“All the bullying experts agree on one thing – that bullying is an imbalance of power; that someone’s trying to have power over you. They want to see you lose, and they want to win.”
Popular author and speaker Brooks Gibbs has become a sensation with his speeches that help people understand bullying better and be equipped with the knowledge on how you can stop being bullied the easiest way.
His message is simple: Love Is Greater Than Hate
Of course, when you are bullied, you are being hated by someone else (often for no apparent reason), and this behavior simply tips you off balance and you lose it. But, according to Gibbs, this is when you should start being nice to that person.
What psychologists call dominance behavior, bullying is based on how dominant one person becomes in the interaction. And by accepting their negative behavior and reciprocating with negative behavior, you accept the dominance of that behavior and thus you are being dominated in the situation – the bully wins.
However, Gibbs recommends that in such situations we need to use the Golden Rule: Treat others as you would like to be treated.
As he says, it’s very easy to treat someone nicely when they are being nice to you. In fact, it’s very hard to be mean to a person who is nice to you – much harder than being nice to a person who is being mean to you.
So, his advice is to stay calm and be kind.
“People don’t make you mad, and nobody pushes your buttons. You make yourself mad, you upset yourself, and you push your own buttons. The phrase of ‘They’re just pushing my buttons’ is a total lie,” explains Gibbs in a live talk.
The truth is, it’s our choice to let people’s words, actions, rejection, or rumors, hurt us or upset us. And his advice is not to let that happen – because if you let it, you lose. And if you don’t let this behavior affect you, you win.
And once you simply let go of the negativity that is being directed to you, your job is to be kind. Treat that person as a friend, because you want to be seen as their friend, rather than their enemy.
And it’s indeed difficult to maintain your calm and treat someone nicely (when they don’t really deserve it), but it’s worth the effort and it breaks the cycle of bullying. Why? Because the person will start seeing a positive vibe coming out of you, one that they can’t fight.
So, in the end, you will win over the situation; you won’t feed their negativity with more negativity; you will break the bullying cycle by being nice and kind.
Here’s an excerpt of one of his anti-bullying talks that shows how difficult is for a person to maintain the negativity when positivity is tossed in the interaction.