Sadly bullying has become more prevalent in our lives today. It’s happening in face to face interactions like the workplace and it’s also happening online as well.
For instance you can have somebody that's a bully at work, but if they can access your social media account, they can also start the same issues through that. It happens on a daily basis! So what’s the solution?
I know it's hard, but probably the best thing is to ignore the bully as much as possible. Literally try and walk away from the situation.
Of course if you're an employee and it’s your boss that's bullying you, you can't really walk away from it easily, but as far as possible just ignore it.
Often those people are bullying because they want to get a reaction. They usually want the other person to get angry or respond in some way, and that just feeds it.
A lot of people are also very competitive in the workforce perhaps looking to rise above someone else for a promotion or maybe the boss wants to get rid of someone and tries to get them to resign rather than trying to sack them.
Of course if it's a big employer and they have an HR Department, then you can take that to the Human Resources Department, and they should deal with it… every big company should have an anti-bullying policy.
But we also get bullying with gender and cultural backgrounds or perhaps someone's a very religious kind of person, and everyone around them are atheists and there's a lot of ribbing going on, and perhaps at the time it seems like good-natured fun but it hurts the person being bullied and affects some people a lot more than others.
Sadly that unfortunately is how depression and thoughts of suicide start – in fact it’s one of the main reasons when people feel un-loved, disrespected or ‘worthless’ – they just want to end all that pain.
Basically bullies are often very insecure people themselves and ultimately make themselves feel secure and worthwhile by putting other people down.
But we just have to remain strong. Don't fight back, just deal with it and where possible move on. Obviously seeking professional help at this point is the best thing to do if there’s no other way to resolve the problem.
Of course ignoring a bully often means they will then move on to another victim. It doesn't solve their problem. But until they admit they've got a problem and seek help, nothing is going to solve it.
I often get asked if families and family background has anything to do with … let’s say ‘creating a bully’ and I’d have to say that parenting has changed a lot over the years.
I think the fact that children are not allowed to fail today is one of those problems.
They've got school ‘hand out certificates’ for just about everything… sometimes just for attending an event and therefore those kids don't learn to cope with failure.
Now a lot of blame gets put on parents, but it's more the culture we’ve created where parents are given impossibly high standards to try and live up to, as well trying produce a ‘perfect child’!
I think society, perhaps several generations ago, was a lot more accepting of children being children, than they are today.
People are much more likely to complain about what children are doing than they were when I was growing up.
For instance we used to go out and play on the street after school but had to be home before it was dark. But kids don't seem to have that freedom today. And because they don't get that freedom, they're not developing the resilience and sense of self that they need.
Our parents gave us directions of course – often quite firm ones too! - but they still let you learn from your mistakes.
My family had a saying… “I once complained I had shoes until I met a man who had no feet” and over the years I've tried to live my life like that.
Of course it's nice to have the new car and the big house and the big income and all the rest of it. But is that really what life is all about? I don't think so. But sadly many children today are being led to believe that kind of life is what matters, mostly through so called ‘influencers’ the likes of TikTok, Instagram and Facebook etc.
And again, that's a cultural thing and we know not all families and their kids today are like that. But for me the internet has a lot to answer for in that regard.
Of course bullying often goes ‘under the radar’ initially, but there are tell-tale signs, so if you are concerned about not only your own kids either being potential bullies or being bullied at school or you have concerns about your own situation, there are several ways to get help if anyone would like to contact me - details below.
Anyway, food for thought as the saying goes!... meantime – stay safe and most importantly… keep smiling!
(c) 2021 - Linda Campbell as told to Brian Pickering - Listen to the original podcast here
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