Sunday, November 21, 2010

Blog Jog Day

Greetings! Its Blog Jog Day and glad you are here! Also, it’s almost Thanksgiving and we have a lot to be thankful for. May your week be one of thanks for many blessings.

You can learn more about this fantabulous day by visiting the Blog Jog Day Blog. Also, check out this other great blog Mindful Banter. Have a good week……

Thursday, November 04, 2010

Bullying is Terrorism

The news as of late has been full of stories of bullying in our nation. Several suicides have happened since school started. There have been candlelight vigils and now The Trevor Project has come to life. Celebrities are speaking out against this and sharing their own stories in experiencing the abuse. It’s good to see people speak out against this.

Recently, an article was written asking if bullying is scarier than terrorism. What needs to be asked is if bullying is terrorism? Could the two actually be compared? Both involve constant abuse of another person. Physical and emotional scars are left on the victims for life. Trauma exists in both cases. The only difference I see is that one involves children while the other involves adults. School yard abuse can very well be terrorism on a smaller scale.

People are taking this problem seriously now. However, we must continue to find ways to combat this problem. One thing we need to let go of is relying upon conflict resolution and peer mediation to completely take care of this problem. Yes, it is important to teach children to learn to work through problems and resolve them. However, when dealing with a bully it cannot be done. In mild cases peer mediation can work. At the same time, when dealing with a bully you are dealing with someone who is angry and learning to control those around them. In conflict resolution a person learns to take accountability for their actions. How can you do this with someone who refuses to look at their wrongdoing? Someone who is angry and learning manipulation getting control and what they want? In mild cases this may work but, this is what I believe is leading to a lot of these suicides. Do we try to reason and negotiate with a terrorist? No, of course not because you cannot reason with someone who is angry. Why do we expect these solutions to work with this problem?

If someone is a bully please refer them to a mental health center. There are issues there that normal mediation or resolution will not cure. We want a healthy society and these children are our future. However, sometimes this involves taking steps to ensure the person is healthy. It is certainly something to think about.

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Dawn McIntyre and The New 10

I want to introduce Dawn McIntyre who is the author of The New 10. 40 Days to Creating a Boldly Beautiful Life From the Inside Out. Dawn is an Adult Survivor of Peer Abuse. Today I will be asking Dawn some questions and she will share her replies. Thank you Dawn for taking the time to respond to my questions and let’s get started.

1. In your book, you have broken it down into four sections which are beauty, body, spirit and extraordinary lives. Do you find one area to be more important than the other when thinking of the New 10?

They are all equally as important and serve to help us in creating whole and balanced perspectives of ourselves and our lives.

2. Many times in our society we hear people say that they do not worry about what others think of us. Do you find it to be human to worry about what others think of us? To you, is this part of a need to be accepted by others?

I believe that what drives us as humans, to want the approval and acceptance of others, is fear of rejection. And yes, this is a common fear. Still, having suffered this myself, I did experience tremendous freedom when I was able to follow my heart, regardless of the opinions of others. And yes, I have been rejected by many friends as a result BUT I am now surrounded by friends that support me completely in who I am. My book is meant to help others to do the same.

3. It is human to make mistakes. However, it is not good to beat ourselves up when we do make mistakes. How do you think we should handle ourselves when we do make mistakes?

I always say that there are no mistakes, just lessons. The biggest lesson is love. Love of ourselves first and having compassion for our being human and living in a world that is constantly changing, therefore requiring us to change and grow along with it.

4. We have many out there today who are abuse survivors. Do you believe an abuse survivor would benefit from meditation?

Absolutely! Meditation was my saving grace from child and spousal/peer abuse. It allowed the peace and silence to hear the wisdom in my experience and to have the courage and strength to not only heal from it, but also, to help others heal as well.

When we meditate we are encouraging our higher wisdom to come through and guide us. In essence, we are giving our higher wisdom permission to take over and accepting that we cannot do it alone, nor do we have to do it alone.

5. Rejection is hard for everyone. How do you think it is best to handle rejection by a friend?

I was saddened by the rejection of many friends as an adult but I knew in my heart that as much as I would miss them, if they were not able to love and accept me as I am then they weren't truly friends at all.
As long as we hang on to friendships, out of fear of rejection, we are blocking the opportunity to allow healthy and sustaining friendships to enter our lives.

