I’m not generally one for watching a lot of TV, but there are some programmes that are so gripping, they have you on the edge of your seat, shouting at the poor actor on TV to do something different than is written in the script. This week saw the Drama Series ‘Sticks and Stones’ character Thomas being subject to his work colleague’s endless verbal attacks and countless bullying tactics to humiliate and torment him and send him over the edge.
I have to say here, that I didn’t watch all the episodes – basically because I couldn’t bring myself to do so! I usually tell people it’s only a TV programme when they talk about how the characters are reacting to each other. But, in this instance, the scenes could have been out of a real workplace situation that I think a lot of people would have been affected in some way by it’s airing. My opinion is that it’s great to bring these issues out into the open. It began to bring up so many memories of my own bullying that must have been hidden deep. I thought I had cleared myself of being the bullying “victim”, but life has a way of showing you otherwise. I did watch all of the last episode though, which saw Thomas have the “fairy-tale” ending that the victim would wish for the bullies. But for many victims of bullying, they don’t quite have the ‘happy’ ending.
The Universe brings us many coincidences – at the same time as this TV drama was aired, five of my clients happened to mention they’d been subject to bullying incidences over the last couple of weeks, albeit, some have been going on for longer – they just raised the subject this week. As if that wasn’t enough, I then encountered an ‘incident’ where I felt someone was attempting to humiliate me in front of others. You see, bullying doesn’t have to be the obvious verbal abuse. The bully can be so subtle, that anyone else ‘witnessing’ it would not perceive the attack as anything to get hurt or anxious over. But the bully knows full well what makes their victim tick and what pushes their buttons. It affected me so much that I feel compelled to write about it – both for the therapeutic effect – very much like journaling your worries, as I obviously need to spend time doing some inner work to clear more of these blocks myself, AND to provide help and hope to anyone else out there who finds themselves the victim of bullying.
I understand what a bit of banter between colleague are and if all sides are laughing between them, this is not the same thing as one person utterly humiliating and belittling another colleague.
Now I have already done heaps of work to clear the bullying tactics that were aimed at isolating me in my school days (possibly why I don’t mind spending a lot of time on my own now – I’m used to it). I’ve sought help and helped myself. I can totally see why things happened the way they did at school, and why it was done. And it was only within a certain group, I still had a few friends in other classes. That’s all very much healed now. But the TV programme ignited the memories of my latter years in the NHS. This TV series brought up the memories of this, along with all the old feelings as if it happened yesterday. But then, that is what the mind does – it doesn’t have a concept of time, so everything that happens is as if it is happening right now. This bullying tactic (and I’m guessing at this, because, yes, I have no proof at all to say I was bullied) I guess was to push those who don’t fit into the new structure out and to bring more new people in. The uncanny similarities to the TV Series of the clever way I was bullied was so subtle, it was enough, not to make other ‘witnesses’ suspicious. Though I have to say that it didn’t consume my life – I didn’t go home and lose sleep over it. But it was more of an acceptance that it happened to me. I couldn’t do anything about it (could I?). But I know that for others, it can affect their work, their personal life and their mental health, if left to continue unresolved for any length of time. I’m not surprised to see over the internet that most people who saw the programme merely complained about some discrepancies to real life, such as his car being towed away that wouldn’t happen. What they fail to appreciate is the more the crux of the situation I believed is a metaphor for where the ‘victim’ finds themselves in the situation that ‘everything’ feels like it’s going wrong. The reality is that not everything is going wrong BUT the victim would feel like it is.
Due to the nature of the beast with the bully or bullies acting with such subtlety, it is extremely hard for the victim to prove what is happening to them. No one will believe them. Or worse still, ‘witnesses’ may have an inkling or know full well what is going on but turn their backs as if it’s not happening, just relieved that it’s not aimed at them. This makes is very hard to stop it from happening. There was another incident whilst in the NHS that that ended up badly for me, which happened in front of others. This came flooding back to my memory when I saw the part when Thomas went berserk in the room full of all his bullies, his boss and the rep from HR. I can fully appreciate his anger and frustration creating the rage festering, then rising up inside, coming out to explode. I did this, though not in such a dramatic way. I wasn’t laying on the floor reduced to a quivering wreck like Thomas. But after about half an hour of belittlement, I snapped and said some things that I regret – well I shouted and swore at the person. I only regret it because I should have handled the situation better. I don’t regret actually saying something to make this person stop my anger raging up inside me – I needed the situation to stop. But the person reported me, so I was called to management for my actions. Not at one point were the actions of the other person raised. They became the victim. I have to say the incident was then forgiven by all parties and I did move on, I felt it wasn’t worth carrying on the grudge. I soon got myself another job and was able to leave it all behind anyway. I knew this was the only way to keep myself sane in the long run. And they got their own way – the new people got rid of me. And I never experienced any acts of bullying directed towards me in any further employed jobs (though I heard it did go on in other teams). I did experience some bullying mentality from some peers when I moved on to my therapy work, but I soon realised why they felt the need to do it – some feel it’s a competitive market, which is not the case at all.
