Unfortunately bullying is an issue within most schools and some workplaces. Why? It seems human nature is wrought with self-consciousness, anger, envy, and pride. When these characteristics aren’t properly identified and skills aren’t learned to handle them appropriately, or when one has been emotionally beaten down for any number of reasons, it can become enticing to put others down in order to build oneself up.
Hence, frustrated, wounded, angry, self-critical, or all-together emotionally immature individuals can seek the feeling of dominance found in bullying someone who they think will cower to their "authority".
Unfortunately, individuals with disabilities are two to three times more likely to be bullied than their nondisabled peers according to the National Bullying Prevention Center. I can only assume this is because a bully perceives one with a disability as more likely to comply.
Maybe you (like me) have mental scars from former bullying, maybe you are currently a victim of bullying, or maybe you want to prepare for any possible future bullying.
Whatever brings you here, to this conversation, welcome. I want your input, your tips learned from experience, and your thoughts on this hard topic.
So here’s the question: How should we handle bullying in school or the workplace?
- Of course, preventative measures are very important. How does this look? To help prevent bullying, we can train others and ourselves to handle big emotions, to seek help when emotionally distraught, and to empathize with others. To help prevent one from being a victim, we can train others and ourselves to be assertive and confident.
- Develop a strategy for the possible day you become the target of a bully. Think through how you will confidently stand your ground, speak up, and alert an authority figure. Alerting an authority figure is just as important for protecting you as it is for protecting other potential targets.
- As one in our community wrote on a CareerConnect message board, learn how to deal with passive aggressive bullies. Thanks, "LowVisionGuy", great advice on using direct communication!
- Speak up if you witness a bully victimizing another. Even if you overhear seemingly innocent yet cutting remarks, take a stand for the victim by saying something to stop or correct the hurtful words.
- If you have been bullied and you’re feeling quite distraught, seek help. As one in our community wrote on a CareerConnect message board, bullying is traumatizing! It truly is. Identify your feelings and talk with others in similar situations or seek professional counseling.
October is Bullying Prevention Month; let’s shine the light on this cruel, all-too-common issue.