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Finding That Voice Inside

Aug 17, 2007
Bullying, is not the easiest of subjects to talk about, I know. Except this week I've heard from so many people who are or have been a victim, or perpetrator of bullying.

The reason I've received all the emails is because of the recent Channel 4 series of reality TV show, Celebrity Big Brother. I also know from personal experience how bullying has unfortunately been a taboo subject for far too long.

To be honest, the programme proved painful viewing, reminding us how inconsiderate and cruel some of us can be. Magnified even further when committed by previously cuddly celebrities 'live' for all to see, it showed us in condensed form just how bullying develops and can spiral out of hand.

I was bullied at school and in my first job, so know first hand how debilitating being stripped of one's dignity can be. For myself, through Hypnotherapy and Life Coaching, I was able to move on from its effects. Unfortunately, not everyone is as lucky.

Nowadays I work with people caught on both sides of the line; the victim, and the bully.

Bullying is usually only discussed in the hushed confines of late night television or the 3am slot on local radio. However, these past two weeks have seen a major shift here in Britain and in India, assisted by the international cast of Celebrity Big Brother, resulting in the subject pushing its way to the front page of every newspaper, top story of radio and television news reports - it has even been discussed between heads of governments in both Parliaments.

Well meaning advice given, to 'just stand up to them' seldom works. I remember when I was 14 the school headmaster told me to just 'be stronger', even suggesting I punch them on the nose seemed impossible considering the state I was in.

What I've learned since however, is the one most important area to begin working with for anyone being bullied is in rebuilding his or her sense of self esteem. Because that's the one core belief persistent bullying grinds down, the right to exist and be happy in the world.

For the next little while if this debate causes one victim to muster the courage to speak up and begin rebuilding their self esteem, if it causes the rest of us to step in and stop it when we see it happening, and if it causes one bully to recognize what their doing isn't fun, it's not 'big' - in fact the bigger thing would be to stop it and change the situation, then we will have all moved a huge step forward.

Steps to stop bullying happening:

1. If you are being bullied, never accept it's what you deserve, that it's your fault; you somehow caused this to happen. The truth is you didn't.

2. Rather than face the bully head on, look for allies, others who can boost your position in a crowd, support you, be your friend, and if needed be the strength you may presently be lacking

3. Report the bullying to an authority figure, and again get support when you do this. If the figure takes no action, go to their manager and so on until you are taken seriously.

4. Get professional help to support yourself. There are many organizations and support groups which are invaluable in both assisting in the practicalities of stopping the bullying taking place, and also begin rebuilding your sense of self esteem and confidence.

5. If you are an observer and notice it happening, step in and do something to stop it. You have no idea how much you'll help, and also how good you will feel that you did.

6. If you are a parent, guardian, colleague, or friend of someone who is being abused - which is what bullying is - take the victim seriously. Support them, and be as constructive as possible, as one thing bullying takes away is clear judgment.

7. If you realize you have an anger issue, or that something intended as fun developed into aggression, and that you are now perceive as a bully, immediately step back and begin to take stock and understand your actions.

8. Finally, if you realize you cannot change your actions, be brave enough to admit your actions are now bigger than you are, and ask for some help. Again, there are a host of organizations - many voluntary and free - willing, ready and able to help you develop a better set of social skills.
About the Author
Find out how you can overcome bullying, increase confidence, and be more brave right now affecting all parts of your life visit http://www.mikeblissett.com.
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