In 2000 before there was a deluge of anti-bullying incidents being reported, before every national and local news resource published and republished the tragic stories and eye-opening realizations, I was knee-deep in national and global research perusing this new, yet aged issue of bullying. My emphasis was NOT more drama, but explication.

I started with the WHY. Why do people bully other people? You would think that once someone had become a victim of bullying, no matter how extreme or insignificant, it would be enough of a deterrent to prohibit them from choosing to reciprocate in the same. However, the history of the world has spiritual and secular perspectives on the actions and interactions of its beings. For example, an account from the Christian scriptures tells the story of Cain and Abel who had relational differences that culminated in aggressive behavior, eventuated by murder (Genesis 4:8). Likewise, a secular account according to Darwin’s theory of evolution states that natural selection includes a survival of the fittest mechanism, where contentious interchange determined eventuality (Darwin & Carroll, 2003). Both of these societal examples provide insights into human relationships, suggesting dynamics would include background on a primate’s need to dominate or defer to their rivals. Based on some examples of historical anecdotes of aggressive human behavior, it seems justifiable to suggest the roots of bullying behavior trace back to early human civilization.

The WHY didn’t seem near as important as the WHAT – what can be done to stop it or at least diminish its effective and pervasive nature? Certainly there’s something people can learn to do. Right? It’s simple math – if A plus B equals C, then I need to concentrate on WHAT is the essence of A and B in order for us to predict, even propagate the C. WHAT can be done to reduce bullying?

Of course, as soon as anyone discovers or seemingly creates a problem that rivals Willis-Ekbom Disease (Restless Leg Syndrome) you will most certainly see a barrage of treatments and cures. I’m not saying that some are not legitimate, just saying that the bottom line gets blurred by income; profits. The solution to the problem of bullying behaviors has a financial means as well (and not always so well-meaning). Bullying prescribers and purveyors have not disappointed. A barrage of anti-bullying strategies and antidotes has flooded the educational and parental markets (for a price, of course). I’m not saying peddlers shouldn’t get paid for their wares – on the contrary. Nonetheless, people should receive a commensurate product for the price. And since peddlers are usually more concerned about the price, the people need to scrutinize each product.

You could either do your own intense research (which took me over 10 years) or you could do a broad, peer-reviewed study to uncover a consensus as to what research reveals. Now while I am the first to say, “Don’t take anyone’s word for it”, here’s what you’ll find: Self-empowerment is the most effective way to reduce bullying. It is this premise that formulated the research-based I AM UNAFRAID strategy. The four elements that empower are taken from heart of the word, “UNA.F.R.A.ID” with A – Avoid Bullies, F – Find a Friend, R – Report Bullying, A – Act Confident. Leaving each person with a “Un-identification” (ID), so to speak.

Meanwhile, let me offer you a FREE app that has been designed to empower parents, educators and community members to recognize the SIGNS, the STATISTICS and the SOLUTION to bullying. You can download it at the iTunes App Store and Google Play.

Dr. Jay Banks, educator, entertainer and author Facebooks, Tweets, YouTubes, and Googles.

Go to Facebook and Comment