The anti-bullying movement has become the most popular social movement in the world. Bullying awareness efforts have made bullying the number one fear of parents. Anti-bullying laws have made schools responsible for eliminating bullying. As a result, more kids than ever are being sent for help because they are being bullied. Adults, too, have become aware of bullying and are seeking help.
If you are a counselor, psychologist, social worker, psychiatric nurse, life coach or other type of helping professional, there is a good chance you don’t know how to help clients who suffer from being bullied. You can’t rely on the popular bullying prevention programs to help them because research shows that they rarely produce more than a minor reduction in bullying and often result in an increase. If you employ common counseling or therapy methods, you can work with them for months or years and they may still see no relief from the bullying.
This unique course will teach you a quick, powerful and fun system for teaching your clients how to stop being bullied without anyone’s help and without getting anyone in trouble. Many clients will experience a dramatic improvement after the first session. They will grow in self-confidence and –esteem, popularity, resilience, emotional maturity and academic/work functioning. You may become a more effective counselor or therapist than you have thought possible.
Through video lectures, recorded role-plays, written material and assignments for practice, you will come to see bullying in a new way and discover how easy it is to help your clients. Your own personal relationships are likely to improve as well! You will also understand the problems with the orthodox approach to bullying, which is concerned with making bullies change, and why it doesn’t work very well.
This lecture will present the unique nature of this course. You will realize why the popular approach to bullying is not likely to enable you to help your bullied clients. You will be informed of the basic assumptions underlying the approach taught, the schools of psychological thought with which it is consistent, and the power of role-playing for teaching your clients.
One of the worst things that can happen to a person is to become a victim of relentless teasing and bullying. Learn the common ways that bullying can hurt its victims.
Before you begin learning how to help victims of bullying, it is important to clarify in your mind what you want for them. You will be asked to consider several questions. They should help you realize that the popular approach to bullying is largely contrary to what you feel is to their benefit. This course will help you provide for them what you truly feel is best for them.
In addition to the lecture and transcript, I am providing you with an article for optional reading, Why Your Anti-bully Program Isn't Working, in case you want to have a greater understanding of the factors that can be preventing school-based anti-bullying efforts from having the desired results.
To solve the problem of bullying successfully, we need to understand it in a scientifically objective manner. I will be presenting seven "dichotomies" – contrasting but related ideas – that will help you look at bullying in a more helpful way. This lecture will explain the following three dichotomies:
This lecture will explain dichotomy four: Acute Victim/True Victim versus Chronic Victim/Victim Mentality
This lecture will explain dichotomies five through seven:
5. Blaming versus Taking Responsibility
6. Winning versus Losing
7. Friends versus Enemies
This quiz covers the lessons of the section, Background Considerations
The Golden Rule is widely recognized as the solution to bullying, but few people understand what it really comes to teach us and how it works, which is why society is doing a poor job of reducing bullying. This lecture will explain the misunderstandings regarding the Golden Rule and how it works scientifically.
After you listen to the lecture, I recommend you listen to a lecture by world-famous zoologist Hans De Wall on the role of reciprocity in nature: Moral Behavior in Animals
If we treat people like enemies, they are likely to treat us like enemies. If we want people to treat us like friends, we need to treat them like friends. However, there are many ways by which we treat people like enemies and aren't aware of it. This lecture will explain the first four of eight rules for "turning bullies into buddies," or enemies into friends.
This lecture explains the second four of the eight rules for "turning bullies into buddies."
This quiz is on the lessons in Section Two, The Rules for Harmony
Before I begin teaching you the practical techniques for teaching people how to stop being bullied, it helps to understand why people become victims in the first place.
This lecture presents you with instructions for conducting an "experiment" with at least a few people. It is the basis for the general general procedure for teaching people how to handle bullying, as well as for several insights about human nature that will help you understand bullying behavior.
The orthodox bullying field treats bullies as though they are pathological or evil, and that we – the non-bullies – as basically good. The Freedom of Speech Experiment should help you realize that the Bullies"R"Us.
