As a child, you probably remember teasing and being the target of a joke. Children typically do not mean any harm. They are most likely trying to impress others. When does winning the affection of your peers go too far? Teasing can begin innocently, but it can quickly turn to bullying.
There are many things a parent or teacher can do to prevent bullying. Such as, speaking openly against it, implementing parental controls for devices, and sharing helpful resources for all children.
However, what do you do when you are being bullied as an adult? There isn’t always a mentor ready to step in and save the day. Learning more about bullying and how to overcome it is important for all ages, even adults!
What is Bullying?
Bullying is the act of aggressive behavior against a person or people. It is often used as a form of intimidation and control. According to PromotePrevent, bullies will deliberately intimidate, abuse, or coerces an individual intending to hurt that person physically or emotionally.
There are many forms of bullying. It may be verbal bullying. This means they may consistently tease, poke fun at a person’s insecurities, or use harsh language to invoke negative feelings. Bullying can also be physical. A person may push, kick, pinch, or use other actions to show control over another.
Examples of Bullying as an Adult
As an adult, bullying may look a little different than it did as a child. Or maybe it looks the same. Most adults will deal with a verbal bully or a passive-aggressive bully.
A verbal bully may criticize your work or insecurities. This bully could be a coworker, family member, friend, or partner. For example, they may use ugly language to point out the various parts of your life.
Some phrases you may hear are the following:
Why did you do your hair like that?
You’ll never find a partner looking like that.
How are you going to make money doing that?
I don’t know why you think doing that is a good idea.
That is the stupidest thing you’ve ever said.
Most commonly among adults are passive-aggressive bullies. These bullies may not always point out your insecurities or use harsh language, but they will attempt to attack your self-esteem in subtle ways. This could include exclusion, lying, and gossiping. They may purposely not invite you to dinner or a party. In other cases, they may lie to your face and gossip behind your back.
Some common phrases you will hear from a passive-aggressive bully are as followed:
Well, I didn’t ask you because I assumed you wouldn’t want to go.
It’s not always about you, you know?
It’s not my fault, but I know who’s fault it probably is.
I never said that about you.
I’m surprised to see you with them.
How to Deal With Bullies
The most important thing to do is to keep yourself safe. If you feel that a bully is threatening your safety or your life, you should seek immediate help from an authority figure. You have the right to protect yourself. If they threaten your safety, it is okay to seek outside help at any consequence to them.
If possible, try to remove yourself from their presence. They are probably targeting you for a reason. If you can set boundaries, they will not have power over you. Sometimes it’s impossible to escape them. In which case, communicate your thoughts and feelings with them or someone who can help.
You can also tell others about your experience. In many cases, adults will not speak up about bullying issues in their life. Your story can make a difference in someone else’s life. Encourage others and feel encouraged to speak out against bullying.