How to find courage to confront an adult bully is a challenging matter.
Your supervisor constantly shames you in front of your entire peer group, and you would like to confront him about it, but you fear the outcome. You wonder how to find courage to confront an adult bully who is also your supervisor.
A person you once considered a friend shames you in front of a wealthier person he/ she just met. You long to challenge your friend on it, but fear retaliation. You question how to find courage to confront an adult bully who is also a friend.
Perhaps worst of all is the shame you hand yourself. You try to convince yourself to stop doing it, but your conscience wages war. You labor over how to find courage to confront an adult bully who is the one you know best – yourself.
BEGIN AT THE BEGINNING
Is finding courage, confronting an adult bully in the form of an employer, a friend, or yourself with that courage, and resolving the problem an impossible dream?
No, it is not. However, you must want courage intensely enough to find it. Like any other character trait, courage will not find you. You will not stumble upon it, or grow into it. You must study it, learn to define it, and build it.
Many people search for years and fail to find courage, but that does not make it an impossible dream. It is a possible reality if you search in the right place. The secret, as a realtor might say, is location, location, location. To find courage to confront an adult bully, you must search for it in the right location.
FOUR POSSIBLE LOCATIONS
Deliberating on how to find courage to confront an adult bully, many people look in the following four possible locations.
1- DNA, genetics, and heredity
A scientific search can show you many of the things with which you were born. It can reveal the freckles and button nose your parents passed down to you. With a bit of your saliva, the latest direct-to-consumer DNA test can tell how your DNA is steering your metabolism, directing your mood, ramping up or down your exercise efforts, etc. Asking a company of scientists to analyze a bit of your DNA will not reveal, however, the presence or lack of courage. Courage does not exist in DNA, genetics, and hereditary.
A personality test can tell you a variety of things about yourself. The results of your test provide a comprehensive overview of your personality type. They show you how your personality directs your style of working and drives your motivation. They indicate with a degree of accuracy how you are likely to interact with employers and employees as well as friends. Sift through your personality type and you may find a cheerful workaholic, but you will not find courage. Courage does not reside within a personality type.
Recent studies suggest that we were born with our temperament traits intact. Dig into the way we usually respond to life, and we may find a person who exhibits skepticism or optimism, a matter-of-fact or a take-charge way of life. We will not find courage as part of our temperament, however. No one ever enters the world with a courageous way of approaching everyday life. Courage does not live within our temperamental makeup.
At a simple level, you could refer to character as behavior – the way you act in life. It does not refer to a one-time act, such as the bravery of a hero. Rather, it is character-in-action consistently and constantly in our daily lives. That inner moral firmness that permeates our lives, once we consciously build and maintain it, controls our behavioral actions for good. Examine consistent behavioral patterns and, if you have built it, you will find courage. Courage dwells in your moral fiber.
Many look for courage in all the wrong places, resembling those who refuse to ask directions, traveling here and there in confusion. Even when told that they will not find courage in the locations they are searching, they refuse to listen. They exert huge amounts of effort on finding courage to confront an adult bully, but come away empty every time. What is the answer?
Futile efforts to find courage must give way to constructive efforts to build courage – beginning with a clear understanding of courage.
How do you define courage? Have you ever consulted a dictionary? Consider this definition found in the book Courage, co-authored by David and Elizabeth Hamilton.
“Courage is conscious moral strength, motivated by conviction, that ventures, perseveres, and withstands danger, fear, or difficulty, recognizing and willing to accept the consequences of action.”
The authors break down that definition into eleven (11) elements. We will consider only four components of courage in this article.
If you want to know how to find courage to confront an adult bully, you must consider these four facets of courage vital.
Conscious Moral Strength
Those who build courage must exert conscious effort. You must work to understand the trait as fully as possible. You must value courage as a moral value and desire that strength for yourself. Whether your desire arises from bullying, friendship problems, or a need to face yourself for who you really are, you must crave moral courage.
Motivated by Conviction
Courage never stands alone. Courage-in-action springs from heart convictions. Intellect will not motivate courage. Only strong, inner conviction gives it a reason to action – to jump into the fray and confront an adult bully.
Convictions vs. Preferences
Convictions differ from preferences, and you must understand the difference before you seek to use courage in confrontational situations. You must call on strong convictions when you confront a problem.
Preferences, on the one hand, put one choice before another. Preferences can change without changing the essence of who you are. You will change your preferences before you will risk punishment for having them. You dare not confront an adult bully with mere preferences. Telling a bully that you prefer not being harassed, for example, will accomplish nothing.
Convictions, on the other hand, present no choices or variation. Convictions cannot change without changing the very essence of who you are. You will readily suffer many things for your convictions, and will even accept death rather than change your convictions. You choose firm ground when you choose to confront on convictions.
Finally, courage involves consequences. You must expect consequences when you exercise courage in confronting someone. You must expect positive after-effects, but be prepared for negative ones. That person you confront, even the one in the mirror, will respond. You may receive positive results or negative results, but courage is prepared to accept either.
In Part 2 of this series of posts, we will look more closely at the connection between courage and the bully that we choose to face.
How to find courage to confront an adult bully demands work on your part. You understand that by now. Finding courage – confronting a bully, a friend, or yourself with that courage – and hoping for positive change must not end in futility. Building courage – confronting a bully, friend, or yourself with strong moral courage – and hoping for positive changes must become your effective practice.