Thursday, 15 September 2011

Adult Bullying

It’s interesting times we live in as a nation. In times past we were apparently famous for our stoicism for our “I will not tremble or expose my vulnerability” granite implaccable unflappable "Britishness" whatever that is. We were oddly admired for our stiff upper lip..

Now we are more backstory orientated we still don’t tend to talk at length as adults about a very common problem. Bullying.

Children get bullied the “weak” get bullied.

Adults it is presumed are neither targeted nor affected by bullies.

However the reverse is true.

Adult bullies whether in work or within social groups target very specific people. Those who live honestly with integrity and those who have a perceived or actual vulnerability which can be exploited.In short pretty much anyone.

As the depressing economic downturn persists and more people lose their jobs the workplace bullying will increase.

For those bullied by their friends however there is no Human Resources department to whom you can turn.(I gather that these are not the most helpful places anyway.)

Social exclusion and isolation are very powerful weapons in a bullies arsenal. They will wield these brilliantly once the target has been identified and there are many enablers, not bullies themselves but sheep who will ensure through silence or fear of their own social exclusion, that the target is hit.

Once the "bullied" has been identified often by simply challenging the status quo (eg. by requesting for the first time that their disabled child be made a priority by friends of several decades) then the bullying will move onto the key stage.


Phonecalls don’t get returned or instigated. Emails and texts get ignored and group activities get arranged with your invitation not materialising or arriving at the last minute.

During the times when the rest of the group meets you are belittled, branded delusional and laughed at.

You can challenge it, you can complain about it but it’s ultimately pointless.
As wrong and as devastating as this sort of behaviour is there is nothing you can do but withdraw.

For people who have a job and social groups there this is one avenue to make other friends. For people whose children are of school age there is another opportunity.

If you have neither of those there is the beautiful wonderful internet. The fact that the right wing press believes it to be the source of all society’s woes (whilst of course enjoying the traffic through their online sites) makes it even more attractive.

The point that I’m making is this. If you’re being bullied it’s not because you are useless. It’s for the absolutely opposite reason, its because you are threatening.

Whether by virtue of intelligence, skill, natural ability or honesty you have engendered jealousy. You haven’t done so deliberately, you haven’t sought to provoke or enrage anyone. You have simply had the misfortune to invoke the displeasure of an insecure arch manipulator with extremely low self esteem.

The thing to know is that this isn’t your fault and that most decent people don’t choose bullying as a option.

The cumulative effect of bullying impacts on the target overtime. Find a good counsellor and talk to them.This isn't a weak act but a strong one. It really helps.

Most importantly it will enable you to make the decision which is the only real option.

Move on and don’t look back.

This is a fantastic and very helpful website