Standing Your Ground-Taking a Stance Against Bullies
How many grown adults can raise their hand when asked if even as we grow up- we still encounter bullies? Ooo Ooo pick me!!! You know, the people in our lives that manhandle us with their eyes, stance, aggressive energy. Those people you feel coming from a distance; the ones that make you bolt in another direction before they reach their target, YOU. At least for the moment. It’s the church lady who can’t give up her “power” in the kitchen; the co-workers what won’t collaborate on a case and then blame you when things don’t work out; the family members who step on your head every chance they get in order to attempt to keep you insecure, perhaps to fail; bosses who put money first, have no loyalty or allegiance for those who make them their money??? The list goes on and on. Truth-bullies exist in every aspect of our lives. Fiction-bullies always win. Assumption-bullies only win when we give them the power to do so.
How can we make that assumption a reality? How can we, as grown adults, put the bullies in their place yet NOT lower our own morals and run the risk of similar pettiness.
Most importantly for me- how do we learn to have compassion for a bully, forgive a bully, and have the courage to stand strong and distance ourselves from bullies. I do believe this may be how we can maintain our inner peace and joy in life?
The Truth About Bullying From a Minute in Time – My Glimpse Shared
Having studied martial arts for 15 + years now, I can’t help but feel that learning how to take a stand- or stance- has to come from internal practice of an externally desired event. What did she say?? You heard me. We need to mentally as well as physically practice to take a stand against the bullies in our lives. I remember a moment in time that took place in my late 30’s- early 40’s, with 4-5 years of karate training in my back pocket. My dad, then in his mid to late 70’s, was in my face, reacting out of some weird jealousy concerning my nephew, his first grandson from my youngest sister. I had gone to my parents home to help them with my infant nephew. My father didn’t want me to hold him “that was his job”. He stomped like a bull, circling the family room, face reddening, he moved with intent to get right into my face to drive the point home. Here comes a necessary and defining moment in my life. At the age of 40-ish, I stepped in closer to my dad until our noses almost touched. Next, I delivered my stored message in a low, deliberately controlled voice, “You raised me to NOT be a doormat for anyone; that includes YOU old man!” His stunned expression and immediate retreat followed by handing over the child while slowly, and with slumped shoulders, exited the house through the garage door. I can see the scene play out in my head. My mom’s face red, she retorted, “he can be such an ass”. My daughter, around 17 at the time, had joined me at grandma and grandpas. When my dad was AWOL for an hour, I sent her out into the back yard to retrieve him. If you know the man, he loves it when we tell him he’s a jackass, but he was and still is the best jackass ever! How’s that for sick family humor! My daughter headed out as instructed, found grandpa, hugged him and said, “My mom said to get the ass back in the house for lunch!” He laughed heartily and did as he was told. Upon re-entering the scene, he approached, this time contrite and a bit embarrassed he said, “I love you daughter.” “I love you too asshole”, I retorted. Laughter and hugs followed. Resume normal flow of the day. Dysfunctional, probably, normal, definitely. My father never reacted that way with me again. I truly believe he didn’t recognize he had formed a habit. One revolving around the concept that whoever yells the loudest, wins. Standing up for myself in this instance, albeit unnerving, helped me, the receiver, to curb an ongoing verbal slap which was unrecognized by my benefactor. The reaction to my statement was no different than a kick to the groin in the karate world. My words stopped him in his tracks and delivered the necessary wake up call that would halt the behavior forever. The KEY to my success. My dad loves me and does not mean me harm. He was unaware of the harm he caused. He was willing to step away, reflect, and with a repentant heart, seek forgiveness-kiss and make up- and move on. We won’t have this luxury in all encounters with bullying behavior.
Now, let’s roll up our sleeves and get a real feel for the crazy predicament we all encounter! Let’s work together to figure out how to put the bullies in check and admonish their behavior forever!
The Victoria State Government defines it as follows:
“Bullying is repeated verbal, physical, social or psychological aggressive behavior by a person or group directed towards a less powerful person or group that is intended to cause harm, distress or fear.”
Pick Your Bully: This a Work-Place Photo? A Family Portrait?
A Church Leader? A PTA President?
