How I have personally had to cope and find the strength to Understanding Bullying in my own life and the strategies I use to not lose my sh**.
To date, this is probably the most difficult post I have written because it’s scary and it’s personal. But the fact is I have learned so much from my situation and “my why” is to help people. So how can I do that if I’m not being honest with you about one of the biggest challenges I have had to face in my life – a bully who after years still hasn’t given up. Understanding Bullying as an adult is crushing. You think it’s over when you leave school, but bullies leave school too.
I’m a gentle soul, and I’ve faced bullying in workplaces, dealing with customers, acquaintances and in relationships. I HATE confrontation so it’s been a major challenge for me. I’d love to stay in my bubble but that’s not life and if you want to be a conqueror then this is one battle we all must face at one point or another.
Even strong women have to face bullies, so let me share with you today how you can keep your dignity and the strategies I use when I’m put in this situation.
1. When It Happens Allow Yourself To Feel What You Feel
Be upset and angry – but do it in a safe place. Don’t act on anything straight away when something happens. I remove myself from the situation and take time to respond. I have found that suppressing my emotions just makes it worse and then I end up making the wrong choice later out of anger or fear.
I usually ring my mum or my partner. A friend, anyone who knows your backstory and is supportive is good. If you are at work then if you are able to go to a safe place and take 5 then do it.
Make sure you are calm before you act. I actually love a bit of dark humor too – it helps me cope (laughter is one of best forms of resilience).
2. Realise Their Thoughts And Actions Are A Reflection Of Them
I’m not saying you should justify them at all! NO! I’m saying that we are responsible for our own words and actions and the impact they have – we are not responsible for the words and actions of others.
I go to the gym a lot and there can be a lot of very insecure people in those places (and some freakin awesome people too). People on both end of the spectrum in weight can be cruel though it obviously doesn’t happen openly (calling someone fat vs calling someone anorexic/obsessive). When I hear someone put someone else’s appearance down I immediately think they must either have some issues with their own appearance or it’s all they have self esteem in and so they base their entire identity as being better than someone else because they are physically more……. appealing? I guess is the word?
I have met people who will think they are better than you because you have a gap between your teeth and they don’t. I’m not kidding. You will NEVER please everyone because some people aren’t happy with themselves – so they make themselves feel better by putting others down.
The most important takeaway from this point though is to understand that just because they said or did something nasty doesn’t mean there is something wrong with you.
Not everyone is an injured lamb who is experiencing trauma at home – some people are just mean bullies.
In my situation I always bare in mind that I am not defined by what happens to me – but by how I respond. Do I respond with integrity, or do I stay bitter and upset?
3. Keep Your Power And Integrity – Brainstorm With A Friend
Bullying should not be ignored. It needs to be knocked on the head as soon as possible – if possible. One thing I find is these situations are usually more complex than advice columns like to make out. It’s important that you can talk with someone trusted about how you can approach a situation with integrity and assertiveness. Every situation is different so going over it with someone can give you clarity.
I have recommended time and again the book “Boundaries” By Henry Cloud and John Townsend because it just changed my life!
Sometimes going as far as talking to a counsellor or psychologist about the situation can be helpful. I personally have worked along side a few psychologists the last couple of years and their clients are just normal people going through hard times – the right one can have a lot of experience and wisdom that can really benefit you.
In my own situation, I have separated myself as much as humanly possible from this person without legal action – but if that becomes necessary than I really advise you to do your homework. Keep a diary, any evidence (screen shots from your phone etc), talk to your superiors if it’s happening through work.
Sadly in Australia, Police are very busy dealing with horror and it can be hard to get any help for some things. It’s something you want to really think about before you do and take very seriously. It’s bizarre, but I’ve heard so many stories of people going to the police who shouldn’t have, and stories of people avoiding them who should have sought help.
Use your discretion and seek help from an experienced professional if you aren’t sure if the matter requires legal intervention.
Depressing topic I know today, but very important.
You don’t deserve to be treated like crap and I really hope that what I have learned will help you too.
Take Care of yourself always,
PS. Please Share This On Social Media If You Found It Helpful – Bullying Is A Really Crap Thing And You Don’t Know Who On Your Friends List This Might Benefit.