What does Bullying look like in a Relationship?
When I mention bullying what I mean is the consistent behavior that creates powerlessness and destruction of self worth that leads to health issues – especially auto-immune disorders and often weight issues.
Bullying – to me - is any word or behavior that:
Puts another down
Blaming and shaming talk
Not being respected,
Not being encouraged,
Not being thanked, and appreciated.
Gives no choice
Gives no freedom
Does not support another
Says “You Should”
“You Have to”
“You Need to”
Here is a definition I like also…
“Bullying is an ongoing misuse of power in relationships through repeated verbal, physical and/or social behavior that causes physical and/or psychological harm. It can involve an individual or a group misusing their power over one or more persons. Bullying can happen in person or online, and it can be obvious (overt) or hidden (covert).
Bullying of any form or for any reason can have long-term effects on those involved, including bystanders.
SINGLE incidents and conflict or fights between equals, whether in person or online, are not defined as bullying.” https://bullyingnoway.gov.au/WhatIsBullying/DefinitionOfBullying
Now I totally get it that, if you have having ANY of these issues in any of your relationships, you may be really reluctant to get help, because to do that you have to admit that you have been rendered powerless, that you need help, that you may suffer backlash, that the other person, if they find out, may get worse, or that someone may find out “what is really going on behind your 4 walls”
There is an aura of shame around being bullied or abused, of admitting that your relationship is fraught with conflict – let’s get real here – you are NOT alone, never have been and never will be!
Let’s face it you have a choice – 2 in fact –
Now if you choose #1 then things will not get any better and chances are they will just get worse. If you have children, they will not be unaffected and will end up continuing this legacy of conflict and bullying that they are being exposed to – no matter what counselling they have. Because they are becoming dis-empowered watching your dis-empowerment and maybe their behavior will be so much worse because of the anger and frustration they feel not being able to make things right, to bring their parents happiness and love. For some reason children will believe that they are either responsible for the behavior of the adults around them, or they are responsible for fixing it! If they fail as children, they will end up with partners they try to help and fix because they want to feel powerful, useful, helpful as they never felt that as children.
I chose #2! I discovered you open a door to another world. A world where I started to discover things were not just as I had thought them to be. I discovered that the road to a Bully-Proof Relationship was possible, when I had thought it would never happen. I learnt that this road has pot-holes, hills, valleys, tsunamis, storms and magical moments.
Some of the most valuable things I learnt was that
It was NEVER about the other person
Nothing was personal – even though it seemed that way all the time
If I was to succeed it had to be an inside job
That I was the victim AND also a bully
That the other was a bully AND also a victim
The old paradigm of judgment, blame, shame + criticism NEVER works
Empowerment is the ONLY way out
The buck stopped with me – I had to live what I wanted to see in others
And most importantly – it was an INSIDE JOB. Have you ever stopped to think how you speak to yourself, how you think about yourself in the quiet (or not so quiet) of your mind?
And last not least, I learned that our bodies are a community of billions of cells THEY ARE YOU, they make up you - and every cell in your body is listening to you, every thought you have, every word you speak – can you imagine how disheartening and draining, even dis-empowering it is for them to always be being bullied? They are not separate from you and believe every word you speak, every thought you have!
Once I learned these things, my journey was given wings and I became a force to be reckoned with – an empowering, inspiring and empowered force.
There IS NOTHING to be ashamed of if there is ongoing conflict, bullying or abuse happening in your relationships – get that NO THING wrong – you are human, we are all human (and let me tell you a secret not many seem to realise we all make mistakes, and mistakes can be put right) – we are all a product of your upbringing and beliefs – however
IF you realise that you do not want to do it this way anymore
IF you hear yourself talking to yourself or others like your parent/s did + you want that to STOP
IF you want a better legacy for your children
IF you want more for and from your relationships
IF you see behavioursin others that you have a tendency to do + you want that to STOP
IF you want respect, appreciation, empowered connection
IF you want better health
IF you want to become your own best friend, feel awesome about yourself and be successful
Then you will find the courage to “stuff the shame, the potential criticism, judgment and blame” and take action to begin YOUR journey out of the hell of a relati
onship fraught with conflict, bullying or abuse.
Something you can do RIGHT NOW to begin this journey
Listen – listen to your thoughts and words – to yourself first! Note the constant unkindness, criticism, blame, shame and judgment, the put downs and huge lack of appreciation you have for yourself. When was the last time you patted yourself on the back for a job well done? Do that RIGHT NOW
Cancel/Delete/Reframe – now that you are listening and noticing – start the cancel/delete process by saying as soon as you notice, cancel or delete, then immediately say something that is kind, supportive, encouraging – just as you would to your best friend, or child or loved one.
I would love for you to share how this process goes for you. You can do this via email, through private message on Facebook or on my page - Erena Oliver - Bully-Proof Relationships Revolution