Bully Busting 106-Whoa, time out
Verbal Judo Institute

We have learned about using word blocks to deflect assaults from bullies. It is important to emphasize again that not every person can use the same tool effectively. It depends on how confident you are, how fast you are able to say it and the situation you are in.

At this point in the bully attack, you have determined that humor, an apology, a polite threat or using the crowd won't work. The bully suddenly gets in your face, ready to strike, push you or becomes more intense and threatening in what he is saying. What do you do? First, you want to take a step backwards into a guard stance (generally right leg back) and put your open hands up. You don't want to show a closed fist because the bully may take that as a sign that you want to fight. Raising your open hands is less threatening and allows you to block easier should a punch come. Having your leg back gives you more fighting options should you need them and exposes less of your stomach--a favorite bully striking place. Second, you want to say to the bully something like "WHOA, TIME OUT!"

This simple move does two important things: It buys you a little bit of time for you to respond and, it is a universally recognized gesture that means stop. Be sure to keep your hands up until the threat of physical violence has passed.
List a time that a bully got really close to you and made you scared. Tell how you felt when they did that. *
How did you react to that close threat? *
What would you do different in that instance from what you have learned from this lesson. *
Have a parent, brother or sister, and/or a friend to "suddenly verbally attack you" and practice your response at least 10 times. *
Are you going to practice this?
First Name *
Last Name *
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