Are YOU being bullied
We can HELP by:
Teaching you how to "DEFEND YOURSELF"
Practice "SELF AWARENESS"
Help you "GAIN CONFIDENCE"
Gaining "SELF ESTEEM"
|VICTIM OF BULLYING
|CLICK ON THIS LINK
Read through the following checklists and learn how to recognise the bullies
in your life and the harm they cause to you and others. Then click on the coloured text at the bottom to gain further insight
into bullying and how to deal with it.
Where are people bullied?
- at work by their manager or co-workers or subordinates, or by their clients (bullying,
workplace bullying, mobbing, work abuse, harassment, discrimination)
- at home by their partner or parents or siblings or children (bullying, assault,
domestic violence, abuse, verbal abuse)
- at school (bullying, harassment, assault)
- in the care of others, such as in hospital, convalescent homes, care homes, residential
homes (bullying, harassment, assault)
- in the armed forces (bullying, harassment, discrimination, assault)
- by those in authority (harassment, abuse of power)
- by neighbours and landlords (bullying, harassment)
- by strangers (harassment, stalking, assault, sexual assault, rape, grievous bodily
How do you know if you're being bullied? Bullying differs from harassment and assault
in that the latter can result from a single incident or small number of incidents - which everybody recognises as harassment
or assault - whereas bullying tends to be an accumulation of many small incidents over a long period of time. Each incident
tends to be trivial, and on its own and out of context does not constitute an offence or grounds for disciplinary or grievance
action. So, ...
What is bullying?
- constant nit-picking, fault-finding and criticism of a trivial nature - the triviality,
regularity and frequency betray bullying; often there is a grain of truth (but only a grain) in the criticism to fool you
into believing the criticism has validity, which it does not; often, the criticism is based on distortion, misrepresentation
- simultaneous with the criticism, a constant refusal to acknowledge you and your
contributions and achievements or to recognise your existence and value
- constant attempts to undermine you and your position, status, worth, value and
- where you are in a group (eg at work), being singled out and treated differently;
for instance, everyone else can get away with murder but the moment you put a foot wrong - however trivial - action is taken
- being isolated and separated from colleagues, excluded from what's going on, marginalized,
overruled, ignored, sidelined, frozen out, sent to Coventry
- being belittled, demeaned and patronised, especially in front of others
- being humiliated, shouted at and threatened, often in front of others
- being overloaded with work, or having all your work taken away and replaced with
either menial tasks (filing, photocopying, minute taking) or with no work at all
- finding that your work - and the credit for it - is stolen and plagiarised
- having your responsibility increased but your authority taken away
- having annual leave, sickness leave, and - especially - compassionate leave refused
- being denied training necessary for you to fulfil your duties
- having unrealistic goals set, which change as you approach them
- ditto deadlines which are changed at short notice - or no notice - and without
you being informed until it's too late
- finding that everything you say and do is twisted, distorted and misrepresented
- being subjected to disciplinary procedures with verbal or written warnings imposed
for trivial or fabricated reasons and without proper investigation
- being coerced into leaving through no fault of your own, constructive dismissal,
early or ill-health retirement, etc
For further information on what bullying is, click here. For an answer to the question Why me?, click here.
How do I recognise a bully?
Most bullying is traceable to one person, male or female - bullying is not a gender
issue. Bullies are often clever people (especially female bullies) but you can be clever too.
Who does this describe in your life?
- Jekyll & Hyde nature - vicious and vindictive in private, but innocent and
charming in front of witnesses; no-one can (or wants to) believe this individual has a vindictive nature - only the current
target sees both sides
- is a convincing, compulsive liar and when called to account, will make up anything
spontaneously to fit their needs at that moment
- uses lots of charm and is always plausible and convincing when peers, superiors
or others are present; the motive of the charm is deception and its purpose is to compensate for lack of empathy
- relies on mimicry to convince others that they are a "normal" human being but their
words, writing and deeds are hollow, superficial and glib
- displays a great deal of certitude and self-assuredness to mask their insecurity
- excels at deception
- exhibits unusual inappropriate attitudes to sexual matters or sexual behaviour;
underneath the charming exterior there are often suspicions or intimations of sexual harassment, sex discrimination or sexual
abuse (sometimes racial prejudice as well)
- exhibits much controlling behaviour and is a control freak
- displays a compulsive need to criticise whilst simultaneously refusing to acknowledge,
value and praise others
- when called upon to share or address the needs and concerns of others, responds
with impatience, irritability and aggression
- often has an overwhelming, unhealthy and narcissistic need to portray themselves
as a wonderful, kind, caring and compassionate person, in contrast to their behaviour and treatment of others; the bully is
oblivious to the discrepancy between how they like to be seen (and believe they are seen), and how they are actually seen
- has an overbearing belief in their qualities of leadership but cannot distinguish
between leadership (maturity, decisiveness, assertiveness, trust and integrity) and bullying (immaturity, impulsiveness, aggression,
distrust and deceitfulness)
- when called to account, immediately and aggressively denies everything, then counter-attacks
with distorted or fabricated criticisms and allegations; if this is insufficient, quickly feigns victimhood, often by bursting
into tears (the purpose is to avoid answering the question and thus evade accountability by manipulating others through the
use of guilt)
- is also ... aggressive, devious, manipulative, spiteful, vengeful, doesn't listen,
can't sustain mature adult conversation, lacks a conscience, shows no remorse, is drawn to power, emotionally cold and flat,
humourless, joyless, ungrateful, dysfunctional, disruptive, divisive, rigid and inflexible, selfish, insincere, insecure,
immature and deeply inadequate, especially in interpersonal skills
I estimate one person in thirty has this behaviour profile. I describe them as a
socialised psychopath, or sociopath: a violent, aggressive but intelligent individual who expresses their violence psychologically
(constant criticism etc) rather than physically (assault). For the full profile, click here.
