Once there was a bully improviser (part 2)
I don’t know that I have ever actually met one.
If ever there was a group of people who inherently train away from being a bully, this is that group. To understand why bullying happens, we must first understand the bully. According to ditchthelabel.org, “those who bully are far more likely than average to have experienced a stressful or traumatic situation in the past 5 years. … some people simply do not know how to positively respond to stress and so default to bullying others as a coping mechanism.”
A pivotal reason that improvisers train against the bully culture is the sheer fact that their, “lives”, are continuously in the hands of their colleagues. I know, improvisers are not in physical harms way especially compared to the brave work people do protecting us on a daily basis, but perhaps we can accept the word, “lives”, in a metaphorical sense for our purposes. In the world of the improviser, the self is second to the group and the only task each improviser has is to make the other people look good, at times sacrificing the self for the good of the group. This is what needs cementing in our school aged children. How can one simultaneously self sacrifice and bully at the same time? It isn’t possible.
What happens later in life to the same people who have still not been taught this skill? They enter the work force and try at all costs to make themselves look good instead of the group. You know, it’s the guy who takes credit for the idea you had, or the girl who is self interested in her own promotion and not the super objective of the company. We all know them, and are tasked with reversing this behavior in the work place once we have missed the opportunity at a young age.
So why is this?
We spend so much time teaching competition in all we do, that collaboration gets highly neglected.
In the lack of team competition, one will then, at all means possible, inflict competition on others for the intention of self promotion. Once this pattern has started at a young age it especially becomes easy to fall into the bullying habit as trauma hits us throughout our lives.
Challenge: Self sacrifice for someone. (especially someone you normally wouldn’t) – Make someone else look good. (especially someone you normally wouldn’t) – That is how it starts. In the mean time you will start to break your own negative patterns.
Look in the future for a collaboration/competition entry.
This is just one of the techniques to apply to your life. Marrying this with the other elements, gives greater success.