This is the third part in my 12-part series The Inner World Of Bullying.
What To Do If You Are Being Bullied
The first option is always to inform someone who can help you out of the situation. Talking to someone you trust who has power to stop what is going on can be a very powerful way to end a situation like bullying. However the sad truth is that this is not the situation which every person who is being bullied finds themselves in. Often people are in situations where someone will turn a blind eye to what is going on or will temporarily bring the situation to an end only for the bullying to start up all over again when the dust settles. In some cases the bullying can become worse because the person who is being bullied is seen as a ‘snitch’. I even witnessed a situation where a lovely lad I knew was being bullied and he told someone with the authority to stop it but instead they began to bully him too. So how much you trust the person definitely needs to be taken into consideration when you are informing people that you are being bullied. In addition there is often not policies in place in certain places to protect people who are being bullied and it is very clear that many places do not want to deal with any bullying issues. It is a sad fact that many people who are being bullied suffer more than they would due to lack of trust that people in powerful positions will do anything about it and that their information and openness will be used against them in some way or ways. In saying that there is lots of people in powerful positions who won’t tolerate such behaviour and if you are lucky enough to have someone who you think will be on your side in this situation please do open up to them. It could change everything for you. I had a situation in one of my workplaces where one of my coworkers was bullying me and when I spoke to someone I trusted in power in my workplace I had no more trouble from that person. Thank you so much to that person who helped me. I will always appreciate what you done to help.
Open Up To A Loved One
People are often hesitant to open up to a loved one because they are afraid of being a burden or to worry their loved one. But believe me from experience (my loved ones are everything! :-)) most loved ones would really want to know what you are going through and to help and support you in any way they can. They want to be there for you. Let them. You are never a burden to them. Yes, they will worry but that’s what being a loved one is like. But they would rather know and it would upset them to know you were going through all of this on your own more in the long run.
There is many helplines and support groups out there. If you are being bullied and are in a position where you have no one to trust with the information, many of these helplines and support groups can be absolutely invaluable and can help you with the situation you find yourself in. Also therapy can be an option if you have the funds to cover it and can really help you get through the range of emotions you have when you are going through such an ugly experience.
Know Your Rights
While not all bullying is considered illegal, a lot of bullying is illegal as it falls under illegal activities such as harassment, lack of child protection and hate crimes. It is important to know your rights and I know it can be difficult to look up all this information when you would rather forget it is even happening when you are away from your bully or bullies but knowledge is power and will therefore be your best friend. Don’t burn yourself out researching but do give time to it because it will help you when presenting your case in a legal capacity and it will help you whether you do decide to pursue legal action or not to know what is acceptable under the law and what is not as you are experiencing it. It will give you some peace of mind that you are protected should you take legal action. Keep a record of the incidents which occur so that you have your case compiled well together and therefore giving the bully or bullies less chance to make out you are lying.
Judge The Situation And The Person/People You Are Dealing With
Basically what I mean by judge is size the bully or bullies up, observe them. This will give you a better idea of how to approach situations you find yourself in. Bullies are not reasonable people so don’t try to reason with them but decide whether ignoring them would be best or killing them with kindness would work best. Maybe you need to respond something back to them, it depends and you get your answers from observing what doesn’t suit them over time. The situation is also something you need to think about such as is this your boss or one of your boss’ favourite employees? Responding back could be dangerous for you in a situation like this as they could twist it around to say you are bullying them when you are simply defending yourself or you could lose your job and you might not be in a position to be able to do that.
Keep Your Mental Health Good
Keeping your mental health in good condition during such an ordeal can be extremely difficult. The nature of bullying is that it makes you second guess yourself and it can lower your confidence so it takes a lot of strength to keep your mental health in good condition. But let me tell you something you have that strength in you whether you think you do or not. Try your best to ignore their comments, to treat it as a nasty part of the day by a vicious person or people and not take anything they say seriously in any way. Any power a bully has is sucked the life out of once you take their taunts with a pinch of salt. Of course physical violence is a different matter and will need to be dealt with through a powerful person or by the law but the likes of comments can be helped to mean nothing if you fight their comments with your confidence. Pay them no heed whatsoever. Say affirmations to keep yourself feeling positive. Do meditation or relax to some ASMR. Write, do something creative to get your emotions and frustrations out. Do positive self-talk. Do activities you enjoy doing and spend time with people you love. Do breathing exercises. Fitness can relieve stress. Praying can help people who are religious. Thinking of your goals and your future after this event will help too. Some affirmations and self-talk can be good while you are in the environment where you are being bullied after the incidents or during your breaks. It can calm your emotions down and bring your confidence back up. Just make sure not to be noticed doing them or the bully or bullies will feel they have the upper hand on you or try to make you believe you are too sensitive and not capable. The breathing exercises can be done during breaks too or in a moment where the bullies won’t notice. Sometimes going for a bathroom break can be a good way to disguise that you are going to the bathroom to get your head in gear but leave it till a good bit after the incident to not make it too obvious. Yes I know it might sound like the bully is ruling the roost a bit too much but that’s not true. Being too honest with a bully can be dangerous for your mind. They don’t care about your feelings and they will play on that honesty. They feed off it often. Sometimes you do have to write out your frustrations or something like that then go in and smile at them, wish them a good morning. That annoys them more. I guess what I am saying is that for your mental health you need to play a few games with them often. Yes, I know you aren’t a person who does. Neither am I. I want to go into an environment and get on with everyone there if possible and not have to encounter these types of people but the sad fact is that they are out there and to get by you need to play a few games of your own. Heaven knows they are playing enough of them so don’t feel bad about it. It says nothing bad about you, it’s survival. And could I be mischievous enough to say, sometimes fun? 🙂