Tuesday, December 31, 2013

wikiHow: How to Deal With Verbal Bullying

Many people say that physical bullying is the worst kind.

That can be bad, but there is also verbal bullying. Verbal bullying is bad because it makes you look weak, while making the bully look tough and dominant. Verbal bullying can result in many outcomes, some good, some bad, depending on how you deal with the bully.

1. Avoid the bully at all costs! Take an alternate route if they are heading your way.

2.  Ignore the bully. It's hard to shrug off the insults, rumors, and remarks, but if you make it look like the name-calling isn't harming you, then the bully loses power and confidence.If the bully still doesn't stop talk to a teacher or a parent, someone you can trust.

3. Know that verbal bullies often have their friends join in the "fun". Make the main bully look weak in front of their friends by ignoring them by pretending that they're not even there.

4. Tell a teacher, trusted adult, or parent if the bullying is consistent. Make sure you ask to be kept anonymous. If you don't the bully will do this to you more and make it worsen!

5. Remain civil, no matter what. Getting aggressive might provoke them to use physical bullying, and you could get in trouble with your parents or school. Moreover, dealing with their insults in a civilized manner could make them seem immature in comparison.

6. Don't Listen to the rumors the bully says about you. Don't bother trying to tell everyone they're not true. Doing this may make you sound like you're trying to cover up something.

7. Walk away if the bully is actually insulting you to your face, as this makes them look weak. Do this if the insult really hurts, so you can walk away and deal with it yourself.

8. Tell someone how you feel; if you don't have a close friend, talk to your school's guidance counselor. If they can't solve the problem, they can at least give you some advice, or help you cope with the pain.

9. If this continues,tell your principal to have a talk with him/her. When you do he or she will call whoever bullied you and confront them.

10. After that and when you see him or her come, why not act nice as a start to them? I know this sounds weird but come on? If your gonna stay like foes forever you may not as well have a happy ending. If you don't want to just say a few kind words like "Hi, how are you? Listen I'm sorry I told on you and, I just wanted to say want to be friends?" If you feel like you can't say those words from face- to face write it in a letter. When he/she reads it she/he will realize how mean they were to you and start acting nice.


•Stay in a group.

•Some people say that bullies bully because they have low self-esteem. This may be true, but it can happen for other reasons. If they are popular, then they probably do it to enhance their self image. Others do it because it happened to them when they were younger. Find out, and try and use this information to your advantage

•Try doing something to relieve stress. Punching a pillow helps. Yoga and other exercise techniques can help blow off steam and reduce stress.

•Keep in mind one word: karma. If you believe in it, karma means that what you do to someone is going to happen to you. Turn the other cheek and think about something positive.

•Find something constructive to do. Something to get your mind off of the bullying always helps.

•People only bully when they are in a group. It is hard to bully a person just on your own so that is why whenever there is bullying going on it is definitely in a group. The bullies need each other to reassure themselves so that they think that it is right.

•Remember that your friends and family are willing to help you if you're dealing with something terrible.

wikiHow: How to Deal with Bullies

How to Deal With Bullies

Bullies come in all shapes and sizes, and most of us have to deal with them at one point or another.

However, bullying is a serious problem, not only in schools- but also both in the workplace, home, the military, playground and even nursing homes.

Luckily enough, this method also works for adults. Some cases have even been so serious that they have led to the victims committing suicide due to bullying.


  1. 1, Know what kind of bully you are dealing with. What does he/she do to others, and how does he/she react with different situations?

    • Aggressive bullies are likely to abuse physically and without hesitation. Try to feel the inner strength you carry. Sometimes we think they can take everything we have as a person away from us. Believe that you are stronger than they are, because deep down you are stronger than they are and ever will be.

    • Taunting bullies are verbally abusive (calling names, making jokes, teasing, etc.).

    • Indirect bullies, sometimes known as Backstabbers, spread rumors, exclude others, and harass their victims whenever possible. Try to overcome the rumors: tell everyone it's not true and the bully just wants attention.