What does bullying do to my health?
Bullying causes injury to health and makes you ill. How many of these symptoms do
- constant high levels of stress and anxiety
- frequent illness such as viral infections especially flu and glandular fever, colds,
coughs, chest, ear, nose and throat infections (stress plays havoc with your immune system)
- aches and pains in the joints and muscles with no obvious cause; also back pain
with no obvious cause and which won't go away or respond to treatment
- headaches and migraines
- tiredness, exhaustion, constant fatigue
- sleeplessness, nightmares, waking early, waking up more tired than when you went
- flashbacks and replays, obsessiveness, can't get the bullying out of your mind
- irritable bowel syndrome
- skin problems such as eczema, psoriasis, athlete's foot, ulcers, shingles, urticaria
- poor concentration, can't concentrate on anything for long
- bad or intermittently-functioning memory, forgetfulness, especially with trivial
- sweating, trembling, shaking, palpitations, panic attacks
- tearfulness, bursting into tears regularly and over trivial things
- uncharacteristic irritability and angry outbursts
- hypervigilance (feels like but is not paranoia), being constantly on edge
- hypersensitivity, fragility, isolation, withdrawal
- reactive depression, a feeling of woebegoneness, lethargy, hopelessness, anger,
futility and more
- shattered self-confidence, low self-worth, low self-esteem, loss of self-love,
|ON LINE HELP IF YOU ARE BEING BULLIED
|CLICK ON THE LINK
Bullying by mobile
and abusive text messages
Mobile phones have become the new weapon of choice
for bullies. With three-quarters of children now owning a mobile phone, the anonymity, sluggishness of telecommunications
service providers, and the weakness of law provide bullies with the perfect means of taunting their target with little fear
of being caught. Text messages provide complete anonymity.
Many pay-as-you-go mobile phones can be bought over
the counter and do not require proof of identity, nor is any record kept of the new owner. Calls made from these types of
mobile phone are virtually untraceable.
What can you do?
NEVER ignore threats, either verbal or by phone or
via text message. But don't respond in the way the bully wants you to. When people advise you to "just ignore it", what they
really mean is "do not respond to the taunts and provocation or engage the bullies, but take careful note of what is being
done to you, who is doing it and how, and log all of this in a diary, then immediately get your parents involved and develop
a strategy for dealing with it which you are all agreed on". So read on...
Understand what bullying is so that when it starts
you can stay in control and nip it in the bud. Do your homework now.
DO NOT UNDERESTIMATE the distress and the destructive
effect that constant bullying and harassment can have on the recipient and their family.
Get help immediately from a trusted parent - you
cannot handle bullying alone. Adults cannot handle bullying by themselves. The bullies, who operate outside social norms,
will try to isolate and separate you from friends, family and parents, but don't be fooled.
Learn to recognise the early signs and keep a detailed
diary. Print off the messages if you are able, otherwise make a careful note of every one, the date, time, the caller-ID if
available, or the reason for the caller-ID being unavailable (eg "withheld", "unavailable", etc) - even this can prove useful.
Bullies derive gratification - a perverse sense of
satisfaction - from the power and control they exert over their victim. The aim of bullies is power, control, domination and
subjugation. Bullies confirm the power and control by use of provocation. When the target responds, it's a sign that the bully
has successfully exerted control. They jerk your string, you jump. By refusing to jump, you deny the bully their sense of
Stay in control. This is a game - a nasty game, but
a game. Learn the rules of the game: it's about power and control. Tell yourself repeatedly that the threats, accusation,
allegations, criticisms etc have NOTHING WHATSOEVER to do with you - they are a device for taunting, a fabrication, a deception,
but most of all, a projection of the bully's own weaknesses, shortcomings, and failings. Every nasty word is an admission
by the bully about themselves.
Become a detective. You can work out who is calling
and pursue a course of action which will call them to account. It's unlikely you will have the resources to do this by yourself,
so get help.
It's almost a certainty that you know who the person
is who is sending you abusive text messages or calls. Think through your list of "friends" and ask yourself who might be doing
this. Motivations are usually based on jealousy and envy. Rejection is another powerful motivator.
If the bullying gets out of control, consider getting
a second mobile phone and giving the number only to close family. Give the number to only one person at a time and keep a
careful log of who you've given it to and when. Oblige everyone to whom you've given it not to give the number to anyone else.
Do this in collaboration with a trusted parent but don't tell anyone else that you are keeping a diary. Regard your old mobile
phone as a source of evidence. Every abusive call is a more evidence. If the calls reach such a level that you need to involve
the police, perhaps they might want to look after your old mobile phone. Then there's a peculiar delight in knowing that every
time the bully makes abusive calls or posts offensive text messages these are going straight to the police station