In The Bullyologist, I devote an entire chapter to the many myths and stereotypes associated with bullying. Probably the most common misconception is the bullying myth that a typical bullying target is weak, timid or unable to stand up for themselves. This isn’t true at all.
A weak person doesn’t threaten a bully’s position of power—a confident, positive, efficient and collaborative one does. For example, during my own workplace bullying experience, I was singled out because I was young, female, supportive of my colleagues and good at my job.
It was my strengths that frustrated my bully the most. My bully felt threatened because he wasn’t the ‘go-to’ person in the office. Moreover, everyone avoided him because his default approach was bluster and intimidation.
The negative effects of his behaviours on the workforce were compounded by ineffectual leadership from above. Hence, reporting him to the higher-ups had limited success.
Bullying is about power and control and the weak have no power to usurp. It’s the strong who pose the greatest threat, because they’re more likely to expose the bully’s most glaring personal and professional shortcomings.
One of the most rewarding things about being The Bullyologist® is the opportunity to meet a wide range of people who share their own insights and experiences about the state of modern bullying.
Every time I give talks, conduct workshops or advise business leaders on practical anti-bullying strategies, I learn something new.
A while back, I had an interesting chat with a police officer at a conference in Melbourne. After hearing my story, he told me that what I’d experienced at my job was just like ‘domestic violence at work’.
He explained it featured almost exactly the same behaviour patterns and psychological characteristics found in a typical domestic violence situation:
My subsequent research into the correlations between workplace bullying and domestic violence has revealed that the similarities are even more profound than I’d initially realised.
Every Q & A session I conduct about bullying produces a similar ‘aha moment’. The more we understand the causes, effects and intricacies of bullying, the better we’ll all be at tackling it.
Whether you’re currently being bullied or are suffering after-effects from past abuse, it’s important to understand that bullying is a direct assault on your self-esteem.
To cope, you’ll need to find ways to repair your identity and re-establish your sense of self-worth. You’ll need to relearn how to feel safe in the world and acquire the skills to take control of your moods, urges, emotional reactions and overall health.
Repairing the damage from my own bullying experience was a lengthy learning process. It involved meditation, yoga, Reiki healing, psychologist sessions, natural oils, a life coach, mindfulness, self-education and more.
I absorbed all the knowledge I could get my hands on about bullying and how to combat the health issues it can cause.
One of my main aims in founding Bullyology and writing The Bullyologist was to help others navigate the tricky path from victim to survivor/thriver. The first step (and one that I struggled with myself) is admitting you can’t fight it alone.
Indeed, is no single answer—everyone’s healing journey is different. However, help is available if you’ll just seek it out—and the sooner you make that decision, the better.
Bullyology® is passionate about raising awareness on the effects of bullying and helping people break the silence. If you would like to book us for a training course or speaking event, please get in touch.
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