Tag Archives: bullying

Miss Congeniality’s Sister: Sandra Bullied

When Ms. Bullock’s forgotten sister gets bullied in school, more hurtful gossip’s sure to be on the horizon than usual. Bringing up sister.  — BadWitch

Readers Are Spellbound & Perplexed…

Dear GWBW — I have two daughters and one of them gets cyber bullied and bullied in school, while her sister is Miss Popular. This makes the picked on one feel even worse. How do help her? — Torn Dad

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Dear Torn Dad,

I’m sorry to hear about your family’s pain and your daughters’ (both of them) situation. While it’s pretty easy to see how difficult your bullied daughter must have it, it may be less obvious what your more popular daughter is feeling around her sister’s situation at their school. Some of her feelings might surprise you — they may have common ground in shame while experiencing/expressing it very differently. Aside from informing and involving school officials (and why not any other support groups your family may be involved with, such as your church or cyber bullying organizations), holding regularly scheduled supportive and strategic family meetings towards encourage your daughters (and by extension, your family) to work as a team (solidarity, identifying and less loneliness for both) to soothe if not conquer the abusiveness, and build up self-esteem. From A-Z in the process, enable the sisters’ truthful sharing by embracing both seemingly positive and negative emotions offered. Shedding light on them is the most important part, not that someone may have what may on the surface appear to be “inappropriate” feelings (i.e., shame or embarrassment of either the situation or her sibling). If they weren’t close before, sharing this experience may help them forge a bond that could long outlive your family unit.

Some previous GWBW posts (search “bully” at our site for others):

Bull Dozing Billy

Bully Schoolyard, Parents Want Discipline

(building character) Dodgeball, In or Out of Bounds?

Basic cyber bullying TIPS:

• Delete messages from offenders without reading them

• Don’t try to seek revenge or cyber bully back, or someone else

Awareness of why teens bully:

• It gives them attention

• They think everyone cyberbullies

Stay aware of your kids’ friends on- and offline. Talk openly and regularly about their online activities, and restrict computer time to homework and approved sites and (email) lists.

No Bully Zone,

BadWitch

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Your Witches are in a period of time when family issues are omnipresent for us each. Send some love and light to GoodWitch and her fam today especially. Thank you.

Image: Chris Whitehead, Getty Images

Juicy Relationship Coaching for Leaders and Individuals.

Mondays money, work, purpose dilemmas. Thursdays family, relationships, love dramedy. Send your brewing questions on how to thrive—not just survive— modern life to: coaching@stillsitting.net.

© 2009-2017 ManifestGroup. All rights reserved.

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Workplace Bullying the New Sexual Harassment

When most of us spend the majority of our lives in the workplace, the last thing we need is to be made to feel intimidated, humiliated or belittled. Taking back your power on the clock.  — BadWitch

Readers Are Spellbound & Perplexed…

Dear GWBW — Ladies, have you heard that office bullying is the new workplace sexual harassment? The numbers are staggering that it is often woman-on-woman bullying. I’m a junior attorney and I’m the one being bullied. Any suggestions other than legal advice that I’ve got covered? How to cope? Red & Bullied

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Dear Red & Bullied,

First off, I’m sorry you’re enduring such mind (psycho-emotional) and body (health, including organ malfunction and immune system deterioration) draining attacking, Red. Make no mistake there is no excuse for such behavior on the playground or the workplace, and to clarify, “bullying” is not a bad mood or a single incident. Bullying is the repeated unreasonable behavior imposed on a specific individual or group, which causes physical or psychological harm. But you can do more towards controlling your “enduring” reaction and how your mind and body respond to lessen the negative, corrosive effects.

Bullying in the workplace is where sexual harassment was a few decades ago: beginning to be taken as a serious and harmful offense. While not completely extinct, the decline in sexual harassment had to go through its arc to finally being considered unacceptable by our society, and resulting in more assistance for its victims. As sexual harassment victims can tell you, bullying is also a complex issue often involving power, anger management, stress and self-esteem (and far more). Talk about this (not in a slanderous or gossipy tone) plainly and educate others about your experience and feelings. I realize there is always a “when ready” factor, but please don’t bottle up or hide in the closet your feelings from these events. If possible, seek support in numbers of your like-minded/-experienced peers.

