Studies at the University of California have shown that when children respond to hostility or bullying, whether face-to-face or on-line, in kind they are liked more and earn more respect from their classmates and teachers according to a report in The Times.
Whilst not pleasant experiences the children remembered them more vividly than friendly events. Trying to placate your enemy doesn’t seem to pay whereas giving as good as you got earned higher ratings for maturity and social competence.
No-one is saying it is a good thing to have a lot of people hostile to you, and children no-one disliked were the best adjusted, but the research suggests that rather than ignoring bullies or people who dislike you, or trying to placate them, or even being completely unaware of them, it is better to confront them.
Similar results have been found by researchers at Strathclyde University. Children who are good at standing up to bullies, whether for themselves or others, are better at resolving problems without conflict, are more emotionally literate, and better at taking other people’s perspective. In other words they display the emotional intelligence skills of self-awareness, self-control, empathy, and managing relationships.
This entry was posted in Emotional Intelligence, Health & Well-being, Psychology and tagged adversity, bullying, childhood, EI, empathy, managing emotions, managing relationships, resilience, self-awareness, self-control, stress.