There are a number of reasons why bullying starts, and none of them ever acceptable. When in the middle of all the pain and emotion it can be difficult to see clearly. But one thing is certain…
Bullies never pick on people they perceive as being strong or confident.
In other words the weaker someone appears, the easier target they are for a bully. As hard as we all try to eradicate it, bullying continues, blaming the bully only keeps it alive and actually empowers the bully to continue.
“Just as a boat needs wind in its sails, so the bully needs power over its victims”
The last thing that children with low self esteem feel is confident, but they must project confidence to avoid becoming the victim.
Understandably it’s easier said than done so here are a few quick tips to help children start to feel more confident.
- Belly Breathing – nervous breathing is quick and comes from the upper chest. Deeper, more confident breaths come from the belly. Focus on breathing deeper allowing the breath to come from and return to the tummy, like this… Breathe in (tummy expands). Breathe out (tummy goes in).
- Posture – victim mentality is easily spotted from how a child stands. Practice standing tall, shoulders back and relaxed and head slightly tilted up. Avoid rounded shoulders and looking at the floor.
- Body language – similar to posture. To appear more confident, make bigger movements with the body. When walking, lengthen the stride and make it more deliberate, sit upright, look attentive and alert and smile – even when that’s the last thing you feel like doing.
- Voice – a confident voice is louder, calmer and well paced. Practice voice projection, varie the tone, volume and pitch. Think of how a mouse would RRooaarr!
Practice these regularly and take away the bully’s power.
Project strength not weakness even when you don’t feel like it…keep practising until you feel, act and are stronger.
It’s one of the best ways to take away a bully’s power and help you become more confident and happy.