I know you know to document, document, document and get HR involved, as appropriate, for recordkeeping. For my personality, taking action is taking care of myself and actively working on healing my self. When I need help, I feel no shame in asking for it (as you have here). But how individuals internalize experiences — especially one as aggressively dished out and humiliating as bullying — is extremely personal. Seek help from a counselor, and/or to better understand how your personality handles its stressful challenges, try a personality-based stress management program like StillSitting. Whatever your personality, don’t keep the humiliation, anger or frustration of being attacked (often publicly in an uneven power situation) stuffed down or let it control your life by controlling your mind. You can release yourself from the invisible but powerful aspects of the assault of bullying.

Take your power back,

BadWitch

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Dear Red & Bullied,

As I’ve always said, there’s nothing worse than a wimp with power—workplace junior dignitaries controlled by insecurities while wielding the modicum of power they have in whiplash fashion. How do you deal? Take care of yourself.

Bullies thrive on pointing out your challenges. Instead of feeling “less than” because some insecure asshole is jumping up and down on your hot button of shame, embrace it. That shame you hide so deeply in the back of the closet is the very ammunition your bully needs. Unearth it. Face your challenges head on and give yourself some love around the issue.

We all have weaknesses. Rather than take the stance of victim or match the angry energy of your bully—pointing out their weaknesses—take a breath. Acknowledge the truth without accepting blame, shame or regret. An even reply like, “Yeah, I’m working on that,” said with confidence can take the wind out of any bullies sails. If you do not allow them power over you, they will move on to an easier target. Bullies want to get a reaction. Don’t give it to them.

In the meantime going home to drink your sorrows away by yourself is no way to cope. Trust me, I’ve tried. Talk to your friends, the people in your life who respect and love you as you are. And I don’t just mean a bitchfest, I mean deep discussions where you explore how you are helping this situation continue to drag you down. If you can’t leave the environment, you must learn how to adapt your own behavior and responses to affect change.

Some of this is the fine art of office politics with which I cannot help you, because I do not have enough info to tell you how to finesse higher ups to bring light to this situation. Also, lawyers are notorious for not liking tattle tales, ironically. “Toughen up,” is likely to be the most compassionate phrase you hear out of that group. This is a group that likes to argue and recognizes the need for bravado to get ahead.

Build up your own self-esteem by embracing all of who you are. Take inventory and appreciate what you have to offer and what you are still working on and realize that perfection is a myth. Then start meditating. That’s right, take some time each morning to check in with you and get balanced in your own energy BEFORE you are immersed in the energetic swamp of your bully. You will have an easier time not reacting and, therefore, not being such an appealing target.

BTW, your bully probably has some jealousies and/or insecurities about who you are and, therefore, feels like they need to take you down a peg or two. Realize the back-handed compliment, then give yourself the props you deserve and keep on rolling. As someone always said, “Don’t let the turkeys get you down.” I might add turkeys can’t fly. Don’t stay stuck at their lower energy. Use your wings.

Mantra: My world is bigger than this moment. My soul is bigger than these trifling attacks. I am more than this. And I step forward in strength and grace—as I am meant to.

Strength, Courage and Wisdom,

GoodWitch

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Juicy Relationship Coaching for Leaders and Individuals.

Mondays money, work, purpose dilemmas. Thursdays family, relationships, love dramedy. Send your brewing questions on how to thrive—not just survive— modern life to: coaching@stillsitting.net.

© 2009-2017 ManifestGroup. All rights reserved.

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Bully Schoolyard, Parents Want Discipline

Bullying in schools is pushing its way around again. Studies show girls bully emotionally and boys bully physically and emotionally. When bullying respects nothing and no one, and the parents won’t do anything about it.   — BadWitch

Readers Are Spellbound & Perplexed…

Dear GWBW — I’m at my wits end! My daughter is getting bullied at school by another girl. This has been going on for months. Now, my daughter’s backpack was stolen last week, but the school library books from the backpack returned! WTF?! I’ve tried talking to this girl’s parents, but they refuse to believe their “little angel” would do anything wrong. They think my daughter provokes the abuse! Again, WTF?! What can I do? This is an impossible situation for our whole family and, of course, most especially, my daughter.  — Over This Bully Bullsh–

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Dear Over This Bully Bullsh–,

It sounds like you need to get the school involved—teachers , principal. I know a lot of times kids who are being bullied are unwilling for their parents to get involved, but getting this out in the open is the only way to get this to stop. The bully needs to know there are consequences for her actions.