6. Do you believe random acts of kindness goes a long way when we are good to ourselves or ourselves along with others?

Yes, very much so. What we give comes back to us tenfold, so when we give kindness to ourselves first, it will come back to us. And when we give kindness to others it will come back to us as well, even if not from that particular individual.

Personally, there is no feeling greater than making another person smile, laugh and feel great about themselves.

7. What is the best way for us to get in sync with our bodies? What is that first step in listening to what our bodies tell us?

We can get into sync with our bodies through breath work. Taking at least seven deep breaths and focusing our attention on areas of the body that are calling to us and then listening internally to the guidance is very powerful. For some it could be exercise, others it could be diet and still others movement through dance or even a different vitamin plan.

For me it has often been "Give me break and just accept me the way I am." It was beat into me, as a child that I was fat and ugly and so this was a tough one for me and honestly is still a challenge, at times.

8. Do you see dancing as a way to reach our inner beings or releasing a lot of negative energy within us?

Yes, the movement of our hips actually allows our spirits to flow fully in our bodies. In essence, dancing grounds us more fully in our spirits.

9. You mentioned that as a child you were told you were ugly and fat. Have your tips in this book helped you in overcoming these feelings?

Yes they have although, as mentioned previously, this is still one of my weak areas and in following the advice in my book, I am able to bring myself back to a place of love and acceptance for my body.

10. In your book you discuss your divorce as a nasty experience. By nurturing your spirit how has that helped in overcoming this experience?

During this time I spent a lot of time with my daughter which I what my spirit needed. My daughter has an uncanny way to make me laugh, regardless of how I feel, and she was my inspiration for following through on the divorce, as difficult as it was.

11. Hard times have helped you grow stronger. This has been gratifying for you. How have you achieved gratification in this?

I have become much wiser and am able to see the best in people. I have also found the courage to follow my dreams and never give up, regardless of the obstacles that have been in my way. It has not been an easy journey for me however, the journey has made me whom I am today; for that alone, I am extremely grateful.

12. Not everyone believes they have an intuitive nature. For those who do not believe this what would you suggest for them so they could obtain this?

Our intuitive nature, or sixth sense, is as strong as our other five senses, we just don't realize it because we aren't taught how to recognize it. In my book I talk about journaling for 30 days. Each day you can ask a specific question, it can be the same one each day or a different one. Take a very deep, slow breath and place your hand over your heart. Write down the first impression, feeling, thought, or image that comes to you without censoring it. The idea is to build your intuitive muscle through this process and after 30 days you can go back and actually witness the accuracy of your intuition. It is important to write it down because we tend to forget over a month’s time what our intuition has said to us.

13. If someone does not believe they have an imagination, what do you suggest they do in this case?

Some of us have a greater imagination than others and yet, our dreams, our desires, and our goals come from what we imagine our lives could be like and what we wish our lives were like. The term 'desire' means 'from God' and that means that there is nothing that we desire (or imagine we want) that we cannot be do or have.

14. Do you find that humor is a great reliever in a serious world?

Yes, especially when we can laugh at ourselves. Again, this was a tough one for me to learn even though I have a great sense of humor. When we can laugh at ourselves and our perceived problems we open ourselves up to solutions and to the grace of God to work through us. We also see the world as a much friendlier place as well.

15. Is it important to be aware of ourselves and how we feel about ourselves? In other words, do we needed to be conscience of our opinions of ourselves?

Yes, our opinions of ourselves directly create our outer experiences and until we are aware of them, we cannot own them and then proceed to change them as necessary. If something in my outer world is not reflecting the life I choose to live, I ask myself "what must I be thinking in order to create this experience?". I write down what comes to me, replace these thoughts and opinions with ones that are more affirming and positive and then proceed to burn the ones that are blocking me.

16. What is the importance of just “being”?

If we can't just be who we are in this moment and be comfortable that is an indication that we are rejecting ourselves in some level. What we do is important, but we are being in the process is far more important. It starts with just "being" with yourself and loving every minute of it.

17. Why is it so important to live in the now and not the past?

It is futile to live in the past because we cannot change what is done. All of our personal power lies in the living in the present, being grateful and trusting that we have all that we need in this moment. In doing this, the future will take care of itself.

18. What is beautiful about growing older?

We become wiser and 'more seasoned'. We care less about the externals and care more about what really matters, living in a state of peace. From this place, our inner light shines more brightly and there is nothing more beautiful than that.

