The truth of the matter is that while this type of bully still exists, bullies come in all shapes and sizes these days, especially because they are able to hide from behind a computer or behind a cell phone. What I find quite interesting is that during a recent bullying workshop at one of the elementary schools in town, the students were informed that a bully is full of self-confidence. That is incorrect. They appear to come across with an abundance of self-confidence, but in all reality, they are some of the most insecure individuals in the school. They do not have a high, healthy, and strong self-esteem. They gain their confidence, which is short-lived, by bullying others.
I often compare a bully to a drug addict. A drug addict appears to gain some satisfaction from their drugs, but when it wears off, they are unhappy again so they go get more drugs and the cycle continues. The satisfaction is just an illusion covering up a much deeper challenge, a disconnect from oneself. It is the same as a bully. The person bullies someone, maybe gets some attention from others laughing or egging them on, but then this wears off and they need to bully some more, maybe the same person or maybe they move onto another victim. This cycle continues and the satisfaction they get is also an illusion that is covering up a disconnect from themselves as well.
So here is my question. If you have a healthy and strong self-esteem why do you have a need to put anyone beneath you through some type of bullying and think that you are better than someone else? Because you “just feel like it,” because you “think it is fun,” because you think “it is no big deal,” are not good answers. They are actually “escape” responses from dealing with the real issue, the disconnect from yourself. The truth of the matter is that if you are in a good place with yourself, if you have a healthy self-esteem, have made peace with that mirror reflection and those words that you use to describe yourself in your head on a daily basis, you don’t have a need to put someone beneath you (through any type of bullying), nor do you have a need to put anyone above you…as our next role does…The Victim.
Scott Chesney is a motivational speaker and life coach, Verona resident, husband, and parent of two children. You can reach him at [email protected]. Read all five parts of his special column on bullying here.