Bullying

by | Feb 15, 2021 | Change |

bullying

The long term effects of bullying include: depression, shame, self-doubt, stress, negativity, short fuses with others, anger, rudeness, not being a good parent, and many more things. I know this now after being on the receiving end of it for the past 18 months.

Previously I had no idea how bullying seeps into your life, eating it way into every nook and cranny. Sometimes I was conscious of it, but it was more of an out of body experience. I would watch my behaviour to those I love degenerating and not really knowing why but also powerless to stop it. But most of the time it was unconscious and I can only see it with time. 

My ability to work decreases each week. My parenting evolves into a style I never knew possible. And most of all, I’m exhausted. Ground down by it all. And each week, the bullying continues. The worst part of it all is the powerlessness I feel in it all. It is horrible manipulation meant to grind you down into submission. 

But here the thing. What we have been going through for the past 18 months is minor in comparison to what some kids experience at school, what refugees experience everyday, or what people of colour or LGBQT people regularly face.  

There is a pure evilness in bullying. I have a taste for it now. And it makes me wretch. 

And yes, bullying can rear its head in change. When you face change or meet resistance to the change you seek to create, bullying can come knocking offering itself as a means to get your way. However, the impact of bullying is never the change we seek. It is never ok.

Be kind and generous to each other. Respect one another. Especially those who are different than yourself.  And remember no one goes to bed at night wishing they had a little less encouragement or kindness shown to them that day. And your kindness may mean the world to the person you showed it to. You never know what they are going throw.

The choice is up to us.

Photo by Morgan Basham

1 Comment

  1. Harminder Singh

    Hi Amos, sorry to hear of what you have been facing – I had experience of this both as a trade union official and, of course, people trying to bully me. I find the lustre interesting as the bullies are often shocked at my response because whilst I may present as friendly, but doesn’t need to say I can’t manage aggression, and bullying is a form of violence.
    So what to do? My approach is to get them to talk and think – to make it difficult for them to bully. This also means recognising what’s happening and to be able to recognise one’s own physiological response – we can overcome the by recognising what the bully is also going through. This is not about excusing their behaviour or forgiveness or anything like that – they have to be responsible for their actions and indeed other people who don’t intervene (in Scandinavian countries that were therefore bullying is actually mobbing i.e. there is some collusion and what bullying does is isolate the individual, so there is the violence and then there is the psychological issue being isolated.
    So what are bullies going through? There is a pathology the and they are often in real pain, and seek to overcome back pain by e.g. having people around them who simply there to aggrandise them (narcissistic bullies). Others simply feel good when they are controlling someone else and knowing and feeding off the hurt and pain there causing others – that is why things like forgiveness is no good, but they are in pain, and that is starting point, in thinking about how to manage that type of bully. One things I do is I become more professional, more explicit about the words I use and more questioning of the words they use – this can create a situation with the bully becomes accountable to you, where they have to explain their behaviour. Of course, when it comes to bullying one can’t really give advice because this so many aspects involved, however reframing the situation makes all the difference. It’s one the reasons I enjoyed being a full-time official because I could go in on someone’s behalf and give the bully a really hard time, and this simply were not able to do anything in return as there is no power differential that they can work on all be working behind the scenes to undermine, as I didn’t work for the organisation, and I would comment with the senior managers with those relationship with and so could talk directly to them. I’ve also seen bullying from somebody in a weak position to something more senior but that’s another story.
    Is instantly the fact that you can write about it is the you turned some corner and either have results situation or you are engaged with it.
    Hope this helps, and what might help even more is that I find those who are bullied often have quality but the bully wants awesome resources the bully wants and they feel that by such violence they can either diminish it or grab the resource. In other words, the people who are bullied are not the week but often the most powerful within that relationship. The bully is designed to create this feeling that you discuss and self-doubt, but don’t doubt!
    Happy to discuss further if you want to,
    Harminder

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