And let’s take a look at adult bullying – college through career. It’s alive and thriving. My niece is a great athlete, and she had to change schools because some of her team mates bullied her and some other players. And – the coach was a bully because he didn’t take their reports seriously, even asking these amazing players and women to change their behavior, so they wouldn’t be bullied!
And the workplace – oh goodness. I think everyone has had a boss or manager who gives threats, treats one employee differently than others, talks behind backs, schedules the best or worst shifts, talks down to employees, skip over someone for a promotion. Or worse, those cliques that run behind the official handbook – whose in, whose out, who to avoid, who to snuggle up to, etc. What happened to the whole idea of the Golden Rule and surrounding ourselves with the best people we can?
I’ve had a few incidents as an adult – including a father-in-law who was mean, a bully for sure, who took out his frustrations and revelations on me more than once. In fact, I think this bully did quite a bit to wreck my first marriage. He was an abusive father and spouse, and although he was never physical when his children became adults, he managed ways to continue to hurt those he said he loved. I had a co-worker who tried to “wish” me well during my cancer treatment – but really, it was her way of controlling me and controlling what I did and didn’t do – “Oh, Ronda’s not feeling well today, I’ll do that project.” “Ronda’s just not in the right place now to take on a project like that.” And her weekly GWS cards with messages such as, “You REALLY need to rest,” gave me anxiety to the point of not wanting to open her cards!
I wonder what these folks who are adult bullies had to face as children. I don’t condone their behavior, but I wonder what stressors were in their lives that cause them to wreak havoc on others?
Have you gone home from work thinking you can’t take one more day, handle one more conversation, be in the same room with . . . ?
Adult bullies are manipulators, gossips, game players, abusers, mean people, and typically underqualified for their role and fearing being found-out – or in other words - cowards!
I don’t have solutions – although I am full of phrases that have kept me sane – It is not me with the problem. Love the sinner, hate the sin. Surrender to win (meaning – he may think he’s hurting me, but I’m tossing spears of fire and hitting his target every time he tries to hurt me). And those of us who are recipients of adult bullying – do we take it home or to our own work group? Does that bullying go from the bully to us to unwitting loved ones, or the dog?
Remember – knocking someone down is not a way to get to the top. Speaking ill of someone speaks more of the bully than the one being spoken of.