When people think of bullying, they generally think about children being bullied in their school hours. This is not the only form of bullying that can happen in a person's life.
Bullying can happen to anyone at any stage of their life...
• Bullying in school settings e.g. the playground
• Bullying in the workplace
• Bullying by friends or neighbours
• Bullying by family members or partners
• Cyber bullying via text, email, internet or social media communication
A bully can target you for any number of reasons, in the workplace perhaps they are jealous or are lashing out because of difficulties in their own lives. With the internet it has become easier to be bullied by people you do not know and have never met. This kind of bullying enters your life through your phone or computer, so can feel hard to escape in an ever connected world. Counselling and therapy can help support you if you are or have been the victim of bullying of any kind.
The effects of bullying can be very powerful, robbing us of our confidence and impacting our self-esteem. Perhaps you feel embarrassed the words or actions of someone else are hurting you so deeply. It is not uncommon to feel frightened, ashamed or depressed when we are subject to the attention of bullies. It is especially difficult to manage where we come into unavoidable contact with the bully on a regular basis, e.g. in the workplace or with a partner.
• Social anxiety
• Low self esteem
• Difficulty sleeping
• Disordered eating
If we are treated differently in private that we are in front of others this might indicate that bullying is present. A single disagreement is not usually considered bullying but if someone's negative behaviour towards you is consistently unpleasant, makes you feel uncomfortable and leads you to consider ways to avoid that person you may be being bullied.
Being bullied and harassed might include...
• Feeling targeted and treated differently to others
• Being sworn or shouted at
• Pushing or other physical abuse, even if it is passed off as a joke
• Name calling or putting you down in front of others
• Minimising your achievements or taking credit for work you have done
• Selective exclusion e.g. refused access to holidays or workplace perks
In the workplace you may be able to approach your HR department for support. Or Perhaps you already have, and it has not helped. In a school setting, perhaps you are the parent of a child being picked on, there should be a school contact that can help support both you and your child. Whatever the setting of the bullying counselling can support you and help you think clearly about what is or has happened. Counselling is a safe place to recover from bullying without feeling you are being too sensitive or paranoid or that you are imagining it all. Understanding what has happened, working out what boundaries need will help you to recover your confidence and self-esteem.
I work from SE8 London and Bromley, Kent. Contact me now to see how counselling will help you recover from bullying.