Conflict # 55 – How to Beat the Bully

Bullying is nothing new, and you may know such a story, yourself. If so, please feel free to contact me about it. Meanwhile, I’d like to share a story about how one 12 year-old boy took care of a bully in a remarkably creative way.

Call him “Andy”. Andy was a 6th grade student at a school where I interned and provided counseling once a week. Andy was referred him to me after he had been getting repeated detentions, due to talking rudely and apparently threatening another boy. This is what he told me.

Nearly every day at school, Andy was confronted between classes by an older, bigger boy, who would taunt him and call him “stupid”. Now, the bully was shrewd. He didn’t raise his voice when he insulted and taunted Andy. Andy, on the other hand, would shoot back in a loud voice, “Shut up, you’re stupid!” So, it was Andy, never the bully, who got into trouble.

I asked Andy if he’d ever watched martial arts movies or videos; he said yes. I explained and demonstrated with one simple, harmless move (not being a martial artist, myself, mind you) how martial artists win by using the opponent’s energy and momentum against him. They throw the opponent off balance. His knowing smile told me that he got it.

So, I suggested he could do this with words, too. I suggested that, the next time the bully tells you you’re stupid, you might answer like this. “You know, I’ve been thinking, and you’re right. I am kind of stupid. Can you help me be smart?” After all, I explained, we’re all “stupid” – or just not competent – in some ability or other. He nodded, smiled slyly and his eyes twinkled right up. Leaving our brief meeting, he thanked me and said he couldn’t wait to try this.

I saw Andy again two weeks later, and asked him how it went. Once again came the sly smile. He said, “I told him, ‘You’re right, I’m kind of stupid. Would you help me with my homework?’” Now it was my turn to smile. I said, “Isn’t that amazing? And how’s it going? Does he still bother you?”

Andy said, “No, when I told him that, he looked at me like I was crazy, and now he leaves me alone.”

You see, it’s not always necessary to overpower a bully. It can be done with the power of the mind.

If you know a child who needs help in this area, please call for a free consultation. The number is 219-309-3928. I’d be honored to talk to you.

Thanks for reading!