In an ideal world, everyone would have the ability to treat others with respect and dignity. No child or adult would have to worry that they would be picked on or singled out just by being themselves.
But the truth is, bullies are everywhere. From the classroom to the boardroom, no space is exempt from people who feel the need to push others around, whether physically or through their words and actions.
Alongside bullies often come the naysayers, who are people who seem to always have something critical or negative to share about others or a situation.
We can make every place safer by helping to teach our children how to navigate a situation involving a bully or a naysayer. We can also teach them how to ensure they don’t partake in bullying behavior. Because bullying is evident even in the professional world, it’s critical that kids wishing to launch a business learn how to stand up for themselves without becoming a bully.
Why Do Bullies Bully?
It’s first important to remember the reasons that most bullies rely on the act of bullying others. Research has shown that things such as low self esteem, stress and trauma, and a feeling of insincerity in their relationships cause bullies to intimidate those they deem more vulnerable.
Bullying is an act of perceived control for those who often feel out of control. It is also a way to deflect the bully’s own insecurities and issues onto someone else.
How Might Bullying and Naysaying Appear in the Business World?
Adults and kids alike will, at some point, experience bullying or naysaying at work or while pursuing their career.
Believe it or not, a recent WBTI (Workplace Bullying and Trauma Institute) study found that 72% of bullies are bosses. Behaviors can range from humiliation to harassment of employees.
But coworkers can also bully employees by withholding information or resources that they need, constantly criticizing or belittling someone, or purposely destroying a co-worker’s reputation.
A child starting or running their own business may experience cyber bullies, customers who exhibit bullying behavior, or even friends and family who are continually critical of their venture or offer only pessimism.
Naysayers are common in the entrepreneurial world, because this behavior is often a response to jealousy or a feeling related to lack of confidence. Naysayers are renowned for being skeptical and often for even attempting to sabotage someone’s hard work.
It’s important to consider that there is a difference between naysayers and those who are genuinely trying to offer good advice. This can be considered constructive criticism and is often when a parent or role model is providing reasonable and valid opinions on a topic that they may have more experience or information around.
Tips for How to Handle Naysayers and Bullies
One of the best tools you can arm your child with is education and awareness. Talk to you children about what personalities they may encounter and the challenging situations they may be faced with. When children can learn to recognize the behaviors and tactics of bullies and naysayers, they are more adept at quickly handling the issues in a safe and healthy way.
Ensure that your child knows they have your full support. This means that not only will you support them in their business venture but that they can trust that you will always be there to listen and help them navigate tough challenges. Remind them that their safety comes first and that you will always do what it takes to be certain they are as safe as possible, even if it means approaching a bully or calling out a naysayer.
Teach children the value of good communication and setting boundaries. Both of these skills allow kids to feel safe, secure, and confident in pursuing their dreams and living life to its fullest. Healthy communication and boundaries provide children with a voice and reminds them that they matter.
Help children cultivate a growth mindset so that naysayers have little to no impact on their success and wellbeing. This means that children learn to adopt a mentality of resilience and determination, even in the face of those who don’t believe in their dream or goals. They believe that their abilities and skills can be developed through hard work, regardless of failures or setbacks. A growth mindset helps to create productivity and sustains healthy relationships.
Kidpreneurs With Confidence Thrive
While bullies and naysayers will always be a part of life, they don’t have to become something that holds your child back from owning a successful business or enjoying a rewarding life.
Keep in mind that a child’s passion, purpose, and persistence will always be greater and more powerful than even the most negative comment or adverse experience!