From Sam Horn’s “Take the Bully By the Horns”
Clarity is the key to confidence. Why? Confusion immobilizes. When we’re off balance and not sure what to say or do, we usually don’t say or do anything. Bullies capitalize on this uncertainty to press their advantage. Clarity, on the other hand, produces conviction, which makes us strong.
I once saw a sign in a dentist office that said, “The five most dangerous words in the English language: ‘Maybe it will go away.” Many of us naively hope that unethical individuals will go away if we ignore them. Wrong. Bullies see avoidance as weakness and silence as consent. They operate on a risk-reward ratio. When we don’t stand up for ourselves, they perceive us to be an easy target. Many of us studied the Declaration of independence and the Emancipation Proclamation in school. Yet, unfortunately, some of us have lost our clarity that we each have inalienable human rights. For whatever reason, some of us gave up control of our lives to someone who sought power over us.
Emancipation is defined as “to free from restraint, control, bondage, or the power of another.” Our goal is to adopt our own personal Bill of Rights so we can free ourselves from individuals who have been bullying/controlling us. Understand that bullies will not voluntarily “go away.” Why should they? They’ve got a good thing going. Bullies don’t self-examine or self-correct. We must take responsibility for ending a dominant/doormat situation or it will continue.
Print the following “Clarity Rules” where you can see them throughout the day. Carry them in your purse or wallet so you can pull them out when the occasion warrants. Review them frequently for a shot of courage. The more clarity you have about who you are and what you stand for; the less vulnerable you’ll be to a bully’s unethical attempts to knock you off balance. Clarity Rules
· I have clarity that my definition of a healthy relationship is one in which I’m free to think and act for myself.
· I have clarity that I choose to believe the best of people. I give them the benefit of doubt until they prove me wrong.
· I have clarity that I will be kind and compassionate until someone tries to take advantage of my good nature.
· I have clarity that I will seek win-win resolutions until it is obvious the other person refuses to play by the rules.
· I have clarity that it is my responsibility to speak up if someone crosses the line of common decency.
· I have clarity that suffering in silence perpetuates the problem and that I will speak up if someone tries to intimidate me.
· I have clarity that I will walk tall so bullies won’t perceive I’m weak.
· I have clarity that I am a worthwhile person who has the right to stand up for my needs if someone tries to trample them.
· I have clarity that I will ask, “What’s my culpability?” so I do not unwittingly contribute to or perpetuate a bully’s mistreatment of me.
· I have clarity that I will set and state limits in advance so people know my boundaries and ethical threshold.
· I have clarity that I will no longer “keep the peace” at any price.
· I have clarity that I want to role-model for my loved ones that we do not passively endure someone verbally abusing us.
· I have clarity that I will not volunteer to be a victim, and I will remove myself from a relationship in which someone is trying to “own” me.
· I have clarity that words can hurt and haunt. I will not demean others and I will not allow anyone to demean me or a loved one.
· I have clarity that life is a blessing, not a burden; and I will not allow bullies to undermine the sanity of myself and loved ones.
· I have clarity that I am responsible for my physical and mental health, and I take appropriate action to improve unsafe situations.
–Sam Horn, Take the Bully by the Horns–©2017