    • Cyber bullies harass other people through instant messaging, e-mail, and any other electronic means. The best way to deal with online bullies is to delete their messages and not read anything they say. Be sure to block the bully as well.
  2. 2
    Work your way around the bullies. Try and avoid them in school and social situations. If they take the same route that you do, try a different way; if they can't find you, they can't bully you. Try your best to avoid them but don't show that you are avoiding them. They will usually read this as fear/success, and they will bully you more as a result. Always walk with a friend; there's safety in numbers.
  3. 3
    Show minimal reaction to bullying. Do not show the bullies that you feel hurt if they do something that makes you uncomfortable; just walk away. Bullies gain satisfaction from making others feel hurt or uncomfortable, so reacting to them will only encourage them further. The bully wants attention and if you show them that they are emotionally hurting you, they will get more pleasure out of doing it.
    • This tactic may backfire depending on the bully, so read the situation carefully. Some bullies will feel safe tormenting you, (as they enjoy that action itself) if they see that you aren't suffering from their actions.
    • You cannot talk sense to an irrational person. Walk away with dignity, saying you have better things to do with your time. If it continues, stand up for yourself. If it continues or does not continue, be sure to stand up for others who are being bullied.
  4. 4
    Do not make jokes at your own expense to try to prove that there is nothing they can do to hurt your feelings. This will only please them, and they will often chip in with their own ridicule and humiliation to lower your self-esteem.

  5. 5
    Instead, reflect an insult back to a verbal attacker. If accomplished in public, this can elicit laughter from surrounding peers or victims at the bully's expense. This is a bully's worst nightmare, as they are de-throned from their position of power over you. Remember not to show the bully the attention they are hungry for, as this will allow the bully the pleasure of actually hurting others emotionally.

    • Avoid insulting the bully if they have a history of physically bullying you, since this instigates a conflict you can't win. Instead of exacerbating the situation, walk away. Report this to an authority figure if you believe you are in danger.
  6. 6
    Report all bullying to an authority figure. Consider your parents, school guidance counselor, principal, boss, the police, or someone else who can deal with or punish the bully and protect your safety. It's important that you talk to someone about your problem to get it to end. Do not worry about revenge that the bully may take if you report the incident; they will hurt you anyway and appeasing them doesn't solve your problem or anyone else they are bullying. You could also go to tell a good friend- a good friend includes them standing up for you and you standing up for them aswell at times.

    • If there is a bullying survey in your school always write your name down. Do not be embarrassed. You will probably start to talk to someone who is very experienced and this can be surprisingly helpful. You might feel very small but in reality you are bigger then the bully.

  7. 7
    Help others. Bullies are people who try to make themselves look good. All they want is attention and they have probably learned their bullying from home or friends. Take that away from them and they have nothing! Since you've experienced the problem, you know how it can hurt, so you can look better by being sure to help others! Try asking the bully why they pick on people. There is never a good answer to this question. If you don't want to ask the bully this, then force them into being uncomfortable, but make sure that your not bullying them.

  8. 8
    Take Martial art lessons. Consider Karate, Kung Fu, Taekwondo or something that will give you the confidence and the ability to defend yourself and fight properly. It will also help you learn how not to appear to be an easy target.
    • Walk with a purposeful confidence and a 'don't you dare mess with me attitude.'
    • Be aware of your surroundings. Walk with your head up looking forward in the direction you are walking, use your peripheral vision to be aware of the people around you. No matter how untrue this is, act confident and stand tall.

  9. 9
    Learn self defense. This is very important should you need to fight. You don't need a black belt, just tips on self-defense. Do so with all your strength, not reluctantly. A Tang Soo Do Self-defense class will teach you to do this.

    • A quick kick in the groin will make the person feel dazed and look embarrassed long enough for an escape. Bullies aren't always used to others getting the best of them.

    • If the groin doesn't work, try the solar plexus (right below the ribs), or kick a knee to make the person trip.
    • If the bully is grabbing you or pushing you, believe it or not, it's actually an advantage- Try REALLY hard to keep your balance, grab one their arms with your left hand and hit their elbow with the other, then using your other hand, push away the remaining arm.
    • Run, get to a safe place, and call for help.

