Bullying : I've been really interested lately... - Changing Faces

Changing Faces
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Bullying

younique
youniqueCommunity Ambassador
20 Replies

I've been really interested lately in the affect bullying has on our lives and what we can do to overcome it. I've often thought many of us would have had a lot less problems over the years if people would have simply had the courage to treat us better. At times I will let my mind lament on harmful social encounters that I've endured and become fearful that it will happen again.

So since I'm now more accepting of my condition, Im shifting my thoughts from resenting it, to looking at what I can do to lead a more empowered life with my difference. It's not changing, so I have to change how I react to it, and how I deal with other people reacting to it.

So understanding the psychological reasons that people bully is helping me to detach from it.. seeing that it is not me, and I'm not the only one to experience it. There is extensive research on the power dynamics of bullying and how society can move away from a culture of intimidation to a more accepting and inclusive environment for us all.

The following article was enlightening.. it basically says that there is a third important part of bullying that people don't often talk about. Namely, how social reactions to bullying perpetuate the behavior. It says if bullies didn't have an audience, many times it wouldn't continue. Bullies are looking for social status, and bystanders look to maintain social status.

Have a look psychologytoday.com/intl/bl...

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rapture4u

Hi The bullying says more about the bully than it does about the target, that if they have to resort to bullying, they themselves have self esteem issues, for people who have self esteem wouldn't do this in the first place.

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DolaChangingFacesUK
DolaChangingFacesUKAdministrator

Great insights here younique!

I wonder though, does knowing that the problem is with the bully make it any less difficult to bear?

The article shows that the effects of bullying can live with the victim for a long time and s/he can start to play out the role of victimiser in later life without even realising it. And how true, that the bully gets away with bullying because bystanders do nothing. I recall an incident in a school where one student refused to be the idle bystander as her classmate was being bullied by another. She got between them basically declaring "Not on my watch" and reported the bully to the authorities. Fortunately, the matter was treated with the seriousness it deserved. The bullying stopped and the student who refused to be the idle bystander soon earned credibility as one not to be messed with. Years later she became Head girl at the school.

I find the writer's concluding line very insightful - we should focus less on bullies, who will always be with us no matter what we do, and more on the audience that bullies play to. After all, any play that no one attends will quickly be canceled. It proves the saying, "The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing."

Thanks for sharing.

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winterday

I know all about being bullied. Funnily, when I was a kid in the UK I wasn't bullied much but after I moved to Canada I was big time. I got bullied in school and then as an adult was in a few long term relationships where the bullying became abuse.

I mention the abuse because I feel quite strongly that how I was treated as a girl lay the foundation for my horrible self esteem which led me to relationships in which I was abused.

I'm still struggling with the aftermath of it all now and have been diagnosed with C-PTSD. It's horrible how publicly "acceptable" bullying can lead the victim down a lifelong road of torment.

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younique
youniqueCommunity Ambassador
in reply to winterday

Oh winterday. I'm so there with you. It's really pretty remarkable how similar our life experiences have been. 🤗

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winterday
winterday
in reply to younique

🤗

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younique
youniqueCommunity Ambassador
in reply to winterday

I don't know about you, but I used to internalize bullying. I would think it was my fault. And I would be embarrassed that I let it happen. I still struggle to detach from the ideas I associated with it.. for example, if only I were normal, if only I wasn't so sensitive, I did something to deserve this, I'm unworthy of good things. I attached negative beliefs and experiences to my difference, so I think that's why it's been so hard for me to cope with living with it. I always assume people are going to have a negative reaction to me so I developed a lot of walls to protect myself. Now that I'm letting them down I'm seeing that I can in fact live a good life with my difference and that I deserve respect just like anyone else. A certain kind of peace comes over me when I say that and actually believe it. We can't tolerate poor treatment from others no matter how lonely and vulnerable we feel. No matter how many people have a problem with us. It's their problem. The best I've learned I can do, is ignore them and focus on what makes me feel whole and deserving of love. Like enhance the positive, diminish the negative. It's a skill that can be learned and improved over time with commitment. Check out self-compassion.org. My therapist just recommended it to me. 😊

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winterday
winterday
in reply to younique

Thanks youniqie I will check out that site because although I hear you and intellectually agree whole heartedly I’m just not where you are with all of this stuff.

Years ago I was making good progress, I made myself practice walking to the corner without any makeup and without holding my hair down across my face. I just kept repeating to myself, “I deserve to be here as much as everyone else.” It helped at the time but then my marriage really hit bottom and all my built up self esteem hit bottom too.

So, as they say, here I am again trying to rebuild.

Oh, and yeah absolutely, I completely blame myself for other people’s negative judgements. If fact, I blame myself for everything negative other people do that is in any way related to me. It’s like I’m taking on everyone else’s shame and mistakes as my fault. Which I know is logistically impossible but that little voice inside me keeps at it anyway.

