I was just watching the video about Sean O'Brien, the #DancingMan, on Yahoo news the other day, and it got me thinking about all the bullying going on these days.
Sean's a great guy, but he's seen his fair share of bullying. Still, he's not inclined to be angry or feel sorry for himself. His most recent experience of online bullying has inspired many people to come together, take a stand and say, "Enough!"
When I think about what psychological issues lie at the heart of bullying, it's clear to me that a bully is an unhappy person who needs to hurt someone else in a misguided attempt to make themselves feel better.
The truth is that a bully has very little self-love, and needs the other person to feel as small and worthless as they themselves feel, deep down inside.
The bully compares themselves with others and tries to convince themselves that they're "superior" to those that they're persecuting.
Sadly, this doesn't help the bully feel better about themselves, which explains why they're compelled to persist in their bullying, repeatedly. It just doesn't work.
A bully is miserable and feels disconnected from others. The more they look for how they're "better," than their victims, the more alienated they are from everyone.
Bullying needs to be stopped. It's the cause of so much suffering on the part of the victims, but it's also creating more misery for the bullies themselves.
I propose a different way to approach the problem of bullying: it's a new movement I want to start, called, #BeKind.
When we can #BeKind, we can eliminate the problem of bullying.
First, we can #BeKind to ourselves. We need to see that whether we're a bully, a victim of bullying or an innocent bystander, any unhappiness we feel is our responsibility to deal with.
We can start to give ourselves the love, acceptance and validation we need, and build our self-esteem.
When we have more compassion for ourselves, we feel better within and more secure, so we're no longer compelled to be as critical of others.
Once we've learned how to #BeKind to ourselves, we can then start to #BeKind to others. Unlike a bully, who competes for who is "better," we can see all the things we have in common with others, and have compassion for everyone.
Instead of being disconnected and lonely, we can create a meaningful sense of belonging and oneness with our fellow human beings.
We all have much more in common with each other than any bully would lead us to believe. We all share the same needs and frustrations, hopes and fears, joys and sorrows, dreams and disappointments.
We also have the same types of challenges. While it's easy to see that Sean is a big guy, the rest of us have our issues too; they just might be less obvious.
Who among us has not been affected at some point in life by depression, anxiety, self-doubt, insecurity, relationship struggles, work challenges, money troubles or other, less obvious addictions?
I challenge any bully to look within and see themselves as flawless and without issues. In fact, we're all perfectly imperfect, and a lot more like Sean O'Brien than we're different from him.
When we can #BeKind, we're united by our common humanity. When we take responsibility for giving ourselves unconditional positive regard, it's easier to let go of our fears and judgments of each-other.
When we take good care of ourselves, we can feel more comfortable with others and closer with them. Our self-love and self-compassion overflows outward and connects us with everyone.
When we focus on our similarities, rather than our differences, it's easier to feel united with everyone; we want to be there for each-other instead of feeling the need to tear each-other down.
Instead of the bully's attitude of "divide and conquer," we can adopt the attitude of "unite and thrive." When we can #BeKind, we're happier, healthier, more productive and able to be more supportive of one-another.
The #DancingMan is not that different from you or me. In fact, within every one of us, there's a Sean O'Brien who's been hurt and rejected, judged and misunderstood, and who needs our understanding; our love and our compassion.
I'm the #DancingMan, you're the #DancingMan, we're all the #DancingMan, when we stop, think about it and choose not to separate and judge but to come together and #BeKind.
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