19. Is there a difference in being a “queen” and a “drama queen”?

Yes. A queen owns her power and uses it to touch others lives in positive and loving ways. A drama queen gives others her power and in so doing creates negative and often painful experiences for all concerned.

20. Do you believe that getting in touch with our dark side along with light side helps us to grow in a healthy manner?

Yes I do. Our dark side is only one aspect of ourselves but if we are not aware of what pulls us down, of what patterns of behavior consistently sabotage our efforts, then we do not have the power to change them. The only way we can change anything about ourselves is through complete and radical love and acceptance of ourselves, even the darkest parts of our self.

Thank you Dawn for this great experience. I wish you nothing but the best in the future.

Thursday, July 01, 2010

Reality Television and Peer Abuse

Reality Television has become incredibly popular in the United States. These days, there may be more of this than any other form of viewing, and while some of it can be educational, much of it can be detrimental.

According to an article in USA Today, reality television may be teaching Americans how to overreact. We see participants form alliances against others, verbally abuse each other and exhibit physical violence. Adults understand that this behavior is for entertainment purposes alone and that this is not how we should behave in our own lives. However, the article suggests that, without realizing it, we may be carrying this over into our own lives and how we react to others.

Dr. Roderick Hart, a professor at the University of Texas in Austin, says, "People can be seduced into thinking that’s the most common way of reacting to life when it’s not. Because of this 'tutoring' of emotions people are becoming culturally conditioned to think it’s okay to be more over-reactive."

Not only are they adding to the need to react emotionally, these shows may be teaching us how to bully and abuse peers. Exclusion, alliance-forming to harm others, and verbal and physical abuse all add to the problem of peer abuse. A recent study conducted at Brigham Young University on reality television and relational aggression found that shows like The Apprentice had 85 acts of verbal aggression an hour and American Idol had 57.

The more we watch reality television the more we are learning that it is okay to abuse others. It is not okay to abuse anyone, and maybe it is time to evaluate this behavior in our culture. This is certainly something to think about.

Article first published as Reality TV and Peer Abuse on Technorati

Monday, June 28, 2010

The Clique: Summer Series: Check it out!

Hello all! Well, its summer again and that means no school, vacation and trying to keep the kids entertained until school starts again. Your children may be in summer programs in the area or may be at home watching television, playing online or just reading books. If this is the case, I want to let you know about a summer blog I am doing on the tween books called The Clique by Lisi Harrison. These are a series of books about five tween girls in Westchester, New York who are in the 7th grade at Octavian Country Day School. The Clique has been popular amongst the tween crowd so I am sure many tweens will be reading these books during the summer.

The purpose in doing this is not to tear Lisi Harrison or her work apart. She is a good writer and is reaching many tween girls with her books. Yes, sadly this behavior is everywhere and a writer can only write on what they know. Lisi has also told tweens to stop acting like these girls in the book and stop trying to be accepted by these mean girls at school or anywhere else they exist. So, please know I am not doing this to trash the author. I am simply using her work as an educational tool and that's all.

One thing adults, mainly parents need to be aware of is that the problem of Relational Aggression that exists in these books. I think the author is trying to show readers how ridiculous this behavior is amongst girls yet at the same time, its important to be aware of the abuse occurring as well. I am using these books as a learning tool to point out where the abuse occurs so you can be aware of this. As parents or any other authority figure, you need to be in the know of this problem and know what your children are reading. I hope this will be a help in educating. Please, sit down and talk to your children about the problem of Bullying/Peer Abuse. If your child is reading these books then please point out where the behavior becomes abusive. In this blog I will be pointing this out on these blogs book by book.

So, sit back and stay tuned for these blog posts. You can find this at The Clique Summer Series Blog so come on over, tell anyone you know about this blog and feel free to participate in discussion. I will be back to posting on this blog after Labor Day. Have a great summer!

Take Care,

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Bully Branding

Everyday we are reading and watching the news. Recently, it has focused on the problem of Bullying and how far it is going. Phoebe Prince took her life following a copy cat case in New Hampshire. Next, we hear of a couple of 11-year-olds who are taking their lives. It is sad and everyone says how it is sad. My question is why didn’t anyone do anything before it reached this level?