Now, as far as the girl’s parents protecting their “little angel,” remember bullies are made, not born. Something is clearly troubling this girl to leave her over-flowing with aggression. I’m not saying this to blame or excuse the parents. It sounds like it is time to have a hard-nosed talk with her parents. If you really believe this girl is responsible or the missing backpack, have her parents check her room. No one deserves to have their personal belongings stolen. No one deserves abuse. If they still don’t get it, go through the school.

Remind your daughter to go through the appropriate channels when the bullying starts. Trying to handle it her self simply isn’t working. Also, both you and your daughter should do some self-esteem and stress management training. Work with her to give her the tools she needs to grow into a confident  woman. Remind her that tomorrow may hold an entirely different future. Don’t let her get stuck here, seeing herself as a victim. Give her the tools to rise above it.

My heart and my prayers go out to your family. Constantly dealing with someone else’s misplaced aggression is frustrating, depressing and maddening. You need to remember and remind your daughter that petty tyrants are our best teachers. Help your daughter define how she contributes to the situation. Does she retaliate instead of seeking assistance from a teacher? Does she refuse to stand up for herself, protecting her rights? Changing our behavior has the effect of changing a dynamic and with it people’s reactions. Remind her that bullies target those who they will get a satisfying reaction from–once achieved they continue to bully to get more of that reaction. If your daughter stops reacting or changes tactics by telling a teacher, there is a good chance the bully will move on to another target.

Talk to your principal. What strategies do they have in place to deal with bullies? Research and connect them with groups that do bully workshops. Get other parents involved and educate the educators if need be. Be proactive.

Sending you waves of support,

GoodWitch

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Dear Over Bully Bullsh–,

What right thinking person would disagree that our schools, not just should, but need to be a safe haven for children against bullying? When today’s bullies come in all shapes, sizes and social ranking, but often teachers and schools are still opting for the elaborate Time Out (and resulting in yet more bullying to suicide), it’s way past time to step up our tools. I’m not usually a fan of attempts at legislating how people get along, but the apparent lack of good parenting, and schools’ tied hands, against this well-noted rise in school aggression, anger and bullying, seem to call for it. This national epidemic is in need of Congressional legislation to help in providing teachers and schools training, proactive peer counseling/motivation techniques and supportive rules and laws against violence and bullying. Hey, if it takes laws to get the job done, perhaps our larger society’s PC-silence, violence enabling and anti-violence laws will toughen up to reflect this disturbing and growing trend of child disrespect, coarseness, and bullying-as-conflict-resolution (learned and perpetuated by their own slack online-social mores, violent video games and movies, and a seeming lack of adult guidance to civility and cooperation).

Closer to home, what can you do to help and support your daughter, and foster in her trust and openness in relationships, rather than cynicism and negativity and — stop bullying now ? Try eating dinner together as a family. Limit TV daily viewing (studies show each additional hour spent in front of the TV per week at age 2-1/2 corresponded to a 10% increase in being bullied by peers; the finding suggests these kids are “learning to be just a passive receptacle”), and stick to it! My mom didn’t let us go out and play until our homework was done; adapt this to your schedule but the rule is: “Responsibilities first.” Encourage cooperation between your own children and their friends, e.g., homework to sharing and giving away (charity) toys and even TV time — then don’t forget to recognize and applaud their constructive activity, e.g., “Good job – I appreciate your helping your brother without my asking you to.” Help them build habits of cooperation, civility and connection that will serve them well on and off the schoolyard, and into adolescence and adult citizens of our society at large.

More on Bullying from us...

BadWitch

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Juicy Relationship Coaching for Leaders and Individuals.

Mondays money, work, purpose dilemmas. Thursdays family, relationships, love dramedy. Send your brewing questions on how to thrive—not just survive— modern life to: coaching@stillsitting.net.

© 2009-2017 ManifestGroup. No materials may be used without expressed written permission.