  10. 10
    Outsmart Them. Bullies usually aren't very smart or witty, so you can use this to your advantage.

  • Laugh at everything they say, and the worse the insult, the harder you should laugh. No faking! Try to think of it as something really funny and actually laugh. This is undeniably frustrating to bullies, because they want you to cry, not laugh. (Laughing so hard you cry probably doesn't count.)
  • Scream a quote at the top of your lungs to their face. You should only try this when they've tread on your feet or in general are doing something wordlessly annoying. There are many good things to quote, such as the first verse of JABBERWOCKY, songs that have been mostly forgotten, ("I am I, Don Quixote, the Man of LaMancha") or make up some of your own ("I would like a dollar so I can buy a fish!") . In this case, random is the key word. The bully might be so surprised that you can cause laughter or, at a minimum, get away. (If they think you're crazy, that's ok too!)

wikiHow: How to Avoid Being Picked On

  1. 1
    Ignore them. When they throw an insult or a put down at you just brush it off, no matter hard it hurts. Breaking down, crying, getting angry or making a scene only tells the bully that they've gotten to you, which is what they want. This may take a while, it may even get worse before it gets better, but don't give up. Eventually your bullies will become bored when they can't get a reaction out of you.

  2. 2
    Stand Tall. When dealing with the people who pick on you stand up straight and walk a way. Showing you have confidence, even if you don't, will help enforce the fact that you don't care what they say.

  3. 3
    Remain Calm. If you must speak to them look them in the eye and speak in a firm but calm voice. No matter what they say don't falter. If you do become angry take a deep breath, count to 10 and relax.

  4. 4
    If things become serious, don't be afraid to tell someone. You've probably heard it before "No one likes tattle-tales", but bullying is a serious subject. If your bullies become violent, start harassing you constantly and on a daily basis, or harass you online, tell someone. Whether its a teacher, parent or guidance counselor its important that someone is informed if you may be in danger.

  5. 5
    Don't Retaliate. As much as you might want to clock someone in the head its important that you remain calm. Starting a fight can get you in some serious trouble.

  6. 6
    Try Peer Mediation. See if your school has a peer mediation program. Peer mediation is an appointment with either the principal or the guidance where you can talk to your bullies face-to-face in a non-hostile environment.

  7. 7
    Don't Stoop To Their Level. Name-calling, harassing,picking on or starting rumors about your bullies puts you in the same boat as them. Acting more mature than them gives you the upper hand.

wikiHow: How to Avoid Being Bullied in Middle School (Should Work for Adults Too)

  1. 1
    Note that body language is extremely important. Do not look at your feet when you walk. Do not bite your nails (it is an animal instinct of nervousness). Do not walk with your hands in your pockets. Examine your current habits: do any of them make you seem smaller, weaker or less physically capable? If so, change them to something that will make you appear larger and more confident.

  2. 2
    Keep in mind that self esteem is even more important but harder to attain. You are a very important person. You matter! You matter to your parents, teachers and relatives. Self-confidence may be the only thing that separates you from the most popular kid in school.

  3. 3
    Do not attempt to throw back comebacks unless you are incredibly adept. Bullies practice their comebacks on other kids all day everyday. You probably don't and you will merely say something that they will use against you.

  4. 4
    When ridiculed, say nothing, and stare them viciously in the eye like a hungry animal. This may be difficult at first but you won't be giving them the reaction they want. They want you to give in and try to fight them so they can beat you. If you don't fight, they can't win.

  5. 5
    Tell somebody . Never keep quiet.

  6. 6
    Keep an eye out in the halls. These are great bully hideouts because they can strike while you are in a group so they won't be seen. Move among the other kids with head held high, scanning for threats. It may sound a bit paranoid but it comes in very handy.

  7. 7
    Remember that you do not deserve to be bullied. Nothing you have done and nothing that you are caused you to be bullied. Bullies are people who have low self-esteem and a great need for power - a bad combination. Thousands of kids who are perfectly nice get bullied every single day. But you have to take action against it. Don't start a fight, but don't let the bullying continue.