Another case in New Hampshire has people talking. This time it involves a 14-year-old developmentally challenged young man. He was abused relentlessly by his peers and it reached a point where these abusers decided to give him a tattoo on his buttocks. The price? They would stop abusing him if he got it but again he really had no choice as it happened against his will. Of course, they continued to abuse him further. Now, after the fact, the news is out and everyone is in an uproar. People are sad and wondering why it went this far? Why do you think it went this far? Because once again, the adults turned a blind eye to this abuse and here are the results. The bullies now face criminal charges. At lease a come-uppance is being given where in most cases the bullies skate and are rewarded in some way.

When is America going to wake up? Why are we still doing nothing? This is a disabled child here and we all know tattoos are not removable. I bet I can tell you what happened at the school before this child was tattooed. The bullies went after him and he tried to get help. He was told to ignore it and learn how to joke around with others. He told his parents who went to the school and nothing was done. So, the bullies gave him the tattoo and after the fact everyone started to do something. Why do we wait until after the fact? Intervention should be key here, not waiting around for something to happen. I blame the adults in all of this. They could have stopped this early on but did nothing. This problem is growing worse, not better and its time to step and do something. I hope while the bullies are incarcerated that they seek the help they really need. Extensive therapy and behavior modification. This behavior is pathological and if not curbed now, they will grow up into full blown criminals. Please, step in and step up! Speak out and do something before its too late. Our children deserve that!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

The Celebrity Apprentice has no Bullies? Say what?

The Celebrity Apprentice has returned for 2010 and we have seen many leave since its season premiere on March 14 on NBC. Each episode has given us two hours of celebrities from Darryl Strawberry to Carol Leifer working to raise money for their chosen charities. There seems to be one exception this season and that is that a bully does not appear to be in the bunch. In past seasons, there has always been one or two in the bunch that constantly harped on team members, threw others under the bus, kept division amongst the group and the dirty laundry goes on and on. However, this season, I have seen several personality conflicts but not a full blown bully. Is The Donald getting educated on this serious and underappreciated problem we have in our society?

The latest episode is a perfect example. In the previous episode in the boardroom, both Sharon Osbourne and Maria Kanellis stated that Curtis Stone was “smug” they and did not care for him. Holly Robinson Peete and Cyndi Lauper still battled their differences. So, after this The Donald insisted that the former two ladies work with Curtis and moved Bret Michaels over to the team with the latter two ladies. All were not happy yet they came together. Holly and Cyndi, who have had differences in the past came together this episode and went “shopping and were getting married.” At the end both Maria and Sharon developed a new found admiration for Curtis. Sharon stated that she wanted him to marry one of her daughters so he could come over and make her dinner at Christmas. It was impressive to see people put aside differences and decide to work together. Of course Cyndi was angry when she was fired which was understandable. It was her decorated room that was so impressive. During the boardroom, she and Holly did go after each other. However, they were also encouraged in doing so by Trump. Bret Michaels sat quietly and for the most part, had a very hard time deciding who he felt should be fired. Nobody really deserved to be fired as all did well but those are the rules.

Personality differences are everywhere and are a fact of life. When people are different they will express frustration about the other as some of these did in the sidebars. Yes, Cyndi was hard to manage. Cyndi is also a highly creative individual who probably has never worked in an office setting a day in her life. However, she pulled together and worked with others and they still had nice things to say about her. Holly is very serious and organized. Some people are wired that way as well. Sharon admitted that her behavior has been bad in the past and apologized for it. Folks, these are not the minds of workplace bullies. I did not see any bus throwing, manipulating or intentional bad mouthing of anyone. Sure, they got on each others nerves but with little sleep and hard work, anyone in those shoes would be cranky at the end of the day. However, these traits are not what make an adult bully. Its as if this season of celebrities were living in Utopia for the most part. I was beginning to wonder if this was American television I was watching.

Kudos to Mark Burnett, Donald Trump and the gang at The Celebrity Apprentice. Its refreshing to just sit down, watch the interaction amongst team members and despite differences people still having some respect for one another. I hope future seasons bring much of the same thing.

Sunday, May 09, 2010

It's Blog Jog Day!

Greetings! Its Blog Jog Day and glad you are here! Also, its Mothers Day and a special shout out to all Moms out there! May your day be special and full of fun!

You can learn more about this fantabulous day by visiting the Blog Jog Day Blog. Also, check out this other great blog Daily Grace as well.

Have fun and again, Happy Mothers Day!

