You’ve probably noticed, there is a pretty sizable anti-bullying movement sweeping the nation right now. While that’s great to have such a wide-spread initiative, many anti-bullying programs target the bully. The problem with that is, the bully is the wrong person to target. To give you a comparison, think about a community located in a tropical climate that has a history of getting hit with bad hurricanes. It wouldn’t be very effective to fight this problem by trying to change the weather. Instead the community must work on improving its infrastructure and putting safety procedures in place to protect the community against future storms. The community must focus on what they have control over, which is protection, not the weather.
One of the assessments in The Success Profiler, is The Personal Skills Map. The Personal Skills Map assesses individuals based on their expressions, thoughts, feelings and behaviors when dealing with other people. If we look at the people who might typically become victims of bullying by using the Personal Skills Map, the results tend to look like the ones below:
The big issue is systematic low self-esteem; these results show individuals who will allow others to walk all over them. Let’s take a closer look at these results from The Personal Skills Map.
Unwilling to Change
Some scales on this profile are quite high, but the scales that are highly correlated with self-esteem are very low. Individuals matching this profile do not like themselves at this point in life, and for that matter, do not like life that much. Notice that the Change Orientation scale (how receptive a person is to change) is not as high as you might think it would be for people who seem to so strongly dislike what’s going on in their life. This score pinpoints, more than anything else on the profile, the degree to which these individuals do not care anymore.
Physical Wellness Takes a Turn for the Worse
Along with the low Change Orientation score, Stress Management, Physical Wellness, and Self-Esteem scores indicate that this pattern of behavior has been going on for some time in their lives. When stress is unmanaged for an extended period of time, Physical Wellness will drop as well as Self-Esteem.
Finally, notice the high Interpersonal Deference score. These individuals are deferring, or letting others take advantage of them, in order to avoid conflicts in their lives. In order to help these individuals protect themselves against bullies, intervention in the areas of Stress Management, Physical Wellness and Self-Esteem would dramatically improve their outlook on life.
Personal Defense Skills
Someone wanting to bully another person would look for people with this type of profile. These individuals will most likely not stand up for themselves and are easy targets for bullies. When personal skills such as Self-Esteem, Stress Management and Physical Wellness are improved, along with Interpersonal Assertion, these individuals will no longer be targets for the bully.
Anti-bullying programs need to start focusing on improving personal skills in high-risk individuals in order to put an end to this vicious, destructive cycle.