Western Nebraska Observer - Observations all along the line - Kimball & the Southern Panhandle First

Freeing yourself from bullies


According to the government website, stopbullying.gov, nearly half of children in grades 4-12 reported that they had been bullied at least once a month. Not many people would be terribly surprised by this information. Anti-bullying campaigns are not new and are often showcased in schools all over America. Not only are teachers and parents supporting awareness but now even the kids themselves are invested in educating, protecting and supporting other children from being bullied and preventing others from becoming bullies.

The measures we take to protect our children from intimidation is serious and undeniable.

However, the oppression and persecution by adults towards adults is often overlooked, especially when the bully is your employer, a law enforcement officer or an elected official.

According to a CareerBuilder study from 2014, 28 percent of employees have felt bullied at work. Adults may no longer have to deal with someone trying to steal their lunch money but that doesn’t mean that all the bullies grew up and learned how to behave as good citizens. Adult bullies matured and learned how to hide their obvious actions, often finding their way into positions of supervisory power where they could continue feeding their negative behaviors without being obvious.

It’s not just men who are bullies either, the term, ‘mean girls’ from your school days is just as accurate in adulthood as it was in your younger days. Mean girls no longer take the form of head cheerleader, now they run corporations, offices and even charm their way into elected positions.

Bullies and mean girls may have carried those harmful tendencies with them from their youth, but just as many adults developed the same negative tactics while navigating a competitive work place or after gaining unexpected authority that they were not mentally or emotionally prepared for.

So, how do you know if you are being bullied as an adult? Although sometimes it’s quite obvious, adult intimidators have learned the art of subtlety. People in supervisory positions are frequently overlooked as being bullies or mean girls because it is expected for those people to be admired, not to be the cause of anxiety and fear.

Adults who bully find their power through exclusion, shaming, gossip and sabotage, just to name a few. Showing disrespect and belittling, although common traits of narcissism, should be, but are not always obvious, signs that you are being bullied as an adult. Many times, you can be certain you are dealing with an adult bully when you find that person is completely uninterested in compromise or working things out. Adult bullies are often interested in power and dominance, even believing that they are controlling situations and people for the betterment of themselves, a company or a group of people.

Do you feel that you are being bullied by your teacher, employer, or other spouse? Please know that this is not okay.

There are many websites and articles out there to help you navigate your way to freedom from such mistreatment. One such website article, entitled, “8 Keys to Handling Adult Bullies” by psychologytoday.com suggests that one important tool is to “know your fundamental human rights.” That is a freeing thought, isn’t it? Know that you not only have the right to have your own feelings and emotions but that you have the right to have a difference of opinion, even in the work place.

As this is the first month of a new year, I wish you the power and fortitude to make it a new and prosperous year, not just financially, but emotionally and physically as well.


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