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I’ve tried to write this as if it is something that can be shown to people who are experiencing bullying as a way of encouraging them to conquer the bullies, rather than as if I was a parent or teacher giving advise to another as to how bullying can be stopped - something I have no experience of yet.
I’m not somebody who has studied bullying or was ever somebody with a lot of experience in being bullied but I want to express my opinion on it using whatever experience I have and can remember of any times I felt I might have been what is considered bullied.
A possible solution to help solve the problems of bullying could be to ensure that children are taught from a young age to stand up for themselves (in what they believe in and in a physical manner).
I think the main reasons people are targeted for bullying are:
Because they’re physically inferior (or less developed) when compared to others their age.
Because they’re less strong charactered and less likely to stand up for themselves if they were to be targeted.
Because they’re a stand-out different from the norm, the current fashion or society as a whole.
When I was younger (probably since the first time I complained that I’d had some sort of physical confrontation with another person) my parents always said not to start confrontations but be sure to stand up for yourself if attacked. I completely condone this advice and very much believe in the concept that if somebody is trying to harm you then you have the right and should do whatever you can to stop the assailant in their tracks to the point where you can avoid any more harm coming to you. I will be teaching my future children to never let anybody try and bully them, teach them the basics of self defence and even encourage them to learn a martial art.
In the wrong circumstance in any area of life (such as facing a violent criminal or other opponent you cannot ‘control’ in a greater sense) you’re not given the option as to whether or not the threat should be allowed. It’s a threat, and a threat that only yourself can deal with at the particular time, and maybe the most important thing to keep in your mind at the time, as you should not rely on others to help you. Bullies should be considered threats and are clever in the sense they will pick times they wish to attack you, therefore you should not listen to those who tell you to not retaliate and report bullying (it should be done, but don’t let that stop you defending yourself first).
Now, I’m not being ignorant to the fact that bullying isn’t always physical, it’s often words. What needs to be remembered, as hard as it sounds - is it’s just loose words. Tell them to say it to your face whilst looking you in the eye, and if they do - warn them sincerely that if it continues then you’ll smash them in the mouth; learn a few things to say to people that intimidates them or makes them think twice about attacking you.
There’s two ways of doing this:
First is to actually become combatant. Take up a sport which involves contact such as rugby or boxing so that you’re physically prepared to fight. - More specifically, take up a martial art.
Or - you can develop a side of your personality, an act if you like, who is hard and a borderline bully him/herself. The important thing is to remember is this act is not needed when you’re not under threat, think of them as your war paint that you only put on when you’re under attack. Try to learn some aggressive lines from the bullies themselves so you’re speaking their language or watch a few gangster movies and adopt the expressions (I use gangsters as an example because they’re an example of bullies in every age of modern society and also often a source of [bad] influence for the bully-type, so they’ll see you as something they relate to. They’re also seldom physically fit but still know some dirty fighting tactics.)
From standing up to their insults they’re either going to attack you (which might hurt, but you’re equally capable and entitled to hurt them back which makes the pain a bit more bearable) or carry on talking, of which you can laugh off and walk away from because they don’t have the bottle to follow it up and everybody who’s seen the bullying (it’s usually egotistical and they want people to see) will now see that they’re not willing to back their words up. If it does come to a physical attack hit them to hurt them (there’s usually a ring leader and his cronies, if the cronies get involved go for them too but they’re usually too shocked so you can get away without attacking them), don’t think twice about it and don’t stop until you can get away and then report what happened. If it turns out you’re to blame, at least you’re not getting a beating on your own without doing anything to protect yourself and hopefully taught a bully it’s not wise to bully you.
If you get the better of somebody bullying you in public then hopefully it should make others think twice about trying to bully you in the future. Problem is, there’s always those who want to test your patience and try to draw you into a bad place where you’d be the one to blame. You need to learn how to be a good person with morals and temperament, but somebody who will not hesitate to defend those morals.
The times when I feel I experienced anything close to bullying in my life was when I was purposely doing things out of the norm or fashion of the time (such as dressing in black metal fashion when the fashion of the time was bright pink Lacoste polos and blue tracksuit bottoms). I never changed my beliefs, fashion, hobbies or interests as a result of it not being popular or people finding me weird. What I did was; over time stuck to my guns telling people I liked something because I could and if they had a problem then f**k them. I found a good set of friends who were (and still are) loyal and reliable so that I was rarely on my own and an easy target and I learnt to appreciate and understand things that other people like so that I could relate to and enjoy an array of different interests and friends. You don’t have to be the same as everybody to be socially accepted, what you have to be is willing to do is have an open mind to try to experience what other people enjoy and if it doesn’t work for you, people won’t disrespect you because you proved that you tried enjoying it and it wasn’t for you. If they don’t respect you then they’re people that you shouldn’t be spending any time with and if you can’t avoid them then it should be clear that you don’t appreciate their disrespect and that you will stand up for yourself if they pursue any confrontation. Stay out of their way, or if you can’t and they insist on attacking you in any way, respect yourself, morals and beliefs enough to defend yourself.
