We’ve all seen the headlines- Child Bullied Into Suicide, Student Expelled For Bullying and Parent Arrested For Bullied Child. But kids aren’t the only ones who are participating in bullying. Adults bully each other at work, their kids’ sporting events, online, at church, in their marriages, even at the grocery store!
Photo courtesy of ©iStockphoto.com/jonathandowney
I’m amazed at the many different bullying types- face to face, cyber or cell, road rage, stalking- anything that puts fear into another can be classified as bullying. It can happen anywhere, anytime, to anyone. There’s nowhere to hide from it!
I’ve been bullied a few times. As a kid I was locked in a pitch black bathroom at church. As I screamed in terror, the kids holding the door shut laughed hysterically. By the time an adult came to my rescue, I was scarred for life & to this day I am afraid of the dark. In 1993, I was targeted by a man on the freeway. He was looking for someone to run off the road to rob or worse. I was driving to work at 4am, he paced me for a mile then began swerving into me, cutting me off & slamming on his brakes & trying to push me from behind. This went on for 15 miles. Thank Heaven for my huge brick of a cell phone & defensive driving skills! I was able to fend him off until the CHP got him- he was arrested because he’d done this before! I was so scared . . .
What can we do when we are bullied or witness it? Most people do nothing to help themselves or another, they just hope that it will go away. We deny that it is happening. But does it ever really go away? What can YOU do? Below you will find information on what you can do depending on where you face bullying.
- Workplace – Unless you are the Top Dog already, go to your boss. Sounds like common sense, right? It’s easier said than done. The bullied usually suffer from anxiety because of it & are afraid to report it. There is more fear in NOT reporting bullying because it will continue or even escalate. Take charge, don’t let that happen! It is your boss’ duty to squash the bullying- please let them help you, they are your advocate. Check out this website if you or someone you know is being bullied at work. http://www.workplacebullying.org
- Public- Also called Public Humiliation. There’s usually a witness to this type of bullying which is great if they are willing to support you. It can be a good idea to call the police or get the attention of a security officer. If you are the witness, don’t be afraid to help! Call the cops or security without waiting to be asked- you would hope someone would do it for you, right? Get help for the poor soul!
- Relationship- This type of bullying many times leads to spousal abuse- don’t let it get that far! Please see this Q & A blog by Dr. Testa. I wish I had known of this a few years back… http://www.drtesta.com/ask.htm
- The types of bullying are widespread. For more info on what can be considered bullying, go to this website. You will be surprised! http://www.bullyingstatistics.org/content/bullying-harassment.html
Have YOU ever been bullied? My guess is YES- most people experience it at some time in their lives. As uncomfortable as it is to talk about, I believe there is power in sharing. Tell me all about what you have endured & how you handled it. Also, do you step up & help when you witness bullying? What has worked? What hasn’t worked?