The Forums Forums Emotional Journey Bullying Dealing With Bullies

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  • blackdog

    Hi @Techdog 🙂

    I know how you feel, on all points, except being native.

    I think part of the reason I have problems at work now is that, because I am older, they expect me to have experience that I don’t and know things that I don’t. And I don’t have a lot in common with most people my age. Or any age, for that matter.

    Wherever you live, there are likely some kind of human rights laws protecting you from discrimination. You should check into that.  There might be some kind of legal aid available as well if you think you need a lawyer.

    As for the bullies, remember that they are just trying to boost their own self esteem by putting you down. The only opinion that matters is your own. And the only person you have control over is you. So just keep doing a good job and be proud of your accomplishments.


    I was bullied by other students teachers and bosses and even some of my siblings. I think what I have learned is people that bully are showing of their true character and the new laws saying its not ok are Great. the real change will only come when people see who they really are when they are bullying someone. the sad thing is that understanding may almost arrive much latter. or too late.


    @trashman – Well said. I love that they are starting to put some laws in place to help. It makes me want to jump for joy when I see some of these bullies on the news being charged with a crime.

    But the real change will only come when people see what they are doing, like you said. We have to get to the root of the problem before we can get rid of it for good.


    My daughter is going through this right now, she’s 8 years old and has a classroom bully. my daughter started to miss a lot of school, she would pretend to get sick at school so I would have to go pick her up.  When I found out another girl in her class is picking on her I imediatly went to the school to sort things out. Unfortunately the teachers have never seen this child picking on my daughter. the teachers have said they will watch for anything out of the ordinary. I’ve told my daughter that when this child is picking on her she is to yell “insert name stop picking on me”. she is to bring attention to the situation so this child will stop bullying her.


    @pandora I tried to fake being sick to get out of school but my mother never fell for it. When the bullying got really bad she did keep me home a few times to give me a break.

    Don’t rely on the teachers to catch it on their own. Most don’t care enough to notice. Keep checking with your daughter and making sure she’s ok. And make sure she knows that she is the better person and that it doesn’t matter what that bully says.

    Blue Yugo

    I was bullied at a call center job by a black girl who used racist, anti-white language at me.  Because she was buddy-buddy with the boss, all my complaints went ignored and I was basically told that there’s no such thing as reverse-discrimination.  I had another boss years earlier who used me as her verbal punching bag and would sometimes call me into her office just to cuss and vent her frustration, my purpose being just an ear to listen to her rant.  I was not aware of ADD back then, but it was a good thing I really wasn’t listening to her because she had so many more interesting trinkets on her desk that continually distracted me.


    No such thing as reverse discrimination? That’s just ridiculous. If you are facing discrimination it shouldn’t matter what colour your skin is, or what colour the bully’s is.

    In my opinion, racism is racism. Period. I know black people have suffered at the hands of white people in the past, and many still face racism today, but that is no excuse to do it to someone else. In fact, it should be just the opposite. When you have faced discrimination yourself you should know what it feels like and not want to put someone else through that.  But I suppose it’s hard for some people to not lash out in anger. Especially if their life isn’t the greatest. Still doesn’t make it right though.

    I like Morgan Freeman’s attitude. I saw him in an interview with George Strombo a few years ago. I think it was around the time “Prom Night in Mississipi” came out. He mentioned that he still faces discrimination and that he sometimes walks into a restaurant in the South and they’ll refuse to serve him. Strombo was surprised and asked him how he handles it. He said “I just smile and say okay, thank you, have a nice day and walk out.”  It takes a lot of self esteem to do that.

    But I am way off topic.  This brings up an interesting subject that doesn’t get disscused much- work place bullies. When I went for my assessment the psych asked me when the bullying stopped. I said “it never did”. But he missed my meaning and still focused on school. I was bullied right up to my last job. Nothing really specific, just a general attitude, and a few remarks here and there that I caught as I was walking around a corner. I always wanted to hide a digital recorder somewhere to see what they said about me when I wasn’t there.

    Typing this is making me think about filing a complaint against them again. If only I could remember specific incidents and dates.

    Oh well, the best revenge is living well, as they say. So last time I walked by and one of them waved and smiled I waved back with a great big grin on my face. Let them see that I am happy and sure of myslef and still walking with my head held high. (even if I’m not)


    I think not showing that a bully is getting under your skin is the best way to reduce or stop it. Even laughing at their comments is better than showing that they are getting to you. Depends on the circumstances of course.

