“I never expected to be bullied! I’d always had a good group of friends and we had each other’s back. But then, half way through Secondary School something changed. Loads of my friends regrouped and my best friend moved school. Suddenly I found myself feeling really anxious and uncertain and often on my own.
I can’t remember the day that the bullying started. Looking back, it was really just one or two people in the group of girls that did anything … but the trouble was that if I saw any of them, I’d start feeling edgy and up tight.
At first they’d bump into me outside my classes. Then the name calling started. Every time I saw them coming, everything inside my body seemed to clench up and tighten.
When I did the Reframing Exercise in the Gorgeousness Programme, I wasn’t sure whether it would work. I mean, all I was doing was imagining some stuff about the gang-leaders getting bigger and smaller, brighter and dimmer. I really didn’t think it would help at all, if I’m honest.
At the end of the exercise, I hung the picture frame of the gang members in the school corridor.
The next day something has definitely shifted inside me. I know this because when I was walking to my lessons, the group of bullies came towards me but my insides didn’t shrink. In fact, I didn’t feel anything towards them at all. Weirdly, because I didn’t act scared or intimidated, it was like they didn’t even notice me. My body language had changed and because I looked so much more confident, they just didn’t bother.
After that, if they did say anything, I was able to shrug it off and walk away and then they stopped altogether. It was like they got bored. But the best bit was that I wasn’t scared of them anymore.”
Why It Works:
Everyone has ways of “framing” the world. In the same way that a picture frame creates a container/boundary for some artwork you are looking at, our beliefs about ourselves and others are what frames our outer life.
When we change how we see a situation, a person or group of people, this has a massive influence on how we experience, interpret and react to them. For example, imagine you are told that you are going to spend the rest of the day working with your best friend as opposed to being told you are going to spend the rest of the day working with someone you don’t like. The way you perceive/frame/behave in the next few hours will be very different.
When we don’t feel confident around a person, or are being bullied by them, we will often “frame” that person as being much bigger than us (so we feel small). If we see them as loud/bold/in ya face we will often shrink back and try to hide. Often the way we see people is totally warped, so the idea of this exercise is that it tricks your mind into reframing the person who you want to feel different around.
By doing this you are then able to change your actions, your beliefs, and potentially behave differently or have more choice in how you react to the people in your life.