I also want to take the opportunity here to make amends if I have ever caused anyone else suffering from the things I have said to them. I profusely apologise and am sincerely sorry. It horrifies me to think that I may have in the distant past and at school joined in with saying things to others that would have hurt their feelings. We may all have, even at one time, being party to causing someone else’s hurt. But, whilst I’m not condoning these actions at all, I think the difference between an odd incident and someone who continues to belittle and bully someone else on a daily basis, at any opportunity they can get is that they do mean to hurt and hurt you badly.
We hear that so much bullying is going on in schools, but don’t hear much about bullying in the workplace. (It also happens at home – whilst I wholeheartedly pray that victims of bullying at home get all the help they so desperately need, this issue is outside the scope of this article). I Googled to see what help was available for victims of bullying. I couldn’t find anything for how to raise awareness of bullying in the workplace. Hopefully, there is something about it, but I couldn’t find it with a quick Google search There are quite a few websites to help children, but alas, it’s by far, still not enough. Bullying is still rife in schools because nothing is done to find out why the bully does what they do. Which only serves for the bully to continue to find themselves new victims in adulthood. You may think I’ve got myself confused here – that we should only help the victim. Now, I’m not condoning what a bully does or saying that they shouldn’t receive deserved punishment at all. But, the raw truth is when someone feels the need to bully, especially in adulthood, it’s the hidden sign of their own unhappiness with their life.
Let’s have a look at the potential reasons why a bully will bully (for a bully doesn’t bully because they are a happy person inside):
- They are so unhappy with their situation that they want to make someone else’s life as miserable as theirs. Note here, that the bully will never, ever make out that their life is not good. In fact, they would go to all lengths to let people perceive that they are thriving, successful, powerful, rich and so on.
- They are jealous of you because you might be prettier, smarter, more successful than them.
- It is an animal instinct to be more competitive. (Animals have this tendency for survival). See how the TV Programme saw the threat of redundancy bring out the competitive streak and saw the ‘strong’ force the weaker to be weakened until they were ousted from their tribe. They will do everything in their power to isolate you and send you over the edge
- People like having power and being in control. There are those who are made to feel powerless by others (abused, picked on or bullied at home) will find the only way to feel their own power is to make other people feel powerless in return (rather than resolving the issue from source, this is the only way they know how to handle it).
- They have a deep hidden belief that they are ‘not enough’ or ‘not worthy’. The insecurities that arise with these beliefs create, in some people, a craving to get around this by picking on someone else that has a vibrational match of ‘I’m not enough’ or ‘I’m not worthy’. If a bully makes someone else feel unworthy, it makes themselves feel a bit more worthy.
And one person could have a few or all of these traits. And there are other possible reasons – these are the main ones.
So, we understand now how much more rife bullying is in the workplace than we’d like to believe. If you have no proof, it is extremely difficult to get anyone to believe you. Of course, management would not like to think bullying goes on in their company, to the extent they may turn a blind eye to the reality or not wish to have the reputation of their company in jeopardy. It may also be management who is doing the bullying. But know that this is not normal and should not be allowed to continue. I’ve often heard that when someone tries to raise awareness of the actions of their bully, they get told that’s just how that person is. I’m sorry but that’s not how it should be. Just because that’s how somebody is does not make it right or acceptable or should not be ignored.
I’m not an ‘expert’ in this field, nor qualified in counselling anybody in how to deal with bullying. My ‘qualification’ is my own experience of being at the hands of bullies, but I’ve sought help from other intuitive therapists and helped myself in healing from it (completely clearing the emotional attachment) so I can move onward and upward in life with no remorse or regret.
HOW TO CHANGE THINGS AROUND
If you are finding yourself a victim of bullying or have been bullied in the past and it brings up raw memories, whilst I advocate telling others to stop the bullies, there are things you can do to change yourself and the way other people would perceive you. I want to share with you just some of the steps I take to heal and disconnect the emotional attachment when I find memories of past coming back to haunt me.
You might not like some of the things I have to say and might feel resistance. But I’m only telling you what you need to hear to be able to fully heal – the truth (this may not always be what you want to hear!)
You need to deeply clear the connection to heal yourself of the torment, otherwise, it’s possible that you may find yourself in a repeated pattern of bullying in the future. Just ‘putting it behind you’ is the same as sweeping the dust under the rug – it is all still there, it’s just suppressed.
This is a lot of inner work to explore why someone else feels the need to see you as a victim. Not for one minute am I saying this is easy to do. Doing inner work is like learning to drive a car or learning to read and write. It doesn’t all get fixed in 2 minutes – you have to learn what to do and practice and practice, until everything falls into place. You have to start living, breathing, eating, sleeping every moment of every day you possibly can becoming a different person – one that people look up to, respects, listens to and so on – whatever you want yourself to be. This can take time for you to put the changes in place. But I urge you to keep going, never give up, and then I promise you, you will start to see a shift in energy occurring, which has a ripple effect on how others perceive you and therefore treat you. There is not the space here to go into too much depth. My clients learn how to meditate as a starting point to shifting from what they don’t want to what they do want. If you’ve never meditated before, I urge you to learn how to, as getting this part right is one of the essential keys to changing your current ‘reality’. There are lots of mindfulness meditations available on the internet to practice getting into a relaxed state and changing your brainwave pattern to slow down. Included in the steps below are the next stage to relaxation meditations, where you go on a journey, change your feelings and emotions and visualise what you want (in other words meditations with a mission).