    I have been bullied as a kid, a lot, and an adult, more than I care to admit.

    There’s rudeness, dismissal, or simply negating the other person that I find so common amongst adults. But I’ve got a few thoughts. (And yes, we should do a webinar about this in the new year.)

    When I was younger the common belief was that bullies had self-esteem issues and felt bad about themselves. Then I remember reading about a groundbreaking study which showed that the opposite was true and the bullies thought they were better and other people ‘deserved’ to be bullies.

    As an adult I’ve only once experienced a full blown meltdown and the person had Narcissistic Personality Disorder. Brutal. The garbage and accusations were mind boggling. The joke was, afterwards, I was able to list out this person’s main complaints, and in fact they all applied to them ten times more than to me.

    It’s like having Miley Cyrus say you’re an attention seeker because you publicly stated you couldn’t watch her tweaking videos.

    In some ways this event was so over the top it was easy to kind of see past it.

    The subtler kind are people telling me their ‘beliefs’ as if it’s cut and dried facts. And they no better. Superior tone. Dismissive. Certain they are right.

    And it can be about the economy, politics, religion, public personalities, money issues, and my favourite, comedy. I’ve had people who haven’t written comedy in years telling me the ‘rules’ or ‘here’s how comedy works’ or ‘here’s what a comedy show has to do.’  I’ve written 700 episodes of radio and television, and a LOT of live material, and I would never claim to know any rules, or know what you ‘must do.’

    Heck, the Red Green Show broke every rule in the book, starting with a host who was older, had a beard, and spoke in a gravelly voice. Try selling someone on a show with zero women in the cast, a bunch of ugly guys, no real plot, a black and white silent comedy segment, poems, and campfire songs… and see how quickly you’re ushered out of the network executives office. Yet the show ran 15 seasons.

    So I love @bigchi‘s suggestion to laugh at their comments. “If you say so,” with a skeptical smile works too. But remaining calm is the most powerful weapon. You set the tone.

    How do you remain calm? The best strategy I have found is to consciously look at them, and not hear what they are saying, tune it out, and imagine it’s gibberish. Imagine it’s another language. And just look at them. Suddenly they look ridiculous, out of control, childish, even scared.

    It’s amazing. It takes some practice, but focus on their mouth, their expression, how red they are, their breathing, and detach. Imagine you’re watching a movie. Be deadpan or perhaps even slightly interested and amused. Maybe a bit embarrassed for them. It’s amazing how the power shifts entirely to you.



    Hey, blackdog, I gotta call you on this one. No offense taken, I just like to set the record straight. “Don’t rely on the teachers to catch it on their own. Most don’t care enough to notice. Keep checking with your daughter and making sure she’s ok. And make sure she knows that she is the better person and that it doesn’t matter what that bully says.” Actually, I would say most of us care a whole lot. I did research a few years ago, and found one statistic that was very telling: teachers notice only 1 in 25 of bullying incidents. It’s simply impossible to monitor every single interaction between students over the course of the day. I actually tell students this statistic. I tell them it’s impossible for teachers to see everything (because they think we do!), and explain that is why it is SO important for bystanders to speak up. (And I have to tell you how proud I was of one of my students this week when he came to me to tell me he had seen *another* student “stand up” because a friend was being hurt.) We teach our kindergartens to recognize when they are capable of handling a problem on their own and when they need to seek adult help.
    I like your advice though, and I’m glad Pandora went in to help her daughter. It may be more than once, since some of us are better at recognizing and responding to issues than others….it helps to keep advocating to keep the issue at the forefront if it doesn’t stop.
    I don’t know all the answers, it is such a complex issue. But probably the #1 stressor for me on the job would be the thought of failing to give the right help to a student who needed it. We want them to be happy – and they don’t learn well if they aren’t. I welcome information from parents, because sometimes children’s worries don’t come out til the end of the day when they have had time to process. When that kind of information is shared, I keep a closer eye on interactions between those particular students.
    Sorry, that’s way too much info for an off the cuff remark. I’m just a born peacenik who wants everyone to get along 🙂


    I agree dithl teachers can’t be everywhere or see everything, that why I told my daughter to bring attention to the situation. After I talked to the teacher things have gotten better for my daughter. The teacher intervened and now both girls are friends. even though it hasn’t been that long since the incidents took place my daughter is now enjoying going to school and hasn’t asked to stay home. I ask her everyday how everything is going with the other girl. I tell her I’m very proud of her for sticking up for herself.

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