  8. 8
    Wait until they have thrown the first punch or have hurt or have attempted to hurt you physically. You can then claim it was in self defense and that you just didn't want to get hurt anymore. Never say something like "He started it!" Use the words "self defense" or say "I feared for my safety".

  9. 9
    Do not do anything physical to the bully. You are the target. They are not the target, because you want to avoid them. Don't do anything to make them mad. If you get upset, and want to slap him/her in the face, walk away with your head held high.

  10. 10
    If they make fun of something you do or something you wear, do not change your habits. This will only show them they have power over you.

  11. 11
    The first time someone you don't know offends you, insults you or hits you, stop them before it gets bad. If you stand up for yourself straight away, it sends a message that they should leave you alone. If you let them get away with it by looking away or ignoring it, it may continue and others may join in. Look a bully straight in the eye. Give him a death stare. Bullies often back down with this. Watch your body language. Don't look at the floor. Don't slouch and wish you could disappear, even though you feel that way. Stand strong and tall and face your bully. Bullies usually pick victims who won't stand up to them.

  12. 12
    Tell your school counselor, parents, teacher, and continue to tell them if it does not stop. Schools are breaking the law if they allow bullying to continue within their walls. They must provide you with a safe education.
  • If they keep on blocking you, just say something like, "Stop, okay? This is going to get you nowhere.
  • Don't avoid the bully, but do not make yourself conspicuous.
  • Don't let them ever bring you down, make it look like you don't care what they are saying because they just want to make themselves look better.
  • Even if they are going to try and start a fight, just simply walk away
  • Have self confidence.
  • Try praying about it.
  • You are worth it and you will make it through this. Life gets better. It truly does.
  • Look on the bright side: victims of bullying often become accomplished artists or writers, philosophers and hard workers when they grow up. Some of the world's most successful people were bullied.
  • Never start a fight. It will get you in trouble. Be the bigger person.
  • Never put up with them physically hurting you, stand up for yourself

Monday, December 30, 2013

LA Times Science Blog: Emotions move us in the same places, study says

The clenched-fist, hair-on-fire feeling you get when gripped by anger, the warm-all-over sensation of happiness, the bilious wave that gnaws at your throat with disgust: these are the cues the body sends up to ready the mind for what comes next: fighting, hugging or withdrawal. And they appear to vary little across cultures, says a new study, which draws a detailed map of emotions and the distinct bodily sensations that accompany them.

The corporal topography of emotion is likely to have evolved over millions of generations, and even if the mind isn't listening, those somato-sensory cues make sense: with anger, fear or surprise, our heartbeat picks up in readiness for flight or fight, and so our chest feels tight. The muscles in our arms and legs feel clenched in anger, but in sadness, they feel limp. Happiness spreads its warmth even across the hips and genitals, but those areas typically go cold when we feel sad, angry or disgusted.

Writing in the journal PNAS, researchers in Finland report that across five different experiments ranging in size from 32 to 305 subjects, participants linked seven different emotions with the same somato-sensory experiences with such consistency, it could not be a matter of chance. The pairings they made were consistent whether they were asked to react to emotionally suggestive words or to read short stories and view films that conjured strong emotional responses.

Even when viewing photographs of a person's face conveying a specific emotion, subjects drew maps of that person's likely feelings that were consistently similar.

The pairings of emotion and accompanying sensation also transcended language: Participants were Northern Europeans who were either Finnish or Swedish speakers and Taiwanese individuals whose native tongue is Hokkein, one of a family of Chinese languages. Even across the linguistic barriers, there was 70% agreement among participants on where in the body emotions are felt.

With more complex emotions--pride, shame, envy, depression, contempt, anxiety and love--the study's participants did not draw somato-sensory maps with as much overlap. But they were still similar enough to beat chance.

Studies of emotional processing that have used brain scans also suggest that we link distinct bodily sensations with certain emotions, and do so consistently--and perhaps that there is overlap between the neural circuits of emotion and the personal body map each of us has in our sensory cortex.