- Awareness that the thoughts and feelings you give out to the world are a reflection of what you get back. You may not realise it but you are a vibrational match to what you want to receive. Once you totally comprehend and accept this, then manifesting what you want would feel a little easier to do. I hear you saying here that no one would want to be on the receiving end of a bully. This is NOT about your conscious self, but what is your unconscious self telling you? If you’ve heard about the Law of Attraction, this is partly what I’m talking about. You get what you focus on. Let’s look at another example. If you are in debt, our conscious mind obviously wants money to come to us to pay off the debt. But the key here is to really listen to what you are saying. If you say I wish I wasn’t in debt, I want to get out of debt – what is the thing you are thinking of and how do you emotionally feel about it? Do you understand here that all you are focusing on is the debt – your emotions are low = your vibration is about debt. Therefore, the Universe can only bring you what you are focusing on – more debt. You will then say this is your reality – it is the reality you have created for yourself. I’ll explain further below how to turn this around.
- Share your story with someone – a family member or close friend. There will be someone who has also experienced the same thing. You already know that keeping things to yourself, bottled up, makes the thought of the situation worse. Sharing with someone may give you a release, may not make it feel as bad and therefore creates space to think about what you are going to do clearer and make a better decision.
- Stop playing a ‘victim’ and believe in yourself. This will be hard for you to hear I know, and a statement of the obvious, but not easy to do, but bear with me here. If you saw the programme, did you see how Thomas ‘allowed’ his colleagues to continue the bullying because he didn’t know how to stand up to them or what to say or how to act. Were you shouting at Thomas to say something different, act differently or walk away from the situation? His whole demeanor screamed ‘I am a victim, come and victimise me’. The next stages should help you get out of the ‘victim’ mode.
- I don’t expect you to do this next step at the time you are faced with the bully. But all the inner work you do to start with is when you can find a quiet space and time to yourself. Sit down to meditate over this (you can close your eyes to help you focus but you can keep your eyes open if you prefer – you could even write things down). Think of someone (or a beloved pet) that you love deeply. Start to feel how much you love that person/pet. Keep up that feeling of unconditional love as the main emotion. If you try this and get it, you will understand that you can’t have a vibration of unconditional love, AND at the same time hatred. Now, send that feeling of love towards you. Let the feeling wash over you. Once you’ve practiced a few times (this is not just a one-time thing) the emotion will get stronger. Can you also see how much better you feel? You have raised your vibration. (I know there might be issues for you of loving yourself – this is another deep-set belief you will have picked up but understand that there are ways of overcoming this).
- Read the sections on reasons why bullies bully people. Once you have even an inkling of a feeling of unconditional love, now think of the bully and how they interact with you. Think about why they would do this to you. When you sit quietly and think, don’t question or analyse – just accept the first thing that comes into your mind. Are they jealous of you; do they not want to see you succeed because of their own insecurities; are they in a situation at home where they feel powerless. Or is there anything else that immediately comes up for you. This is a stage where you can be a ‘fly on the wall’ – no emotional attachment to them. But you may actually feel sorry for them now. You can see why they do what they do.
- This allows us to create “forgiveness”. I’m putting “forgiveness” in quotes because the definition that you may have about forgiveness is not what you might think in using it to heal circumstances like this. This is NOT about forgiving someone else. This is all about detaching yourself and your energy from the bully. You are raising your vibration ABOVE that of the bully. You are creating an energy in which the bully CANNOT get to you, or play on your feelings. If you genuinely forgive them AND basically don’t have the same feelings (ie that of hatred or anger or frustration), they cannot attack your energy. This is also a way of emanating a higher vibration to help the bully’s vibration. Think how great it would be if the bully was given a chance to never bully anyone else again.
- Visualise how you want a situation to be. Your mind doesn’t know the difference between what’s real and what’s imagination. So use your imagination as wildly as you want it to be. How do you want the situation to be?
- Show your heartfelt gratitude that the situation has resolved, and you are no longer bullied. Do this before it ever happens (over and over again – be consistent). And just like the unconditional love exercise, you have to feel it and believe it will happen. If you tell your mind it has already happened, great things occur. Your vibration must emanate the gratitude, the unconditional love, the forgiveness and your belief, well before it’s real, because, this is the way YOU make the reality happen.
Hope this helps and my heartfelt unconditional love goes out to you to be strong enough, and consistent enough to make the changes for yourself. In a world where most people are working from a low vibration, working from fear, anger, frustration and hatred and making decisions based on these feelings, please help yourself to rise above all that and make a life for yourself that you love.