Take Care,

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Are you stressed and overwhelmed? You need to do this today!

Dear Reader,

I found an amazing book that will help all of you who are over-worked, overwhelmed, running on empty, with little time for yourselves. It's called "Intensive Care for the Nurturer's Soul: 7 Keys to Nurture Yourself While Caring for Others" and it’s written by my friend Hueina Su who is an internationally recognized speaker and expert in helping people find the missing peace & balance in their stressful lives.

Our world is fast-paced and loaded with a tremendous volume of competing priorities and responsibilities. The need to center ourselves, catch our breath and release the stress is probably more crucial than ever. How are we to accomplish this when we are faced with the overwhelming need to make a difference in others? Hueina’s book comes at the perfect timing. Intensive Care for the Nurturer's Soul is a definitely gentle loving breeze with a clear and strong message effortlessly delivered. As I read her ideas, told in a wonderful story-telling style, it was easy to reinforce the truth that has motivated this book: caretakers need to take care of themselves.

If you have ever felt stressed, overwhelmed, no time for you, running on empty, or feeling selfish & guilty about taking time for yourself, then this book is a must read for YOU!! This book will make a PERFECT Mother's Day gift too!!

A fourth generation medical professional, Hueina was born a nurturer. Raised in a culture where self-sacrifice was not only expected but encouraged, she understood at a very young age that balance would be pivotal in realizing the depth of happiness she really desired for herself.

Through her 20+ years of experience in nursing, counseling, coaching, and being a mom of two, she experienced and observed the demands and stress of being responsible for someone else’s daily care whether it’s caring for a normal family or caring for someone who is ill or disabled. She recognized that care-taking is as rewarding as it is exhausting, but far too often we sacrifice our own well-being and happiness because nobody ever showed us how to manage it all.

The consequences of neglecting your self-care could be detrimental, not only to your physical & emotional health, but also to your work, business bottom lines and your relationships. Chronic stress is linked to all major illnesses including heart attack, stroke, hypertension, diabetes and cancer.

It is time to take action and learn how to take good care of YOU, while you continue to take care of others! This book will show you how. It's terrific, timely and pertinent to most of our lives -- preventing and eliminating stress & burnout!

And, when you buy this book on on APRIL 22, you will receive dozens of bonus gifts from many leading experts, such as Mark Victor Hansen (best-selling author of Chicken Soup for the Soul), Lisa Nichols (teacher in The Secret), Marci Shimoff (teacher in The Secret, and best-selling author of Happy for No Reason), Janet Attwood (The Passion Test), Joe Vitale (The Attractor Factor) and so many more!

With amazing insights into all aspects of what it truly means to be both caretaker and nurturer, Hueina Su presents personal stories, practical tools and tips that are universal in their application and great for professional healthcare workers, therapists, social workers, teachers, family caregivers, moms, and anyone who is caring for others. The need for this information is far more urgent than most could ever realize.

Join Hueina as she explores in depth caretaking concerns such as:

* Recognizing Self-Care Deficiency Syndrome and what to do about it
* How to resolve the feeling of overwhelm
* Finding joy and serenity in the present moment
* How to restore peace and calm when life is spinning out of control
* Creating life balance to avoid caregiver burnout
* How to clear out emotional clutter for lasting inner peace
* Finding peace in the face of death and grieving
* Detached involvement for caregivers

This is more than a book! The self-coaching sessions following every section offer personalized action steps and build a solid foundation for a new understanding and level of caregiving. This is a book you'll want to keep as a reference and go back to again and again.

While we all know it's important to take care of ourselves, most of us don't always practice what we believe to be true. We need help and we need it in a way that is easy for us to use. Just read one small but potent piece to know why you will remember what Hueina tells us.

" Intensive Self-Care is NOT being selfish and it's
NOT a luxury, but rather an essential practice
for your survival and overall well-being."

It resonates with our souls. That simple, pure, loving statement brings me a sigh of relief. It is okay to re-prioritize, and for that and more I have gleaned as I read. I know that she has clearly embarked on a path to help us all continue our paths as healers while caring for ourselves -- the perfect mixture for a successful life.

This is a must read for anyone who is taking care of others and needs some tender loving care for themselves. Get this amazing book for yourself and anyone you care TODAY. It's terrific, timely and pertinent to most of our lives -- preventing and eliminating stress & burnout! And, remember, Hueina will be there for you when the time comes!

