Preventing the effects of Name Calling-The Grenadier Guard
Have you heard of the saying "Sticks and stones may break my bones, but names will never hurt me?" It's not true is it? Being called names can be hurtful, it can be upsetting. However, the skill to develop is to not show how upset and angry you are to the bully and to not become a victim to those feelings yourself.
A common way of bullying is verbal name calling. About 1 in 5 young people in UK schools report having experienced name calling.
Bullying is unwanted aggression towards you. If you have a nickname, that you like, and you have decided you want people to call you by that name, then that is not bullying. But if people are calling you names that you do not like and have not asked to be called, then that is bullying. It's not treating you with the respect that you deserve.
What's the reason a bully calls me names?
Bullies call you names to undermine you. They want to put you down so that they feel big and to make you feel less than an equal to them. It is a way of trying to control you and have power over you. If you get called a name, it would be a normal reaction to feel angry, frustrated, hurt and sad about being called unwanted names and you may also feel helpless and powerless in trying to get someone to stop calling you names-they seem to just keep doing it.
However, where YOU have POWER is in deciding what you will do with those words. Will you let them into your heart and mind, so that you keep on thinking about them. If you do the mind bully can keep reminding you of them and make you feel bad? Will you decide to believe what the bully says about you? Will you allow yourself to show your upset feelings or will you decide to brush them off-like water off a ducks back.
How might name calling hurt me?
Being called unkind, unwanted, names is like being assaulted with a fiery dart, it can pierce you to the heart and make you doubt your self-worth; make you feel bad about yourself or undermine your confidence and self-esteem, over time. If the bullying persists and is repeated over time, it can erode your belief in your own goodness.
So how can you protect your heart and mind from these assaulting fiery darts? Bullies like to discharge their spiky feelings onto others. When they feel scared, instead of facing up to what frightens them, they scare you instead. When a bully feels sad, rather than show their sadness they may show anger and aggression towards you. It is about them not you.
Get yourself a Grenadier Guard
Imagine a grenadier guard in your mind? Like the ones that guard Buckingham Palace. When someone calls you an unwanted name, think of it like an unwanted salesperson, knocking on the door of your palace to see if it can come in.
The job of the guard is to prevent those words entering your innermost self-your beautiful Palace. If you have ever seen a guard at Buckingham Palace, you will notice that they are highly disciplined, and they are particularly good at not getting into a dialogue or conversations with the public who try to distract them from their job.
Imagine the guard as the one who does not start a chat with the names you have been called, he just ignores the words and lets them float away on the wind. The guard has decided, 'I will not give my consent to this unwanted Salesman with his words to enter my Palace?'
So next time a bully calls you an unwanted name, simply notice what they said, and give it to your grenadier guard. If, for example, your called 'fat and ugly.' The guard hears the words but stands tall and does not respond to those words. He just lets the words float away in the wind.
Without the guard your mind bully might start saying 'perhaps I am fat and ugly' maybe they are right' I'd better stop eating' what have I got to do to fit in around here?' 'There must be something wrong with me', 'it's not okay for me to be the way I am?' 'I'm not good enough'
Can you see all these additional unwanted thoughts that then start to form inside you and if you keep on talking with them then they start to negatively affect your confidence and self-esteem. The bully is now in your own mind -the MIND BULLY and has taken you captive.
The Grenadier Guard hears the assaultive words; ignores them rather than starting an internal chat with them and he firmly refuses to allow them access into the palace. You can then stay focused on doing the things that are important to you.
Give it a try.
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