“Bullying” is a topic that is on the hearts and minds of individuals in position of responsibility whether in the workplace or our schools.

“Bullying” is a topic that is on the hearts and minds of individuals in position of responsibility whether in the workplace or our schools. With the most recent incident where a young 15 year old girl hangs herself due to what is described as “relentless bullying” and by prosecutors as statutory rape has gone well beyond the parameters of “bullying.”  This is the last straw!

 

It is only when we realize that this bullying behavior is “intent-driven aggressive behavior;” that there is a Continuum of Aggression, of which Bullying is an element.  Through this continuum we can learn the “precursors” to bullying, and through this understand and application we can actually prevent and stop this culture of bullying.  Until we learn the Continuum of Aggression we are relegated to reacting to bullying, not preventing it.

 

I am writing the definitive book on “preventing bullying,” and I need your help.  I will illustrate how “bullying” is an element on the Continuum of Aggression and through this continuum we can foresee the precursors of bullying and therefore can prevent bullying and stop bullying behavior.  However, I need as many examples of bullying as possible. I would like to read about any accounts of bullying you have experienced or observed, whether in the workplace or in education.  I would particularly like to understand how you responded to this bullying and how and why it worked or didn’t work? Please continue to visit this blog and share your accounts.  As segments of the book are completed, I will share them with you on this blog for your review and comment.

79 Comments

  1. Thank you for commenting on my blog. To review the background on why I ‘called out’ the Habu character in the Belmont Club you would have to search through the Belmont Club blog comments for nearly the last year. To do so would reveal that person’s repeated pattern of choosing a victim for escalating personal abuse, usually following some perceived challenge to his claim of heroic credibility and expertise. Some other frequent commentators in the Club have been physicians and you may want to identify and communicate with them.

    My concern was not that I felt personally shocked by his abuse. While I made a point of noting the potential for a physical threat in his conduct toward me I would claim a larger and less selfish motive. The bully had been attacking others and was driving them from the virtual community. As that is a place that I have spent time in and devoted my energy and creativity to I have some interest in preserving it if I can.

    Regarding your larger project in determining clues to potentially dangerous conduct, have you studied the techniques for quantifying emotional clues that were pioneered by the Israelis and are now used by the US Transportation Security Administration in their Screening Passengers by Observational Technique (SPOT) program?

  2. You are invited to read my blog about what is currently going on at my daughters school. This is a true an accurate account of my daughter being bullied not only by other students – but by the administration itself. Since the attack on her in April – she was struck in the head by another student in the lunchroom. When she went to report it she was told that she was “asking for it”. I would love to hear any thoughts you have about this situation.

  3. John D. Byrnes

    Actually, I worked with the man who developed the basis for the SPOT program.  It is currently mired in controversy because of the following:

    1. It uses a form of profiling, which does not work.  What profiles does is it tells us that within a certain group of individuals there is a higher probability of a terrorist, it does not tell us who the next terrorist is! 
    2. The way that the Israelis get from this to protecting their passengers is, they interrogate every passenger!  Ben Gurion Airport is small compared to ours airports and Boston Logan, who purchased the Israeli Method found that they (the Israelis) were patently stereotyping, which would not work in our country. 
    3. Further, no one at Boston Logan would make their flight.  
    4. Finally, their methods focus only on adrenaline-driven Primal Aggression, which is why they continue to accost the 85 year-old widow, going to her husband’s funeral. She is fill with adrenaline-driven issues, like fear, anguish, frustration, etc.

    Incidentally, it was not the Israelis that developed the method of discerning a persons’ emotional content by their facial expression.

     

  4. John D. Byrnes

    Katherine, I am sorry to hear about your daughter.  The only way to address bullying when it is so pervasive in your school or elsewhere is to record the actions of all players; in other words, make your case.  The biggest challenge is to convince the School Board or Superintendent that this is not just your opinion but factual to their standards.  The only way to truly achieve this end is through an Aggression Continuum.  The ability to measure aggression in an empirical way so as to state unequivocally there is aggression and it needs to be stopped.

  5. Lisa

    Teaching children actively that bullying is on an aggression continuum and is connected to/a precursor of personality disordered behaviors and criminal activity, is also, IMO, critical. Kids need to learn about this in context, since they experience it already often themselves even in kindergarten, and often without an adult knowing, protecting, believing or applying correct consequences.

    I completely agree with John’s classifications of the outward presentations of bullying as, essentially, obvious and volcanic v. more hidden yet consciously strategizing — and which is actually more dangerous.

    This equates to what I’ve been taught in a self-defense class about how differently aggressors wield knives: Those with more threat than bite tend to hold their blades up and visible; those with greater intent to actually harm hold their grips with the blades back/hidden.

    Bullying must start with early, open and honest education, a willingness to accept facts and differences in people’s wiring as they really are, and willingness to take immediate action based on long-documented probabilities of behavior trajectories, profiles and checklists.

  6. Katherine, I would report the incident to the police. Your daughter was the victim of an assault, a crime. While I realize we call it “bullying” in schools, in the real world it’s called a crime. Why is it that one adult can hit another adult and it is treated as a crime, but one child can hit another child and it is just a school bullying incident or even worse “just kids being kids”?

