Anger can really affect how we act and treat people.
I’m sure this statement is obvious to you, but when you live with people, namely your brothers and sisters, you get to know them in a way no one else does. Sometimes this is good and sometimes not so good. If power struggles develop, then bullying can start to happen. Anger can be a result.
One of the characteristics of bullying is that it can take place when there is an imbalance of power. Maybe you think you are better, stronger, smarter or wiser than your brother or sister. Or maybe that’s how they feel about you.
If you realize you are mistreating people in your family and maybe you are feeling a bit more powerful or better than them, you can make the decision to change how to treat them. If you do, you will notice a big change in how you are treated as well. You will start to be respected more. Family members might even ask you for advice.
If you feel someone else in your family is mistreating you and they think they are more powerful or better than you, it can be tough sometimes to change that situation. You may be able to talk to them about how you feel. It may be necessary to talk with your parents about the situation.
Try to control your anger about the situation and also try not to be a know-it-all. Don’t be bossy or arrogant. Just realize it will take time to change the situation, especially if it has been going on for a long time.
Remember, the way you treat others is often how they will treat you. It is usually easier to judge others than it is to see how you appear to other people. Your brothers and sisters need to be treated with respect just as everyone else is.
This is an ongoing project. Aim to be kind and peaceful and think about how you’ve achieved this at the end of every day.
Bruce Langford is an anti-bullying advocate who offers school presentations on bullying & respect.