All too often when the subject of bullying comes up we immediately think of children and the playground but children who bullied others, grow up, come in all shapes, sizes and sexes and you find them everywhere from your workplace to within your own family.
I have really learned and now teach that people who act like this, child or adult are people "offloading" their own unresolved issues by taking them out on others. We all do that at one time or another, don't we? Take out our anger, disappointment, upset etc. on others. More often than not, we do this to the people we are closest to.
Let's continue to demystify bullying behaviors, yet I wish to state something "early in the game", here. I believe once a being knows better, they have the ability to choose to do better so in no way am I condoning bullying, I'm just trying to shed a little light as to why people may behave the way they do for two reasons. One, I know in my own life when I understand where things come from, I handle how I deal with that person and my emotions around those people differently and second, if you are someone who has a tendency to get a little rough with folks, here's your opportunity to understand where it comes from and what you could do moving forward so you can stop saying things you may seriously regret not long after the syllables leave your mouth.
Bullying behaviors come from two places. Personal unhappiness and insecurity. When we are unhappy inside or we feel like we don't "measure up", that maybe we feel like we never have, we are much more prone to labeling others, gossiping about them or literally getting "in their face" about things.
A lot of this can stem from childhood when we feel very powerless. Bullying behaviors can make us feel powerful because our egos "puff us up" making us believe that we are superior to the ones we put down but in reality, my guess is in the long run, these folks don't feel better about themselves once the deed has been done. In fact, quite the opposite. I believe they feel WORSE about themselves, each bullying behavior continuing to feed the feelings of them being unhappy inside.
How to break this cycle whether kid or adult?
I see the antidote to unhappiness and insecurity being self-compassion. I believe greater self-esteem, lies in beginning to be kinder to ourselves. When we are kinder to ourselves, when we learn how to deal with the inner critic, the judge, the voice in our head telling us stupid things that mess up our relationships, we hold the key to ending these types of behaviors.
Learning to work with that voice in the head, then learning how to be kinder to yourself, in turn, causes you to be kinder to others, allowing you to feel happier and more secure, the behaviors lessen, then quite possibly, end altogether.
Bullying behaviors were learned. Anything learned can be unlearned. THIS I know.
Let's vow to end the behaviors that lead to the bullying of our fellow beings. Let's stop the labeling which puts someone in a box, a horrible, limiting "dark box" depending on what we call them. Let's stop the gossiping. We gossip to boost our own egos, nothing more. And let's deal with the things that set us off. There's help to be had, my friends, seek it out.
Let's give one another a break.
Life is heavy enough without the added weight. <3