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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'd like to start a thread about strategies to deal with bullying. A big part of CBT is countering your automatic negative thoughts, sort of like dealing with your inner bully. But these ANTs didn't just come from nowhere, they're internalized negative feedback (whether justified or not) from the outside world. So, for the benefit of all who will ever have to deal with bullying (I assume that's all of us, everywhere), give us some of your best advice on handling bullies.
 

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Bullies pick on people smaller and weaker than themselves. The phrase "pick on someone your own size" is pretty good description of how cowardly bullies are. If a bully is picking on you it's most likely because they can overpower you in some way: size, intelligence, friends, job rank ect. Bullies don't fight other bullies.

The only way to deter bullies is to become just as big and powerful as them. While bullies have no honor, it's victors whom rewrite history. Go figure.
 

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It depends on the context. If in the workplace or similar situation, then: learn to recognise it; don't be fooled that their allegations about you are true; keep extensive records (this cannot be overemphasised); use email as much as possible to make a paper trail; learn as much as you can about the subject of bullying; contact the relevant organisations; if you experience a deterioration in health, see your doctor and have the reason recorded; find out your employer's bullying policy; learn about your rights.
 

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I think looking at small pets like cats may help as an example. If you tease a small kitten it will bite you and scratch a little but wont cause any pain, so they're fun to play with. If you tease a fully grown cat, they will bite and scratch you and probably draw blood.
Now as a person you could easily cause harm to either of them, but naturally you will choose the one that doesn't have any hard bite. It's not worth getting scratched just for a bit of fun.

You might have no idea what I just said but all I mean is fight back. Don't take any kind of pressure, even if it's a small amount of teasing that you find tolerable, don't take it. Let them know you wont put up with it. Be a biter and scratcher.
You don't need to be smarter or stronger than them to push back.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Alright: fight back how? If you retaliate with your own insult, aren't you just escalating the situation and inviting further insults? (isn't this how wars get started? -- when both parties refuse to back down... this can't be the best solution) But, if you just say "stop it, I don't appreciate your insults", they can just play it off as if you're being overly sensitive, or deny they're insulting you. So neither directly fighting back with your own insults (since the person bullying has years of experience bullying and will probably be unaffected by your insults or come back with even crueler things to say), or simply telling them to stop seem very effective. So can someone say what, specifically, "standing up for yourself" involves?

Furthermore, how can you distinguish bullying from joking around? (when are you overreacting, and when is the other person actually being cruel?)
 

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Alright: fight back how? If you retaliate with your own insult, aren't you just escalating the situation and inviting further insults? (isn't this how wars get started? -- when both parties refuse to back down... this can't be the best solution) But, if you just say "stop it, I don't appreciate your insults", they can just play it off as if you're being overly sensitive, or deny they're insulting you. So neither directly fighting back with your own insults (since the person bullying has years of experience bullying and will probably be unaffected by your insults or come back with even crueler things to say), or simply telling them to stop seem very effective. So can someone say what, specifically, "standing up for yourself" involves?

Furthermore, how can you distinguish bullying from joking around? (when are you overreacting, and when is the other person actually being cruel?)
I noticed you said bullies were experts. They're not. They're generally weak, stupid and sensitive to insults. Many of them are easy to get riled up, which means they are vulnerable to insults.
Standing up for yourself is not going to start a war, in fact if you stand up for yourself early on before the bullying gets serious then you can avoid the conflict all together.
You need to let the person know they are offensive, and let them know that you don't tolerate it. This means talking back to them, making them defend themselves, and not playing along with their stupid games. Loud-mouths have this way of asking sarcastic questions in order to humiliate their victims. Then and there you have to call them on it, and tell them to shut it.

[edit]Bullying and joking around are kind of the same thing, teasing. Bullying is usually one-sided, joking around happens both ways.
 
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