After you listen to/read the lecture, you may want to read and watch the articles and videos mentioned in the lecture:
The article about the "dark side," by Dr. Steven Diamond: Essential Secrets of Psychotherapy: What is the "Shadow?
The New York Times article about Schadenfreude: Our Pleasure in Others’ Misfortune
The humorous musical exposition on Schadenfreude
The Google Search page on “Bullies enjoy other’s pain”
Harvard researcher who states, “Cancer cells act like bullies."
The scene from the Spielberg movie, A.I. Artificial Intelligence
The Google search page for "bully gets what he deserved”
The viral video clip showing how a "bully" gets his comeuppance. Notice that the person who posted it called it "hilarious": https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xEilW2dcpSM
Google search page for “I hate bullies”
The Freedom of Speech Experiment teaches important lessons about the importance of self-regulation for stopping to be bullied.
The Freedom of Speech Experiment shows that this freedom is not only a good policy for a government, it is the solution to verbal bullying. It is the Constitutional version of the "sticks and stones" slogan.
Now that you have conducted the Freedom of Speech Experiment with at least a few people, you are ready to learn the simple version of the procedure for teaching people how to stop being bullied.
The Advanced Version of the procedure for teaching people how to handle being bullied is presented in three parts. It is an elaboration of the Simple Version, and serves as a short but powerful course in basic psychology and interpersonal relations. I recommend that you watch them one after the other if you have the time.
Continuation of the lesson on the Advanced Version for teaching people how to handle verbal bullying. It is recommended that you watch this immediately after Part One (the previous lesson).
Continuation of the lesson on the Advanced Version for teaching people how to handle verbal bullying. It is recommended that you watch this immediately after Part Two (the previous lesson).
Many people believe that it is relatively easy to handle insults from an individual, but it is much harder to handle insults by an entire group. Here is a demonstration of how the same approach for dealing with insults–treating people like friends–can be used with a entire group.
Insults against people's race, religion, gender or sexual orientation are considered much worse than any other kind of insult. The truth is they can be handled just as easily as any other kind of insult, while turning the insulter into a less prejudiced person.
Because insults against gays and against overweight people are particularly common, I have included a couple of articles explaining how to deal with these specific situations.
After you listen to the lecture, I recommend you listen to a lecture by psychologist Paul Bloom, that confirms what I teach about the role of prejudice in life: Can Prejudice Ever Be a Good Thing?
One of the most common insults among kids is "gay." Here is another demonstration of how to handle "gay" insults.
Watch another demonstration on handling gay insults, when the target is not gay, with a teenager as volunteer.
Watch a demonstration of how a person who is openly gay can respond to being insulted by someone who hates gays.
I am also providing an article I wrote specifically for handling gay insults in a variety of situations.
What can you do if you have to face a prejudiced neighbor? Here is a demonstration of a situation in which a black person moves into a white neighborhood and faces a neighbor biased against blacks.
Prejudice is a major concern of the social sciences, and it goes on not only among kids but also adults. Here is demonstration of a workplace situation in which an employee faces a boss with anti-Jewish bias. First, the employee treats him like an enemy. Then he treats him like a friend.
There is also an attached manual, The Golden Rule Solution to Racism, written by the instructor. It provides his in-depth explanation of how to use the Bullies to Buddies rules for dealing with prejudiced people, using the specific example of prejudice against Jews. (Reading it is an optional activity.)
Bias can even exist within a family. Here is a demonstration of how to deal with anti-Jewish bias that emerges withing a marriage.
Quiz on lessons in Section Three, The Practical Bullying Solutions: Verbal Aggression
Physical aggression is perhaps the most sensitive and confusing issue in bullying. Before I show you how I teach people to handle physical aggression, it is important to take a realistic, non-hysterical view of this phenomenon.
After you listen to the lecture, I recommend you listen to a phenomenal lecture by one of my favorite psychologists, Steven Pinker, whose latest book, The Better Angels of Our Nature, debunks the common belief that the world is becoming a more dangerous, violent place: The Surprising Decline in Violence
The simplest type of physical aggression is hitting and pushing. This lecture discusses the advantages and disadvantages of the popular instruction that many parents give to kids – that they must hit their attackers back – and shows how to handle physical attacks successfully without having to resort to physical retaliation.
