“Sticks and stones may break my bones.
But words will never harm me”.

But that’s not entirely accurate

Previously, I wrote about bullying in schools. How to track it, manage it and end it. In this blog I’m going to give you a technique for dealing with Verbal Bullying. It’s a technique which I have devised, created and successfully used for over ten years. Both in the school setting with students and with adults in the workplace environment. It is simple, it is effective, you can learn and use it right now. So, let’s cut to the chase.

"The WHAT, The WHY & The WALL"

A Technique to Deal with Verbal Bullying.

Copyright © 2019 Parents-Matter.com

The Components

The WHAT…  These are the words the bully is using.  It is “WHAT” they are saying, i.e. “you’re fat and ugly”, “no one likes you”, or “your mother is a f**king whore”, etc.  I tell the student to visualise the words written on paper.  Visualise screwing up the paper like rubbish, because that’s what the words are.  Then visualise throwing the screwed-up rubbish paper into the bin.  Because bins are where rubbish belongs.  It’s not unusual to get a bit of a chuckle from the student because it’s a safe environment to take enjoyment in the bully being trivialised.

The WHY…  The reason they’re saying such things.  Sometimes the students don’t feel able to explain why, so I prompt them with “Are they being nice to you?” The answer will always be “no”.  I get the students to explore why the bully says such horrible things.  It’s not to cheer them up, it’s not to be nice.  The students conclude “to be mean to me”, “to upset me”, “so I hate myself or to wind me up”.  I respond with a passionate “Exactly!”, confirming to them, that they’re not only right but that they’ve just grasped something huge.  I’ve found this to be a very empowering step for young people, because until then, most have felt extremely disempowered.  I go on to tell them, “as soon as the bully’s words have the intended effect on you, they have won”.  “It’s like taking all the power you possess and simply handing it to them on a platter”.  The bully walks away feeling great and you’re left feeling crap.

The WALL…  I tell the student to pretend to be the bully, using all the varied and colourful language, face the wall and voice them as they need to.  Encouraging them not to feel shy about their language or the way they use it.  When they’ve finished, I ask how they felt as the bully, when the wall didn’t respond, didn’t change and gave nothing back.  It’s quite easy for them to recognise feeling foolish and disempowered.  Descriptions such as “I started to feel stupid after a while because the wall isn’t listening”.

Of course, where I’m heading is that the student has the non-reactive qualities of the wall and the tough protective exterior if they were such a thing.  This can be quite a leap, so I remind them of the horrible nasty words that were written on paper which were chucked in the bin.  I get the students to again explore that process in order to remind them of the power or more appropriately put, “lack of power” those words had when they were recognised for what they were.  Imagining themselves as a solid wall that doesn’t react or get harmed, suddenly isn’t such a big step when remembering the abuse as a desperate act, in need of response.

This can be a real “light bulb moment” for them. By using this technique, it allows them to take control of their emotions and keep their power where it belongs.  I spell it out for the student, “nobody can take your power away from you unless you give it to them”.  “The great thing about this, is “YOU” have control, even if you didn’t realise it! So come on, lets change the rules of this game, they’ve won for long enough!”

A Simple Exercise to follow

Start by playing the role of your child whilst your child plays the role of the bully.

There’s no hard and fast rule about how long, but keep it going for a couple minutes or so.  Allow for the fact that your child may not get into role so quickly.  They may feel embarrassed using some of the language “at you”.  If need be, give it longer.  The important thing is that they get into role.  Remember, whilst playing the role of your child, you must not respond in any way whatsoever.

When ready, bring things to a stop and explore how they felt.  Ask them if they felt powerful or threatening.  If you’ve carried out your role of not responding, they won’t have felt empowered.  How could they? Students I work with often say how stupid they felt when ignored.

When ready, repeat the role play.  This time swap roles, so you are going to be the bully and your child is going to be themselves.  Remind your child that they are to totally ignore you whilst you are throwing this abuse at them.  In order for them to imagine “WHAT” you are saying is rubbish It may be useful to remind them of their realisation of such things being worthless rubbish and having no power except the power that they are willingly given.  As you throw the abuse at them, they need to remember “Why” you (the bully) is doing this.

