Catch a good case of confidence with books about bullying—January 13, 2012
Harry and Henry, both 4-years-old, were seated a few feet apart on a ride to pre-school. Henry turned to Harry and announced, “You’re stupid.” Harry didn’t respond. After several seconds, Henry repeated, with more ferocity, “You’re stupid”. Harry turned and looked Henry in the eye and stated, “No, I’m not”. He then continued to study the picture book in his lap. Harry thwarted Henry’s attack on his self-esteem because someone had instilled in him the confidence to know that he is OK.
For decades, bullies have thrived on the insecurities of people who may be too timid to reject the taunts of people whose main goal is to cut into another’s comfort zone. Most people probably have memories, such as the ones shared by Frank Peretti in “The Wounded Spirit”, which make hiding out for the rest of a lifetime seem preferable to more wickedly painful comments.
Mean spirited people can include co-workers, employers, friends and even strangers. “Nasty People” by Jay Carter describes responses to a bully’s efforts to shred another’s ego. “Working With You Is Killing Me” by Katherine Crowley and Kathi Elster talks about resolutions to conflicts in the workplace. Confidence is an important anti-bullying tool. Catch a good case of cheery self-confidence while reading Robin Meade’s “Morning Sunshine”.
Some schools refuse to tolerate any kind of disrespect, but most seem too overwhelmed by the required curriculum to deal with the emotional bulldozers in their midst. Reports of emotional terrorism are increasing as well as victims’ fatal escapes. Children and teens seem especially vulnerable. Books from the “Conflict Resolution Series” include helpful books called “Dealing With Insults” and “Dealing With Teasing”. Joy Berry’s has written numerous books about growing up. Two of these are “Teasing” and “Gossiping”. “Friendliness” by Cynthia Klingel, “Cliques” by Jen Jones and “Cliques, Phonies and Other Baloney” by Trevor Romain are additional references for gaining insight into a bully’s motives. Our most recent anti-bullying is called “Who Said Bullies Rule?” by Catherine DePino.
Victims can sabotage an offender’s intent by looking for the treasure within themselves and knowing that their existence is a gift. People who try so hard to plant seeds of fear and self-doubt are wallowing in self-hatred themselves. Some people spend their entire life hating everyone and everything, unable to see all that they have to offer.
Children can plant feelings of self-esteem by adopting the philosophies of Jamie Lee Curtis in “I’m Gonna Like Me: Letting Off A Little Steam” and Karen Beaumont in “I Like Myself”. Teens may enjoy “Rock What You’ve Got: Secrets to Loving Your Inner Beauty From Someone Whose Been There and Back” by Kathryn Schwarznegger.
We could all add some smiles to the world by adopting the philosophy of G.K. Chesterton: “The great man (person) is the one who makes everyone else feel great.”