Two weeks ago we talked about adult bullying and we’ll be continuing this discussion this week. In these posts, I’m referring to bullying that takes place in the work environment.
First of all, though, before being too quick to label a boss or co-worker as a bully, take time to think it through. Some bosses are tough and demanding but they are fair—they don’t belittle or humiliate colleagues or subordinates. Also, colleagues and bosses may have prickly personalities or serious, no-nonsense attitudes but that doesn’t make them bullies. Additionally, co-workers may be going through a difficult time in their personal life and that may make them snippy. Keep this in mind as you think through your interactions with the person(s) in question before jumping to conclusions about them.
When you are dealing with a bully, the most important thing to keep in mind is to get out. You are never going to change them, convince them of your worth and/or your expertise, and over time you will not be able to withstand their onslaught.
There are two ways to get out:
~You or the bully can be transferred to another department or division within the company;
~You or the bully can leave the company.
Perhaps you work in a large enough organization that has a separate HR department and perhaps your company has clear policies regarding bullying and other behaviors that can create a hostile work environment. And perhaps the HR department actually has some backbone and will take appropriate and effective action when complaints are brought to them.
I wouldn’t count on this, though.
I have heard a number of instances where the HR department as well as the higher-ups and executives are well aware that bullying is going on but they ignore it—they don’t do anything about it. And then they scratch their heads and wonder why morale is so bad and why the good people are leaving in droves….
My recommendation is to leave the company. You may like many of your co-workers and you may enjoy the work you’re doing, however, the toll to your career, your self esteem, your mental well-being, and your physical health is not worth it. As I said earlier, you will never convince the bully to change their behavior toward you. No matter how many awards or how much recognition you receive, they will never think well of you. They will only re-double their efforts to tear you down.
You must leave.
You may be thinking that it’s fine and dandy for me to recommend that you leave the company, however, your financial situation requires that you stay employed. Then what do you do?
We’ll be talking about this in upcoming posts. Check back next week.
I believe each one of us is on this Earth for a specific reason and that reason is to live a soul-prospering life. When we do this, we’re contributing our unique combination of gifts, abilities, and talents to the overarching goal of creating a better world. In the process, we get to live a deeply satisfying and fulfilling life that matters profoundly.
With this in mind, I’d like to share what I’m doing to live my soul-prospering life. Since I’m the author of this blog, I’m sure it comes as no surprise that I like to write. Here is a flash fiction story that I wrote this summer. Flash fiction is a short story of 500 words or less, although some people say the upper limit is 1000 words.
A special treat for you is that this story is part of a blog hop. At the end you’ll see links to others’ flash fiction stories. This is my first time participating and I’m very excited about it.
My story is 493 words and is called Black Moon. I hope you enjoy it-enjoy the other stories as well!
Mama turned from the front window of our snug cottage hidden in the dark woods. Even though the lights were out, the star glow was enough to show me her worried face. “A Black Moon on All Hallow’s Eve. I thought surely you’d– ”
“What, Mama? Whatever it is, I’ll do it.” I didn’t know what was upsetting her but I wanted to make her smile. “It’s still my birthday. We can be happy about that, right?”
“Of course, my love! The second New Moon in a month combined with your thirteenth birthday on All Hallow’s Eve. A very special night, indeed.” Mama hugged me, her fuzzy sweater tickling my nose.
Rustling in the woods drew her to the window.
Oh! A sharp twinge in my hips. I waited for pain but it didn’t come. Instead, it felt…natural.
A sudden rush of raw power from Mother Earth coursed through me from my feet to my head. What was going on?
Rather than fear, giddiness filled me. I bounded to Mama and threw my arms around her. “I lovelovelove the night!”
Mama laughed. “That’s because you’re a vampire.” She growled, pretending to nibble my neck.
“No, Mama.” I giggled. “Then I couldn’t eat your yummy meatloaf, so full of garlic.”
“Hmmm, true.” Mama pretended to think. “I know! You’re really a pixie or a wood sprite, and you fly like the wind.”
“Nope, not it.” I moved from her embrace and rolled my shoulders to ease the cramping. “Flying isn’t the only way to race like the wind.”
“Then you’re a zombie.” She lumbered toward me, arms outstretched.
I shrieked. “No, Mama!” The bones in my feet crackled as I dashed away from her.
“Then you’re a fairy or maybe an elf.”
“They’re too small and scrawny and won’t make decent toothpicks much less tasty tidbits.”
“Well then, that leaves one thing. You’re a–”
Yips and barks close to our cottage.
“Oh no!” She let out a cry of fear.
My gaze sharpened on her. She looked delicate as she backed away from the window.
A howl echoed on the still night air. My pulse quickened. My bones ached, muscles throbbed. It felt so good! I stretched in anticipation.
She blindly reached back for me. “Hide! Wolves!”
Yes Mama, yes. That’s it!
I snapped my jaws now filled with gleaming teeth. I crept toward her, reveling in the power of my new form.
She saw me. Surprise on her face.
I inhaled. Ahhh, the sharp tang of fear. My mouth watered. I moved in.
A hard thump at the door followed by a rumbling growl that shook my bones. I stopped, crouched. Uncertain.
She dropped to her knees, relief flooding her face. Now on her hands, too. Broadening, elongating.
Now I was surprised.