Watch a demonstration of the way I teach how to handle being pushed, with an adult volunteer at a conference.
Watch a demonstration of how to handle being pushed, using a teenage volunteer.
Threats of violence among kids may be even more common than actual violence. Furthermore, violence is often preceded by threats that then escalate into attacks. This lesson shows how to defuse threats by treating the aggressor as a friend.
Stealing is a true crime that should not be treated as bullying. However, kids will often upset others by taking their possessions. How should your clients handle such incidents?
Questions on lessons of Section Four: The Practical Bullying Solutions – Physical Aggression
For many people, rumors can be devastating – especially if they are true. There is a simple way to teach people to handle rumors, whether or not they are true.
Watch a demonstration of role-plays on how to handle rumors.
One of the worst rumors than can be spread about a girl is that she is a slut. Sometimes the girl did something humiliating that gave rise to the rumor. There are girls who were so devastated by being called slut that they took their own lives. Here is a demonstration of how you can teach girls to handle rumors that they are sluts.
What should the client do if they are being excluded from a group, or are being pressured to stop being someone else's friend? There are simple solutions that put the client in charge.
Questions on lessons of Section Five: The Practical Bullying Solutions – Relational Aggression
Cyberbullying has become a modern way for kids to torment each other. Nasty massages can be left in cyberspace 24/7. Kids can be taught to handle most cyberbullying on their own by using the same principles for dealing with face-to-face bullying.
Lecture on cyberbullying, continued.
Questions on lessons in Section Six: The Practical Bullying Solutions: Cyberbullying
We learn little or nothing in psychology about humor, as though it is a minor, irrelevant part of life. Yet it is so important to our emotional well being. This lecture will help you understand humor in a way you may never have seen before, as well as its relationship to dealing with bullying.
Continuation of the lecture on humor.
After you have listened to it, I recommend you listen to a lecture by Chris Bliss which has largely to do with the positive purpose of ridiculing people: Comedy is Translation
In my lecture, I spoke about how imitation (impersonation) makes people laugh. Watch this Ted Talk in which a master impersonator Sarah will have you laughing by imitating people of eleven different ethnic backgrounds:
In my lecture, I mentioned the quotation by Sid Caesar, "Learn to laugh at yourself and you will find yourself laughing at things that would make other people cry." I highly recommend this wonderful lecture by Zayid Maysoon, displaying an amazing ability to laugh at herself: I Got 99 Problems; Palsy is Just One of Them
If you've been living with the belief that humor is positive, watch this compilation of funny commercials:
Questions on lecture on humor.
I hope that by now you have been having success using the techniques taught in this course and that you are seeing bullying differently. Some of you may wonder why this isn't common professional bullying knowledge and why bullying is still a major problem perplexing the social sciences. To understand this, it is necessary to examine what the academic field of bullying is teaching and promoting. I have included an optional reading assignment, an article I wrote several years ago called, What's Wrong with the Psychology Underlying the Anti-Bully Movement.
If you find that article interesting, I invite you to read an article on my Psychology Today blog called, The First Step to Ending the Bullying Crisis.
You are provided here with some links to lectures and video clips that illustrate some of the points I make in the lecture, Understanding Humor.
Israel "Izzy" Kalman, MS, is a Nationally Certified School Psychologist and psychotherapist with four decades of experience. He has developed a quick, fun and powerful method for teaching people how to solve interpersonal problems, including bullying, without anyone’s help and without getting anyone in trouble. He is director of Bullies to Buddies, Inc, and author of a book for young adults called Bullies to Buddies: How to turn your enemies into friends, as well as a number of other publications on bullying for kids and adults. For the past five years, Izzy has been writing a blog on bullying for Psychology Today
More than 45,000 mental health professionals and educators have attended Izzy’s full day seminars on bullying and anger control. His articles have appeared in newspapers, magazines and journals, and he has presented at many professional conferences. He is a sought-after expert on bullying for radio and TV shows.