Getting Teased? Be a Broken Soda Machine!
Imagine it's the middle of the summer and you just finished soccer practice. It's super hot outside and you're unbelievably thirsty. You see a soda machine, check your pockets and...yes! You happen to have a dollar in your pocket.
You put in the dollar, press the button for root beer and...nothing happens. You press it again, harder this time. Nothing. "Oh well, it must be out of root beer. I'll have orange soda instead." You press that button. Nothing. "Uh-oh."
You start pressing all of the buttons, pounding on them, but nothing comes out. Next you try to get your dollar back but that won't even come back.
"Just great!" you give the machine a little kick and walk away, still hot, still thirsty.
Day 2. You just finished soccer practice. It's super hot outside and you're unbelievably thirsty. You notice the soda machine again, check your pockets and...what do you know? You happen to have another dollar in your pocket.
"You know, they've probably filled the machine since yesterday. The light is on, the machine is humming, and man am I thirsty!"
You put in your dollar and... "No! This can't be happening again!" You're pounding all the buttons, shaking the machine. Nothing comes out and you've lost another dollar.
Day 3. You just finished soccer practice. It's super hot outside and you're unbelievably thirsty. You pass the soda machine and happen to notice another dollar in your pocket... Will you put it in?
That machine doesn't give you what you want, so there is no way you'll waste another dollar on it!
If you want someone to stop teasing or bullying you, it helps to think of yourself like a broken soda machine.
The person who's bothering you wants to see you get upset. They push your buttons to try to get you to cry or throw a fit. If you get upset then they get exactly what they want out of you and will keep coming back to you whenever they are in the mood to see someone get bothered.
But what if--like the broken soda machine--you DON'T give them what they want? Just like the kid in the story, they may try pushing all your buttons at first, or try you on another day to see what you do. But if you DON'T give them what they want, they will stop wasting their time trying to get it out of you!
Do one of these instead:
Put on a confident face or smile! Confidence is the most powerful
Tell the person to stop in a calm, firm, assertive voice!
Act as though the person isn't even in the room! You don't see or hear them at all!
Smile and shake your head as though the things the person is doing are just silly, immature things that don't bother you at all!
Each of these are things the person does not want from you. They are coming to you for a reaction; don't give them the reaction they want. Be a broken soda machine!
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Images by Thinkstock: eriksvoboda, michaeljung, Wavebreakmedia Ltd