Today marks International Anti-Bullying Week 2018. Shaming and trolling is still heavily prevalent in our society and we need to take a stand.
According to a global survey by YouGov, South Africa has the 4th highest rate of cyberbullying in the world. The survey also found that one in five South African teens have experienced cyberbullying first-hand and 84% know someone who has been a victim of cyberbullying.
Bullying can take many forms, from teasing and sending messages via social media to causing physical harm.
But what is less widely discussed is that one third of adults are being bullied. Life coach Natalie Dee reveals the best ways to deal with bullies as an adult.
The London based expert says: ‘More often than not adults who are bullied were bullied as children and they carry that emotion with them which is linked to a lack of self-worth. Bullies are reacting to life and have experienced psychological pain too. There are techniques you can use to disperse of them in your life.’
1 Be careful how you approach it with your boss if it’s bullying in the workplace. ‘Usually adults will speak to their best friends about it but with no successful outcome. Speak to someone senior in the office but don’t share the bully’s name or point the finger. Ask your colleague if they can mediate the situation. Always be professional and respectful.’
2 Channel neuro-linguistic programming. ‘Imagine the bully all dressed up as a cartoon and everything they are saying is through a helium balloon, it’s a temporary illusion which will disconnect emotion from that part of the negative memory. It asks the brain to come up with different images.’
3 Consider their pain. ‘Happy people don’t bully, so ask yourself whatever this person is going through must be pretty terrible to succumb to bullying you. Detach yourself from their pain. Words are nothing, take the power out of the words and remember that words can’t touch you.’
4 Don’t respond to comments or messages on social media. ‘Don’t engage in it and take a conscious decision to be more private. Up your privacy settings and don’t confront them, the moment you do you are accepting the invitation.’
5 Utilise your emotional intelligence. ‘Be respectful and smart. Keep a record of what you have done in case it does get more severe. Record everything you do in the eventuality of it being a severe case that could go to court. Screenshot everything so you have evidence to protect yourself.’
6 Use your imagination. ‘Imagine the bully dressed casually on a beach, this will encourage you to see them as an ordinary person. In your mind, observe them, see that nobody is better than anyone else.’
7 Don’t rise to it and confront them. ‘They’re the bully; you don’t need to expose yourself to their negative behaviour or nastiness. You won’t be able to change someone and you won’t be their first victim so deal with it professionally, even if it isn’t happening at work.’
8 Acknowledge you are being bullied. ‘If others are aware of the situation but you haven’t taken action you need to. If you are having a miserable life then speak to a councillor or coach. If you start doubting your self-worth that feeling won’t ever go away and will just develop so nip it in the bud as soon as you can. This isn’t a reflection of you as a person.’
If this resonates with you there are people you can talk to. You can contact the South African Depression and Anxiety Group on 011 234 4837 or 0800 12 13 14.
This post originally appeared on Cosmopolitan.com/uk
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