We’ve all heard stories about bullying, It happens in homes, schools, and on the internet. But what about a form of bullying in our every day lives we may be experiencing ? Often these symptoms aren’t recognized or more often, not even considered a form of bullying.
This often deceptive hidden form of bullying can occur through the way some people interact with friends or loved ones. When people talk down to others, making them feel insignificant, threatened or forced to abide by what is being directed at them, that is bullying.
Is there anyone in your life that responds to a heartfelt request from you with assertion or aggression demanding their way is better and all negotiations are off the table? Do you have someone in your circles who calls all the shots when it comes to making plans and out of a sense of not wanting to stir conflict you pacify their demands just to keep the peace? That’s bullying too. Why do we continue to remain in the circles of these confrontational, demanding people? Is it because we’re intimidated by them, don’t want to create waves in our relationships with them or are we just accustomed to the relationship as it is?
I can certainly attest to having being a subject of some of these somewhat toxic relationships in my own life. The people who make the plans, not wanting feedback but expecting everyone in the group to comply is a common factor in many relationships. There always seems be one of those leader types who wants to lead the pack by their decisions without debate. It’s easy to fall prey to these people especially if we are compassionate or sensitive souls who don’t wish to challenge directives with countering suggestions of our own. These types of relationships are not healthy. Whether we are easily intimidated or just wishing to keep the peace, we have to discover methods which allow us to stand up for our own thoughts or at the very least make changes to slowly distance ourselves from these dominating personality types.
So how do we handle these dominating people in our lives? First, it’s important to stand up and feel confident about what we would like to request. It’s perfectly okay to state our opinions and make alternate suggestions if we disagree or feel we have something better to suggest. If our ideas are shot down, we need to ask why. Perhaps we’ll discover that our suggestion may not have been the best idea, but with posing the question and stimulating a discussion we at least get to weigh out options. On the other hand, if the person we’re trying to have this discussion with is adamant that her decision is final and there’s nothing to discuss and this is the ongoing pattern with her then it’s time to re-evaluate the relationship.
In healthy friendships and relationships, we should be able to have a good two-way conversation with each other. But if we find we are constantly being shot down for our ideas and what we say never seems to be taken into consideration by these people then these aren’t the people we need to have in our circles. Granted, when it comes to family relations it is more difficult to sever ties sometimes, but that doesn’t mean we have to socialize with these people. And in the event we are forced to congregate at a family function, it may be best to just keep our opinions zipped if it’s going to cause chaos within the family unless of course, we’ve had our fill of ongoing confrontations, then it may be time to exit.
But when it comes to friendships and acquaintances, we do have a choice. We don’t have to be rude, but we can state our opinions, explain why we feel a certain way and try to open up a dialogue to make our points. If the person we are conversing with isn’t open to opinions on a constant basis, it may be time to take that exit walk. This also applies to those energy suckers we tend to collect in our lives. These are the people who have nothing to give of themselves – a compliment, an ear to listen or any interest in how we are feeling. We can’t always change people but we have the power to change ourselves and realize when people around us aren’t offering anything positive to our lives we need to shed them.
We all have the freedom of speech. But that doesn’t give people rights to dominate other people’s thoughts or lives. Respect is essential in all relationships in order for them to be healthy ones. Knocking people’s ideas and thoughts and making them feel inferior is just one more form of emotional bullying. If we treat people and their opinions with respect, we should expect it in return. And if we’re not getting it after discussing the issue with them it’s a good indicator that it’s time to move on.
This post was chosen as the weekly feature winner at the Blogger’s Pit Stop!