When you see the word, bullying, what comes to mind?
Many of us will think about our years at school, teasing on the playground and maybe witnessing ourselves, or a friend being pushed around.
Bullying can occur long after school ends, but nobody says anything. But why should we only support those who are being bullied at school? What about the people who are being bullied at work, by neighbours, or even by a family member?
Bullying affects everyone and every single one of us deserves support. Being bullied at any age is nothing to be ashamed of. Help us encourage people to speak up and seek help. We ask counsellor and Counselling Directory member, Beccy Lindsay what she would say.
What would you say to someone who is being bullied right now?
“We don’t always realise that we are being bullied.
If you are ‘burying’ your initial response to someone’s behaviour though, then you may be being bullied. By ‘burying’ I mean that although your first thought is that you don’t want to do the thing you are being asked to do, you tell yourself that your feelings are silly, wrong, or you feel guilty. This can be considered bullying.
For example, it’s break time at school, college or work and a group of peers are trying to persuade you to come over and sit with them. It’s as if they are being friendly, but you are reluctant to join them. You don’t trust them, the things they say to you make you feel self-conscious and bad about yourself. It may not be real friendliness, you believe they want you there to entertain themselves while they exchange looks, as though they are laughing at you or putting you down.
Maybe they talk about you to each other using the third person, referring to you as ‘he/she’ despite you being sat there.
Trust your instinct, trust the initial feeling you had when you knew you didn’t want to sit with them and it didn’t feel safe to do so. It’s OK to say no; you can make a simple excuse to remove yourself from the situation.
You can always change your mind too. If you join them and then feel you’ve made a mistake, you can always get up and leave.
In whatever situation you are in, you can avoid, stay away from and not get involved with people who are unkind. They’re just looking for someone to ‘take it out on’, but that someone doesn’t have to be you. If you’re in a place where you don’t feel safe, or the situation doesn’t feel genuine, whenever possible, keep your distance.”
Do you have something to say? Show your support and leave a message of hope for those who are being bullied and are yet to find their voice.