If you or someone you know are a victim of bullying, then you know how unpleasant and painful it is to be constantly on the receiving end of rumors, vicious gossip, and harassment. Undeniably, dealing with this problem isn’t easy at all, but you need to remember that if you don’t find a way to protect yourself and overcome it, this can negatively affect your self-esteem and inflict damage on your health.
Obviously, bullies don’t disappear after high school and what’s more frustrating about adult bullies is that they are worse than their teen counterparts because they’re subtle. They know how to harass and put you down without attracting attention. This is especially bad when the adult bully is in a position of power over their victim at work.
Putting up with hurtful comments, snide remarks, mocking, and belittling on a daily basis can severely damage your mental and emotional well-being. But, you must never forget that you can’t allow them to take your joy away from you and live your life for you.
So, in order to fight the effects of bullying and avoid the bully, you need to practice self-preservation. Here are 9 ways you can do that:
1. Remember that bullying is not about you.
It’s about them. Their hurtful remarks actually show how hurt they’re feeling inside. It’s very likely they have been bullied before and maybe they still are. Another possible reason why adults bully others is that they might have been brought up by parents who had prejudice – based attitudes.
And last but not the least, adult bullies may act out the way they do so as to make up for their own shortcomings. They know they have a lot of them and feel threatened by your successes. So, by harassing you and make you feel less, they feel better about themselves.
2. Avoid situations where you can get bullied.
Avoid meeting them face-to-face if you think they’ll verbally or physically attack you. If they call you to threaten you or send you hurtful messages, block them from your phone and up the privacy on your social media. If the person who bullies you happens to be your co-worker, then you can ask your boss to move your desk and talk to your superiors.
3. Accept the fact that it’s totally fine to feel bad.
Nobody wants to be insulted, mocked, or threatened. When you have to deal with all these types of mental abuse, it’s normal for you to feel frustrated, anxious, and hurt. Yet, you need to give your best to prevent these stressful situations from having a complete power over you and …
4. …you can’t let the bully take your happiness away from you.
Whether you’ll face them directly and openly or not, you need to show them that whatever they say or do will never take your joy away. You need to show them that you are already doing and will continue to do the things that make you feel happy and satisfied and you’ll live the life you want.
And if their hurtful comments often creep into your head even when they’re not around, make sure you discard them the moment they pop into your mind. You can also replace them with positive self-talk.
5. Surround yourself with people who support you.
What you should remember is that you don’t have to go through this hell alone. So, make sure you spend time with the people you love and who accept and love you for who you are. In case you don’t feel comfortable enough to share all the details with them, you can talk to a therapist. Those who care about you and wish you the best will give you advice and help you deal with the problem more easily.
6. Practice self-love.
In all that negativity and stressful situations, you need to love and take care of yourself. Your mental, emotional, and physical health is what matters the most, and you can’t allow anyone’s nasty behavior towards damage it. So, be kind to yourself and practice self-care.
Consume healthy food and drinks, spend a lot of time in nature, or do physical exercises, meditation, and yoga to reduce stress and calm your anxiety. You can also practice your favorite hobbies and do the things that make you happy.
7. Never sink to their level.
If you know that it’s not safe to directly confront the bully because they’re violent, and if you can’t avoid them, the best thing you can do is to be kind to them. I know it’s very difficult to control yourself and not attack them when they start insulting and mocking you. But, you can’t react harshly and get too emotional as you’ll only worsen the situation.
However, being kind to them doesn’t mean you have to put up with their belittling and aggressive behavior. So, if they start harassing you again, tell them what they’re doing hurts you and ask them to stop.
8. Keep a record of the bullying.
If things get really bad, you’ll have to seek legal help, so make sure you’re prepared for that. Try to collect as much evidence against the bully as you possibly can. Keep an accurate record of the things they’ve said and done to you and if there was a witness to the bullying. When you have a list of specific times the bully has crossed their boundaries, it’ll be harder for them to refute the claims.
9. Forgive the bully, but never forget the bullying.
Their nasty comments will certainly make you feel angry and hurt you. Yet, try not to carry the pain with you. If you give in yourself to the anger and pain, you’ll allow them to have more power of you and make them want to bully you even more.
And if you’re asking me, I encourage you to stand up to your bully and to try to resolve the problem. Yet you should be careful because you never know how they’re going to react. They’ll either realize they shouldn’t have treated you that way or they’ll start attacking you more fiercely and continue to hurt you.
But, whichever way you choose, always remember that the best way to beat a bully is by living your life as who you are and doing the things that make you happy.