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Bullying: Bullies Lack Self Esteem

by Ladymaggic (writer), Russell Island, April 03, 2008

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Bullies in Junior Schools and even as babies, grow up to be bullies in workplaces and of their families.

Bullying: Bullies Lack Self Esteem

Students in Secondary Schools, Colleges and Universities often have problems associated with their self image. They develop into Adults with low self esteem, and many people in some responsible positions, hold questions of self doubt as to their abilities and cause stress to others because they hold low opinions of their own selves.

If we can give our children something they can hold forever, it should be faith in their own selves, and self esteem. Much of the issues today with teenagers being out of control and not having belief in their own worth, is linked to parents who also have low self esteem, and who cannot pass self esteem to their children.

This has led to a whole range of problems and issues for Society today. The News is full of teenage negative behaviors and schools are trying to work out how to handle this sensitive issue, with parents running to the Press when their child shoots a neighborhood, with stories of, he is really such a good son….’ and expecting the word to sympathize and empathize. Then you read about Companies and Workplaces where someone is negating or running down workmates, with staff leaving, or continuing employment feeling the stress and impact of professional bullying. Low esteem teenagers grow into low esteem adults, and continue to cause problems between the people they work with.

Most of us do, as we have had, seen or experienced negative child behavior as students in school or University, who now, as grown-up members of a workforce, are insecure co-workers continuing their insecure behaviors in the company of other co-workers, and also their own offspring in their own homes. Thus a race of insecurity continues to be spawned, and cries of ‘Bullying’ only aggravate the fear of those not willing to stand up against the bullied or the bully. There is little you can do about an insecure adult, as he has to solve his own insecurity and may not even realize he has it, as he has lived with it all his life. Nurturing and kindness only adds to it, so protecting is not the answer and I don’t have the answer either. They have to see their own problem. But you can help a child.

As a Teacher, I realized that amongst students are many who simply have no belief in themselves. They think that they are not liked or accepted because they are boring, or dull, tall, fat, or not rich, or different in some way. They are so unhappy in themselves that they just cannot learn. I started using IQ Tests, and also affirmations, in the 70’s, to help students regain belief in them as worthwhile individuals with belief in their own capabilities. It was these negative students who became the class disturbances, and their behavior caused disturbances for the other students. John Nash, the Noble Prize winner, was a class nuisance, and years later, was to win the Nobel Prize for Mathematics. Smart students were the gang leaders and the chief troublemakers, because of their low self esteem. Consider the current hacking and viruses being created by school drop-outs. The brains are being wasted because they lack self esteem and self worth, and the ability to see their own strengths. The Nerds of the past are now the brains of the present and the future. Behind every “Nerd’ the peers avoid and snigger at, is often a genius, and bullying starts because of low self opinion and as a way to balance the seeming ‘unfairness’, and often the bully is either physically or mentally inferior or superior to the victim. There is no bullying among equals. In this instance it takes the form of pranks and games between equals, and not as degrading and demoralizing as bullying. There is the victim and the perpetrator.

The story of John Nash, “A Beautiful Mind” is the book is my trigger for this article.

This is the important part…you are what you think you are.

If you think you can, you can, and if you think you can’t, you can’t”

The problem with bullies is that they come from low self-esteem groups who ‘picked’ on other low self esteem groups. That is the irony….both groups have identification and self esteem problems and this is what needed to be solved. There had to be an answer as to how to learn to handle negative people.

The answer came with affirmations. It started with Sublime tapes. I started doing courses in Self Confidence using tapes that played positive affirmations in my ears as I slept. I listened to one of them while I was awake once, as that particular tape had worried me…and all it said was ‘I am worthy and I deserve the best in everything’ over and over again for the entire tape. Interesting, I had to look at why I had considered myself unworthy, and once I faced that, I was OK again. I couldn’t give the students tapes, so I started giving them affirmations instead, to look at themselves and see that not only did they have worth, but that they also had the right to ask for what they deserved in life…respect, fairness, justice, acceptance of their own individuality and differences. Once they accepted that they had rights and the right to be what they were, then they could learn without being held back by themselves and false fears.

This year while teaching Chinese students, I found many lack inner self confidence. They are fine in their own language, but because they are struggling with a second language, they think negative, and hinder their own learning. My own teaching was being held back by students having negative beliefs about their own ability to learn. I started using affirmations which again hopefully help them to give them confidence to believe in their own ability to learn.

I collected some affirmations from a website and simple affirmations such as, “I can and I will”, “I am Happy”, “I am healthy and attractive”, “ I can make the difference in my own life” “I control my life” adorn a part of the wall display to remind the students that they control their own lives, not what others say. http://bmindful.com/

There is a message in this for those experiencing unhappiness. You are in control of your own thoughts…and those thoughts become words you say, and also things you do, and the life you ultimately live. You can change your life….I have, and I know many others who have. It’s not others who make what you have, it’s you; and the best gift you can give yourself is to believe in yourself, even when others are negating you. That is their problem and their personal issue.

The best gift you can give your children is self esteem. Tell them they are wonderful from the day they are born and they will grow up to believe in themselves. Its not quite as easy as this, as in life they will also meet other models besides yourself who will give them opposing stories, but if there is an inbuilt sense of worth, they will find it easier to not lose their own belief and values.

Life can be so easy, if we have the ability to realize that everything you wish for is within your control. Richard Bach said that we only get in life what we ask for and most of us don’t ask for enough. We take what we have and consider that that is all we deserve. Those who get more demand more and make sure they get it.