Take Care,
Elizabeth Bennett

P.S. Don't forget to buy Intensive Care for the Nurturer's Soul on APRIL 22. You will receive dozens of bonus gifts from leading experts.

P.P.S. If you have ever felt stressed, overwhelmed, running on empty, no time for you, or feeling selfish & guilty about taking time for yourself, then this book is a must read for YOU!! This book will make a PERFECT Mother's Day gift too!!

Friday, February 26, 2010

The Sociopaths and Phoebe Prince

Phoebe Prince continues to make headlines after her recent death as a result of the relentless abuse by her peers at South Hadley High School. This story has opened a lot of floodgates with parents and alumni of South Hadley High School expressing internalized anger as they never stepped in to stop this abuse or any other abuse which has occurred in the past on their campus. A Task Force is now formed to keep an eye on things. Also, two students have been expelled and criminal charges could be pending. As this became a cyber issue on Facebook, many still taunted Phoebe before and after her death on a Memorial Page made in honor of Phoebe. These individuals who posted slanderous remarks may also be facing criminal charges. Bystanders at school and online turned a blind eye to the problem and did nothing to stop it. Now, after the fact, all of this has pushed Massachusetts to finally get an Anti-bullying Law on the books. It took something so horrific as this for them to finally move to action.

Phoebe had moved from Ireland to Massachusetts with her family and enrolled at South Hadley High School as a Freshman for the 2009-2010 school year. She started dating a Senior boy from the football team. This enraged a group of students who felt she needed a “reality check” or a “come-uppance” for thinking she could date this young man and not suffer in the process. So, they proceeded to make her life miserable in school and through technology. This moved to Facebook where they continued spreading their ilk for the whole world to read. As any victim of this form of abuse, Phoebe snapped and took matters into her own hands. She came home, went up to her room and hung herself. Her 12 year old sister found was the one to find her after she died. Wow, what a way to welcome a new student not only to a new school but a whole new country.

Expulsion is a form of punishment. However. One has to wonder if this is punishment enough or will this even affect these bullies? Studying this case and the behavior of these bullies, I honestly believe these individuals are full blown sociopaths. I have gone over the psychological makeup of a sociopath and these bullies fit the behavior to a tea. For starters, one student bragged about “fooling investigators” after she was questioned on her involvement in Phoebes death. The fact that while Phoebe was alive, they constantly taunted her at school and at home. They threw trash at her regularly. If that was not enough, they went to Facebook and spread more venom. After she died, they came back to Facebook and delighted in her death. There was no remorse or regret on their part. Folks, this behavior is scary! What these bullies need is extensive psychotherapy, not expulsion. Someone needs to be reaching these bullies on a psychological level so they do not commit this sort of damage towards another individual. Expulsion will not affect these bullies at all and I fear nothing will be learned as a result.

Again, it is so important for bystanders to step in and speak up. If this happens in school, please tell someone. When going online and seeing these so called “pages” attacking others, report them to the website! These websites have options where behavior such as this can be reported. Phoebe may still be alive if someone had stepped in and stood up to these abusers. This was a young, pretty girl in the dawn of life. If putting oneself in the others shoes, they may see that it is not so fun being a victim of such abuse and yes, can happen to anyone.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Cafe Vamp and the Bullies

Peer Abuse at work continues to be an underappreciated issue in our nation as we continue to enable this problem in our companies and organizations. However, things “down under” seem to be taking a more serious look at this problem.

A recent court decision in Hawthorn, Australia ordered a company, CafĂ© Vamp, to pay $335,000 in fines which resulted in an employee committing suicide over the abuse she was receiving at work by her peers. Four workers pled guilty to not taking reasonable care of its employees and failing to provide a safe working environment. A fine was also issued of $220,000 and the cost would have doubled if the defendants had not pled guilty to their behavior. A report conducted by the Productivity Commission estimated that this abusive behavior costs Australia itself $10 billion a year and costs to the economy of about $14.8 billion a year. Wow, that’s a lot of money. So much emphasis is placed upon physical hazards and not nearly enough is placed upon psychological hazards. However, it appears as if the tide is turning in Australia.

