Unfortunately, many of us are forced to deal with bullies at school or work. There are many reasons why people choose to bully other individuals, and studies have found that many people who bully others are victims of violence. While this doesn’t excuse their behavior, it can help you better understand why bullies behave the way they do.
If you are a parent and you find that your child is being bullied while at school, the best way to deal with the situation is to take the matter directly to the bully’s parents, the teacher or to the school counselor. Many people believe that if school bullying is reported, the child being bullied will be at risk for retaliation and even more bullying. However, this simply isn’t usually the case.
A good way to teach your child how to handle bullies is to encourage him or her to seek out peers that he/she feels safe and comfortable around. Maintaining a solid group of friends is often an effective deterrent for bullies who frequently target kids who spend most of their time alone. It is also important to help promote your child’s self-esteem. It has been found that people with good self-esteem are at lower risk for being bullied. In certain cases it may be helpful and appropriate to take your child to a counselor or therapist who can help him/her develop increased self confidence and learn techniques and strategies to more effectively deal with bullies both mentally and emotionally.
Bullying does not just impact children, but adults as well. If you regularly feel intimidated by a particular person at work who yells at you, insults you or constantly puts you down, you are probably one of the more than 50 million Americans who has been victimized by a workplace bully. A workplace bully is a person who picks out your mistakes and brings them up every chance they get. This person may also gossip about you, make up stories about you, or may even deliberately sabotage your work.
The best way to deal with an office bully is to face that person head on by pointing out the fact that he or she is bullying you and that you demand he/she stops. Just as a parent shouldn’t give in to a young child’s tantrum because it only leads to more tantrums, victims of bullies should not back down because doing so often leads to more bullying. If the person disregards your request to stop the behavior, it is time to take matters to the next level.
Make it a point to document the bullying that takes place with the date, time and details of each incident. Be sure to note if other employees witnessed the bullying. If the person who is bullying you does so via email, maintain copies of the emails you have received. When you have accumulated enough data, take this evidence to your supervisor or to your human resources office and file a formal complaint. By taking these steps, you will not only put an end to the daily bullying you were experiencing, but you will also set a standard that that type of behavior is not tolerated in the workplace and will lead to consequences for anyone who engages in it.
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