Tips to Give Up Bad Behaviour Anger and Bullying bought to you by Vince Hawkins.

Avoid triggers in the early stages until you’ve learned to react more appropriately. Walk away from arguments and situations where you were about to manipulate others to your own ends. If you are part of, or leading, a group/gang that behaves in this way you should stop associating with these old friends. In the early stages it is best to avoid places where they meet.

The suggestion of a mental illness is the quickest way to deflect enquiries from old acquaintances. When a simple “I don’t do that any more” is insufficient to stop pestering about one’s new ways, then the suggestion of madness will usually do the trick: “I don’t behave like that any more, it was driving me mad, I’m having treatment.” Disengage from such people as soon as possible unless they sincerely seek treatment for the same condition.

If you absolutely have to visit somewhere near a location which offers the temptation to behave in the old stupid way, don’t stay any longer than you have to. Always plan your own escape route in case. Make sure you have the phone number of a taxi or a friend if needed. And if anyone makes a fuss about our not joining in it is a sign that they could have a problem similar to our own.

It’s important to identify the main addiction or habit you are trying to beat. If you have a problem with drugs, including alcohol, and/or other addictions the prime problem must be addressed and all the other issues dealt with as part of that problem. So if bad behaviour is part of another problem, then join a program that deals with the main problem and deal with behavior issues as part of that. The tips in this article are for people whose bad behavior is their main addiction or habit. If there are multiple addictions, deal with the prime addiction first and the others later. The prime addiction is the one that all the others flow from. When you’re not drinking, is it easier to deal with the other problems? Then drink is the prime problem. If scoring drugs is top of mind and all the other (by this stage illusory) pleasures stem from that, then drugs are the prime problem. If there used to be a thrill element or you felt better when fighting, bullying and behaving badly then this may be the prime problem that needs dealing with first. If other issues are completely absent then it is a no brainer.

If you are still violent and dangerous there is a meeting held via a telephone conference call.

There is no excuse or reason to behave in the bad old ways. Is someone winding you up? No excuse, walk away. Do you feel the need for power and self-importance to replace feelings of being hard done by? There is no good reason for taking it out on others, walk away. If you want self-esteem you must do self-esteemable things such as good deeds. And one good deed per day must be one that you don’t tell anyone about.

Challenge the passing thought that you’d like to behave badly. Tell it to F*** off. Otherwise a seed will be planted that will grow into a real bout of bad behavior instead of an imagined one. Maybe not today, maybe a week later, but you will find yourself behaving in a way you’d decided not to any more.

Play the film the whole way through. This means: don’t just imagine what the first bullying act will be like. Don’t just imagine the scene setter – controlling others in a way that humiliates them and makes you feel god-like. How often will it be repeated? What trouble will you get into? How much harm will you do to yourself and those around you? What recriminations will there be at a later stage? How many short months of misery before you end up in dead trouble?

Don’t get bored. Meetings only take up so much time. Fill the time you used to spend engaging in your old problem with cinema, evening classes, the gym or swimming, for example. You could try new activities to see which you like. Make a list of things you’d intended to do.

Stop indulging in your addiction, go to meetings and, in between meetings, keep in touch with people you met at the meetings.

Don’t rush the program. It’s not a race. The concentration required to abstain and behave better without a relapse over time, precludes any quick fix.

Avoid stressful events, if possible, such as divorce, moving house, changing jobs, or a new partner in the first year or two. The stress can break one’s concentration on tackling the withdrawals.