“Some people try to be tall by cutting off the heads of others.” — Paramahansa Yogananda
It might be a decade (or more) since you graduated high school and witnessed an unsuspecting victim get pushed in the hallway, remembered false and hurtful gossip spread and encountered that targeted student who was given the icy cold silent treatment by friends. Thinking about those days still sends cold shivers down your spine. And while you are now an adult and adolescence might feel ancient, you still witness and are equally disturbed by the prevalence of bullying behavior, this time by grown-ups . The American Psychological Association defines bullying as “a form of aggressive behavior in which someone intentionally and repeatedly causes another person injury or discomfort. Bullying can take the form of physical contact, words, online harassment or more subtle actions.”
Adult bullying is seen everywhere. We see it and experience in person and also online. Our United States President exhibits this behavior, we might see it in an intimidating boss or colleague, and maybe we feel bullied by a controlling romantic partner. We can also feel bullied by a loud and volatile neighbor or landlord, a demanding client, a condescending family member, and/or a shaming or punishing friend. Bullying is cruel and as adults we should know and do better.
Regardless of age or where bullying happens, the experience of being bullied creates long-lasting emotional pain. Adult bullying takes a real and profound toll on stress levels, self-confidence, and can even affect our grasp on reality if the bullying is prolonged and unfettered. In some cases, the effects of bullying can cause clinical depression, addiction and even suicidal ideation.
You may wonder why people, especially adults bully others. Bullying is all about power and control. Likewise, the objective of an adult bully is to gain power over another person, and make himself or herself the dominant adult. Research has shown that those who bully others do so because they want to feel important and will do so by bringing other people down. Likewise,adult bullies often were those bullied as children.
It’s really hard to think about all of the ways people are hurtful towards each other. But through uniting and having a no tolerance for bullying behavior, we can all make a difference. We don’t have to wait (nor should we) to hold each other and ourselves to higher standards. Below please find 4 tips that are there to support you in saying ‘No!’ to bullying and standing for greater kindness and respect. Do you have a bully in your life? Please drop me a line if you would like support, I’m happy to set up a complimentary phone call.
Stop Bullying Tips:
1. If You Are Bullied Online:
“Cyber bullies…do not need direct physical access to their victims to do unimaginable harm.” ―Anna Maria Chavez
Cyber bullying involves using electronics and social media to send, post, or share negative, harmful, false, or mean content about someone else. It can include sharing personal or private information about someone else causing embarrassment or humiliation. If you are being bullied online please reach out for support. There are social media apps and services that allow you to block the person who is harassing you. Laws are also in place to protect those from online and in person harassment. Please use this link to find laws related to bullying and cyber bullying in your state.
2. Document Everything: Bullying causes significant damage emotionally, psychologically and even financially. As upsetting it is to keep a record of incidents, it is very important to record the words and/or behaviors of the bully, including where and when the event took place. If e-mail or texts were sent, print them for documentation. Documentation will help legitimize the significance and your harassment. Accordingly, if you decide to take legal action, it’s important to have a paper trail of everything that’s happened.
3. Find Support: Anger, shame, anxiety and depression are common emotions experienced by those who are the victims of bullies. Internalizing your emotions will only result in you feeling greater isolated and traumatized by your experience. If you are being bullied, please know you aren’t alone and you certainty aren’t to blame. You have a right to safety and help is available. If you are struggling with bullying I strongly recommend beginning counseling with a qualified mental health professional and seeking support from those who are safe and love you.
4. Be an Upstander: @thebullyproject defines an “Upstander as someone who recognizes when something is wrong and acts to make it right. An upstander sees or hears about someone being bullied, they speak up. Being an upstander is being a hero: we are standing up for what is right and doing our best to help support and protect someone who is being hurt. In many ways, this is another word for being socially responsible." Studies have shown that when upstanders intervene, bullying stops within 10 seconds 57% of the time. Commit to be an upstander! As Martin Luther King, Jr. so eloquently states, “In the end we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.”
Can you relate to this post? If yes, please send me an email and let's set up a complimentary phone call.
Sending you peaceful thoughts and wishes for brighter days.