It may have come as a bit of a shock to you to discover that you were actually encouraging your bullies to continue making fun of you. Please don’t feel bad about this. What has been happening to you is really not your fault. You had no way of knowing what was really going on. And the truth is that the same thing goes on in any relationship where people are constantly driving each other crazy. Whether its parents and children, husbands and wives, or brothers and sisters who are always fighting with each other, they are always making the same mistake. They don’t realize that by getting mad, they are pushing the other person to do the very thing that they can’t stand. So don’t blame yourself. It’s not your fault.
Anyway, I would not have risked making you feel bad if I did not also know how to make you feel much, much better. You will feel much better once you use the secret to stopping your teasers.
Lesson Two is the secret, simple method to making the teasing stop. All it takes is a change of attitude. What I mean is that you only have to change the way you think about the teasing. Everything else will automatically follow after you correct your attitude.
Until now, your attitude has been, “Oh, no! They’re making fun of me! I have to make them stop!” But this is the wrong attitude. This attitude is what has caused the problem to exist in the first place. The only reason you have been getting teased is that you were hurt by the teasing and thought you have to make it stop. From now on –and you only have to do it for one week to see if it works— your new attitude will be, “If they want to tease me, it’s perfectly OK. They can do it all day long and it doesn’t bother me in the least.”
You are to do absolutely nothing to make your tormentors stop teasing you. Do not tell them to stop. Do not call them names back. Do not tell the teacher on them. Do not tell your parents or their parents.
Do not even be angry at them! “Not even be angry?” you may be thinking. “Why shouldn’t I be angry when they call me names?”
The reason you shouldn’t be angry is because it’s a lousy feeling to be angry, and it will make your tormentors feel good. Also, since your new attitude is that it’s perfectly all right for them to tease you, why in the world should you be mad at them for doing it?
It’s not necessary to act like you’re made of stone. If your teasers put their face right in front of yours and say, “What’s the matter, don’t you hear me?” it’s all right to answer,” Yes, of course I hear you!” If you feel like you should be saying more to them, it’s all right, as long as you are giving them permission to insult you and you’re not getting mad at them. Here are some examples: “If you want to call me names, that’s OK”; or, “If you enjoy making fun of me, you can do it all day long.” This will stop them very quickly. Just make sure to say it without any anger at all. And you must really mean it when you say it.
So you are now to let them tease you all they want. This doesn’t mean that you will be a loser. Just the opposite: it will make you the winner. If they call you names and you don’t care, who is going to look stupid, you or them? They are going to look stupid, that’s who. And who is going to feel stupid, you or them? They are going to feel stupid, too. A person who is calling out nasty names to someone who doesn’t give a darn looks pretty dumb. And the worse the words are, the dumber he looks. So let them tease away all they want, and don’t feel upset in the least because now you are going to be the winner, and you are going to make them look like idiots without even trying.
How about if they insult your mother? Should you do anything about that? How can you not defend your mother’s honor?
Even if they insult your mother, or your grandmother, or anybody else important to you, let them do it! You have nothing to worry about. If I say to you in front of a bunch of people, “Your mother is a pig and sleeps in the mud,” is anyone going to believe me? Of course not. If I insult your mother and you don’t say anything, are people around us going to think there is something wrong with you, or that there’s something wrong with me? Obviously, they’ll think there’s something wrong with me. If you start defending your mother against these stupid insults, you will look stupid. If you don’t do anything, then I will look stupid. Therefore, even if they insult your mother, it’s perfectly OK. When your teasers see that nothing they can say bothers you, they will stop trying.
How about if what they are saying is true? Should you do anything then? What if your mother is a drug addict. Should you do anything about it when kids yell, “Your mother is a crackhead!”?
No, you shouldn’t. If you try to stop them, it will only make them do it more. Remember, the real reason they are teasing you is not that they have to tell you the truth about yourself. The only reason they do it is because it’s fun to upset you. Even if your mother really is a drug addict, the people who yell it out will still feel stupid if you let them do it. In fact, they will probably end up feeling guilty for having made fun of your mother. So let them say whatever they want, even if it’s true. If you don’t let it bother you, it will bother them.
There is another way I want you to think about what your teasers have been doing to you.
Do you like to play games? You probably do. That’s because everyone likes to play games. It’s fun. And when you play, do you try to win or do you try to lose? Unless you are trying to make a little kid feel good, you probably always try to win. Winning feels good and losing feels lousy. And that’s the way it has to be; Mother Nature made us that way.
Now, it’s easy to know when someone is playing a game with you when you have cards in your hands, or when you are moving chess or checker pieces, or are working the controls of Nintendo™ or Sega™ or Playstation™. And it’s easy to know who wins and who loses when you are playing these games.
But very often, people are playing games and they don’t even know it! If you don’t realize someone’s playing a game with you, you have no chance of winning!
One of the games kids like to play with unsuspecting victims is name-calling. They call you names, and you have to make them stop. The thing is, you don’t really know it’s a game, because nobody said, “Hey, anybody in the mood for a game of name-calling?” They just start playing it with you, and you fall into the trap of participating. You think it’s for real, that they really despise you and want to hurt you, and you believe you have to do something about it.
The truth is that they don’t really hate you and they don’t really want to hurt you, (unless you really hate them and are trying to hurt them). What they really want to do is have fun playing and winning. As soon as you get mad, you lose and they win. The more upset you get, and the harder you try to stop them, the more you look like a fool. Unless you are mean enough and strong enough and clever enough to beat them all up without getting caught and punished, getting mad will never make you win.
When you play a game, you want to win. Without realizing it, you have been playing a game and losing all these years. Now you are going to win, because you know what the game is, and you can’t be trapped any more. If you get mad, you lose. If you don’t get mad, you win. That’ all there is to it! It’s that simple! That’s all this teasing problem has really been about! Now you finally know how to win, and it is going to be the easiest thing in the world!