To mark and support #antibullyingweek I wanted to share some of my own personal thoughts on this topic.
When I looked up the exact meaning of ‘Bullying’ this is the definition I found ‘the use of force, threat, or coercion to abuse, intimidate, or aggressively dominate others’. Bullying can happen anywhere and at any time in our life’s, at school, in the workplace, at home and now more often online. It can happen in range of different forms from things as simple as excluding people for no reason, telling people what to, being rude and ignoring people to more obvious and direct forms like verbal abuse and physical attacks. The result and impact from any of these can be treacherous for the individual. Victims of bullying are likely to feel insecure, paranoid, afraid and unhappy which all directly links to mental health. Our mental health can drastically be effected if we are suffering from any form of bullying, the two are closely connected.
Recently I have been attending more workshops focused on life skills, mindfulness, as well as reading lots of books on self-motivation all to aid my own mental health, not because I am a victim of bullying, but more so to improve my own mental well-being to be able to cope better and react and respond more positively to situations that could be regarded as ‘forms of bullying’. Our mind needs regular exercising, just like our bodies, so we became strong and resilient and have the ability to cope with stress, negativity or any forms of bullying we may face in today’s world. These courses and books have given me a much greater understanding on this whole topic and taught me how to keep strong and react and respond better when any form of negativity is directed at me. It also has made me much more aware of how we should treat others as well as how we should respond to those who we regard as ‘different’ from what is ‘normal’ to us. We should aim to respect all people and their chosen paths in lives, respect different cultures and traditions and understand we all have different goals and how we reach that goal will be a different approach and journey.
Whilst I try to build my resilience to be strong in certain situations, for example, when I feel I am being judged, talked about or thinking about how I am perceived, I find myself sometimes overthinking these situations and dwelling on them too much. Whilst I know I should not focus on this, it takes a lot of effort and ‘exercising’ the mind to eradicate these feelings. That’s where the daily ‘mind exercises’ are required and ‘mindfulness’ is really good for this. That aside, this does not excuse those inflicting such behaviour on you, but it makes you react and respond to the situation in a more positive manner.
I believe we all have a responsibility and role to aid stopping this type of ‘bullying’ behaviour, we can do this by helping to raise awareness, share stories and show support to those effected. We can also do regular checks with our own selves and access how we act and behave. I make a point of reminding myself to consider how I treat others. I think there is great value in doing this, constantly being conscious and aware about how we judge people, make comments without reason or behave in ways that we would not want to be treated ourselves. Most of the time judgements are made without knowing the facts, judging on the exterior or what the person is doing, wearing, how they look or behave. We don’t know what is going on in anyone’s mind and how they really feel, which could be a reason as to why someone is behaving in a certain way. With this in mind I am much more aware and conscious of how I treat and judge others and I try to do so with an open mind. If someone is cross or angry or treats me in such a way that I find hurtful, which in essence could be a form of bullying, I try to give them the benefit of the doubt and think they are possibly coming with their own struggle and worries and hence their behaviour.
In life we will likely encounter some level or form of bullying, sometimes no matter what we do in life there will always be someone out there to judge you, form an opinion about you, pass comment, but just think if you stand still is it possible the same thing will happen?
So to summarise, just because we do something that is not deemed important or of interest to others, we look a different way or behave a different way we do not deserved to be judged or treated differently, nor should we behave like that to others. This is in effect a form of ‘bullying’. Nor should we make assumptions about people as everyone is individual and unique in this world and we each have different things to offer. Therefore we should never let how other people treat us or behave towards us have impact on what we do. We should pursue what we set out to do and if you encounter forms of negativity or ‘bullying’ along the way try to not let it drag you down, but instead drive you forward and let it be the motivation behind realizing your end goal and success.
Make it your daily task to think about how you treated people you met today.
Focus on being kind, don’t judge and treat everyone as they should be, with RESPECT.
Love Elaine xx