Friday, July 08, 2011

Guest Blogger: Kathleen Hubert

Hi, I have a guest blogger this week. This is Kathleen Hubert. She is here to give her take on what to do to stand against Peer Abuse/Bullying.

Steps to Surviving Peer Abuse/Bullying

When you were young, a bully was someone in school who pushed you around, told mean jokes, or laughed at you. You probably dreaded going to school because of the bully. As you grew older, you developed better coping skills to deal with school bullying. However, bullying still exists for adults. Bullying has evolved from laughing at you on the playground to the attempt of intimidating you in the workplace, social settings, and online networking. You may have been taught to 'walk away' from the bully in school, but how do you survive bullying as an adult?

Steps to Surviving Peer Abuse/Bullying:

1. Don't take it personally.

Whenever someone puts you down, in some form they are trying to make themselves feel better. If you remember that their actions reflect nothing on you, you may be able to cope with the adult bully. As a bully, they will seek ways to really get under your skin. There may be no way to determine their motives or intentions, but if you recognize that their bullying is actually a reflection of their own inner struggle, you can make better choices on how to respond.

2. Respond -- don't react.

If there is a way to avoid one-on-one communication with the bully, it is best to take this route. Most times, nothing is solved by emotionally charged bantering. If you must interact with this person, make sure to do so when other people are around. If other people are around, the bully might stop their negative behavior. Even if the bully doesn't stop the behavior, there will be people around to witness it. If you remain calm and composed while someone publicly bullies you, those around will be able to tell immediately who is at fault. If you react in a bad situation, like talking back, you look just as bad as the bully. However, responding calmly doesn't mean you can't stick up for yourself.

3. Stick up for yourself.

If you must interact with a bully via online communication or in person, set your boundaries. Statements, such as, "I would appreciate it if you would refrain from ______" or "You don't have the right to ______", clarify what you're okay with. Even if this does not stop their actions, your boundaries are clear. Exude confidence when dealing with the bully. Typically, if they see you are not very affected by their actions, they may stop altogether.

4. Surround yourself with positive influences.

Whenever possible, surround yourself with family or friends that genuinely care about you. Stewing on a bully can be harmful to your emotional and psychological well-being. By being around people who respect and care about you, you are often reminded of the treatment you genuinely deserve. You most likely have more people in your life who like you, than those who do not. Keep a good sense of self-worth by behaving and doing things you know you deserve.

5. This too shall pass.

All things change. Change is inevitable. Eventually, you will not have to deal with the bullying anymore. If you remember to not take things personally, respond calmly, stick up for yourself, and surround yourself with positivity, things will change. Either your level of tolerance for the bullying will change, or the bullying will dissipate on its' own. Remain confident and hopeful because everything must change.

As an adult, you can identify bullying tactics, such as: intimidation, false allegations, undermining, distrust and unrealistic expectations. Social networking has created a gateway for people to be victimized by bullying. Social networking sites allow information to become public, connect with users, and sometimes used as means communication. A bully may say inappropriate things online about you, harass you through messaging, or even harassing those you know. When these situations occur in your life, you can handle the stress of peer abuse by remembering these steps.

Kathleen Hubert is a blogger who writes on a variety of different sites. Check out more of her work at href="">led tv.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this blog entry may not necessarily reflect the views of the blog owner.


Anonymous said...

I went to school in the 1980's and was teased often. I never understood what make one person "cool" and another a "dork" -- one afforded the right to bully the other. When I went to school staff, the prevailing mindset of the time was "It takes two to tango," yet I couldn't figure out how my less-than-fashionable clothes justified having milk dumped on my head or being assaulted. It was standard school policy to inflict equal punishment on all "parties in the incident"; perpetrator and victim alike were given detention, suspension or other punishment. Alternately, my elementary principal said, "They just do it to get a rise out of you. They know you'll react." The teacher echoed this, saying, "They just do it because they know you'll tattle." Whenever I asked about standing up for myself, I was warned in the strictest terms that I would face consequences for "escalating" the situation. Oh, and I was supposed to be more "understanding" of things like the bullies' home lives, personal issues, etc. In the end, it was clear the school system took the bullies side and/or just didn't want to deal with it. By age 13 I had a mental breakdown and became fascinated with suicide, as neither my mom nor the school could do anything to stop bullying. I was told, "this is life." It was a life I didn't want. But I grew up and probably even overcompensated in the area of standing up for myself, so I'm OK nowadays :-)

I'm merely writing all this to say how glad I am that there are people like you and sites like this promoting awareness of the dynamics of bullying. I do hope, however, that your suggestions are better implemented in today's schools. As you can see, when I cried out for help 25 years ago, I was either dismissed or, worse, punished for coming forward.

Elizabeth Bennett said...

Hi, I am so sorry you went through this. Please visit my site as it is for adult survivors. Hang in there and know you are a great person.

Take Care,

Cheap Essay said...

I’m glad I found this site. I have read your article and found it to be very useful especially for people who are not sure of which path to take. In life, we need to constantly be motivated. We have to motivate ourselves as well as others to keep us from feeling worthless.
In this world there are so many things to think about and sometimes stress gets in the way and we end up losing faith in ourselves. But if you will follow the rules of motivation, it will surely be your number one best friend for it will guide you along the way.
I hope to read some more of your tips and thanks for sharing your thoughts.