And lastly the qualities of the “WALL” that doesn’t change, doesn’t respond and that no matter how horrible the words are, they really are just worthless rubbish written on paper, ready for the bin and can do nothing but bounce off as they’re thrown in a desperate act in need of response.

Now bring the exercise to an end by exploring how your child felt being bullied.  Did they feel the bully won? I’m sure they didn’t, why? because they weren’t listening. So, the bully had no power over them.

Repeat this exercise as many times as you need to, leaving no stone unturned, because the bully that your child must deal with, will press every button they can.

Remember to reinforce to your child that they must not give any response no matter what the bully says.  Reminding them that “WHAT” is being said is worthless rubbish.  “WHY” it is being said, which is about making them feel bad about themselves.  And the “WALL” with it’s qualities of strength, and total lack of response leaving the bully powerless.

By the time we reach adulthood, the experiences we have as children are deeply embedded in our psyche, creating our character with all its strengths and weaknesses.  It’s vitally important to empower your child to handle verbal bullying. This can have amazing effects on their self-worth and will help them become confident young adults.

The “Positive Parenting a Teen” programme, combines a solid and tested structure which will help you better understand the relationship you have with your teenage child and help you build and maintaining a Strong & Harmonious family home where relationships can flourish.

To know more of what our programme consists of and how it can help you, download your free copy of our brochure here.

If you’d like an initial Skype consultation regarding our programme, you can make an appointment using the booking calendar here.

The one-hour consultation fee of £147 will be deducted if you invest in our programme

For information on Individual Skype Counselling Sessions click here.

If you’ve not done so already, download your free copy of the “Positive Parenting a Teen” Programme brochure now.

(The technique taught and described as “The WHAT, The WHY and The WALL. A Technique to Deal with Verbal Bullying” is the sole intellectual property of Lisa David of Parents-Matter, at parents-matter.com. This Lisa David is the entitled owner of the property in reference and nobody else can legally take, use, claim ownership, republish, reprint, create or generate the content without her written and legal consent).

“Sticks and stones may break my bones.
But words will never harm me”.

But that’s not entirely accurate.

Previously, I wrote about bullying in schools. How to track it, manage it and end it. In this blog I’m going to give you a technique for dealing with Verbal Bullying. It’s a technique which I have devised, created and successfully used for over ten years. Both in the school setting with students and with adults in the workplace environment. It is simple, it is effective, you can learn and use it right now. So, let’s cut to the chase.

“The WHAT, The WHY & The WALL”

A Technique to Deal with Verbal Bullying.

Copyright © 2019 Parents-Matter.com

The Components

The WHAT…  These are the words the bully is using.  It is “WHAT” they are saying, i.e. “you’re fat and ugly”, “no one likes you”, or “your mother is a f**king whore”, etc.  I tell the student to visualise the words written on paper.  Visualise screwing up the paper like rubbish, because that’s what the words are.  Then visualise throwing the screwed-up rubbish paper into the bin.  Because bins are where rubbish belongs.  It’s not unusual to get a bit of a chuckle from the student because it’s a safe environment to take enjoyment in the bully being trivialised.

The WHY…  The reason they’re saying such things.  Sometimes the students don’t feel able to explain why, so I prompt them with “Are they being nice to you?” The answer will always be “no”.  I get the students to explore why the bully says such horrible things.  It’s not to cheer them up, it’s not to be nice.  The students conclude “to be mean to me”, “to upset me”, “so I hate myself or to wind me up”.  I respond with a passionate “Exactly!”, confirming to them, that they’re not only right but that they’ve just grasped something huge.  I’ve found this to be a very empowering step for young people, because until then, most have felt extremely disempowered.  I go on to tell them, “as soon as the bully’s words have the intended effect on you, they have won”.  “It’s like taking all the power you possess and simply handing it to them on a platter”.  The bully walks away feeling great and you’re left feeling crap.