The authors of the study, led by Lauri Nummenmaa of Aalto University's School of Science in Espoo, Finland, suggest that people with emotional processing difficulties stemming, say, from anxiety, depression or psychopathy, may also "feel" their emotions in places different from those in good mental health. "Topographical changes in emotion-triggered sensations in the body could thus provide a novel biomarker for emotional disorders," they write.


Sunday, December 22, 2013

"Outsmart Your Brain"

Outsmart Your Brain: Use the Science of Fear to 

Tackle Your Biggest Challenge

"Do one thing every day that scares you." -- Eleanor Roosevelt
I look down into the shallow end of the swimming pool. I take in a big, deep breath. I review my list: I signed up for an adult learn-to-swim class -- check. I'm scared -- check. My heart is beating faster -- and I look for the nearest exit. So, I'm asking myself -- why is this good for me again?
To answer this, I need to understand what it means to be scared.
Fear is an unpleasant emotion we feel when threatened. During a threat, a part of our brain called the amygdala, a tear-drop shape of cells located deep within our brain, can set off a chain reaction that prepares us to respond. The amygdala tells other parts of the brain and the body to secrete chemical messengers that make us more alert and ready to respond. These messengers also increase our heart rate and blood flow to muscles. This helps us get ready for confrontation or running away (this is called the "fight or flight" response). Our brain also can protect us from pain if under attack by releasing messengers called opioids, which numb pain and make us feel like life is just fine. Once a threat has passed, our brain quickly and powerfully records all the details of the event to help us be safe next time by boosting brain cell connections that associate that specific threat and danger.
How can we use this understanding of fear to help us tackle our biggest challenges? Luckily, very effective tools for facing fear have been developed to help treat individuals who suffer from too much fear (like certain types of anxiety disorders). One of the most effective treatments is a form of cognitive behavioral therapy called Exposure and Response Prevention (ERP for short). ERP systematically helps people face and thereby overcome their fears. In this treatment, together with the therapist, a person starts by making a ranked list of feared objects or situations, from least to most distressing. The treatment then involves gradually facing each list item, with the help of a therapist, going from least to most scary, like climbing up the rungs of a ladder. Over time, fear fades.
No matter what kind of fear you or I have, we can use ERP to outsmart our brain. By facing, even embracing, our fear, we can trick our brain into releasing those opioid chemicals that reduce our fear and give us a feeling of comfort. The more we face our fear, the stronger the links become between our biggest challenges and safety -- in other words, we succeed in mastering our fears. Doing this gets easier and easier. It also may give us a sense of accomplishment.
For example: Are you afraid to speak in public? To ask for a raise? To declutter? To swim (like me)?
Here are 6 practical steps to start today to tackle your own challenge:
1. Make a list This is a list of things you are scared to tackle -- from least to most scary. Once you have the list, work your way up the ladder.
2. Get a coach We need someone to help us overcome our brain's survival mechanism to battle or run away. This can be a swim coach, personal trainer, therapist, or other trustworthy confidant.
3. Break it down Once you have your topic, let's say it is swimming, break it down into smaller, manageable steps that can be mastered to leave you less afraid. How did my swim coach help me on the first day? By asking me to just put my feet in the water. Doable right? Then, we slowly worked my way up to my head, the toughest of all.
4. Build a routine We are creatures of habit. By setting a time to practice, we can make becoming fearless a routine.
5. Be kind to yourself Replace thoughts of "I can't do this" with "I'm doing the best I can." Pause regularly and take time to consider how far you have come. Progress may not be immediate or always straightforward, but in time it will be. Keep trying.
6. Show up One day, half way into the swimming class semester, I was surprised to arrive at the pool and find I was the only class member there. I ended up getting additional coaching, which helped me go even further that day. And over time I succeeded. Why? It wasn't because I was the most athletic or coordinated. I just kept showing up. If you too keep at it, you'll be amazed at what you can do.
Carolyn Rodriguez, M.D., Ph.D. Assistant Professor Director, Hoarding Disorders Research Program Columbia Psychiatry
Amanda Levinson, B.A., Research Assistant, Columbia Psychiatry, contributed to this post.

Saul Steinberg Masks