5 Things I learnt from being bullied..

After reading this article on Debbie's website I knew that I had to share her story... Bullying is something that unfortunately is still happening, I knew that I had to share this because in some cases you don't necessarily know it's happening. So in Debbie's words "Bullying sucks. It sucks that there is not enough information out there to help identify it." Share the shit out of this blog and help start that Awkward Conversation to stop those workplace bullies!

 

Being bullied is shit. Whether at work, with family, just with life - it's crap. It's even more crap when all you are doing is being nice to everyone, and you have no idea why they're being mean. It's even more crap when it happens at work and you're supposed to be professional and shit.

Here is my two cents on how to deal.

1. I DIDN'T KNOW IT WAS HAPPENING TO ME

I knew what it was, I knew it was wrong, but I didn't know it was happening to me until it blew up in my face. Until I noticed I wasn't eating, how tired I was all the time, that I wasn't sleeping - I didn't know this was the root cause. It was quite sad really.

I'm a pretty happy-go-lucky person. I like to make friends with everyone. I like to think that positive energies attract other positive energies and so I'm happy most of the time. 

I mean check this out. This was supposed to be a corporate photo (where when you hover over the "normal" one, a funny one pops up - one of my better ideas :P). Totally OTT on purpose. 

But you get me right? Positive. Fun. Happy.

But then this stuff started happening and I just didn't find the energy to be happy. I felt like I was in a slump all the time and couldn't explain why. 

It was only until I spoke up and realised that others saw what was happening, that I realised that this was not OK. If you have a feeling it's happening to you, it probably is. Don't bury it, don't give the person the "benefit of the doubt". It is not fair and it needs to stop.

2. THE REASON WHY IT HAPPENS

I didn't realise this at the time, but it was happening because that person wanted what I had.

It's not my fault I had it, it wasn't my fault I was good at it, but all they knew was that they wanted it and couldn't have it. So the next best thing? Turn people against you so you loose what they want. 

You know that primary school scenario when you like someone but pretend to not, and say jokingly mean things to people because of this? Yeah, that was happening to me, but this person purposefully and publicly degraded me and and got off on it when they succeeded. Pretty messed up stuff. 

I tried to change my approach, change my work style, even tried to hang out with this person to build a relationship. It still continued.

I had a client tell me that he could tell when I produced work and when I didn't. So I thought I knew that the work that I was doing was good. But the person kept slyly questioning the quality of my work. To insult my work is basically to insult me, so I took it personally. Basically I second guessed myself and thought it was my mistake, and that I was producing shit work.

I realise now, I should have just trusted myself and that there was nothing that I could have done differently. Well, except maybe number three. 

3. IF THIS SHIT IS HAPPENING TO YOU, THERE IS NO REASON TO PUT UP WITH IT. 

I put up with it for almost a year, which was a year too long.  I thought I "had" to. I thought because I had a mortgage, an upcoming wedding to pay for, and because it would look bad on my resume that I just needed to see it though.  

YOU DON'T. 

Hindsight is 20-20 and it's easier for me to tell you this from the other side of the tunnel, but from someone that this horrible shit happened to, just get out of there. You will find a way to make it work once you're out.

4. TALKING ABOUT IT ACTUALLY HELPS.

It drove me to see a Psychologist. Probably why I lasted so long. Because I couldn't identify what was happening, counselling really helped to bring it to the surface. 

You don't have to go and see a counsellor though, the people around you love you, talk to them.

You will feel tired, anti-social, like netflix is your best friend and probably not in the mood to chat, but, get the words out. You'll feel release without even knowing that you were feeling like this. 

Oh, and also do whatever you need to do to get through. Like get a puppy :) 

BEST THING TO HAPPEN IN THIS WHOLE MESS. 

4. TALKING ABOUT IT ACTUALLY HELPS.

It drove me to see a Psychologist. Probably why I lasted so long. Because I couldn't identify what was happening, counselling really helped to bring it to the surface. 

You don't have to go and see a counsellor though, the people around you love you, talk to them.

You will feel tired, anti-social, like netflix is your best friend and probably not in the mood to chat, but, get the words out. You'll feel release without even knowing that you were feeling like this. 

Oh, and also do whatever you need to do to get through. Like get a puppy :) 

BEST THING TO HAPPEN IN THIS WHOLE MESS. 

5. TRY NOT TO LET IT AFFECT YOUR WORK & LIFE AFTERWARDS

Now this one is hard. I've been to countless job interviews, meetings with colleagues and professional gatherings since. I'm trying not to be cynical but it has skewed my judgement.

Because you've now been exposed to it, you are aware of it. Almost too aware. Normal thoughts of "Did they really just say that?" or "They really did not just do that." will pass through your mind. Let them pass. 

These are all normal reactions that come across my mind, and sat in the pit of my stomach. 

Breathe, process what is happening but don't let that part of your life be the first thing that you reference.   

I am ok, now. I am happier now. I didn't think I'd get here but I did. I only reached this place because I realised it's was unfair for me to have to deal with this. You can too :)

Bullying sucks. It sucks that there is not enough information out there to help identify it.

Hopefully this helps to change that :) Have you been bullied? What helped you get through it?