The WALL…  I tell the student to pretend to be the bully, using all the varied and colourful language, face the wall and voice them as they need to.  Encouraging them not to feel shy about their language or the way they use it.  When they’ve finished, I ask how they felt as the bully, when the wall didn’t respond, didn’t change and gave nothing back.  It’s quite easy for them to recognise feeling foolish and disempowered.  Descriptions such as “I started to feel stupid after a while because the wall isn’t listening”.

Of course, where I’m heading is that the student has the non-reactive qualities of the wall and the tough protective exterior if they were such a thing.  This can be quite a leap, so I remind them of the horrible nasty words that were written on paper which were chucked in the bin.  I get the students to again explore that process in order to remind them of the power or more appropriately put, “lack of power” those words had when they were recognised for what they were.  Imagining themselves as a solid wall that doesn’t react or get harmed, suddenly isn’t such a big step when remembering the abuse as a desperate act, in need of response.

This can be a real “light bulb moment” for them. By using this technique, it allows them to take control of their emotions and keep their power where it belongs.  I spell it out for the student, “nobody can take your power away from you unless you give it to them”.  “The great thing about this, is “YOU” have control, even if you didn’t realise it! So come on, lets change the rules of this game, they’ve won for long enough!”

A Simple Exercise to follow

Start by playing the role of your child whilst your child plays the role of the bully.

There’s no hard and fast rule about how long, but keep it going for a couple minutes or so.  Allow for the fact that your child may not get into role so quickly.  They may feel embarrassed using some of the language “at you”.  If need be, give it longer.  The important thing is that they get into role.  Remember, whilst playing the role of your child, you must not respond in any way whatsoever.

When ready, bring things to a stop and explore how they felt.  Ask them if they felt powerful or threatening.  If you’ve carried out your role of not responding, they won’t have felt empowered.  How could they? Students I work with often say how stupid they felt when ignored.

When ready, repeat the role play.  This time swap roles, so you are going to be the bully and your child is going to be themselves.  Remind your child that they are to totally ignore you whilst you are throwing this abuse at them.  In order for them to imagine “WHAT” you are saying is rubbish It may be useful to remind them of their realisation of such things being worthless rubbish and having no power except the power that they are willingly given.  As you throw the abuse at them, they need to remember “Why” you (the bully) is doing this.

And lastly the qualities of the “WALL” that doesn’t change, doesn’t respond and that no matter how horrible the words are, they really are just worthless rubbish written on paper, ready for the bin and can do nothing but bounce off as they’re thrown in a desperate act in need of response.

Now bring the exercise to an end by exploring how your child felt being bullied.  Did they feel the bully won? I’m sure they didn’t, why? because they weren’t listening. So, the bully had no power over them.

Repeat this exercise as many times as you need to, leaving no stone unturned, because the bully that your child must deal with, will press every button they can.

Remember to reinforce to your child that they must not give any response no matter what the bully says.  Reminding them that “WHAT” is being said is worthless rubbish.  “WHY” it is being said, which is about making them feel bad about themselves.  And the “WALL” with it’s qualities of strength, and total lack of response leaving the bully powerless.

By the time we reach adulthood, the experiences we have as children are deeply embedded in our psyche, creating our character with all its strengths and weaknesses.  It’s vitally important to empower your child to handle verbal bullying. This can have amazing effects on their self-worth and will help them become confident young adults.

The “Positive Parenting a Teen” programme, combines a solid and tested structure which will help you better understand the relationship you have with your teenage child and help you build and maintaining a Strong & Harmonious family home where relationships can flourish.

To know more of what our programme consists of and how it can help you, download your free copy of our brochure here.

If you’d like an initial Skype consultation regarding our programme, you can make an appointment using the booking calendar here.

The one-hour consultation fee of £147 will be deducted if you invest in our programme

For information on Individual Skype Counselling Sessions click here.

If you’ve not done so already, download your free copy of the “Positive Parenting a Teen” Programme brochure now.

(The technique taught and described as “The WHAT, The WHY and The WALL. A Technique to Deal with Verbal Bullying” is the sole intellectual property of Lisa David of Parents-Matter, at parents-matter.com. This Lisa David is the entitled owner of the property in reference and nobody else can legally take, use, claim ownership, republish, reprint, create or generate the content without her written and legal consent).