July 18, 2012
July 18, 2012
The Canadian Broadcast Company (CBC News) earlier this year ran one of the most compelling and myth-shattering series on bullying to date. This 3-part series began with the heart-breaking story of a desperate mother’s struggle to keep her daughter safe at school.
She even hired a body guard but even that wasn’t enough to keep a small group of committed girls from physically and psychologically torturing her daughter.
Then the CBC followed up with a refreshing and rare interview with a former Bully, Dr. Jennifer LaFleur. She’s a psychotherapist now and helps Targets escape bullying. LaFleur goes where few Bullies are willing to go. She admits that in 4th grade she formed a group among 10 girls for the sole purpose of excluding another girl. She drafted a contract making all 10 girls swear they would hate this other girl, even though she did nothing to LaFleur. Incredibly, all 10 girls signed it.
The self-professed “Mean Girl” admits she was selfish, did not come from a bad home, was arrogant, was intoxicated by the power she wielded, and intentional in her will to harm — myth-shattering insights that help us see that the facial expression of the average Bully is not a frown but a sardonic smile.
What changed her? She was bullied by Debbie, who was more powerful than her, and the intervention on behalf of a very clever art teacher who had LaFleur counsel younger kids who were being bullied, which helped Jennifer see what she was really doing to others.
LaFleur says that Bullies have high self-esteem based upon power not achievement, and that such personalities need to feel good about helping others instead of their desire to feel good through dominating others-a difficult task, she admits.
LaFleur, 25 years later, contacted Tracy, the girl she created the contract against, and…well…we don’t want to give the ending away. Listen here [go to “Bulling from the bully’s perspective” on the left side of page].
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