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Robert Higgs Anti-Bullying Presentations

Working with Schools & Educational Settings since 2001

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'What Have I Ever Done To You?' Chapter One

Why A Book On Bullying? I remember being five years old at school. One dinnertime I recall being offered the choice between being thrown into the stinging nettles or having my fingers bent back by a gang of five older lads. The question I asked then has become the title of this book - What Have I Ever Done To You?

My book therefore is for the benefit of every person suffering from a lack of confidence that leaves the at the mercy of bullies. In Britain this accounts for an awful lot of people. Facts I obtained from BBC online reveal that 1.3 million people a year are involved in bullying. A 1994 Sheffield University study disclosed that each week 350,000 primary school children and 100,000 secondary school children are the victims of bullies. According to BBC Online bullying is also responsible for 30-50% of stress related illness in the workplace. The estimated annual loss is 80 million working days and £2 billion in revenue. Bullying also affects us in our homes. BBC Online estimates that 53% of adults are verbally or physically bullied by their partners.Bullybeware.com estimates that in Britain someone is bullied every seven minutes, for an average of thirty seven seconds. It is also noted in schools that 71% of teachers claim to have intervened successfully in bullying.

However only 25% of students report receiving effective help. Bullying is everywhere in our society, only most of it is brushed under the carpet and never comes to light. And there you were thinking you were all alone, that it was only you in the whole world who was being victimised! I want you, the victim to realise that you have the power and responsibility to build your confidence by facing your fears and leaving the 'victim state.' I wrote this book for you in the hope that you may see some similarity between my experience and your present situation. If so I hope you will find information in this book that will change your life. The message I want to get across is that you must find your own way of solving the situation. You may try different solutions and find that physically fighting off the bully is the only way they'll leave you alone. Some people may condemn you for that; you may get into trouble at school. But I urge you to do whatever it takes to stop the bullying. The simple fact is that bullying can and does destroy lives. It will destroy your life if you do not take action to stop it. It doesn't matter what anyone else thinks or says, you are the victim, the one going through it and you need to stop it in any way that you can. Please take into account that I am not an academic or psychologist with a million theories on the whys and wherefores of bullies and victims. What I am though, is a young man who's been in the situations you're in and a young man who's lived the life you are presently living. I've been there and if you'll forgive the clichè, I've bought the T-shirt. I've seen bullying through the eyes of the victim, I understand because they were my eyes I was looking out of. I know that victims do not see bullying through rose tinted spectacles. I also know that life doesn't have to be this way. There are answers to bullying and that's what this book is about.

I must say that having written this book I struggled with many negative thoughts over whether I should actually try to get it published. I was ever so slightly ashamed at my former weaknesses and the things I allowed people to get away with. Perhaps it was just me that had experienced bullying I thought. However on train journey one day I was presented with a powerful reason to publish my work.The train pulled into the station to see a gang of young lads hanging around with their bottles of cider, cigarettes and bad haircuts. A similar looking lad got on the train and sat down. As he did one of the cider drinkers walked up to the carriage window, pointed to the lad and mouthed his threats of violence. The message registered with the lad on the train and his head dropped down to the floor with a look of utter sadness in his eyes.That was it, I knew that expression. I'd worn that expression like a favourite coat. It's an expression that pleads 'help me I can't handle this.' It's an expression that the bully feeds on like a favourite snack. The message you convey is that your fear is in control and you feel worthless. You search the room for anyone in the vicinity with a friendly face who can pull you away from your feelings. I know because without need of a mirror I'd seen that look on my face a thousand times before. I felt pity for this teenage lad and felt angry at the cider drinker's behaviour. I was suddenly given the determination and conviction to get this book into print for all the people who need the advice. I want to inspire you into such a state of determination that you will never again allow the 'victim state' a place in your body language. I want you to look into the mirror and instead see a confident and happy expression staring back at you. The information within this book is demonstrative of the fact that a person's past does not have to limit the potential and happiness of their future. The unhappiness I allowed myself to experience in my teens has not continued to be my life experience because I no longer allow it to be.Through all the threats, barracking and putdowns I was always a heartbeat away from completely turning my life around. A lack of understanding of myself prevented me from standing up to the bullies. Today I have the knowledge that I was so desperately in need of a few short years ago, the knowledge that would have solved my problems and saved me years of unhappiness. And now that I have this knowledge I feel it is my responsibility to pass it on. I am excited at the possibilities it holds for you, should you be willing to listen and learn from a young man who knows the bully/victim relationship from first hand and painful experience.

The opinions in this book are my own and based upon my own experiences. My experiences may be different from yours because each case of bullying is individual and personal to the victim. However I am confident that you will gain inspiration from this book. If you are currently frightened of bullies and dread every new day at school then I have experience you can learn from. What I have to say may seem harsh or be a bitter pill to swallow but it is the truth as I have come to understand it. If reading the book inspires you to positive action against the bullies in your life then I admire you very much. Some of the people that inhabit our world seem to exist only to make others unhappy. The truth however is that they can only do so with YOUR consent and permission. So for those of you lying in a darkened room, drenched by the downpour of sadness and depression... your time is coming. For those of you wallowing in the company of loneliness and for those of you who can't see the sunshine for the clouds...your time is coming. For those of you who feel sick with fair and worry or for those of you who wear your anger like a straightjacket..your time is coming.Your time is the life YOU want to live and the person YOU want to become. So cultivate your courage and determination. Don't be scared of feeling scared. If you don't feel scared then there can be no courage. This is the start of a new beginning for you. The clock is ticking. Your time starts now.

Click here to buy 'What Have I Ever Done To You?' from Amazon.co.uk