Teenage aggressive bullying, breaking the cycle of abuse.
Teenage aggressive bullying, breaking the cycle of abuse.
There are many parents who are living with aggressive, angry and abusive teenagers. However, this is not who they actually are.
Many teenage boys don’t know how to be themselves as they try to fit in with everything around them. The pressures of transitioning from child to young adult create tension that they struggle to regulate. They rage against the role models on offer to them and don’t know how to find a way through this.
Behaviour Specialist Tanya Curtis reports:
“Teenage years can be difficult for many. Uncertain of who they are as they transition from childhood to adulthood with many roles, expectations from self and society changing, as well as the obvious physical changes of hormones etc. Further to this we have young boys who are deeply sensitive, tender and caring who are living in this world that does not always support a person to live their true and innate self in full. From this an anxiety develops of “how do I be in this world?” … “I don’t feel safe to express who I am”. From anxiety comes all unwanted behaviours, including sadness, which unexpressed can become aggression.”
"At 15 and into my early twenties I was drinking 1.5 litres of cola every day, going out for a drink 2-3 times a week. I played football at least three times a week and on top of that I cycled, played competitive tennis and played hours of football with my friends. The intensity of my weekly work-out and what I was drinking resulted in a buildup inside me."
"Throughout my life I would get very angry and verbally aggressive; it would come from nowhere, or at least that’s how it seemed. I never once considered that how I was living was the trigger for my behaviour. I wasn’t taking anyone into consideration and didn’t have a clue that my verbal and aggressive attacks could actually hurt anyone, let alone hurt me. It seemed that my parents just let me explode. I’d stand in front of them being as loud as I could, the force of my aggression made me seem physically bigger, towering over them with my anger. I felt like I would explode with the tension in my body and relieved it all by yelling and shouting. I wanted to force them to see and to hear me, but the yelling was actually the biggest wall I could have put up, it stopped them hearing me at all. This sadness was what I was covering up with my anger. I wanted to make them behave in a way that suited me, to control my parents’ choices; in these moments they were like enemies that were against me."
"I remember very clearly that my mum got very scared when I was so aggressive. When she told me she was scared I yelled at her ‘That’s not my problem!"
But where does this anger originate? Is it just a case of young men not knowing how to grow up to be men today?
"Anger results from underlying unexpressed hurts and sadness"Serge Benhayon
We have a hurt, or sadness, we feed it with our thoughts and emotions and then seem surprised at the anger and resentment we have towards ourselves, others and the world.
Behaviour specialist Tanya Curtis explains that “to truly support children in regulating their emotions, we need to connect to the root cause as to ‘why’ the unwanted emotions and behaviours are occurring. Behaviours and emotions are never random and there is ALWAYS a reason for their occurrence.”
"It is crucial for us all to understand that we have all had many experiences that have preceded this very moment. The emotional reactions and unwanted behaviours that children exhibit are triggered by events that have occurred in their lives up until that point. Thus to truly understand how a person is experiencing life, we must understand how each person has experienced life. Understanding a person requires an acceptance that we all experience our lives via our six senses. So to identify the root cause of any emotion or behaviour we can simply ask: how was, is or will a person experience anything they see, hear, taste, touch, smell and/or feel?”
We need to be very honest about what we feel rather than being angry, talking about it or trying to manage it. We need to give ourselves permission to FEEL and call it out for what it is.
When reflecting upon his childhood behaviour, Floris shares:
"I came to the decision that I had to take responsibility for my anger; it was after all mine and no one else’s. It was a choice to go into it and a choice to stay in it. I used it to make excuses in my life, to blame others for my own behaviours and my own choices. I also knew that I used anger to make other people feel less, especially towards women. As a man, it was how I tried to control women. In my arrogance and experience, this worked for me. They didn’t speak up, but then faced with the force that was coming from me, it would have been difficult for them to do so as such a force shuts women down. Women can also be bullies, causing men to shut down too. It’s a game both sides can play. I now know that if I feel very angry, I always have a choice to walk away, rather than explode and dump it onto somebody else." "I understand how in every moment I do have a choice to connect with the deeper part of me, to feel and express, or I can close myself off from my feelings and then blame what I call ‘The Outside World’ for everything that is going on inside of me."
"It’s not always easy to admit that I made choices that weren’t so loving. Inside me there is a lot of pride and arrogance, which is a way to prevent me from feeling. Yet I know that every time I call it out for what it is – abuse – I can make the choice to let go of destructive patterns of behaviour."
We can run but we just can’t hide, and Floris summed this up very well:
"It’s very clear to me that although it may be difficult, if we don’t learn responsibility at a young age, sooner or later it will catch up with us. How long it takes depends on our willingness to feel."
Young men can choose responsibility over anger, manipulation and control, if they take responsibility to connect deeply with themselves to feel their feelings and resolve their hurts and sadness that underlies the anger. As a society we are to support young men to express their sensitivity. If we choose to deny the innate sensitivity in men we’ll end up with even more aggression, depression, hate and illness and disease within men.