Repairing self-esteem & providing tools to cope with anger
Most people have experienced bullying of one type or another in their lifetime. Bullying can be a one time incident but more commonly it is a repetitive behavior. Bullying can be defined as intentionally inflicting injury or discomfort upon another person through physical contact, words, or other means in order to attain a personal end, goods, services or a sense of power. Bullying can be overt such as pushing and shoving, or it can be subtle, such as an implied threat.
Some examples of bullying are:
- Saying hurtful or mean things
- Making fun of others or otherwise belittling them
- Using mean or hurtful nicknames
- Completely ignoring someone
- Deliberately excluding someone from a group of friends
- Hitting, kicking, pulling hair, or pushing someone
- Threatening physical aggression
- Telling lies or spreading false rumors
- Sending mean notes
- Trying to get someone to dislike another person
- Making false promises
Being bullied can make a child feel weak, stupid, inadequate, worthless, hurt and angry. These feelings can develop into emotional disorders such as depression and anxiety, low self-esteem and/or behavioral disorders such as oppositional defiant disorder and conduct disorder.
Research has shown that cognitive therapy can help children feel better about themselves by repairing self-esteem and teaching them ways to cope with anger. Cognitive therapy says that a person’s emotions are based on their thoughts or beliefs. Rational beliefs are those that are logical and evidence-based. Irrational beliefs are those that may seem logical at first, but with closer attention are not. For example, a child may be called a chicken for not wanting to steal something. He feels scared and does not want to get in trouble. So it initially seems logical that since he is scared he believes he must be a chicken. But looking closer, it becomes clear that choosing to do the right thing, standing up to others, is actually brave. A child can learn that being scared does not make one a chicken; fear can be normalized and a child can understand that fear is a feeling that can help us make intelligent choices.
Where To Go
If you know a child experiencing the devastating impact of bullying, you know a child that already has the ability to become stronger and thrive. At FCS Counseling, we believe in change, and that it can start with one person.