Bullying is about the bully needing to feel powerful. Bullies believe their wants are more important than anyone else's. They have learned to be abusers.
I've formed this group for women to connect with other women who are dealing with bullying in the divorce process; who have husbands, ex-husbands or soon-to-be-ex-husbands that are bullys.
Bullying always involves:
- Intimidation through specific tactics meant to instill fear.
- Threats of emotional, physical and psychological harm.
- Discrimination by accusing the victim of being inferior or wrong.
- Isolation of the victim from others who may give support.
We must help victims of bullying and domestic abuse. This can be done by:
- Listening to their stories.
- Watching for changes in behaviour, especially from happy to fearful.
- Observing and listening how they interact with others.
- Asking about any indications that hint at being afraid or avoiding people or places.
You are looking for signs of fear, anxiety about who they speak with, talk of having no friends, worry about their activities being discovered by their spouse and in general a focus on feeling safe rather than excited about living life. The first step in dealing with abuse is recognizing it. If you recognize any of the above symtoms, here are the actions you should take to help your friend or loved one.
We can identify bullies by:
- Watching the way they talk to their spouse.
- Observing the way they speak about their spouse.
- Look at their interaction with others for intimidation and control.
- Paying attention to the types of shows and TV programs they prefer.
Signs of abuse include belittling and name calling, talk of "getting" other people, a superior attitude with lack of care and empathy for others and forming groups where the group acts aggressively against members of a race, religion or sexual orientation.
Bullies often present as confident and popular so people believe they are not the cause of the problem.
Too often the victim is seen as the problem. Their aches and pains, reluctance to join in with others, their easy tears, insecure behaviour and lack of confidence are looked at as being anti social.
People who bully are usually going about their lives confident that the victim's physical and emotional reactions were because they are too sensitive, not mentally well and author of their own misfortune.
Bullies have usually been bullied. They are afraid of appearing weak or fearful. They need to tell their story of who has bullied them and how that behaviour has influenced their life to break the chain. It may be a parent, sibling, grandparent, friend, neighbour, role model on television, religious leader or teacher.
Legal tactics include bullying as do many other forms of business interaction. Many workplaces are filled with bullies. War is bullying to the extreme.
There are lifelong repercussions of bullying that effect the way a person functions in their home and in society. Bullying causes a loss in self confidence, hinders achievement, disrupts routines, brings fear into the lives of parents and children, prevents parents from protecting their children out of their own fear and leads to Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome.
Accountability involves forgiveness.
Bullies need to:
- Hear the impact of their behaviour on their victim.
- Be willing to accept responsibility for the harm they have done.
- Compensate the victim.
Society must evolve to a point where bullies are held accountable and their behaviour is seen as unacceptable if we are to ever live in peace as people, nations and globally.
Let's discuss ways bullies can be identified and victims can be empowered safely.