[January 18, 2022] In the iconic holiday movie, A Christmas Story (1983), a young boy named Ralphie is harassed by local bully Scut Farkus and his toadie Grover Dill. Spoiler alert, Ralphie figures out how to stop bullying and live his life as an innocent kid, having fun with friends and loving his family.
The more serious topic of stopping bullying is talked about in every school. Teachers are on the prowl to identify and stop bullying, newspapers report on it daily (it seems), programs are created, and volumes of books and articles are written on the subject. Every mom’s worry is about the bully in the schoolyard harassing their kid. And, this is not confined to kids on playgrounds. Workplaces now have anti-bullying efforts.
Like so many, this movie reminds me of growing up in the 1950s and explains why it is one of my favorites. Just like me, Ralphie wanted a Red Rider BB Gun for Christmas. We both got one. His mom’s fear? He’d shoot his eye out. Fear! Well, that goes with life.
How do you stop bullying? There are many methods, and I’m sure they work, at least tactically to some degree. However, there is a strategy often unrecognized.
Dr. Peterson tells us that bullies don’t lack self-esteem. That is a false perception. Bullies have plenty of self-esteem. To deter the bully, pull yourself up, hold your shoulders back, look forward into the eyes of those around you; that is the first step of freeing yourself. Never forget this.
You might lose your next encounter. You might get beat up. But you have made the first step of many important steps toward liberating yourself from the bully.
After a long history of being bullied by Scut Farkus, Ralphie “snaps” and proceeds to punch Scut in an epic takedown. Friends had to pull Ralphie off Scut to prevent a total beatdown. Ralphie stood up for himself and gained a little confidence that day. In the movie, the bully no longer harasses Ralphie.
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