Bullying is aggressive behavior that occurs based on an imbalance of power between the oppressor and the target. It is intentionally harmful and occurs repetitively. It occurs in every school everywhere. While studies show that school anti-bullying programs can reduce bullying by up to 25%, there are several components that must be included in order for it to be effective.
One of the most important parts of an anti-bully program is that of non-violent communication which is based on the role of language and the use of words. It is an approach to communicating that leads to allowing natural compassion to flourish. Furthermore, it is a combination of thinking and language used to create quality connections between people that allow compassionate giving to take place. The primary purpose of this type of communication is to connect with other people in a way that enables compassionate giving to take place.
Often times, communication is focused on classifying, analyzing, and determining levels of wrongness rather than on needs and wants. This, in turns, causes a number of things to happen. One of them is that there is an increase in both defensiveness and resistance from others. Therefore, if they agree to act in harmony with your values because they concur with your analysis of their wrongness, they will also likely do so out of fear, guilt, or shame.
This type of thinking can lead to violence and at the root of violence is a kind of thinking that blames others for conflicts. There is also a corresponding inability to think of oneself or others in terms of vulnerability. Therefore, non-violent communication programs must teach those involved to take responsibility. “You make me,” needs to turn into, “I chose to, I should, or I might.”
In addition, desires need to be stated without turning them into demands and one must learn to tell the difference between an observation and an evaluation. An observation is what is seen. An evaluation is an analysis given on what is seen. Even a positive or an apparently neutral label limits the perception of the totality of another person’s being.
In doing so, those that are a part of such programs are able to take responsibility for their thoughts and feelings and are better able to express them as such. In addition, those taught this mechanism are given four ways to respond to negative messages they are given. They can take it personally, blame the speaker, express one’s own feelings and needs, or try to understand what the speaker feels and needs.
Moreover, they are taught not to act out of guilt or find another way to deny responsibility. Instead, they are taught to use positive language to get what is needed and wanted. The focus is switched to what is wanted, rather than what went wrong and make requests instead of demands. These things are learned so that change can be made and everyone’s values will be more in harmony.