Any area of your life you don’t empower, others will overpower.’– Dr John Demartini
We typically think of bullying as being purely negative.
The bully is seen as the ‘bad’ one – the perpetrator.
And the bullied is seen as the ‘good’ one – the victim.
But is there more to bullying than meets the eye?
According to human behaviour expert Dr John Demartini, there certainly is.
From his study of over 4600 character traits described in the Oxford English Dictionary, Dr Demartini found that we each have ALL of those traits. Every single one of them.
What this means is that we ALL possess the traits of the bully as well as the bullied, albeit in our own unique form.
In that sense, we each have both ‘bad’ (negative) and ‘good’ (positive) within us.
Let’s look at this through the lens of physics, beginning with the fundamental unit of matter: the atom.
Richard Feynman (deemed by some to be Einstein’s successor) said: ‘All things are made of atoms, and everything that living things do can be understood in terms of the jigglings and wigglings of atoms.’
Seeing as everything is composed of atoms – including us – and an atom is made of equal positive and negative charges, every experience we have must have equal positive and negative components.
Just look at the endless pairs of complementary opposites around us: day and night, happiness and sadness, pain and pleasure, Summer and Winter.
Without experiencing one, we would not know the other.
We, therefore, need BOTH to have an actual experience of either.
In truth, everything, as it stands, is in perfect balance, whether we are aware of it or not.
There will always be equal positives and negatives, gains and losses, drawbacks and benefits.
Applied to bullying, this means that the bully and the bullied both experience equal positives and negatives from the act of bullying.
These real-life scenarios will explain how:
Scenario 1: Mary
My 12-year-old client Mary came to me about a bullying situation at school. Nobody played with her during lunch breaks or chose her to be in their group for various groupwork tasks. And her classmates teased her about her hair and clothing. As a result, she experienced tummy aches and nausea and was often absent from class.
Mary displayed many traits of those that are bullied – she was dependent on others (her parents) to solve her problems, had low self-confidence, and tended to withdraw. These traits, often perceived to be ‘negative’, carry a negative charge, and, as such, are drawn to the positive charge carried by ‘positive’ traits (being independent and self-confident). These ‘positive’ traits are usually displayed by the bully/bullies.
It was thus clear that Mary had attracted the bullying to balance out the emotional charge she was carrying and to teach her to appreciate a part of herself she hadn’t yet owned and valued.
Knowing that we are BOTH the bully and bullied, I asked Mary: ‘Where in your life are you a bully?’ I wasn’t surprised when Mary denied that she was ever a bully to anyone – we often don’t want to acknowledge that we possess the very same traits we dislike in others.
As we dug deeper, Mary realized that, yes, there were moments in her life when she had bullied others. For example, she was bossy when her friends came over and became very possessive when they were around her beloved horse.
I then helped Mary see how her being bullied at school wasn’t only a negative situation; it was also positive.
Now, well-adjusted, socially active, and enjoying school, Mary is grateful for the bullying experience out of which came valuable lessons and growth.
Scenario 2: Tom
Tom, a 27-year-old who felt he didn’t fit in at work and lacked a social life, saw his co-workers as mean people who victimized him. He complained that they teased him behind his back, didn’t include him in social gatherings, and passed on their work to him. After work, he’d go home where he lived with his mother who would listen to and sympathize with him.
We first explored how the bullying at work was serving him. Then we looked at where in his life he was equally a bully.
In working with Tom over a few sessions, he realized that there were blessings that came from the bullying and that he was a bully to his mother.
Using the insights gained from his experience, Tom empowered himself and is now a successful manager (at work) living in his own house with his beautiful wife.
Scenario 3: Samantha
Samantha came to me because she felt her husband was bullying her. At 45 years old, Samantha was a stay-at-home mum of two, married to a successful business owner.
Samantha told me that her husband told her how to run the house, criticized the way she raised their kids, and blamed her for spending too much money. Seeing herself as a victim, she felt disempowered and low in confidence.
I first helped Samantha list all the benefits she experienced when she perceived her husband was bullying her. We found that the bullying helped her realize that she had let herself go, become a small thinker, and had drifted away from the woman her husband had fallen in love with.
We then looked at where Samantha was being a bully to her husband and kids.
Taking the wisdom she gained from the ‘dance’ of bullying, Samantha stepped up and became the woman she could feel proud of.
And guess what?
She is now adored by her husband!
Remember, you can certainly change the dance between the bully and the bullied.
In my recent talk with Flo Chikowore, I demystify bullying, explain the family dynamics that give rise to bullying, and walk you through how to change the dance.
If you battle with bullying or you have a loved one battling with bullying, book a consultation with me. I have helped hundreds of children, teens, and adults to step out of the dance of bullying and empower themselves.
From my heart to yours