When someone mentions the word “bullying”, we think of the schoolyard, assuming that bullying is a problem only children face. We believe that when kids grow into adulthood, they drop their childish ways: We think they’ll become more understanding and compassionate, that they’ll develop mastery over their emotions, that they’ll learn to be helpful to others, and that they’ll strive to become the best version of themselves. This is the course we’ve followed and we figure that everyone else will, too.
But they don’t.
Some adult bullies carry their bullying ways from childhood into adulthood. Others were nice as youngsters but something happened along their pathway to adulthood that turned them into bullies.
The point is that bullying is not a problem just for children. We adults can—and do—face it every day, too. We can encounter adult bullies in a variety of settings such as clubs and organizations, churches, neighborhoods, within our group of friends, and at work.
We don’t foresee this, which is why it’s so shocking when we run up against it. We expect adults to behave like, well, adults. We don’t anticipate that they’ll humiliate, belittle, or sabotage us or that we’ll see them do this to others. When we experience bullying directly or indirectly (witnessing another being bullied), we’re left bewildered, stunned, and wondering if what we just experienced/witnessed really did happen.
The effects can be devastating. We can feel isolated and alone, which leads to anxiety and depression. Our self-confidence plummets, our work suffers, and our mental and physical health can be negatively impacted. Anxiety.org has published a good article on bullying in the workplace. It contains additional information and resources regarding workplace bullying.
The good news is there are things we can do to help ourselves if/when we find ourselves in this type of situation. We can:
~Develop a support system.
~Pursue professional development opportunities.
~Feel good about ourselves.
~Take care of ourselves.
~Keep work in perspective.
We will talk more about these in upcoming posts. Stay tuned and check back often!
In the meantime, here are a few statements to say to yourself this week:
I am a child of the Universe, no less than the trees and the stars.
I am valuable and my thoughts, ideas, and talents are desperately needed in the world.
I am fully loaded with all I’ll need to create a wonderful life for myself.
I am someone’s miracle.
I am perfectly positioned to make my mark in the world.
I am so grateful that this situation is setting me up to be slingshotted decades ahead in my career and my life.
I am enlivened and aglow with the Divine Spark within me.
Repeat these statements first thing in the morning, several times throughout the day, and the last thing before going to bed. Let their power and inspiration infuse your mind, body, soul, and spirit.
You can do this, Pep Pal, especially since we’ll be doing it together!
Your Friend and Pep Pal,