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Why is it that the solution to bullying, verbal and psychological attacks will never be in the pointing finger? What is the solution I have found with psycho-verbal self-defence? Read this article to discover the answer to the complexity of violence.

The solution is not simple and caused by only one element. Yet, I see so many people who by their words seek to point to the problem. They point to the bully or psycho-verbal attacker and say, "It's his fault, he's making a fool of others, he's hurting others, he should be punished! Others point to the victim (target) and say, "It's her fault! If they changed their way of being, if they had more self-esteem, if they knew how to respond to their bully, they would not be bullied anymore!

Some people point the finger at "a" "system" (the school, the government, the company, the union, the employer, etc.) and shout: "If the teachers, the directors, the managers, the company would act, there would be no more bullying!"

When I hear this, I would love to get up on a table and shout, "But can't you see that the problem is in the pointing finger?" Yes! The problem is that when we point our finger at something, our attention turns to that "thing" and we can't see anything else but it.


Bruce Lee in his movie "Operation Dragon" expressed the same point that I share with you in this article. At the very beginning of the film, he teaches a young student Chinese boxing. The problem with this student is that he tries to look at Bruce Lee's feet so that he can see the kick coming and parry it. This is the beginner's mistake. He points his eyes at one foot and so does not see the punch that is going to hit him. Or he focuses on his opponent's hands and does not see the kick that is going to hit him.

To make him understand this beginner's mistake, Bruce Lee points to the moon and says to his disciple: look at the moon! The latter looked at Bruce Lee's finger. Bruce Lee patted him on the head and said: "Don't you see that when you look at my finger, you don't see the splendour of the moon and all that surrounds it?


The prevalence of bullying, and psycho-verbal aggression is indicative of a systemic problem that needs to be addressed. These behaviours are symptomatic of an underlying problem in the social environment that cannot be addressed by a single approach.

Instead, we need to address this systemic problem by looking at the broader context in which these behaviours occur and developing strategies to address them from multiple perspectives. This is what I have done in my approach to psycho-verbal self-defense by creating the systemic relational map that I detailed in one of my books on the relational field.

On the psycho-verbal "battlefield" there are

1. the attacker,

2. the target (the attacked),

3. the type of attack,

4. the spectators (present and absent),

5. the system,

6. the meta-system.

These 6 parts are part of what I call "the systemic relational map".

Gaëtan Sauvé. Author of PsychoVerbal Self-Defense.

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