Written with love, by Nikki Lian
Bullying is a serious problem going on in our society these days. Now with the internet and social media, bullying is just getting worse in American schools. But does bullying stop after you finish school? I mean, eventually we become adults, right? Adults don’t cyber bully, and they certainly don’t bully other adults at their professional jobs. Well, that’s not so true.
I was inspired to write this blog when I client of mine showed up to her Fit Break all flustered. She said she had a terrible day, and started to explain to me what happened to her. “I was bullied today,” she said, and went on to tell her story. The most surprising part of the situation is that my client works with special needs children at a school, where you would think employees would have compassion. She is a one-on-one aid to a blind boy who thinks the world of her. Unfortunately, the teacher of these kids doesn’t feel the same way about her.
I won’t get in to the entire back story of the situation. All I know is that my client is one of the most caring and nice individuals I have ever met, and day after day a particular person at her job has been making her feel completely uncomfortable and borderline harassed. This has a huge impact on one’s emotional health. Hating to go to work at a job you love is not a healthy situation. It can even affect your workouts as it did in this particular instance.
Adult bullies, in some aspect, seem to be seeking more power and domination. Bullying in some places of work has been so eminent that there are laws and regulations that are put in to place. But what should you do if you start feeling threatened or uncomfortable at work? Here are some ways that may help you deal with the situation.
You must document events from day one. If you ever need to file a complaint or take action, documenting is well in your favor. Write the date, and specifically what was said and done. Having a history will make you more credible when it comes down to your word against someone else's.
If you feel safe enough, try confronting your bully. You don’t have to do it in a nasty way because you don’t want to stoop down to their level. Never physically fight or act out of anger, because then you become them! Kindly tell them the issues you have with their comments and ways they make you feel uncomfortable. Some people are so clueless they may not even know if and how being the butt of their joke or constant topic of their gossip is affecting you.
Tell Someone You Trust.
This is goes hand in hand with documentation. Obviously talking things and venting to a friend or family member may make you feel better. But this person you trust is also a witness to what is going on in your situation.
Kill Them With Kindness.
I’m not saying send your bully an Edible Arrangement, but try to find something nice to say—even a “good morning” and a smile would work. Make them feel bad for targeting someone that is just so pleasant to be around. If their motive is to make you sad and upset in the first place, they may stop trying once they see that they can’t break you.
Don’t Be Bystander.
If someone you know in your life is a victim, make sure you don’t become a bully by not stepping up. This can mean cutting someone off as soon as they start to gossip, sticking up for someone you witness is being harassed, or removing yourself from a situation where there is gossip happening. It doesn’t mean you have to be everyone’s friend and there are always two sides to every story, but you can always choose not to partake in the negative conversations going on by the water cooler.
Whatever action you decide to take, make sure you remember that a bully’s behavior is their own responsibility. No one deserves to be made the butt of a joke target of harassment. And be kind to people, because you never know their background or what they go through on a daily basis. You never know, kindness may be contagious!!