Being bullied or victimised at home or in the work place is totally unacceptable, but what to do about it? Do you feel like you have tried everything but nothing seems to make any difference. Through therapy you can learn to understand the effects and what you can do to change your situation.
Many children are the victims of bullying whilst at school. As adults we assume that the bullying is over as soon as we leave school and commence work. Sadly, this is not always the case.Bullying occurs in many forms and in many situations.
What is bullying?
Bullying occurs when one person takes it upon themselves to victimise another. Typically bullying involves persistent, threatening, abusive, malicious, intimidating and insulting behaviour. Bullying is intended to undermine the confidence and self-esteem of the recipient. Particularly serious cases can arise when the bully is perceived to be in a position of power in relation to the person being bullied.
Harassment is a common form of bullying. It can involve:
- Any unwanted persistent sexual advances (physical or verbal)
- Racist, sexist, homophobic, insulting remarks, jokes, malicious gossip, banter, innuendo, swearing, name calling
- Being excluded from activities
- Abuse of power or position
- Manipulative questioning: damned if you do/damned if you don't
The effect of bullying
Bullying makes the recipient feel threatened, humiliated and vulnerable. It may cause them to be de-motivated, suffer stress related illness and even resign from work. The victim feels disempowered, frustrated and helpless. Often they do not know who to turn to.
Adult bullying can take many forms:
- Verbal, written or physical threat and intimidation
- Persistent, negative and unjustified comments
- Offensive or abusive personal remarks
- Abuse and humiliation in the presence of other colleagues or in private
- Removing areas of responsibility without justification and undervaluing work done
- Setting the individual unachievable targets and/or changing instructions without consultation in order to cause the individual to fail
- Reducing a colleagues effectiveness by withholding important information
- Monitoring work unnecessarily and intrusively
- Continually refusing reasonable requests without any justification
- Unfair allocation of work
Families are notoriously guilty of bullying. They employ a wide variety of devices intended to manipulate the recipient and often involve other family members in the endeavour.
In a marriage/intimate relationship it is very common for the bullying to be an ingrained part of the relationship. The bullying is so pervasive that the participants no longer see it as such. They live in a situation of ongoing low-key domestic abuse.
A passive bully is a very sneaky kind of bully. They manipulate the recipient by non-confrontational means: feigned vulnerability, emotional displays and mood swings. Sex can be used a tool by such people. Casual flirtation and pretending to be your friend are common methods of passive bullying. Passive bullies are especially insidious because they project an image of weakness and frailty. They appear to be the victim but are actually the instigator. A passive bully will make you feel as though you are letting them down or even letting yourself down. They are experts at looking harassed, upset and victimised.