LOCAL RCMP O'CHIESE/SUNCHILD DETACHMENT-
CONSTABLE MICHELLE PHILLIPS
A MESSAGE ON BULLYING

The Weakness of a bully...

 

Everyone has encountered a bully at some point. Sometimes the bully is a complete stranger, a team mate on a sports team, a fellow student at school, someone we work with, but very often the bully is an immediate or distant member of our own family.

 

What is a bully?

 

Someone who is weak and often hurting inside. A bully has a problem they are not dealing with in their own life and it is causing them to be sad, hurt and scared. To try to gain control in their life and to try to feel okay about their own situation they find other people to bring down. Often they target those who seem happy or appear like their lives are going better than the bully's life. We have all heard the saying "misery loves company."

 

Bullies have a hard time dealing with their emotions. It is easier to be mad than sad. It feels better and it gives a person the illusion that they are choosing their emotion. Being sad has often been associated with being weak. Being mad has often been associated with being strong. These associations are re-enforced by bullies. They want to give the impression that they are strong and they want to feel in control and think they are hiding their sadness and pain by trying to do so.

 

Showing your emotions when you are sad, including crying, is a strength. It takes a brave person to bare their soul to others when they are feeling hurt and alone. The strongest people are the ones who do not care if others judge them for their emotions. A person with a full range of emotion is healthy; a person who is not afraid to show those emotions is brave and strong. The easiest emotion to show is anger and rage. The hardest things in life are done by the strongest people. It is only the weak that take the easy way.

 

We deal with the hard things that life throws at us in many different ways. Healthy ways include sharing our pain, seeing we are not alone. Realizing that though our hurt seems like the worst that has ever been, things could always be worse and someone else has always suffered a greater loss. This is not to say our hurts and losses are not important, because they are. If we let them they can become the most important things in our lives. We need something, someone to open our eyes and see into our hearts and show us that though we have suffered there are still people here with us now that love us, care for us and that cry our tears when we are too afraid to do it ourselves.

 

Healthy ways to deal with grief, fear, and sadness:

 

DEFINE WHAT IS HURTING

 

Be clear and don't take the easy way out. In the case of the loss of a loved one it would be easy to say their loss is what is hurting. Look a little deeper though, is it the fact that maybe you left on not so good terms; that you feel guilty or responsible for their loss or things that happened before you lost them; is it because you fear for the children or family they left behind; is it because you fear you will lose more people close to you; is it because you feel guilt or shame that you think you could have/should have done something more or different to "save" them? DEFINE what is hurting you.



ACKNOWLEDGE AND VALIDATE YOUR HURT

 

It is not wrong to be sad, angry, scared or any other emotion you are feeling. It is normal to feel the way you do. Understand you are not alone, others have felt the pain you feel, others have lost as much or more as you have and it has left them as emotional and lost as you are. Our emotions are our body and spirit's way of releasing pressure from within us. Picture a boiling pot with a lid on top of it. When a pot begins to boil; it releases bubbles full of steam. If there is a lid on top it is okay for a little while, the steam fills the space inside if the pot is removed from the heat the bubbling stops and there is time for the steam to cool off and nothing goes wrong. If the pot is not taken away from the heat, the steam fills the space and the lid will pop up a bit and let out some of the steam, some of the pressure is released. If the lid is sealed and nothing gets out the pot will explode which can damage the pot, the counter, and anyone around it. If we don't release our emotions the pressure can become too much to handle. Just like the pot we will explode, which can damage property, homes, ourselves and others.

 

GIVE YOUR EMOTIONS WORDS

 

Cry, talk, write, scream, laugh...do what you need to that releases your pressures. Do it in a healthy way. Set aside time each day to think about your hurt. Feel the emotions that come with it. Acknowledge your emotions and let them free. That could mean having a good cry, talking to someone or something. An Elder from O'Chiese recently told me if you can't talk to anyone or if there is no one around, go outside. Talk to a rock, anything... even a power pole will listen to you! Turn your music up real loud (make sure it's not too late at night or too early in the morning) and just let out a few good screams! Punch your pillow if you need to; lay on your bed and yell and kick. Write a journal or a letter to the person or the things that are hurting you and then burn the letter, offering it up to the universe, watch the ashes float away along with letting your hurt go.

 

KNOW THEY MAY BE BACK

 

Understand you have released your emotions in a healthy way and have acknowledged your pain, but it may be back. Sometimes all it takes is a song, a word, a smell or a thought to bring back your pain. It's okay and it's healthy. We are sensitive creatures and it is important we stay that way. Without pain we would never know pleasure and without fear we would never feel safe. Without sadness we would not recognize happiness. Life is about balance good and bad.

 

The weakness of a bully...

 

Keep these things in mind when you encounter a bully. See them as someone who is hurting, who is weak and has not yet learned to live in a strong and healthy way. Do not retaliate with anger or harsh words. That is the easy way, the weak way. Be strong and be brave. Walk away, do not listen, do not read the messages.



Understand they are hurt and they are broken. You would not listen to a song that skips or one that the words were all mixed up because the player was not working. If that song said things that didn't make sense or were not true, you would not take them to heart. Keep this in mind. When a bully is lashing out, they are broken, something is malfunctioning. They need help and they need to fix what is wrong. Hear their words but give them no more credit than that skipping song. Do not take them to heart and understand they are not operating at their best. If you can, tell someone you trust that can get the bully some help. Maybe they aren't a bully after all, Maybe they are a person who is hurting and who doesn't know how to deal with their hurt and pain. Do not get angry or lash back. Give the person the benefit of the doubt and do things the brave way, the strong way. Look at them with compassion and try to understand.

 

www.bewebaware.ca/english/CyberBullying.aspx www.bullying.org

 

www.bullybeware.com www.talk-helps.com

 

http://www.cyberbullying.ca www.bullyingkidsspeakup.ca

 

http://www.bullyingcanada.ca

 

Constable Michelle Phillips, Rocky Mountain House RCMP

 

O'Chiese/Sunchild Detachment, Tel: 403-845-2882 Fax 403-845-6515
From the O'Chiese Newsletter November 2008 Edition pages 14 and 15