Brooks Gibbs shares the key to disarming a bully. Brooks Gibbs is a youth crisis counselor, bullying expert, youth speaker, author of Love is Greater Than Hate, and friend of TheHopeLine.
Bullying is an Imbalance of Power
To understand how to disarm a bully you first have to know what bullying is and how it works.
All the experts say bullying is an imbalance of power...meaning someone who is more powerful, not necessarily stronger, but more powerful has power over a victim who's weaker. Most of the time this plays out when the bully calls the victim names and the victim’s feelings are hurt and they don't know how what to do about it. So simply put bullying is when the bully feels like a winner because they hurt the feelings of a victim, and the victim feels like a loser because their feelings are hurt.
Watch Brooks Gibbs proven method for disarming a bully:
Empower the Victim
Remember, if bullying is an imbalance of power, the solution is to empower the victim.
So How Do You Empower a Victim?
So glad you asked. Here are two things I tell victims:
1. Don’t Get Upset. No matter what the bully says, don’t get upset. He may make fun of your face, your race, your religion or yo’ mamma. It doesn’t matter. His number one goal is to hurt your feelings and if he hurts your feelings, you lose and he wins. But if you want to win, and not let him win...Don’t. Get. Upset. This means you need to be resilient. You need to have tough skin.
2. Treat the enemy or the bully like a friend. I’m not saying to be friends with your bully. I’m just saying be friendly to your bully. No matter what he says you respond with kindness. This is going to be one of the more difficult things you’ll ever do. But once you realize how powerful it is you’ll have the courage to do it.
The best thing I can encourage you to do is just try it.
The next time your enemy calls you a name, makes fun of you, points out your disabilities or insecurities, spreads rumors about you or excludes you from their cool group, however the bullying takes place, I want you to always respond to your enemies with kindness. Compliment them, encourage them, inside perhaps you can even forgive them. (That’s a tough one.)
Here are some things you can say:
"Hey, you can talk crap about me all you want. It’s not going to ruin my day."
Or I like using this line. "Hey man, I know you hate my guts, but I’m going to be happy today even if you hate me. So feel free to hate me, I’m going to be happy. That’s my choice today. I am always going to be nice to you even if you’re a punk to me."
Let them know you are going to take control of your own feelings and actions.
If you are experiencing bullying and you need support, chat with a HopeCoach at TheHopeLine. You are not alone; we are here to listen and help you when dealing with a bully. Stay strong! We believe in you!
c at firist he done thgs that shld'nt of been forgivin and now that he doesn't do half the stuff he did before,i still have resentment and resentment that I stayed instead of left to heal! I havn;t had a chance to heal cause he has made me feel bad bout what I do now! he has jump me and I have got hurt,alittle! why do I feel bad?
hey. im Teresa. im n situation where I think i'm now bully my abuser?
Should warn people, responding with kindness may make the bully want to make the bullying worse in hopes to make the victim crack. Still, it's important to respond to a bully and not just say nothing. The response should be kind.
I was horrifically bullied by classmates and the teacher wanting to be "in" with them many years ago, way before social media and thoughts of suicide were so prevalent.
I was surprised to find bullying alive and well even among adults a few.years back when I got involved in animal welfare. My tendency at first was to cry and shrink back like years before, but I prayed for the boldness to deal with it. I was able to take a step back and think when attacked, then respond calmly, praising the good work of the bullies while pointing out that we should work together for the greater good. God granted me the boldness, kindness and even love I felt for these attackers, while protecting me from the actual attacks on my self-esteem.