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Why is peace so difficult to achieve in the modern world?

Each week, Doug brings on guests from around the world to talk about their work and practice.

Be inspired and informed by some of the most innovative peacemakers of our time.

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About The Host:

Doug Noll, Lawyer turned Peacemaker, is a full time peacemaker and mediator specializing in difficult, complex, and intractable conflicts.

Doug is the author of three books, Elusive Peace: How Modern Diplomatic Strategies Could Better Resolve World Conflicts (Prometheus Books 2011); Sex, Politics & Religion at the Office: The New Competitive Advantage (Auberry Press 2006), with John Boogaert, and Peacemaking: Practicing at the Intersection of Law and Human Conflict (Cascadia 2002).

Doug is a sought-after keynote speaker and advanced mediation trainer.



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The Doug Noll Show

Host: Doug Noll



Episode Details:


11/29/12 - Preventing Bullying, Building Peace

2:00PM - 3:00PM


Segment 1: How to Quiet the Negative Voices.
On this edition of The Doug Noll Show we speak with Tom Gagliano. Tom is a successful entrepreneur, life coach, author and public speaker. His website is and his latest book is called The Problem Was Me. Tom grew up in a very volatile, unsafe environment due to an abusive alcoholic father, and although he has been very successful in business he found that he unknowingly continued to sabotage his personal relationships.

Segment 2: Emotional Trauma is the Norm.
Very few people actually achieve true happiness. Why not? Tom thinks that when you feel whole inside, when you feel like you are “enough,” there is no void you need to fill with other people’s accolades. It’s all about inner fulfillment. Emotional trauma in childhood is the norm, not the exception. The most important thing a family can do for their children is to create a safe environment. If a child feels safe at home, he will grow up feeling safe in the world. If a child grows up with explosions - physical or emotional – in the home, and if the version of intimacy they receive is one that is fearful or painful, they will carry that version of intimacy into their adult life and sabotage their relationships.
As parents we naturally want to guide our children. However, occasionally we need to relinquish the need to be right, and instead choose closeness. Our children really listen to us when we really listen to them. Our kids just want to be heard.
There are subtle signs of self-destructive or addictive behavior: when people have abnormal anger, i.e. when the degree of anger doesn’t fit the situation, they need to address the deeper issues. It’s difficult for people to talk about their feelings; they either shut down or they react with anger. To be empathic you need to observe and understand other people’s feelings, but in order to do that you need to first understand your OWN feelings.

Segment 3: Bullying and What to Do About It.
If you are married to someone with deep emotional trauma, there are a few things to do to help. When someone is damaged they are very sensitive. Be compassionate. Say things with love. Use healthy boundaries and don’t accept unacceptable behavior. Be gentle. Let them talk. Listen. Eventually you will get under their fears and under their pain and trust will build.
Tom believes that the ubiquitous computer has made a difference in our kids. They have a destructive “entitlement” view of the world. Additionally, working mothers and fathers may feel guilty so they over- indulge their kids. If the child is not getting (emotionally) what they need from their parents, the child ends up making some victim “pay” for it. Bullies are made, not born. So what can a parent do if they are told their kid is a bully? Talk to the principal and the teacher. There needs to be a coalition. Talk to the child. The kid doesn’t feel safe enough at home to talk about what’s going on at school. If they’re not getting their emotional needs met at home, they’re either going to act OUT in anger as a bully or they’re going to act IN their anger and be a target and a victim for bullies. It’s one or the other.

Segment 4: Choose Closeness Instead.
If you have a kid who is a bully, Tom recommends this approach: listen, share, and reveal yourself. Become vulnerable. Give up the right to be right and choose closeness instead. Let compassion guide what you say and do. Slow down and become more non-reactive. If you have a kid who is the target of bullies, Tom recommends this approach: talk to people you can trust and focus on what’s best for your child instead of reacting with anger. Listen to your child. Protect her. Show her that she is valuable and worth protecting. This takes a lot of presence, self-awareness and patience.