In 1999, the topic of bullying was brought to the forefront due to a mass shooting in Columbine, Colorado. Since that time schools have adopted anti-bullying policies, there have been books written and conferences given about the subject of bullying.

Trevor Romain's book “Bullies Are a Pain in the Brain” tells it like it is. He talks about how bullies are not only in schools, but found everywhere including workplaces and anyplace people gather. He points out that they come in all shapes, sizes, intelligence levels and genders.

Bullies have some things in common — they like making others feel bad, they like seeing others hurt (physically, mentally or relationally) and they have a need to project their anger outwardly onto others. Bullies hate to lose, and will seek revenge if they think they are losing at anything. Bullies love power — the more they get, the more they want. They are brazen — acting without shame or embarrassment. Bullies have unhealthy mentality.

Bullying does not have to be physical hitting. It can be more subtle and passive-aggressive such as gossip or making up lies about someone to turn others against them, or hiding things from their victim to cause them to stress. This way the brazen bully can wait in the wings and just laugh at their accomplishment of hurting others without confrontation.

Helping our children learn how to brave the brazen bully is very important. Help them chose loyal friendships, stay close to their friends, and try to do the right thing in the way they treat others. Let them know there is always a person of authority — teacher, principal, coach, police officer — that can help them. Feel confident in reporting the brazen bully, and be assertive with limits and boundaries.

The Bible tells us to put on the armor of God. Ephesians 6:14-17: Stand therefore having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

If the bully is threatening physical violence, the target person must stay safe. Filing a police report, not being alone in vulnerable places, and changing up routines, can maintain safety until brazen bully can be legally stopped.

Pray for the bully. They have problems more than we will know. But God knows. God knows their hurts, their angers, and their hearts. Trust God to reach their hearts and take away the brazenness.

— Linda Yearout

Licensed Clinical Marriage & Family Therapist

Hopes Place, Wichita