What is bullying?
Bullying is often considered a problem limited to childhood, yet adulthood bullying is also common. Bullying is an extremely painful to experience as is knowing that your child is being bullied.
It is important to note what bullying is as the term can sometimes be used for behaviours that, while unpleasant, are not true bullying. Such behaviours include occasional ‘micky taking’ or work / school based ‘jokes’. Alternatively, true bullying is:
- Methodical targeting of the victim
- Using intimidation
- Attempting to undermine and degrade
- Using an imbalance of power, which can come from: popularity, managerial power, physical power or access to information about the victim
Bullying can be exclusively online as well as physical, verbal or passive-aggressive.
How to cope with being bullied or with your child being bullied
- Try to recognise that the bullying has little to do with you (or your child). The bully is a coward and perhaps sees you as a threat or feels weak themselves. Some narcissistic individuals are only able to feel good about themselves by making others feel small.
- Keep yourself / your child safe. This might be about recording the things the bully does or staying with people you trust. It may also be about making sure you engage in activities that you / your child enjoys.
- Report the bully’s behaviour. It can seem difficult to report some of the subtle behaviours bullies engage in, however, do not be afraid to speak to someone in your workplace or your child’s school. It may also be helpful to report the bullying to your managers’ manager (or higher) if your manager is involved as either the bully or an enabling bystander.
- Seek support or offer support to your child. Bully’s aim to make their victims feel worthless – it is important to seek out people who make you or your child feel positive.
- Avoid interacting with the bully whenever possible and try to remain calm and assertive with them when you need to.
When to seek help for bullying
Bullying is a situation that no one should have to experience and certainly never alone. It is important to seek help as soon as possible, whether that is from friends, family, your child’s teacher or a higher-level manager within your team. It may also be helpful for you to seek support from a professional. At Morency, therapy sessions can help you to:
- Develop assertiveness skills to support you to challenge the bullies or the people that enable the bullies to operate
- Cope with workplace stress, anxiety or depression
- Build your self-esteem
- Consider your typical relationship patterns and develop new ways of relating to people
- Learn to cope with and reduce social anxiety
If you would like to discuss bullying in adulthood or in childhood, then call Dr Julie Hannan now on 07530 854530. In addition, Dr Julie Hannan specialises in Midlife issues and more information can be found at www.drjuliehannan.com.