Thanks for the link. 🙂

Sorry for my disjointed ramble but I wanted to let you know I’ve started looking for a therapist thanks to your suggestion. 🤗

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younique
youniqueCommunity Ambassador
in reply to winterday

Happy to hear it! Let me know how it goes. And yes I understand if my thoughts regarding my condition are hard to follow at times. I've really only been allowing myself to examine just how fully it's impacted my life, recently. And being honest with myself about the pain and shame I've carried with me over each abusive, aggressive, condescending, dismissive behavior people have had toward me. I used to really try to understand why. And feel very confused because no one else I knew had a visible difference that impacted their quality of life. So after finding this site, and seeing that many of us share these same experiences, I can put all of that trauma, in its place. I'm able to see that, alll of those harmful interactions ive had with others wasn't even about ME. It's about the belief systems those people hold and their degree of exposure to diversity.

You sound very empathic too. Sometimes it's hard to know where our feelings stop, and others' begin. ❤️

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winterday
winterday
in reply to younique

You’re right I’ve been an empathetic person my whole life. Too much so actually. Probably in part because I felt so “less than” I always allowed myself to be the one who people relied on and turned to. I was the strong and understanding one.

But I now see how being that way was a huge disservice to me (and them too of course) because most times others would lean on me and let me do the work and then vanish. Or in many circumstances use or abuse me via my empathy.

And oh yes, I am always asking myself, why, why, why. It’s so hard to leave hurtful things with the person who committed them and not take them on ourselves.

Plus, I’m really struggling with acknowledging how much others hurt me, whether it be from bullying or other toxic ways, and not becoming overly angry about it. Some anger is normal and I think helpful in a way but it’s such a fine line between that anger and anger that hurts me all over again.

Does that make sense to you?

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younique
youniqueCommunity Ambassador
in reply to winterday

So. Much. Sense. Every word of it. Something important to never forget, is to trust yourself. Like really deep down in every cell of your body, trust yourself. Trust your intuition, trust your point of view, trust your ideas and your worth. I'm not implying that you don't, what I mean is, those people who caused you harm may have created a certain kind of self doubt in your mind. Something that lingers there. I think this is where our anger can best be utilized.. as strength, by saying no to those doubts, and not allowing their abuse to continue violating our boundaries. Like we can apply it to the pain, we can stand in it and use it to defend ourselves. To figuratively push back. We can let it feed our self confidence. We can use it constructively, not destructively. Because if we let it keep hurting us, we then become the one who is imposing the abuse, on ourselves.

Since you are empathic, I assume that means you don't want your anger or painful experiences to hurt others either. You don't want to take anything out on anyone else. So you may also hold it in and internalize and then find yourself stuck in that trauma. It's ok to feel these feelings. All of them. We just have to find a healthy place to put them. A thoughtful way to express them. It's not your fault. Others' behavior, was their behavior. They were the ones in the wrong. And they are in the past and you survived and you're better for it.

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DolaChangingFacesUK
DolaChangingFacesUKAdministrator
in reply to younique

👏👏👏

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winterday

Wow, you are so insightful and wise! You’re right, although I know that I need to completely trust myself and my instincts I really struggle to do so. My first reaction is to always question and doubt myself. Every. Single. Time. No matter where stuff comes from or no matter the form it comes in.

I know I haven’t always been this way but for various reasons this mindset has now become my default mode it seems.

In regards to being empathic, yes of course I don’t want to hurt anyone BUT I still do and I hate that so much. My anger, fear, and mistrust just leak out in the form of anger and frustration. I really hate it big time. I have a lot of trouble forgiving myself for the times my anger gets out. But I truly don’t know how to redirect or stop it despite knowing it not only hurts others but also me.

As I said when I joined this forum I’m just so stuck, in many ways.

Thanks for your brilliant insights. 🤗

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younique
youniqueCommunity Ambassador
in reply to winterday

Oh my gosh you have no idea how much your reply means to me winterday! We are so similar, it's very reassuring and comforting. I'm glad we are here for each other. :) sorry it's been a few days I've been busy with work and haven't checked the forum.

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winterday
winterday
in reply to younique

No problem, I’ve been super busy too and keep forgetting to check my notifications. I love how as soon as I joined this forum you found me and we “clicked!” What an amazing thing.

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younique
youniqueCommunity Ambassador
in reply to winterday

I thought the same!

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winterday

Sorry for replying twice but I wanted to let you know that after reading your response a number of times I’ve decided to make a change in my online work focus. It’s something that’s been on my mind for some time but thanks to your well said reminder to trust my intuition, point of view, and ideas-100% I’m ready to do it! Thank you so so much for telling me what I so badly needed reminding of.

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DolaChangingFacesUK
DolaChangingFacesUKAdministrator
in reply to winterday

Good for you winterday! 👏

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winterday

Thanks @DolaChangingFacesUK

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younique
youniqueCommunity Ambassador
in reply to winterday

I am so happy for you winterday and I'm honored to have been able to help!! ❤️ Let me know how it goes please

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winterday
winterday
in reply to younique

For sure 😊

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