Bullying is in the news, on the air waves and certainly a hot topic on social media. So naturally the topic arose in conversation this week and someone commented that they had been told that the bullied “bring it on themselves” she asked my opinion, so I will share what I said.
First, if someone says to you that you have “bought bullying on yourself” then what they are really saying is that they don’t care about you and certainly don’t want to hear your story. So, I suggest that you dissociate from people like that. They are not your tribe.
That statement is victim bashing, plain and simple. One person’s misfortune, difficult situation, depression or anything else for that matter IS NOT A LICENCE for others to attack.
As I pondered the conversation in the following days, it occurred to me that some people don’t really know the forms of bullying. It is seen as an overt act of aggression, school yard fights and the like.
In fact there are other more insidious forms of bullying, the most prominent, although quiet, are exclusion and shunning. These are hard issues to juggle, there are times we need to dissociate (as mentioned above) but how do we manage those situations without the intent of bullying?
We start by managing our social interactions for our own safety and that of those we care for, without being completely rude and ignorant of the other person if possible. Now sometimes that simply isn’t possible, especially if the bullies have been conducting the same behaviour for extended periods of time. But if you are able, simply continue to be polite in public but don’t feel that you have to engage your bullies in conversation or other deeper social constructs.
If you have dissociated with someone (or have you really excluded or shunned them?) then do not expect them to welcome you with open arms at a later date. Even if your intent was not to bully, it does not mean that is was not seen that way.
We are quickly moving into an era of authenticity, the truth is more public than ever with social media, and the movement of more women into all sorts of fields, particularly entrepreneurial and business is seeing a quantum leap in the way business and social interactions will develop.
There is less hype and sell and more deep conversations with people seeking connection in more than one area of life. The need for relatability and common ground is higher than ever.
I am excited about the future of business, work, friendship and all areas of life, we are all different in our sameness. We all want friends and family to live in harmony. We all want to earn a living in the areas of our passions and I believe we are all moving closer to that concept now.
The quote attributed to Edmund Burke by John F Kennedy
“The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing”
Is also very relevant in this situation, if you see or hear bullying, then please choose to stand up for the victim, this will be one of the hardest things you ever do, but what you achieve in that moment will stay with you for a lifetime.
Have you experienced bullying in any of it's forms? What did you do? Did you receive the help and support you needed. Share your stories in the comment box below and motivate and inspire other incredible women.