A poem worth reading is ‘The Man in the Glass”. http://www.theguyintheglass.com/

When you get what you want in your struggle for self
and the world makes you king for a day
just go to the mirror and look at yourself
and see what that man has to say.

“It’s not the man in the fight that is important; it’s the fight in the man”

“Love Yourself…..and realize that you are worthy of being loved”

Marguerite Carstairs©

http://Activeenglish.biz



About the Writer

Photographer and traveller, now retired on a small Island in Moreton Bay Queensland where I photograph birds and live a peaceful life with books and the Garden...
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4 comments on Bullying: Bullies Lack Self Esteem

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By D'Ann Redondo on April 03, 2008 at 08:36 pm

LM,

Please don't take what I'm about to say as in any way disrespectful.  I dearly loved the film A Beautiful Mind and I believe the life of  John Nash is truly inspirational on many levels.  Having said that, let me say that I am a 22-year-old woman who attended the decidedly "unequal" world of high school.  In high school, I was bullied for nearly two years by a girl who stood 6 inches taller and was more than 50 pounds heavier.  After 6 months of attempted mediation by school officials did nothing to stop the abuse, my precious self love circling the toilet, one day at lunch, I was attacked by this bully, pinned on a lunch table and punched repeatedly. 

In one, blank-minded moment, something inside me snapped, and after the incident was over - I swear I have no  memory of what happened - several people told me that I had turned on this bully, and beaten the living crap out of her, even repeatedly slamming her head against the pavement before being dragged off of her.

The idea of a "society of equals" had never played itself out in reality until the day when each of us - the bully and me - had to appear before the juvenile court judge, who handed out EQUAL punishment for our "crimes", including a fine for my parents, and community service.  This was my first offense, while the judge not only knew this bully, but her older sister as well.  The idea of equality, born in the vacuum of social theory was just that, a theory.  And you know what they say about a theory... it's a nice idea ganged-up on by a brutal bunch of facts.

One last thing, this "bully" in the months following this incident, showed up at a party i had gone to.  During the course of the evening, another girl saw us siting near each other and remarked, "How come the two of you are getting along?"  To which this "bully" replied, "We get along fine since she kicked my ass."

Today, she is one of my best friends.

Again, nothing personal about your theory but in this world, in general, I find that what a bully needs more than anything is a peer to give them a good kick in the ass.     

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By 'Mean' Mike Duffau on April 03, 2008 at 11:56 pm

“It’s not the man in the fight that is important; it’s the fight in the man”

i havent heard that in a long time! this story is a great motivational piece! i will always refer back to it...thanks champ!

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By madmax427 on April 04, 2008 at 10:27 pm

I think Ladymaggic brings up a terriffic social issue in this one. Until the summer before My first year of High School, I was a RUNT (read Prime Target for being bullied), Because of that, Decades later, I STILL Hate Bullies. As J&T mentioned, it can be a crap shoot standing up to Bullies, But I would far rather Stand Up to Them and take My Chances getting My ass kicked than to let it continue unchallenged. MOST Bullies I have encountered have backed off JUST from having someone Stand up to Them and I believe it much better the sooner it happens to them.

If a Bully doesn't Learn there is ALWAYS someone Bigger, Better, Stronger or More determined to 'win' at an ealier age, The 'poor' fellow will eventually run across one of those types as an adult where the consequences could easily be much more serious than a bloodied/broken nose & some bruises.

D'Ann: I can fully understand Your comment, especially the part about 'snapping'. That happened once to Me when I was a teenager. The horror of what I almost did, to someone I loved (My Uncle), has been a mental check on My anger ever since then. And what may help You a tiny bit is IF You remember We have a Legal System which has absolutely NOTHING to do with Justice! The 'Judge' You wrote about cared nothing about the circumstances beyond the ability to make some money for his Jurisdiction! It is a sad thing to have to say, But Our "Legal System" needs overhauling as bad as Our "Political" system does. I am proud to hear You Stood Up to Your Bully and even happier that You can call Her a best Friend.   

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By Ladymaggic on April 06, 2008 at 05:04 am

Wow!! Some interesting comments...but the situation remains..the bully gets way with their behavior, and those that cannot fight back bear the pain for a very long time. The psychiatric clinics are full of victims still battling scars, they have not deserved nor earned.

Verbal Bullying is what happens in Schools, Colleges and Universities, where colleagues bully other colleagues with comments such as 'Aren't you scared of her?' " Her super-efficiency makes us Tired..." "Working with her must be so scary because she is so super efficient". Seems harmless, but in reality it is not harmless at all, and like water wears away a stone, constant jibes also create scabs, from healing pains.

This can lead to teachers actually leaving their jobs because they cannot fight back, and I have no idea how someone being bullied can fight back, and when they actually have the chance to stand up for themselves. The kick ass stutaion just does not happen.

The same bully treats his wife or partner in the same way, using 'mock humour' which sharply criticizes what is a strength. I have seen many such situations with Males bullying females in power situations, and not-one able to do anything about it. Kicking ass is what is needed, but many academics, me included, have no idea how to do it...we just run away or move companies.

I too hate bullies...with the hatred of the once bullied........and once bullied always find fresh bullies..they attract them like moths to a flame...To help the bully gain self esteem so he stops bullying is the answer...and that takes time...

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