Bullying is a form of violence. Bullying happens when someone tries to control another person by abusing them verbally, by physically pushing them around, by nit-picking their work, by teasing them or threatening them or perhaps by leaving them in isolation.
Bullying can happen anywhere and there types of bullying including cyber bullying, In a society fixated on success and of ‘winning’ and some people will naturally seek power through this kind of violence in their own lives. Just looking at the sport of football and how many yellow and red cards are given out to those who push that bit too hard in the heat of the moment.
Bullying leaves a deep impression or emotional scar on the victim. So as a society we need to develop our own system of yellow and red cards. Anti-bullying statements are in place in most work places where a person who feels bullied can access a system to deal constructively with the situation. They usually involve the HR department. Sometimes this is not enough. It is important to take the bully into account too as they are human beings. If you have ever been accused of bullying you need to take a long look at how your behaviour has impacted on the other party. Here is an analogy of the effect of bullying: Take a sheet of paper and scrunch it up, roll it about and fling it around. Then smooth it out and tell it you are sorry. What you will see is marks left on it which will never come out.
Why do people bully.
To cover up their own inadequacy. They somehow project their own decencies onto others. If you decide to bully then you are showing yourself up.
How to deal with it.
It is vital that your feelings be validated by a trusted friend, a family member, a co-worker or a therapist.
It is helpful if all sides can get a fair hearing and the involvement of someone completely impartial to assess both sides may be what is needed.
If you feel you are being bullied it is important you act early and do not wait until you feel you cannot get up in the morning. Keep a written note of any incidents and note if there were any witnesses, also the date and time. It can be helpful to describe facts rather than feelings if possible. Keeping a diary or record of incidents can also show up whether there is a particular pattern to the bullying. If the person is any way approachable you might say something like ‘I don’t like the way you are treating me’. If you are getting nowhere by talking to them and if there is a means of reporting the incidents then do it. Even going through the motions of reporting might help you to feel empowered.
The victim of bullying needs to be validated. This can happen by talking to trusted colleagues who will give you honest feedback and help you to stand up for yourself.
As bystanders in this society we need to stand firm against bullies by not letting things go and by not joining in the herd mentality of making someone the butt of a joke. Think about their feelings and how you would feel in their place.
Building your resilience can help you to somewhat bully proof yourself. By keeping a good quality of relationships, hobbies and means of relaxation you give yourself the best chance of spotting the behaviours and by taking as much control as you can as soon as you can.
If you suspect or know you are being bullied and would like to try counselling and psychotherapy, simply contact me by phone, text or email to arrange a session.