Bulldozing Billy: Dealing with Bullies

intimidationDogGot a building you need razed? Call in Bulldozing Billy for the job and he’ll knock down any obstacles — like your kids — in no time! Bullying in schools and beyond is unacceptable but only a growing challenge for all of us. How to help kids?      — BadWitch

Readers Are Spellbound & Perplexed…

Dear GW/BW — My 10-year old child has been bullying some other kids in class. I’m at a loss! Why? He’s a sweet kid at home, though somewhat pushy, but he takes after his father who is a natural bulldozer.  I don’t want my son to bully. What can I do?  — Mommy in Need

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Dear Mommy in Need,

Bullying among kids is a growing problem not restricted to schools or gender. The good news is that we’re talking about kids who are malleable enough to be positively influenced toward better behavior. You know, improvement.

As the adult, it’s important to keep in mind that bullying hurts everyone, the bully included.Empathy (not sympathy)  for all parties involved is important toward real solutions. Most bullies (personality disorders excepted) don’t just happen, they are natured then nurtured. If the behavior is not corrected, 1 out of 4 of them can become criminally inclined and suffer from lesser careers and otherwise fulfilled adult lives. Victims of bullying, if bullied long enough, can suffer from emotional dysfunctions like low self-esteem, eating disorders or depression, and physical problems like G.I. issues and anxiety expressions like headaches.

Help kids deal with bullies. Walking away from bullies is the best answer, and usually takes much more courage and strength than engaging them. This is meant to not satisfy the bully’s need for a reaction, as much as to bore them to walk away themselves! Find real friends for support, and self- and group practice true confidence. Hold but don’t stuff down anger by physically working out, or journaling it out. Talking to others about your true feelings is most important for all its benefits of sharing.

If your kid is Bulldozing Billie/-y, then s/he should be encouraged to talk it out with an adult s/he admires and seek to learn through visualization (even reverse role playing) how her/his bullying makes others feel. Empathy. What it’s like to be the recipient of bullying, and how that person likely views her/him. This isn’t a popularity contest, but a Real World survivor — no one wants to be “Janice Dickenson”!

True and tenacious empathy is the practice to answer bullying.

Empathetically,

BW

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Dear Mommy in Need,

Bullying is one way children seek to understand power and how to be the one holding the power. Quite often, it is behavior they have watched from a parent or older relative. If they feel like that behavior ‘wins’ power over another, they will often mirror that behavior as they begin to decipher how to wield their own power.

So how do you break the cycle? First look for the adult culprit in the family. There is probably someone in your family who yells or uses some form of intimidation to get their way. Sadly, bullying behavior is often learned at home. But it can be prevented there, as well. There are tools available to help.

In my own family, a few steps were necessary. The first was to bring down the hammer on my child. Once she realized I knew what was happening at school and would not condone it, she began to question her methods. When she lost all privileges and had extra chores around the house for some unforeseeable future, she started to change her ways. Then, I did the unexpected. I showed up one day at school when I was not expected, picked her up early and had a one-on-one date with her. I let her know everything we discussed would be confidential.

We discussed where she had seen the bullying as an effective tool (family member) and I pointed out how that same tool was not actually working for that person’s best interest. I showed her how it effected his relationships negatively. Once she could see all the examples of how it was not working, we discussed right use of power. Want some help on deciphering right use of power? Read The Celestine Prophecy by James Redfield.

You and your child must work to new muscles. Your child must learn to work the compassion muscle, which will require constant vigilance on both your parts.  You must learn the fine balance between tough love and honest communication. Your child must see that you are watching and interested in what goes on in his/her life. It is up to you as the parent to teach your child the Rules of the Road. Give your child the rules to understanding power struggles and that might does not equal right and “being nice” does not equal weak. Watch their favorite TV shows and point out good behavior and bullying behavior. Now is the time to make a difference before the behavior is set in as part of your child’s character.

You can make a difference,

GoodWitch

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Mondays money, work, purpose dilemmas. Thursdays family, relationships, love dramedy. Send your FREE brewing questions on how to thrive—not just survive— modern life to: coaching@stillsitting.net.

© 2009 ManifestGroup. No materials may be used without expressed written permission.