Now, we need to start following their lead. As adults, we should know better yet we don’t. We continue to feed into this behavior and nothing is ever done to remedy the problem. When this behavior is allowed, the victims start to suffer from stress, anxiety and depression and it costs a company a lot of money. Not to mention the many absences that are a result of this problem. In America, we have hit an economic low and cannot afford to loose money. We also focus on the physical issues such as environmental control and safety on the job. Organizations exist where they come in, monitor these problems and if action is needed it is taken. Why are we not paying attention to these psychological problems that also exist? If action was taken immediately on a bully at work, I can bet that money would be saved and employees would be working to their potential. A person cannot focus on the job with this negativity in the company.

America, wake up and smell the reality! Take a lesson from Australia! If we were to start imposing these fines on the companies in our nation, I bet this problem would decrease dramatically. Employees, stop feeding these bullies at work. They are capable of anything and by siding with them, it will not make your life easier. Stand up to them and put them in their places. At the end of the day, people just want to go to work, do their jobs and go home. Why increase the stress? If anything, increase the peace! It sure would make a workday a lot easier for everyone. I’m just saying.

Elizabeth Bennett is the Social Justice Guru seeking social justice for all. She is also the author of “Peer Abuse Know More! Bullying From a Psychological Perspective” along with the e-book “Child Safety Online: Top Tips to Protect your Child from Internet Predators.” Please visit Peer Abuse Know More! To learn more.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Cranky Cathy and her Workplace Abuse

Another week and another blog. This time I am focusing upon the constant crank in the workplace. You know, the one that complains about everyone and everything? Nobody can do anything better than her? She zeroes in on every little move made by someone in the office? This is not just having a bad day but a way of life with Cranky Cathy. It never stops and someone is always in her cross fire. Well, except for her little “buddies” that she befriends and enlists in her chronic drama. Sometimes, people just ignore or avoid her and only communicate with them if need be. Or, others may clamor to be a part of her “posse” and will do what they can to be a part of the inner circle. They may do nice things like bring her cookies or let her borrow something in hopes of never becoming their target at work. Oh, they are aware that these Cranky Cathy behaves like a child but everyone seems to be drawn to her out of fear. There is that charisma she projects that draws these people in despite her nasty behavior. Sometimes, her games and foolishness becomes to much and targets or bystanders erupt or verbally attack her. Whala! Cranky Cathy now has another reason to target someone. The cycle continues as people are hired, fired or leave the job and new people come to the office. Cranky Cathy can always find potential recruits and new targets. What is really sad is that over half the time, Cathy is not even the boss but an office contemporary. The boss is generally being charmed by Cathy. Trust me, she knows how to work an office as she probably worked the playground at school.

This cycle is a very unhealthy one and exists in most workplace environments today. It is not productive and companies loose money because of this. Who can go to work and focus on their job with people around them bothering and harassing them? Cranky Cathy never lets up and is always mad about something and she has her targets and allies in place. Why do people enable her behavior? One reason is out of fear for becoming her target themselves. They see others flocking to her out of their own fear and get caught up in her garbage. Oh, everyone knows her behavior is wrong and tiring yet nobody is interested in doing anything about it so they keep up with their dysfunction allowing Cathy to dictate the social setting at work.

Folks, its important to stand up to Cranky Cathy. From the get go, let her know that you have no interest in what Joe said to Sally and how Sally screwed up a tally sheet or did not perform to Cathy’s standards. Also, you cannot sit around and gossip with her but keep your focus on the work at hand. Do not try to befriend her or spend any amount of time with you. Yes, it is scary to stand up to Cranky Cathy but let people know from the beginning that you have no time for office politics. Chances are, these colleagues hold the same opinion but have been afraid to speak up. It may take that one voice to open up and stand up to her. Eventually, she will wear people down with her antics and they will move away from her. She will loose her charm as bit by bit as she runs people off with her behavior. A bully standing alone cannot create so much drama as their power is taken away. Do not do anything that can cause her to gain power and use it to abuse everyone. If you must communicate with her, do so in a calm and professional manner. Most importantly, know that she is the one at fault and the one with the problem. She is good at twisting events to her favor and will try and make you feel like the unstable and nutty one at work. Remain calm at all times. If you must get emotional, please do so in the privacy of a bathroom or go out to the car for something. Do not let Cranky Cathy see your pain. She thrives on pain and drama and will only use this to create more at work.

