When we think of bullies we picture the mean kid who would beat us up or stole from us in the school yard. I think most people equate bullying with their youth and rarely see what happens in adult life as be bullied.
There are three different types of bullying; emotional, physical and verbal. Bullying can be defined as any repeated act by a person or group that enforces power over another person or group. Think about how many situations in life that can fit in to that definition.
Bullying can happen at home, in school, at work and within your social network to name a few. We need to be confident and defend ourselves and others. Bullying will never stop in any situation until someone says enough.
Know that the bully is in the wrong and you have every right to sit wherever you want in the cafeteria, talk to whoever you want as no one is owned or go after that promotion. In my experience with bullies, both personal and observed, the bully is screaming out for attention or trying to fill a void. This does not make it okay, but it does make the bully a person instead of a monster and he or she needs guidance and consequence.
What do you do when you see someone being bullied, could you recognize it if you saw it? Some forms of bullying are very in your face and others are slighter. In any case neither is ok and should be stopped. If you see someone being bullied don’t just stand by and watch get help or help the person yourself (be careful not to put yourself in harm’s way). If you’re being bullied tell someone about it and get it to end.
Find your voice and say no to bullying. Trust me it feels much better standing up to someone bullying a friend or stranger then just walking away. Take the power away from the bully by talking to someone and standing up for yourself.
On this day of anti-bullying be a part of the change that could save a life. Be the good you want to see in this world. Recognize when your behaviours could be perceived as bullying and correct them not just for the other person but for yourself as well.
No matter where you are there is tons of information on the internet (just Google anti bullying), at your school or at work. There are always ways to help!
“Courage is fire, and bullying is smoke.” -Benjamin Desraeli