • You are more powerful than you know.
  • I love you.
  • You are perfect, whole, and complete.
  1. Expose

Expose the perpetrator if the bullying does not stop. Advocating for your child or loved one may require you to call child protective services (CPS) or other agency.  It is common for children to act out when they face challenges that are beyond their control. CPS has behavioral health specialists that can provide an assessment for the bully and his/her family. The results of the assessment will allow them to make a referral to an appropriate agency.  The behaviors of the bully can be addressed through counseling and parent education. It’s also important to consider that the perpetrator may be in an unsafe environment and the child can be moved to safety.

Godspeed,

John Garay

 

Photo credit: andy z via Foter.com / CC BY-NC-SA

Advertisements

4 things I learned from my facebook purge

I don’t know how you feel about this matter, but I get nauseated every time I see someone announce their upcoming “friends list purge”. Perhaps I’m assuming much, but I picture that person sitting at home, waving their wand of disdain, as they select who will and who won’t make their final cut. Then, one by one, they “unfriend” those they deem as deplorable, while simultaneously sending squeals of delight into the atmosphere…. I recognize that my assumption is quite over the top, but that’s what runs through my head every time I see one of those god-forsaken-announcements…. You know what annoys me even more? The remnant of people who comment under the purge-post thanking the purger for allowing them to make the cut…. Sometimes I feel like grabbing each of those pour souls by the shoulders, cyber-slapping them upside the head, and telling them “Don’t encourage this kind of behavior! It’s pathetic and sickening!!!”

Well, as much as I despise facebook purges… I must admit that about 3 years ago, after much inner turmoil and deliberation, I chose to initiate my own facebook purge. Before I go any further, I must mention that this is the first time that I speak publicly about it (note* there was nothing glorious about it) Nevertheless, here’s what led to it…..

To preface my reason, I must shamelessly tell you that I am a social media junkie. I regularly lose track of time while scrolling down my FB newsfeed and have been called a “social-media-addict” by many. Nevertheless, I have found social media to be a creative outlet where I can express myself freely. I use it as a platform to inspire others, bring encouragement, spread laughter, and give hope to the hurting. However, 3 years ago, I found myself in an uncomfortable place in life. I had just completed graduate school, I was living in a new city, and I had a great desire to establish meaningful friendships in my community. I was constantly searching for possibilities at work, at church, and at school. I met many wonderful people but nothing concrete emerged…. I then realized that if I wanted to create the type of tribe that I desired to have, I would need to invest time and effort into reaching my goal. At the time, the largest time and energy robber I had was facebook. I had over 1,200 friends, and for some unknown reason, I felt obligated to read through every post made by each of them, daily. My list consisted of childhood friends from my home town, college friends, family members, people I met at church, work colleagues, you name it……. Most of them were wonderful people, but I wasn’t interacting with many of them on a regular basis. So, in attempt to create space for new opportunities in the realm of friendship, I axed about 550-ish people from my friends list….. I know you are probably wondering what my criteria was for friends that made the cut and who didn’t. However, I didn’t axe people on the bases of lifestyle choices, politics, or life philosophy…. I simply axed anyone who wasn’t a family member and who hadn’t interacted with me for the past thirty days…. It wasn’t easy for me. Honestly, I went through the five stages of grief, but in return I created the space that I needed to reach my goal….. and in the process I learned the following:

  1. I am a people hoarder

Early on I committed to only add friends that I knew and valued. I ended-up realizing that I value a gang-load of people. I have friends that I’ve carried in my heart and mind since I was in the first grade. I’m connected to many of my teachers, mentors, pastors and other life leaders that I had in life. If you had a meaningful part in my life in the past, I’ll do my best to carry you into my future. Sadly, it isn’t always possible…… and that is my struggle.

  1. Not everybody wants to be part of my life

I never heard back from many of the people that didn’t make my initial cut. I wasn’t surprised. I had one person contact me about 2 years later, out of the blue, asking me if I had unfriended them. They were visibly upset. I let that person throw the tantrum while laughing inside. The person couldn’t believe that I unfriended them, and I couldn’t believe that it took them 2 years to find out.

  1. I am constantly unaware of the value that others have for me.

A few months after the purge I had quite a few people reach out to ask me if I was alright. They noticed my absence on FaceBook, they hadn’t heard from me, and they were genuinely concerned. This gave me an opportunity to share my challenges of living in a new city with them. I apologized for any hurt feelings and let them know that I had not intended on hurting anyone. Surprisingly, it led to a rekindling of sorts. I ended up reconnecting with many of them in person, meeting for coffee, lunch, and other events. Other people reached out to me simply with a friend request and a message stating that they missed my inspirational quotes.

  1. Life is best lived in gratitude and constant expectancy

I’ve come to understand that it is impossible to maintain every friendship that I’ve had since childhood. However, I can carry the memory of the times we shared, throughout my life…. And when I remember the good times that we shared, I can be grateful. At the same time, I leave my hand open to the possibility of encountering other people who will light my life with inspiration, accountability, and adventure. I choose to live in gratitude. I choose to live in expectancy.

Godspeed,

John Garay

Photo credit: Foter.com