I-sight.com discloses an upcoming remedy for workplace bullies and the bruising they cause to their employees. “In New York, employees may soon be able to sue “bullying bosses” and other workplace bullies. The article reports the New York State Senate passed a measure allowing workers who’ve been physically, psychologically or economically abused while on the job to file charges against their employers in civil courts- applying to businesses of all sizes. Several other states have already introduced these workplace measures, and other are believed to follow suit”. For more in-depth information check out https://i-sight.com/resources/lawsuits-against-
Workplace Bullying-When Your Boss Treats You Like a Child
Bullying isn’t something that only affects children who are going to school or interacting with their peers online. It can also happen in the workplace environment. Sometimes a boss can act as a bully by keeping an employee from advancing in his or her career or giving one employee the types of jobs no one wants on purpose just because no one else volunteers. This behavior can also take place in retaliation if an employee reports inappropriate behavior by another employee. If that employee finds out who made the report or simply thinks he or she knows who did it, the bullying behavior may begin. Some employers even use bullying tactics to get an individual to quit rather than firing them. Most of this behavior is unethical and should be reported to human resources or the owner of the company if there is no HR department.
Aggression in the workplace can be confusing to the recipient of an outburst.
Another adult form of bullying is financial bullying. This often appears in long-term romantic relationships or marriages. One individual will gain control over the couple’s money and then dictate whether or not the other person can spend the money. They may give their partner a specific allowance for their own needs or to buy groceries, but all other purchases must go through the one in control of the money. If the other party doesn’t “behave,” the money may be revoked. This can be a sticky situation, though, because some individuals simply aren’t good with money and need someone else to take control.
No matter the type of bullying in your life- it’s time to stand your ground and FIGHT BACK; however, this does not mean sinking to a lower playing field. What I mean is be smart and include others in your corner who will be there to support you.
Maker sure they know the background story and can validate who you are and how you have been treated.
Everyday Health examined the qualities of bullies, the effect they have on their targets:
“Adult bullies tend to be opinionated, judgmental, and coercive,” says Katherine Krefft, PhD, a practicing psychologist in Buzzards Bay, Mass. “If a person repeatedly makes you feel intimidated or humiliated, you are probably dealing with a bully.”
These people tend to:
- Abuse a position of power.
- Repeatedly give undeserved criticism.
- Use verbal or physical abuse.
- Have excessive and unrealistic expectations.
- Repeat insults or threats.
- Abuse the rights and dignity of others.
The Toll Bullying Takes on the Victim
The worst thing you can do if you’re being bullied? Ignore it.
“The reason child bullies grow up to be adult bullies is because the behavior is repeated and reinforced,” warns Krefft. If not confronted, a bully will likely continue his antagonizing ways.
Here’s what you can do:
- Recognize that being bullied is something no one deserves.
- Document the bullying behavior as well as you can.
- Try to have witnesses to support you.
- Seek help from an appropriate authority.
Never try to retaliate directly, says Krefft. The proper authority will depend on the situation: If at work, your employee handbook or HR department may identify the right person in your workplace to talk to. If you have been physically threatened or attacked, you may want to go to the police.
The Last Scenario to Consider-
Could You Be the Bully?
What if you’re the browbeater? In a national survey on bullying, 6 percent of adults admitted to picking on others.
If you’re constantly taunting others, enjoying other people’s discomfort, have trouble controlling destructive behavior, take out your anger on others, or have threatened other people, you could have a bullying problem. Other warnings signs include frequent lying and fighting.
Whether you are the bully or the bullied, it is important to recognize it and take steps to stop it. If not, it could continue on a destructive path, affecting the emotional health of everyone it touches.
So When It’s Time To Fight Back-Have a Good & Effective Strategy Planned Out
Don’t let things go on too long before you put your best laid plan into action and strike the bully where it counts. Don’t be a victim. To NOT be a victim, be sure of what a bully looks like and what you may look like to them-sometimes it doesn’t matter. Bullies may be looking for anything and anyone to abuse, just because. For a look at bully/victim behavior, click on the link to get the PDF-
Some advice-Let others know what’s going on. There is power in numbers. Who can you notify that you are being bullied? Someone in charge. If that someone does not act on your behalf, go to the someone in charge of them, and so on and so on. This may require some work on your part and some bravery to stand up to the bully. Look to your resources, then act. This move alone can empower you to know that you can do something to stand up for yourself and your rights.
Some action-Let us all be aware as well as united as we eliminate bullying and defuse the effect of bullies in schools, in the community, at work, at church, everywhere. #standupandfightback
Finally, engaging is not a negative. Confronting issues is not a negative. Confrontation and the peaceful solutions that come about can make you a stronger, more secure person. We all have different personalities for sure, but adopting a new position in a situation allows you to use all of the tools in your proverbial tool-box to do what needs to be done in your life. An article published by Alan S. Banks discusses helpful strategies for effective confrontation http://www.counseling.org/Resources/Library/VISTAS/vistas12/Article_36.pdf
Here’s to ending bullying when it first starts!