  7. John D Byrnes

    That is all the more reason to use an Aggression Continuum, Nikki.  By observing the entire spectrum of aggression we can actually prevent bullying whether it is simple conflict through to its ultimate expression, violence.

  8. John D. Byrnes

    As you read the multitude of articles on my blog, you will see that Cognitive Aggression is simple intent-driven emerging human aggression whether one individual against another or group against another or national against another.  The targets may change the strategies don’t!

  9. John D. Byrnes

    You find more information by thoroughly read this blog, along with previous posts, our web site at http://www.AggressionManagement.com and our book, “Before Conflict, Preventing Aggressive Behavior,” which can be found on our web site.  The unique core elements of Primal and Cognitive Aggression were developed by the Center for Aggression Management and are proprietary to it.

  10. I’m very interested in this subject and I myself do alot of research as well. Either way it was a well thoughtout and nice read so I figured I would leave you a comment. Feel free to check out my website sometime and let me know what you think

  11. I’m very interested in this subject and I myself do alot of research as well. Either way it was a well thoughtout and nice read so I figured I would leave you a comment. Feel free to check out my website sometime and let me know what you think

  12. Thanks for ones marvelous posting! I seriously enjoyed reading it, you will be a great author.I will make sure to bookmark your blog and will often come back from now on. I want to encourage you to continue your great work, have a nice day!

  13. I seriously enjoyed reading it, you will be a great author.I will make sure to bookmark your blog and will often come back from now on. I just read through the full article of yours and it was quite good.

  14. This is a serious topic as it has a deep impact on the person being bullied. I remember an article on the newspaper on a child killer. He was bullied real bad and one day he snapped and started shooting in school with his dad’s piece. He was a happy kid before everything went chaos. We must do all we can to stop bullying!

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  16. I wanted to tell you how much we appreciate almost everything you’ve discussed to help increase the value of the lives of people in this subject matter. Through your current articles, I have gone out of just a beginner to an expert in the area. It’s truly a honor to your work. Thanks

  17. As a child in a renowned primary school, I was not the prettiest, brightest or richest girl in school. Thus, my friends often mocked my looks, my height and would even snatch my paper to see my grades. It was a very competitive environment in that school and as I was often bullied, I skipped classes, got into trouble, missed after-school activities and started to rebel. I always thought that by being fiercer than they are, they would leave me alone. However, it seemed like they were more challenged and motivated to bully me further. What I had thought were my friends, were actually just using me as a toy to play with when they were bored. Thus, I left this group of friends and started hanging around on my own. I made a couple of new friends, though they were not as “cool” as the richer kids that I once called my friends, they supported me whenever others tried to bully me. Eventually, they stopped harassing me and picked on other students instead and I would try to comfort and protect these victims. It made me a better person eventually to watch out for friends and be wary of those that what may seem as a genuine “friend”.

  18. Being in a mixed gender secondary school, it was inevitable for the boys to look at girls and pinpoint those that are better looking. In my second year, I hit puberty and got prettier, taller, much more taller, than the other girls. That was when my seniors started to notice me. However, gaining all that attention had a price to pay. There was this senior couple who have been dating for three years when one day, the boy claimed that he had received a message from me, asking him to break off with his girlfriend as I was better looking and slimmer than her. The news broke out in the school and I could not defend myself. I was approached by a group of their friends to question me. Thus, I asked for evidence if the guy had kept the messages so we could see if the number was really mine. However, he claimed that he had already deleted it off and asserted that there was no reason for him to lie about such a thing. While they did not have any evidence against me other than his words, I was ignored. As we all know, rumors spread like wildfire, soon, people started ignoring me, friends gave me stares and the last thing I knew was that I was all alone. This made me quit my co-curriculum activity, which is compulsory, and discharged myself from participating in the National Day Parade. After a few months, this was still the case. I did not dare to hang out at the places near my school either for fear that they might physically harm me. Finally, in my fourth year in secondary school, I approached the girl and apologized for causing her hurt and insisted that I did no such thing two years ago. She gave me the benefit of doubt and apologized as well for all the treatment I was getting throughout the years. Lucky for me, I made new friends, friends who trusted in what I said and stood by me. It is important for people who are being bullied to have peers to support them as it serves as a form of encouragement proving that everything will be all right.

  19. John D. Byrnes

    Micheil, I am sorry that went through such a forced maturity.  It appears that, like forged steel, it served you well in the end.   The problem that plagues us to this day is that when you refer to a problem as “bullying” it presupposed someone committing bullying behavior; this is reacting to bullying, not preventing it.  Only when we realize that “bullying” is at the 4th Stage of the Aggression Continuum and there are three stages of aggression that we can identify prior to “bullying” (the precursors to bullying) can we actually prevent bullying.

  20. John D. Byrnes

    Daniel, I receive this scenario all too often, I am sorry that went through such a forced maturity.  It appears that, like forged steel, it served you well in the end.   The problem that plagues us to this day is that when you refer to a problem as “bullying” it presupposed someone committing bullying behavior; this is reacting to bullying, not preventing it.  Only when we realize that “bullying” is at the 4th Stage of the Aggression Continuum and there are three stages of aggression that we can identify prior to “bullying” (the precursors to bullying) can we actually prevent bullying.

  21. I recently came across your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I don’t know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.

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