How to stop the bullies

Watch Video: How to stop the bullies by Gordon Neufeld, PhD, ...
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How to stop the bullies

Bullying is a very, very difficult behavior to stop. Those who think that it’s a quest for power or that bullying is taught, it’s learned and you can control it through consequences, or it’s because of a lack of empathy, are missing the point. Bullying exists in all mammals and bullying is deeply embedded in instinct and emotion and it comes from two places. One is an alpha complex where a child or an adult has to be on top to dominate, to displace, to be in command, and so it’s an alpha complex where the alpha instincts are there and for whatever reason, they’re not fluid, the child can’t depend upon those who are responsible for them. But the purpose of the alpha instincts in all the animals is to take care of the weak, to take care of the wounded, to take care of the dependant. The problem is if our limbic system is going to move us to take care, it has to move us through feelings of responsibility and through caring, but these are vulnerable feelings. And if there is any emotional desensitization whatsoever – and today’s children are in a flight from vulnerability – and they’re defended against caring and responsibility. “I don’t care.” “It doesn’t matter.” They never say, “I’m sorry.” “Whatever.” Then what happens is you have alpha instincts that are divorced from their intended purpose in human nature. And so now it becomes a perversion of alpha. Instead of a mother hen complex, instead of a rescuer complex, instead of a leader complex, you now are sensitized to the signs of weakness and vulnerability to a certain dominance over them. And so this is deeply rooted in instinct and emotion. Only when we bring these bullies into right relationship with strong alpha adults in their lives, when they can actually come into a proper relationship, only when we can soften their hearts can we address the roots of the problem. This is alpha gone awry and it’s escalating in our society. We can do something, but the key is right relationships and soft hearts.

Watch Video: How to stop the bullies by Gordon Neufeld, PhD, ...


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Gordon Neufeld, PhD

Psychologist & Author

Dr. Gordon Neufeld is a Vancouver-based developmental psychologist with over 40 years of experience with children and youth and those responsible for them. A foremost authority on child development, Dr. Neufeld is an international speaker, a bestselling author, Hold On to Your Kids and a leading interpreter of the developmental paradigm. Dr. Neufeld has a widespread reputation for making sense of complex problems and for opening doors for change. While formerly involved in university teaching and private practice, he now devotes his time to teaching and training others, including educators and helping professionals. His Neufeld Institute is now a worldwide organization devoted to applying developmental science to the task of raising children. Dr. Neufeld appears regularly on radio and television. He is a father of five and a grandfather of three.

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