Bullies to Buddies: How to Turn Your Enemies into Friends, Sample Chapter 3
Do you want to stop being a victim? Then starting right now, get rid of the idea that bullies are “the bad guys” and their victims are “the good guys.” Of course, that’s not easy to do. Your teachers and parents tell you bullies are bad. But as long as you think bullies are bad, you are going to hate them and treat them like enemies. So they will continue to be your enemies — and continue to win.
It may seem obvious that bullies are bad and you are good. But do you think your bullies see it that way? I bet they think they’re the good guys and you’re the bad one. Who is to say you are right and they are wrong?
Whenever you are angry, you feel like a victim. But those you are bully because your anger is the desire to scare them off or beat them up. So if you go around being angry at your bullies, you probably look like a bad guy.
In fact, many victims are actually accused of being the real bullies. Has this ever happened to you? If so, it probably made you furious because you felt it was unfair. (And your fury makes you look even more like the real bad guy). Since you don’t like it when others think of you as a bad guy, you have to stop thinking of others as bad guys.
There’s an easy way to determine if people who bother you feel they’re your bully or your victim. Ask yourself: Are they angry with me? If they are, you can be sure they don’t like how you are treating them — they feel you are bullying them. This is actually what goes on in most confl icts. Both sides are angry, and each one thinks it’s the innocent victim and the other is the guilty bully.
True bullies — those who don’t see themselves as victims — are not angry. They are cool and confident while their victims walk around feeling angry.
There are kids who are mean to others and have no friends at all. They may look like bullies, but they are not. They feel like colossal victims. They are so mad at everybody for not liking them, all they want to do is get even. If you know people like that, they need help. (Make sure they read this book!)
It’s easy to think of bullies as abnormal, evil creatures designed to hurt us and ruin our lives. The truth is they really are not that different from the rest of us. They want exactly what we want: to be winners in life. We all want power. We all want respect. And we all want to be popular. The difference between bullies and their victims is that the bullies are better at getting what they want. Thinking of people as good guys and bad guys may help us feel better, but it is much more helpful to think of people as winners and losers.
Just about everyone we call bullies are buddies to their friends. Bullies protect their buddies and enjoy being tough enough to stand up against others. If they thought of you as a friend, they would fight for you, too!
We may not want to admit it, but bullies tend to have a trait we admire: courage. What they do may not be smart, but they have the guts to challenge other people. Of course, it doesn’t take much courage to pick on smaller and weaker kids, but many bullies stand up to bigger and stronger kids, too. They are even willing to risk punishment from adults who take the side of the victims.