Estimated reading time: 3 minutes
Sadly in our culture, even though we have evolved in many ways, bullying is alive and well!! It is important to remember that most bullies are manipulative and controlling. They are covert in their behaviours rather than overt—and generally, bully in subtle ways. They can appear as nice as pie on the surface, charming even, but underneath they are seething with hurt and strong feelings of unexpressed anger. Sadly this is because they have often been bullied in the past. Rather than accepting and working through any unexpressed emotions of their own, they unconsciously take these feelings out on other people.
They are capable of consistently undermining and slowly chipping away at others self-confidence, so they feel better about themselves. Then when the other person explodes or cannot take it anymore, they act like they have the problem. Bullies work at creating pain in other people and then love to feed on that pain! It is up to you not to let them and to break this vicious cycle. These behaviours are often unconscious, however, for your own self-preservation, it is best not to get caught up in this tangled web!
It is important to take action as swiftly as possible when you spot a bully. The best way to do this is:
1. Do not laugh it off or minimise your feelings
Do not dismiss bullying behaviour as this enables the bully to carry on hurting others. You are worthy of being treated with love and respect.
2. Stand up for yourself
Bullies rely on you being passive as being passive allows them to get away with their behaviour. DO NOT BE PASSIVE. This does take enormous amounts of courage and fortitude, but you are worth it. Your silence and kindness often serve as a green light for the bully to continue. Bullies often have a tough facade particularly with a group around them. However alone they are much weaker. On the interior, however, they can be cowardly, otherwise, they would not target people they see as weaker than themselves. Acknowledging their behaviour as bullying will mean that it is less likely to happen to you again. Calling them on their behaviour will lead to greater self-awareness on their part (if they are open to it) and greater respect towards yourself. You are worth fighting for!
3. Talk to a trusted friend
Speak to someone who can give you some support during this stressful time? If the bullying is toxic and aggressive a friend can help you in finding a healthy perspective on the situation and inputting a boundary around this harmful behaviour. They can offer kindness and support when you most need it.
4. Take space if you need it
It is possible to rebuild relationships with people who are truly authentic and interested in you as a person. However, if they are self-serving and if it does not feel great to be around them, continuing the relationship is probably not for you.
5. Refuse to be a victim
Do not give the bully your energy. Ask yourself: do I deserve to be bullied? Of course not! Recognise the inherent goodness in yourself, your beautiful value, no-one is greater or less than you and no-one deserves to be bullied! Be proud of yourself for taking a stand and a step towards creating healthy, life-enhancing relationships instead. You owe it to yourself to have the best relationships possible—where there is generally a positive even flow of energy. We are here on earth to be free and happy. True, authentic friendships are where you genuinely see and want the best for each other. From this heart, centred way of being it is impossible to hurt another as it would be like hurting yourself.
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