Dealing With Bullying as an Adult
Often, when we talk about bullying, we discuss children and their issues with school bullies or cyberbullying. Rarely do we talk about how bullying can affect adults. But, the reality is that many adults can feel intimidated and scared by others who belittle them and abuse them mentally or physically. We are expected to ‘get on with it’ and ‘grow up’ if we complain because we aren’t seen as vulnerable as children. However, bullying can still leave an impact on our mental health and leave us suffering from depression and anxiety.
Most adult bullying tends to stem from the workplace or family. When we are trapped in a building for eight hours a day with this one person, it can be hard to escape them. And if we feel like we can’t ask for help, then we truly feel helpless. Family members can also bully adults for various reasons, such as wanting to feel superior and make their sibling, child or cousin feel like they are worthless. So how can we deal with bullying like this as an adult? Read on for my top tips on how you can stop feeling the negative impact of bullying and seek the help you deserve.
Keep Your Distance
If you can, you should try and stay as far away from your bully as possible. Maybe you work in different departments at work. If you need to go to their department, ask a colleague to do it for you. Exchange work so while they are popping over to the other office, you are doing something for them in return. If you work in the same office, try to speak to your boss or HR about exchanging desks with someone, so you don’t have to sit near them. For lunch, avoid them or go out and grab a bite to eat away from the office with your workmates.
Bullies aren’t worth your time, and if you can avoid them, you should do so as it helps decrease mental stress. If your bully is a family member, avoid them during family gatherings and focus your energy on speaking to those who you love and love you back. If you live with them at home, you are forced together, so it may be better to try and sit down and talk it out as a family.
If you can’t escape being around your bully, then your next tactic is to avoid reacting to anything they say. Bullies say and do mean things to get a rise out of you as it spurs them on to keep hurting you. When your bully says something to you, ignore it and walk away. Try not to let your anger show on your face as this is still a reaction they will like. Remain neutral and get back to whatever task you were doing.
Bullies might try and harass you in front of others to make themselves seem tough and make you seem small and worthless. Don’t let the pressure of other people watching cause you to crumble. Remain strong and stare back at them with a blank face. Don’t walk away in this situation as it will make the bully feel successful in scaring you off. The awkwardness created by you ignoring their comments will make the bully look bad to the spectators and not you as intended.
Ask for Help
You shouldn’t be afraid to ask for help because you are an adult. Bullies can be more vicious and dangerous as adults, so we should seek out support when possible. Speak to your boss or HR about the issue and see if they can speak to the bully and start figuring out why this situation has come about. They should be able to help move you around the office if that makes you feel more comfortable and provide you with the support you need to move on from the bullying and focus on your happiness in the workplace. At home, talk to other family members who might have suffered at the hands of this bully or can help you speak to your bully and figure out how to stop them from tormenting you.
Therapy can be the perfect outlet for you to express your thoughts and feelings surrounding your situation. Because of what the bully has said or done, you may be suffering from depressive or anxious thoughts. Therapy can help you understand why you feel this way, and tackle the mental disarray the bullying has left you with. Also, if your workplace employs a therapist for its workers, it could be the place for you and your bully to work things out. You might not be able to forgive and forget straight away, but understanding some of the reasons why your bully has targeted you can help you understand that their mental health isn’t perfect either.
Don’t suffer at the hands of your bully forever, and start taking action today. The advice above can help you distance yourself from the bully and prevent them from gaining satisfaction bullying you. Contact me today for more information about my services.