She padded to me, her claws clicking on the hardwood floor. “Welcome, Pup!” She nuzzled me, her soft fur tickling my nose. “Come, meet your true family.”
Happy Halloween, my dear Pep Pals! Feel free to share in the comments what you do that’s soul-prospering. Thanks!
Your Friend and Pep Pal,
Here are the links to the other stories in this blog hop. Have fun reading!
One of the most important things we can keep in mind as we build our soul-prospering lives is that we can always begin again. We can always press the reset button, start fresh, begin anew. It’s never too late, we’re not too old, and it isn’t true that too much time has passed. We can and we should start again whenever we need to.
It is not enough to begin; continuance is necessary. Success depends upon staying power. The reason for failure in most cases is lack of perseverance. ~ Miller
Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time. ~ Thomas A. Edison
Most people never run far enough on their first wind to find out they’ve got a second. ~ William James
All of us have bad luck and good luck. The man who persists through the bad luck – who keeps right on going – is the man who is there when the good luck comes – and is ready to receive it.~ Robert Collier
Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up. – Thomas Edison
If you are going through hell, keep going. ~ Winston Churchill
Your homework today is to earmark time in your upcoming week where you can take the next step.
We’re all busy and our time is over-committed. With that in mind, make sure you break the steps into teensy-tiny, itsy-bitsy pieces that are so small that they can easily fit into the little smidgens of free time in your schedule. Then do those bits and smidgens!
We’ve all been afraid, especially when we’re going after our dreams. Fear seeps into our thoughts not only when we’re outside our comfort zone but even when we’re just thinking about maybe stepping a tiny bit outside, perhaps….
Have you ever suffered a frenemy attack? Perhaps a colleague at work–someone you’d worked well with previously–throws you under the bus; now it’s you the boss is unfairly zeroing in on. Maybe, in confidence, you told a friend something very personal only to find when the whole group gets together that everyone knows….
After you recover from the shock and embarrassment, what do you say to yourself?
I’m sure you have thoughts of anger and you may even think about revenge how you’ll avenge yourself.. You may feel fear or worried because this may negatively impact your career. You may be sad and disappointed that someone you thought was a friend turned around and betrayed you.
These thoughts and feeling can lead to you telling yourself lies such as:
Maybe I am less talented;
Maybe I don’t have what it takes to be team leader;
Maybe I’ve been deluding myself all along and maybe I truly am an idiot…
NONE OF THESE THOUGHTS ARE TRUE!! THEY’RE ALL LIES!!!
Here are a few things to tell yourself instead:
This says more about them than it does about me;
This will show me who my true friends and allies are;
I am talented, I am intelligent, I do have a lot on the ball;
I am a child of the Universe, no less than the trees and the stars. I have a right to be here. (from the Desiderata by Max Ehrmann)
Choose on of these thoughts to keep handy–or one that you’ve thought of for yourself. When a frenemy attacks, repeat to yourself the positive statements about yourself.
Here are 7 quotes about frenemies for this week. Let me know which one(s) ring true for you.
Thank you fake friends! You’ve only made me stronger and wiser. ~Unknown
Time will prove the worth of friendship. As time goes by we lose the false ones and keep the best. True friends stay when all the rest are gone. ~Ritu Ghatourey
Don’t worry about those who talk behind your back. They’re behind you for a reason. ~Unknown
An honest enemy is better than a false friend. When in doubt, pay more attention to what people do and less to what they say. Actions not only speak louder than words, they are more difficult to fake. ~Zero Dean
An insincere and evil friend is more to be feared than a wild beast; a wild beast may wound your body, but an evil friend will wound your mind. ~The Buddha
A friend who stands with you in pressure is more valuable than a hundred ones who stand with you in pleasure. ~Edward G. Bulwer-Lytton
Better to have an enemy who slaps you in the face than a friend who stabs you in the back. ~Unknown
Tomorrow we’re going to be talking about handling the feelings you have after being with a frenemy. Come back and join the conversation!
Scientists have shown that meditating is good for you. A regular practice can help to lower blood pressure, fight insomnia and lead to a better night’s sleep, among other things.
Another thing meditation can do is to help us calm down and press the reset button after an attack by a frenemy.
No, you don’t have to twist yourself into an uncomfortable position and hold it forever; no, you don’t have to chant or “ohm”. All you need to do is to sit quietly and tune into the serene part of yourself.
Focus on that part of yourself that’s timeless and limitless. Doing this can help to put the situation and the frenemy in perspective. In doing this you’ll see that your frenemy is someone to be pitied, rather than punched. It’s a sad, insecure person who’s worried about their prospects in the future who tends to be a frenemy. People who are creating a soul-prospering life tend to be authentic, helpful, and optimistic.
Also, when you go within, you’ll be reminded of your talents, gifts, and the soul-prospering life you’re crafting for yourself!
I’ve been away from my blog due to Internet connection and computer troubles.
Happy Independence Day! In your celebrations, take a moment to be grateful to those who fought for our inalienable rights to personal freedoms–our freedoms that do not impinge upon or limit another’s rights, that is. Some people have served as first responders and in armed services, some have served as elected officials, and some have served as business people, community members, and advocates.
These people are you and your neighbors.
Be thankful that not only are there people brave enough to stand up for injustices and to work tirelessly for a better world for all of us, but that we live in a country where each of us has the right–the obligation, even–to do what each of us can to make our world more just and fair.