"You are entitled to a life in which everyone is always nice to you. If people repeatedly treat you badly, please don't think it has anything to do with you or your behavior. If you feel bad, it is because of them, not you. Nor is it your responsibility to do anything to make them treat you better. Just tell the authorities, and the authorities will punish and rehabilitate the people who are being mean to you."
Do you recognize the school of psychology or philosophy that teaches this message to people? Is it Rational Emotive Therapy? How about Cognitive Behavior Therapy? Psychoanalysis? Adlerian Psychology? Rogerian Counseling? Logotherapy? Mindfulness? Transactional Analysis? Dialectical Behavior Therapy? Family Therapy? Primal Scream? Or perhaps Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, Kabbalah or Ethical Humanism? How about Atheism?
None of the above, of course. The above declaration is simple foolishness. It is contrary to the teachings of every system of psychology and philosophy. Such an approach to social relations would result in a disaster for the individual and for society.
But-believe it or not-there is one school of psychology that is teaching precisely this irrational approach to human interactions: The Anti-Bully Psychology.
Even more amazingly, this foolish teaching underlies the most popular and powerful social movement in the history of the world. Every country in the modern world has embraced this psychology and joined in the crusade to get rid of bullies. Most of our fifty United States have adopted school anti-bully laws at the urging of the anti-bully psychologists, forcing our nation's schools to promote this destructive mentality. And it is creeping into the workplace as well.
Perhaps most amazing of all, no one in the academic world is challenging this anti-bully psychology despite the obvious fact that bullying has been escalating during the same period that we have been fighting it, and despite research showing that most anti-bully programs have no benefit or even make the problem worse. Don't believe me? Do an Internet search for critics of the anti-bully movement. Despite millions of articles dealing with bullying, you will hardly find any that say anything negative about the anti-bully movement. You will find articles by yours truly at the top of the list, and almost nothing else.
This is my first blog with Psychology Today, and I hope it will expand my reach. I have a personal goal, and that is to get society to start withdrawing from this destructive bully witch-hunt by April 20, 2009. Why that date? Because it will commemorate the tenth anniversary of the Columbine shooting, the event that sparked the international anti-bully crusade. Ten years of the most massive witch-hunt in human history is enough. It's time to get the pendulum to start swinging the other direction.
How can we start a return to sanity? I think the first step is to recognize what's wrong with the psychology underlying the anti-bully movement. I have recently completed a paper explaining 14 different problem areas with this field of psychology. Please read it here, and if you like it, pass it on to others, too. Let's begin the revolution!