Today’s Question: Working Thru Bullies and Releasing Hate.
I am currently in a situation where this bully from our school hates me and I also hate him. However, I don’t want to hate him or anybody else for that matter as this feeling often makes me think off lots of horrible things I would do to him and I hate thinking like that because I want to be a peaceful person on the inside. Instead I have to pretend that I am on the outside. I know it’s only a matter of time before this boy tries to start a fight with me and I worry I will not be able to control my hate and I fear I will retaliate to him. How do I learn to let go of these feelings because I feel it most days and it just doesn’t match my personality. Any advice would be much appreciated
Learning to work against bullies is an important skill. This is a problem that literally can tear the world apart. For instance: right now, politics within the United States is an absolute bully fest.
Don’t feel alone in this challenge; many people around the world are dealing with the same problem.
What is Bullying?
Let’s look at the definition of Bully first:
a person who uses strength or power to harm or intimidate those who are weaker.
synonyms: persecutor, oppressor, tyrant, tormentor, intimidator;
use superior strength or influence to intimidate (someone), typically to force him or her to do what one wants.
It becomes very clear that bullying is all about power. Often bullies are those who have been abused themselves, and they attack others who are weaker to regain power.
Look at what power is to understand how to work against being bullied by another.
Working against a bully is all about holding and then working with power.
Depower the Bully & Empower Yourself
Power is often wrapped around how we hold our stories. This means many bullying situations can be resolved by fixing or changing the story in play. Yet everyone holds their story very differently. Coming to terms with differences in stories can get complicated quite fast. This means you often have to tailor a response to fit each situation at hand based upon the power dynamics in play. The best tactics will often be the ones that address / resolve out the under-powered parts of the situation.
Some of the standard tactics to work with a bully are:
- Minimize your exposure
- Empower yourself
- Stand up for yourself
- Get the help of others
- Help your opponent heal so they don’t need to bully
- Work with society or larger groups to de-power the bully
- Ignore the bully
- Control the timing of the interactions
- More examples of how to approach bullying
The first part of the answer to your question then is this:
Work in a way to be in your power through the whole experience: Let the process make you stronger in who you are and how you hold yourself. Learning to balance your interactions with the bully might resolve out the hate you feel. However, as some of the answers for dealing with the bully leaves the bully behind without a clean resolution: that also means sometimes the hate tags along with you.
Always remember this:
Bullies and Hate are two separate problems.
Don’t entangle the two problems which would then make each problem harder to resolve.
Remove Hate from Bullying Experience
Now we can tackle the deeper part of your question. How to deal with the hate that evolves out of the bullying.
You can read quite a bit about how to deal with a bully. Yet resolving out the hate that comes from bullying isn’t as easy to find help against. Currently, in the United States, bullying from political leaders and those in power mixed with pent up racism has released a maelstrom of hate. This hate is ripping thru the entire culture and tearing apart society as we speak. So this is a very important question you ask.
Here is one article I wrote a while ago about releasing hate. I want to add some additional thought to this topic.
Hate is a process that de-powers a person. The more a person hates, the more their very definition is under attack. Hate is a negative judgment that will undercut your story over time. Worse hate is infectious. As a bully attacks, their hate can leap into you. If it isn’t healed, it will keep inflicting inner wounds to drive your life for long after the initial experience. We can even get physically sick from the hate we receive from others.
The trap is a person often will make outside hate their hate when having been hurt enough. Once you entangle hate within your own story, that hate will lash out and hurt you over and over again long after the bully is gone.
Ask yourself: is that hate you feel really yours? Look at more closely. Most of the time you will find it is more complicated than you think. You will discover some of the hate you feel isn’t even yours but theirs or other hate that sneaked in. As we grow up we have had other experiences which might have hurt us. As a result some of the hate you feel from bullying often are echoes that the bully stirs up from previous stories or encounters in your life.
When you look at hate a little deeper reveal which threads aren’t yours. At that point, it becomes much easier to pull it out and let it go. You don’t need to give it any of your energy. Release is a powerful way to dismiss that style of hate.
Hate can sneak in from other angles.
A lack of confidence is a hard challenge to overcome. Personal self hate can creep in on top of low esteem or lack of confidence. When a bully attacks us, it lowers our personal power. Reducing one’s power also undercuts our confidence. So then it isn’t too hard to hate oneself for that lack of confidence. Exercise, take care of yourself, revitalize your personal confidence and you might find that hate melts away.
Morning Meditation is my favorite technique to use to root out hate that has latched onto myself and then dismiss it.
Also you can can counter some inner hate with simple tricks. For instance when you feel the hate come up, you can instead focus on a positive goal or ideal you hold true for yourself. You can have a mantra, or as this below song will say, “a pocket full of sunshine”. Granted when I was younger I usually had a pocket full of chewing gum, but hey times change. The trap of this approach is that only using outside escapes for your solution doesn’t remove the inner hate that can build up. This can lead to alcoholism, escapism, codependency or other problems. So yes use this as a trick but also actively remove the threads of hate that try to cling to you.
I don’t run away from hate, I face it, dismiss it, and then grow stronger.
Keep in mind facing hate is different than facing the bully who stirred up the hate. At times you might face both down, at other times you only face the hate down as you leave the bully in their own dust. Be smart about it and realize the hate and the bully are two separate battles.
Understand: be patient as you find your internal dialogue. We may look to others for support. Inspiration from others can be the starting seed for power. Yet you have to make it your own power when you finally stand strong against the bullies of the world and walk away from their abuse.