More Advice for Melania Trump on Her Anti-Bullying Campaign
Part 2: A courageous new approach.
Posted Dec 11, 2019
[Continued from Part 1]
7. Replace the victim mentality with a winner mindset.
The reason antibullyism is failing is that it teaches us to think like victims. The more we think like victims, the more we will be bullied. The following are some facets of a victim mentality and are all promoted by the anti-bullying field:
- I have a right to a life in which everyone treats me with dignity.
- Victims are virtuous, bullies are evil.
- “Sticks and stones may break my bones but words can scar me forever/kill me.”
- Victims are powerless to handle bullying on their own.
- It is society’s responsibility to protect me from bullying.
- I must inform the authorities when I am bullied.
- Bullies deserve to be punished; if I get revenge against my bullies, it is their fault and they deserve it.
These anti-bully tenets are a recipe for disaster. And society has been witnessing the results. As books like the marvelous The Coddling of the American Mind lament, many of today's college students believe they should not have to encounter anything that might offend them. The students did not suddenly adopt this belief upon acceptance into college. It's been ingrained in them by the anti-bullying messages they've received since pre-school.
Replace the fantasies with reality:
- There is no such thing as a life without bullying; even the First Lady isn’t immune.
- Human beings are not angels; we are all capable of using power against others and enjoying it.
- Even Presidents engage in and experience bullying.
- Many of the worst acts of violence are committed not by bullies but by people who feel like victims.
- If given a choice between an insult and a broken bone, a sane person will choose the insult.
- Society is responsible for protecting us from crime—acts like assault, rape, theft, arson, and murder—but it can’t protect us from insults, rumors, exclusion, and the other inevitable negative features of social life.
- Informing on people to the authorities is a sure-fire way to get them to despise us.
- To be happy and successful, we need to take responsibility for our feelings. As Eleanor Roosevelt taught, no one can make us feel inferior without our consent.
- Defeating bullies requires not strength but wisdom.
8. Learn from Presidents, including Donald Trump.
It is common for young people to dream of becoming President. But becoming President is not easy, not only because of the number of people with the same dream, but because it demands hard-core emotional resilience. If you harbor the victim mentality described above–if you get easily upset by bullying–you can’t become President.
Running for President will get you derided not only by members of opposing parties, but by many within your own. The press will vie to unearth the worst dirt on you. They will not even spare your wives and children. They will continue their onslaught until you leave office, when they will gang up on your replacement.
All top players in politics know the solution to bullying. Democratic candidate Pete Buttigieg recently made headlines by giving an 11-year-old girl advice on dealing with bullies, while using the opportunity to disparage the President. If you consult with the President on resilience, he will undoubtedly have plenty to say and much of it will be worthwhile. So don’t shy away from him; embrace him and make use of him to the nation’s advantage. Our nation's kids need and deserve this knowledge.
And it's not only politicians who have answers. All wise people throughout history have known and taught the solution to bullying. There appear to be entire societies with virtually no bullying because they teach children from the earliest ages not to think like victims. Indeed, resilience can be taught, and it requires no extra money. Everyone that's needed to do it is already on the school payroll.