You should never feel bad about being a respectful and considerate person, practise this all the time. Even respect a bully enough to walk away from a fight if you get the better of them. Just remember you equally shouldn’t feel bad about defending yourself, in every way.
Disclaimer: If somebody who is being bullied has referenced this in their defence for defending themselves from being bullied and you want to blame me then you’re probably a coward confined to a stupid system which gives you false security and doesn’t protect you, yourself. Are you a teacher? Can you imagine being surrounded by a group of late-teen students who are threatening to attack you physically whilst you’re on your way to your car on your own and nobody is around? Fight or flight response. Do you take the beating and report it later, if you live? Or do you do what you can to defend yourself and get away? Don’t let these systems blind you of the fact you have one life and you have the right to protect it, regardless of what the paper says.
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I spend so much time trying to strengthen my character only for one measly thing to come along and cause an avalanche, with each decline stripping away strength and exposing weaknesses.
Obviously I don’t condone Charles Manson’s psychology, to be honest I’ve only just started researching into what he was about. But I just found a weird coincidence that so much of what he was saying in this interview is exactly the same as I watched in this interview with Will Smith later regarding positive thinking…
Will Smith Interview: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IUlPVCbKCOo&list=WL75FB4FFED48630E7
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As they all are, it’s been a year of lessons based on experiences. The lesson that rings most loudly to me are to avoid toxic people and those that pollute my mind with negative thoughts.
Next lesson is always to have a goal (or set of goals) to focus on & proceed to complete them.
It’s true what they say about experiences making you wise. Unfortunately this year has contained a few to many poor decisions on my behalf, so, although there’s been some bloody good times, it’s been quite stressful on a subconscious level. But on a positive note I’ve also made some good decisions that will hopefully follow me for the rest of my life.
In 2013 I’d like to lose the fear. The fear is of other people being able to ruin my plans out of spite, envy, ego, lack of understanding or plain psychopathy. I want to lose the subconscious stress of having to defend myself from the limitations of other people & proceed to express myself honestly. 2013 will be a year of searching for & facing my inner demons whilst strengthening my character & body. My plan is for this continued focus of bettering myself to lead to confident independence & all the great things that comes with that, and from there enough security in myself to truly devote myself to a lady. - For the sake of my ego (I still haven’t quite conquered getting over the need to stop defining myself), I’m not unconfident in myself or afraid to take risks or challenges, and I appreciate levels of fear will always be there & are good when used as a positive drive. I just want to be sure others do not effect my decisions.
I have my goals for 2013 & won’t be sharing them publicly directly. As the year progresses & the dedication to my goals proves strong you’ll likely see what my goals were. So it is goodbye to the bad stuff in 2012, thank you for the lessons & good times - I will carry those into the new year. Hello to 2013, I hope you don’t mind me bringing a bit of useful luggage from 2012 & I’d like to compliment how green your grass looks.
I’ve had a very active ‘right brain’ this weekend, my subconscious has been riding high & I’ve been inspired & creative. Because, unfortunately, my mind has also been busy (or to be honest stressed), the combination has resulted in some whacky dreams. But I want to dedicate this post to that groggy hour between being asleep & in logical focus mode for work.
This hour on a Monday feels so groggy for the likes of me as it’s the one where you’re preparing to let go of your free artistic self in order to be your logical robot self for the next five days.
What I hate the most about this hour is the way you were having vivid dreams just before & you can remember still images of scenes from them perfectly, but as the hour goes on & you commit to conscious life again, all of those images fade away back into your subconscious abyss.
Me: Will You Marry Me?
Me: What if I wasn’t joking?
Girl: Josh, you you don’t know me that well… We’ve not even tried to have a relationship, let unknown getting married… We might not be suited!
Me: What if I told you it felt like the whole universe was shifting landscape around me to create a path I could follow that would lead to you? Like there’s a magnetic pull I’m constantly fighting because of modern obstructions, paradigms and taboos and my ‘sense’ to stay sane and not let loose and do something seriously fucking crazy… What if I could let go of my insecure voice inside questioning “what if she’s not into me, what if she isn’t what I thought she was?” - What if we could run away and change everything we thought we were and become who we’re supposed to be together… Frankly I don’t understand why I’m saying these things, it just feels right… And I’m becoming the person who’ll not think twice about doing what I think is right, questioning it doesn’t even cross my mind.
Girl: Is just Josh’s imagination getting carried away with itself.
I’m starting to develop an understanding of how we are connected to the universe some more. I often read how we are one with the universe and I’m developing a concept of how this is possible.
The part which particularly struck me in this video was when the psychologist was explaining how the subconscious is a flea where the conscious is an elephant, the elephant will always follow the flea. This got me thinking about articles I’ve read about people who felt like they’d contacted other beings or been in touch with the universe to a more visible degree when using hallucinogenic drugs to allow the subconscious to take over the conscious mind. Maybe it is the subconscious that is most connected to the universe and it’s essentially what some consider the soul. Maybe it’s the subconscious guiding us through our lives and choosing our destiny and if we can learn how to control our subconscious to mastery, we can essentially contact and control the universe…
I know it’s all sounding a bit far out and Avatar but I think with more research there could be something there to study…
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The more I read into psychology & mental illnesses, the more it feels like everybody I know has a mental illness of some sort.