Again, we all have bad days. Things do not always go right, we may not have made a deadline or just cannot seem to do anything right on those particular days. Its normal and a part of life. However, it becomes an issue when it is chronic and daily by one particular person. Know that their behavior is wrong and not the other way around. Do what you can to keep the environment a good and healthy one. There is enough stress in this world so why add to it? Certainly something to think about.

Elizabeth Bennett is the Social Justice Guru seeking social justice for all. She is also the author of “Peer Abuse Know More! Bullying From a Psychological Perspective” along with the e-book “Child Safety Online: Top Tips to Protect your Child from Internet Predators.” Please visit Peer Abuse Know More! To learn more.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Bystanders are Crucial

This world is one that grows more and more vicious everyday. The term dog eat dog is probably considered a form of good behavior now. Everyday we watch and listen to someone somewhere sabotage someone else. For the most part, we walk on by and ignore it or we participate and not in the right way.

Bystanders are probably the most crucial group in the bully, bullied and bystander family. One such group is the Olweus program which originated out of Norway. In 2003, it became a federal program in the US and one that is beneficial in educating the bystander and how to deal with the bully and bullied. In a recent article in the New York Times, Dr. Perry Klass discusses how pediatricians are becoming more aware and educated on the realities of this problem. Also, he discussed Olweus and the importance of the bystander. He stated that the bystander could change the whole scenario by speaking up and speaking out. Instead of enabling this problem, they try to help the victim as Olweus instructs schools to do.

All 3 parties really could use the help, not just the bystander. If bystanders do their part, it can certainly shake things up and change the social dynamic. Also, it can make others better aware of who the actual bully is. But what about the bully and the bullied? The bully is the one who really needs the help. I say this because it is the bully who brings the aggression to the situation. For someone to instigate these problems, they are being hurt or are in some danger themselves as this is a learned behavior. They need to be investigated and if legal action needs to be taken then take it. Bullies also could benefit from therapy and the earlier the better. Yes, the bullied needs help after the bully has left an impact on them. Bystanders could use help and to be taught that following the bully makes things worse for everyone. The bottom line is education and becoming aware of this problem itself before trying to solve it.

Bystanders, please speak up! If you see any abuse occurring either at school or work, speak up! Do not participate in any of it. Help put a stop to the problem so it does not grow into something bigger. One day a bully can be your friend. However, the next day he can turn on you and you could be the bullied instead of the bystander. Its something to really think about.

Elizabeth Bennett is the Social Justice Guru seeking social justice for all. She is also the author of “Peer Abuse Know More! Bullying From a Psychological Perspective” along with the e-book “Child Safety Online: Top Tips to Protect your Child from Internet Predators.” Please visit Peer Abuse Know More! To learn more.

Friday, January 08, 2010

Looks are not everything ya know!

Well, I come back from the holidays and what do I find? A link that someone in the Anti-bullying Community has shared on Twitter and was disgusted by what it contained. I took a glance myself and wanted to be ill. What kind of society do we live in where people sink to this particular level? What is more disgusting is that this site has gone global!

There is a dating site online that only accepts people who are beautiful or the powers that be feel are physically beautiful. This site has a strict ban on ugly people and has axed over 5,000 members because they gained weight over the holiday season. It is elite based and feel that those who do not meet the criteria are a threat to the site. Members must be voted in by current members and if they become unattractive or what is considered unattractive by other members then they are removed from their “club”. The company admits to being elitist, that they are not politically correct and want to be “honest” and that the members back this up completely.

Folks, this is without a doubt a form of bullying and relational aggression. People are accepted based on looks and they are excluded if they do not meet the criteria. Forget politically correct, what about having good manners and genuine care for another human being? By setting this criteria and not allowing others to join them, they show nothing but shallow behavior and no concern for others in my opinion. It also sends a message that in order to be accepted that one MUST look a certain way. I am all for taking care of ones appearance, however, this site is not about doing so. Its about shallowness and exclusion if you ask me. It “drops” members as a result. What ever happened to values? Love for fellow man? Have we as a society gone so low as to behave in this manner?

Please, love people for who they are and not what they look like. Beauty comes in many different forms and not all of them are physical. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder but exists on the inside of a person just as much as the outside. Something to think about here.

Elizabeth Bennett is the Social Justice Guru seeking social justice for all. She is also the author of “Peer Abuse Know More! Bullying From a Psychological Perspective” along with the e-book “Child Safety Online: Top Tips to Protect your Child from Internet Predators.” Please visit Peer Abuse Know More! To learn more.