Can we bully-proof our brains? Or can we help others who are being bullied to do the same?
Teach our brains to remove the oxygen from mistreatment, and we pound a clear path for surprisingly freer steps forward. Whether we feel spurned by a former friend or slammed online by a tyrannical leader, our brains come fully equipped to recognize our personal worth and to turn our inner dial to a non-bullying plan that converts fear into freedom.
Trouble may start when we turn on the news and within minutes politicians try to divide us by heated rhetoric. One response finds us using infuriating retorts that continue heated taunts, without seeking common ground on the issues raised.
Search our intrapersonal IQ for answers though, and we come up with strategies to cut off oxygen from a bully’s taunts. Not that we can always convert bullies into buddies or arrogant leaders into caring influencers. But when we find genuine ways to treat ourselves with golden-rule-kindness we prepare our brains to see a bully as human, rather than as tyrant. Develop our intuitive IQ and we face bullies with more reasoned compassion than personal upset.
If a bully insists a kinder thing can’t be done, we can simply ignore the taunts and do it anyway. When we let go of any need to satisfy a bully’s unreasonable demands, we shift into focusing instead on personal care as an alternative to the division or irritation that upset us in the first place.
We may even have to role-play kinder strategies in our minds until we get the best emotional shift down pat. Rather than act offended, let’s say we simply remind ourselves of our own inner worth, and move on. Eventually, we begin to face the bully’s taunts with more personal worth than emotional collateral damage felt in past.
Avoid labeling another person as a bully, and we set the stage for better outcomes. When we propose a doable solution to the problem that caused rage in the first place for instance, we focus our brains to face threats that can feel unsafe, with kinder interventions. We tackle insults with caring counterpoints that work.
Rather than beat up on ourselves for knee-jerk reactions to unreasonable demands, we look ahead with hope. Regrets tend to teach our brains that past responses possess harmful and toxic hurts that limit us going forward. Far better to gaze ahead into windshields, while glancing backwards only occasionally into rear-view mirrors. In reality, life comes to all of us with difficulties such as unreasonable relationship challenges. Teach our brains to leapfrog over past missteps and we also weaken blunders going forward.
When it comes to bullying, our brains come equipped with the following four tools:
1) An inner IQ to restore us from sinking emotionally when we are picked on or angered. Rather than confront the bully with knee-jerk taunts or reactive denials, we choose comfort from our inner value that has nothing to do with a bully’s digs.
2) An amygdala that tames our minds with our help and prevents us from becoming overly upset. Perhaps we were ignored at a family gathering, or criticized for ideas that differed, or laughed at because of a personality trait. An untamed amygdala will defend and taunt back, while a tamed one will laugh with an oppressor’s dig at us and then move on with our confidence fully in tact.
3) A basal ganglia that acts as our brain’s warehouse to store strategies we used to minimize the bullying. Each time we act more in accordance with inner confidence and personal worth, we store that calm and caring approach, so that it emerges again in similar situations. See a useful pattern we can develop here to side-step bully toxins by storing a finer fix?
4) A working memory with new tactics to convert upsets into wins and can even nudge a bully to stop. Our working memory now holds a few new facts to give us brain based tactics to move beyond hatred with helpful alternatives, all from tools within our inner IQ.
With a little help from us, our brain becomes our best personal advocate whenever tensions from a bully escalate. Aggression is kept alive only when it gets responses that affirm problems without solutions.
If we’ve given into emotional trauma in past from hateful rhetoric, there may not be a quick fix here. No one solution will likely eliminate those dangerous toxins caused by bullying. Yet, in spite of the harm and daily problems that aggression or anger hurl at us, our brains come well-equipped with mental interventions that add courage personally, and can eventually offer healthier alternatives for ourselves and for entire communities.
We’ve all seen how vile rhetoric can lead to hate crimes against humanity. And few would deny that bullying is anything more than a fear-generated behavior. Remove fear from our responses and we also remove intimidation from bullies.
It’s far easier to tackle taunts before upset overwhelms our brains and leave us feeling like David going up against Goliath, only without any weapon to survive. Luckily our brains come equipped to rebuild personal confidence and bully proof us mentally so that we win in spite of frequent aggression we face on-line or face-to-face. We can dash from fear to freedom with superpower-equipped tools designed to help us confront hatred. Ready to respond to the next horrific angst with inner strengths found in our intrapersonal intelligence?
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