I think about speaking to one person I know about another and another about another & about what everybody thinks about everybody else & the way they judge.
It starts to dawn on me when I see the patterns in peoples personalities that what they’re doing when judging or questioning others is exposing their own weaknesses. A lot of manipulation takes place for self-benefit, a lot of slander for raise in ones own self-esteem.
Manipulation of many sorts seem to be firmly lodged in human nature, especially in the society I live & was raised in. I question my trust for others, because even if they believe I’m their friend, they’re still subconsciously trying to bring me down to try to raise themselves.
That’s paranoia. But I know it is & I know that I can’t think like that, that’s what keeps me from being truly paranoid. I clench to the knowledge that there are personalities & cultures in this world that aren’t egotistical & narcissist & will help others even if not themselves. And I can take this belief & share it with others so that they can ponder it consciously & hopefully absorb it into their subconscious, so deep down they’re becoming better people.
Or maybe I’m just a martyr thinking I’m helping others but somehow benefiting myself? Either way, I can’t study my own mind too hard or I’ll find its demons.
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It’s actually really hard to have any concept of limitation when you have the internet, and you need limitations in order to set goals… It’s sort of a disillusion and I wonder whether the internet is slowing down my development or assisting with its progress. (Obviously sometimes it’s a given that you’re wasting time on the internet, but I’m more referring to the times when the internet feels like it’s helping… Such as reading/learning, networking for business etc.)
When you try and set yourself goals based on the concept “Do what you can, with what you have, where you are” it’s not easy with access to the internet. You can potentially ‘have everything (in terms of mass consumption at your disposal)’ and ‘be everywhere’ so how do you know what you ‘can do’?! This has prompted me to move into another area of study… Technology & spirituality…
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The saying itself is one that I’ve heard often throughout my life but I’ve always taken it for granted imagining young teenagers hanging around with the local thugs taking drugs & smashing up phoneboxes. But it’s in everyday civilised life that it’s proving true to me. To put this in perspective, I often read successful people saying that you’re only as successful as the people you associate with. I’ve stupidly ignored this advice by involving myself in jobs ‘that I’m only doing to pay the bills’.
These jobs are ones which are static & lead to no progression in the company and the products are beneficial to nobody except the profit-making owner. The people these jobs attract are often rude & self-centred and don’t hold the morals I do. You get the occasional person come through who are nice, but they never stick around, whereas for some reason (I’d like to say loyalty but it’s more likely laziness or fear of not having a job) I do.
Associating with the types of people who work in this place has effected me by making me lower my general standards & change my mindset to a negative one… I’m slowly becoming these people I spend the majority of my day with. Until now I have never thought of it from this standpoint, I’ve thought it’s just been me being indisciplined & turning into an arsehole as a fault of my own the whole time, but now I’ve noticed my whole paradigm may have been shifting to fit the jigsaw pieces of my colleagues.
I’ve noticed that when I’m with more ‘classy’ people, I turn back into the polite, confident & generally happier person I want to be.
Having realised these things I have decided upon a plan to overcome this & be happier again as myself:
My priority is now to find a new job. I have already begun this search & have updated my cv & obtained advice to try & make it as appealing as possible to employers.
I am no longer going to go out drinking locally. I rarely go home without getting in trouble of some kind, I will save money that will instead be used for more important things such as driving lessons & martial arts classes.
I will try & remain positive in my current workplace until I get out of there & if that’s really not possible I will hand my notice in next week regardless.
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We all have our flaws but some people’s are worse than others. Rather than accept them we should address them & feel more positive as a result. Your personality is not who you are, only a selection of habits you’ve adopted in your time. If something about you is dragging you down, be a different you!
After I painted the sky red I pondered the effect it may have, I thought to retreat to a safer environment where the results of my work would have no direct consequence to my psychological state. I looked up at the beauty I had created and what I thought may have been a slight smirk in the corner of my mouth presented itself, but it may have just been a nervous twitch. As I looked up I could no longer take the intense glow beaming back at me so I closed my eyes. What happened next was the magical part. I heard a giant ‘glop’ sound followed by a ‘splash’. The entire sky had formed into a red raindrop and dropped onto my face. I spent a second or two embracing the change with my eyes still shut, I took a deep breath, then I opened my eyes. No longer was there any sky, no longer was there any light spectrum giving me perception of colour. Now there was only red, and the sky was a big colourless nothing.
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Why is it so common that when couples fight they make the absolute allegations of “you always…” or “you never…?” This isn’t just a debate tactic. When the mind is steeped in fear or anger, it has trouble accessing “sometimes.” At that moment, we can’t recall instances when our partner acted differently because that recollection would let down our guard. The reliable protection is all or nothing, black or white.
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For Freud, we are simply actors in the drama of our minds, pushed by desire, pulled by conscience. Underneath the surface, our personalities represent the power struggles going on deep within us.
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