Bullying - top 10 tips
Bullies are everywhere: On the bus to work, in the conference room, in the line at the supermarket. But there are things you can do to manage the situation -
1. Watch out for all forms of bullying. It is not just the overt acts of aggression. It can include words and actions, in-person, over the telephone and/or online
2. We all have the potential to act in a bullying way. There is no single type of person who is a bully, and bullying behaviour appears on a spectrum of what initially seems like acceptable behaviour but quickly develops into unacceptable bullying
3. Try and view the bully as someone who is probably acting in fear. Aggression, whether it is overt or passive, is born of fear, so if we just see the aggressive behaviour, we have missed a trick.
4. A bully often feels inferior, and so their behaviour is a way of managing that perceived inferiority.
5. When you interact with a bully, make eye contact and remain civil, even if the bully has descended into childishness
6. Try to develop assertive skills. Assertiveness sits in the middle of aggressive and passive behaviour. In brief, assertiveness includes an ability to communicate one’s feelings and needs, an ability to ask for things, and an ability to say no
7. If bullying arises, it is easy to create a scapegoat. Perhaps one person is seen as ‘the bully’ when the situation has arisen as a result of a number of different people, each in part to blame for the situation
8. Caricaturise the bully. In the privacy of your own home, draw him with distorted features and give him a comedic name. This can offer you distance from his aggression.
9. Try all sorts of affirming statements including: I am choosing to face this person today. I have the strength to assert my feelings and needs
10. Give yourself space when you need it. If you need to walk away from the situation, ask for more time. Often an immediate response is not essential
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Chris Warren-Dickins LPC , Licensed Professional Counselor with an office at 162 E Ridgewood Ave, Ste 4B, Ridgewood, New Jersey. Sessions are also available online
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