My daughter has been bullied at school. It has had quite quite a traumatic time for her, and has had a big impact on her confidence. When you are a Dad, you want to do all you can (and more) to protect your little girl. You also have to understand that sometimes you have to be hands off and try and pass on the love, support and tools in life to deal with it. In any circle, a bully is an inevitability, and as you get older you learn to build up an immunity to such behaviour and shut it out, doesn’t mean it doesn’t sometimes hurt, but you learn to roll with the punches. It made me think more and want to share my thoughts on bullying in life.
In my life and my career, I’ve had to handle my fair share of bullies I’ve been thinking hard about the ones I have met and worked with and for, and closer to home now, the ones I meet online. Probably the most common are the intellectual bullies. You know the ones, they think they are wiser and better than anyone else, and love to wade in with the barbed comment, then run off to snigger with their mates. I consider them to be no better than the playground bullies, but then I console myself with the fact that you have to be noticed to be bullied in this way, there is a reverse flattery in standing out enough to intimidate someone enough to make them want to bully you. There are trolls of course, who take pleasure in trying to cause trouble, but the best way to handle them is just to ignore them, they feed off attention, starve them of it. We all get bullied some time. It is how we handle it that defines us.
In every walk of life there are people who feel significantly inferior to feel the need to bully others, and this I think is the best tactic. To remember that you already have the upper hand, that is why you got the attention, and you can use it to your advantage. How many times do you hear great comedians learnt to be funny to repel the tough guys at school. Make people laugh and disarm them, smother them with love!
The best advice I ever had was that revenge was a life lived happy. I hope I can pass this on. To my daughter, and that anyone being bullied at work or in life can take some comfort from it. The reality of life is that 99% of people are good, and will do what they can to do a good turn for another human being. Lets remember the 99%, and not let the 1% lead to a life lived in fear of others. Life’s fun, lets just laugh at the bullies and enjoy it! Lead a happy life, and where you see bullying in work or life, call it out. The good guys (and girls) should stick together.
Bill