A child who can endure bullying will likely be a huge success
“Vulnerability is not winning or losing it is having the courage to show up when you cannot control the outcome.” Brené Brown
Have you ever noticed how much humans love to fight – sometimes in verbal confrontation, sometimes more seriously?
Given our caveman origins when every day was a fight for survival it is not hard to understand where the instinct comes from, but that was literally aeons ago. Why are we so desperately keen to continue to release our tongues or worse, draw our swords, today?
So, what do I mean by this?
As a collective, we are the healthiest, most sophisticated and technologically advanced people to ever walk the earth and yet many of us are still more interested in winning an argument than finding common ground.
When did “winning” become more important than building relationships, strengthening partnerships and nurturing each other’s ability to work towards a common goal for the betterment of all?
Why do we prize self-assuredness so much that we have come to view anyone who dares to lay down their sword – and come at situations with a sense of openness – as weak?
In short, why are we so intent on protecting ourselves that we have lost – some might even say ridicule – our acceptance of simply being vulnerable?
Think about it, who gets bullied in the schoolyard?
Whose opinion gets dismissed the fastest in meetings?
Who gets excluded, rejected and scoffed at (even by relatives) regardless of how old we grow?
And yet, who also dusts themselves off after such treatment and moves forward time and time again?
Here’s the irony: show me a class of Primary 5 students and I’ll show you who is most likely to be a huge success in later life – the child who is strong enough to endure the brutal no-holds-barred verbal abuse being dished out by their peers.
Equally (and perhaps tragically), I’ll also show you a room full of wannabes who will most likely waste their entire existence chasing superficial goals, cutting corners and climbing over top of each other in a vain effort to be noticed and adored.
And the shocking thing is we are literally teaching them to do this by the example we set each time we attempt to “prey” on anyone around us that we perceive to be vulnerable.
Little do we know that our intended victim will be having the last laugh. You might initially come away with a smug feeling of satisfaction from having bested your would-be opponent but you will have missed the entire point of the encounter.
In short, there is no escaping the fact that everyone has something of value to contribute to a conversation, to a situation, or a negotiation but if you have not learnt how to keep your ego in check then you don’t stand a chance of hearing the message – let alone understanding it.
And to the rare few who are perpetually rebuked by lesser beings and finding life a struggle I say simply to you – change your perspective.
All you need to do is realise that regardless of how others behave, you are not their victim, you are their mentor in the making.
They are not here to torture you, they are all here to help you focus your energy and urge you forward to the next of your many goals and accomplishments.
Don’t waste time trying to convince them to like you, just be yourself and go change the world.
Just do it.
Robin Trimingham is the managing director of The Olderhood Group Ltd and a business consultant, journalist, podcaster and thought leader in the fields of life transition and change management. Connect with Robin at https://bit.ly/3nSMlvc or firstname.lastname@example.org