I was recently asked to participate in a radio interview by a name sake, Uchenna Edeh with It’s Your Time on Blog Talk Radio based in Montreal Canada. He sought my professional opinion regarding an incident in which a teen was assaulted after he refused to sell drugs for a local gang.
During the interview, I got to give my thoughts about what I consider bullying to be really about, which is when someone makes terrorist threats and attempts or actually follows through in visiting physical injury on another person.
A lot of focus in regards to bullying has been placed on verbal insults, and sadly there have been stories in which teens took their lives as a result of not being able to cope with constant ridicule. My suggestion in preventing these tragedies can be found in my previous posts on bullying.
In the radio interview, I spoke about how our natural inclination to become upset in response to insults stems from our biological desire as social creatures to belong to groups. When we become upset with insults it is because insults trigger our innate fear (rational or otherwise) of being cast out.
In spite of our biological desire to fit in, we can learn to manually over ride our resistance to being rejected, by getting our need for acceptance and recognition met through other means.
I do believe more attention needs to be paid to the bullying epidemic, particularly bullying through physical violence. Students can learn to exercise courage, in utilizing resources already available to them, if they have come to believe that their safeties may be compromised.
I invite you the reader, to listen to the radio interview here.
As usual, all agreements and disagreements with this post and in this case, the audio, are most welcome in the comments sections.
Ugo Uche is a psychotherapist based in Tucson AZ, and owner of Road 2 Resolutions, a professional counseling private practice.