Promoting Empathy With Your Teen

The most efficient way to address everyday issues with your teen

What's More Important, Justice Or Resiliency?

People become inspired when they realize that they are not constrained by the actions of others, only by their own choices. Read More

We should be pathologizing AGGRESSION to curb this out of control problem

Your advice about using assertiveness only works on people who have an iota of empathy and humility; most of these people are subhuman, so efforts are mostly futile (more so if they have a posse).

Entitled people are actually people who are EXTREMELY sensitive to their NEEDS NOT being met. Rarely are these people discouraged or respectful of the person they are oppressing, that's why they do it in the first place -- regardless if the victim shows confidence and assertiveness. The instigator will UP and TOP their victim off --- they have a need to WIN, however petty or large the stakes are. They are relentless and that's why many teens end up killing themselves as that's the only escape from these attackers. We've had enough cases of bullying, so everyone ought to know that bullies are RELENTLESS!!! Bullies need to be restrained and punished by all extents of the law -- adults don't put up with BS, why should youngsters have to??? Why the double-standards?

Entitled people have been brought up being the center of attention and having their every need met. Parents have supported and made growing up easy-piecey for them ... removing every obstacle in their way...they can "achieve anything!" So these entitled people don't take kindly to those with lower social capital or who in some way denying them something they think is rightfully theirs. They can't take a "NO" or rejection and they will use all their social capital and connections to get even and bring you down. They feel they are special, so if you treat them like everyone else --- you're going to get it!!! They will manipulate the situation to sabotage you and make you out to be the aggressor, uncooperative person etc. They usually WIN too, because they got social capital and a 'WINNING SMILE'.

Thanks for posting

Anonymous, it sounds like you have experienced a bad case with bullying. If so I wish you speedy recovery. You will be surprised what a difference having flexible cognitive beliefs makes, when dealing with being bullied.

Being assertive and compassionate is not the same thing as being a pushover or playing the role of a door mat. It's an empowering and effective technique in bringing bullying to a stop.

Are you speaking from

Are you speaking from experience? If so, did you end up growing bigger than your bully and therefore scared him off, and thought it was your "assertiveness and compassion" that did the trick?

Assertiveness and compassion does work.

That's funny. Being big does not scare off bullies. Per your testament, some people are relentless.

If you readdress a situation of where you are being bullied as something that can happen to you and anyone, you will become more cognitively flexibly in exercising solutions.

One more thing..

I agree with your title, we should be pathologizing aggression. But seriously, look that the world we leave in.

I am an adult struggling very

I am an adult struggling very hard with this now. I was ruthlessly fired, and terribly humiliated, after 23 years at the same company. And I cannot get past the overwhelming negative feelings of injustice and judgment i have. Intellectually I know I should not put value on the poor way they chose to treat me but I have not been able to get over it (it's been 4 months) and move on.

Sorry to learn about your struggle.

It sounds like you could benefit with some individual counseling. Where you can learn to shift your paradigm of thinking so you can adopt more flexible cognitive messages that will allow you to accept and move on from your experiences.

Most of us unknowingly carry cognitive messages, or beliefs, that are irrational and inflexible that sets us up to cope poorly with certain life events not going our way.

Thanks for positing


I have to be honest, it is very difficult

to get over the desire for "Justice." We are taught from young children that "good people" value "Truth, Justice and The American Way." (What ever that is.) We are told in church, in school and at home that "bad people" will be sorry for their crimes, mostly because they will be punished. I KNOW this is low level moral thinking, (Level II or III) and I do try hard to get away from it. (And, I had parents who didn't want the embarrassment of a child in therapy. "That's for crazy people!" I was told.)

But, when one feels oppressed and hurt and the oppressor has SO much more than one has, never seems to "pay" for their less than empathetic actions, always comes out ahead, it's hard to just "move on."

I was a shy, quiet, intelligent child who was bullied mercilessly by two or three girls in 6th and 7th grade. I didn't have the tools to deal with the situation, and I came close to hurting myself to get away from the situation. (I tried not going to school, but that never lasted long.) I saw the bullies "make nice and make up" when we were in High School and I had a good support system of friends from a different group, so I was safe then.

Recently one of them "friended" me on FB, and even as an adult woman, who has over come some seriously bad things in my life, I still cringe when I see her post on the boards and when she addresses me (even when she appears kind.) She seems oblivious of the extreme pain she caused me, and to this day, still seems to lead a charmed life. (YES, it would give me a sick sense of satisfaction to see her not do so well.) I do well, also, in fact I probably am happier in my relationship and in my career. But, those old taunts and rumors and the stains of loneliness that I experienced then still rumble under the surface.

I seriously believe that my experience with these girls left me jaded, sarcastic and much less "nice" than I was before... although it did cause me to make friendships with girls I saw in High School who seemed as downtrodden then as I was as a 12 year old. I always made a point of inviting them to lunch, sitting with them at assemblies, making sure we signed each others year books etc, to the whispered "Maggie, WHAT are you doing? She's a... dork!" from some of my otherwise supportive friends. Despite the fact that I was able to "get it together" as I developed, I always felt something warm for these left behind girls and boys.

But, I don't know if that is enough. I do need to forgive, but the inner desire to see "justice" done is almost visceral, and hard to deny or get rid of.

I wish I didn't feel this way.

Post new comment

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Allowed HTML tags: <a> <em> <strong> <cite> <code> <ul> <ol> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd>
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
  • You may quote other posts using [quote] tags.

More information about formatting options

Ugo Uche is a Licensed Professional Counselor who specializes in adolescents and young adults.


Subscribe to Promoting Empathy With Your Teen

Current Issue

Let It Go!

It can take a radical reboot to get past old hurts and injustices.