Which is More Powerful: Anger or Compassion?

How Anyone Can Effectively Remedy Bully Behavior

Are “bullies,” whether at school or in the family, truly beyond hope? According to author, filmmaker and former educational counselor Mary Robinson Reynolds, “I always recommend using a humane approach over being the bigger bully.” She states that “Bully behavior mirrors one’s life circumstances, and if we don’t connect first, we can’t teach self-empowering communication skills.”

Even in writing about the most effective ways to remedy bully behavior in her book, Reynolds will receive the occasional email response that even she will admit triggers her to want to “take the bait” to out bully the bully who is writing her, as in the following email response sent to her from a high school Principal:

“Sorry to disappoint you, but the old-school approach is what we use at our school, and it works. We honestly don’t have bullying, and that’s because all the students know that there’s only one ‘bully’ at the school, and that’s me. Sounds awful to say it, but it’s true. Seriously, we have a number of students enroll with us every year because of bullying at other schools. That’s the way it is for us.”

“When dealing with a bully, the opportunity is to ask, ‘Which is going to be more powerful: anger or compassion?’ – when formulating a response,” says Reynolds, whose works include “the Lost Cause Kid Story,” a true online movie about her success with a severely emotionally disturbed seventh grade boy.

Reynolds’ new full-color paperback book for teachers and parents, Make A Difference with the Power of Connection, packaged with two inspirational DVDs, explains why and how the turnaround starts with connection (www.makeadifference.com/flashbook).

Make A Difference with the Power of Connection includes empowering strategies, such as Reynolds’ “What, If, When Technique” for completely remedying unproductive and hurtful behaviors. Far from being attributable to some special talent, Reynolds explains, “When you add compassion to any equation, consistently and repeatedly, it will bring immediate dramatic improvements. Compassion never means being ‘walked on’ and it never means ‘giving in’ or tolerating harmful behavior.”

“What compassion afforded me, both as an educator working with challenging at-risk students and as a parent of three intelligent, strong-willed children, is that I never needed to use fear-based, hurtful, or shaming methods to get them to behave or do as I asked,” she says.

Make A Difference with the Power of Connection, by Mary Robinson Reynolds, ISBN 0962849685, includes two DVDs, “The Connection Movie,” which presents the main ideas of the book in pictures and music, and “Lost Cause Kid Movie,” which dramatizes how a classroom became a community in the book. Make A Difference with the Power of Connection has 96 pages, is published by Heart Productions & Publishing and is available for $15.95 at www.makeadifference.com/connection.