By Valerie Cade CSP | November 23, 2011
When one experiences the despair, confusion and challenge of workplace bullying, we will behave in a number of ways – some of them are conscious and some of them are unconscious. Peace comes from the ability to feel a sense of perceived control over one’s circumstances and existence. Just know it is our ability to make conscious choices that can allow you feeling more in control, and thus find the peace you are seeking.
To protect oneself during a workplace bullying situation, people tend to act in these ways:
- Change – having the awareness and strength and resources to attempt a change in how the bully behaves (intervention) or how you react/respond.
- Leave – Proactively deciding to separate yourself physically, emotionally and mentally from the bully.
- Accept – Accepting the bully as a person with limitations in the way you need to interact, and realize you’ve let go of the need to try and change their behavior. You’ve also let go of behaviors you do to try and change the bully’s behavior i.e. “If I sat here…”, “if I came early…”, “If I….”
- Cope – You’ve decided you cannot leave, so you make a conscious decision to minimize your interactions with the bully and to develop your strength for when you do have to interact.
- Escape – Finding something that takes you away from dealing with the issue at hand, that gives you the illusion of ‘I need to be here rather than facing the workplace bullying situation head-on’.
Here’s how ‘escaping’ works. See if any of these are happening to you:
- Denying: The best thing you can do is to admit what you are experiencing. You cannot cure what you do not admit to. Naming it “bullying” gets you back in the game.
- Delusion: The next best thing you can do is to accept the bully will not change; so put a stop to the delusion that if you “try harder” things will turn around.
- Ignoring: You “feel” things are not going well and you may not be sure of what to do, so you “get busy” doing other things, or you “zone out” or withdraw from the situation and pretty soon life itself.
- Excuses: “I know the situation at work isn’t going well, but Phil’s retiring in 4 years…” We delay protecting ourselves and taking action, because that appears to take more effort.
Why Do People Escape?
- It’s difficult to see someone in a poor light; we tend and hope for people to change so we can avoid the possible conflict and uncomfortableness of setting boundaries.
- Without a plan of assurance and peace (which you will not get with the bully), it seems easier in the short run to keep “putting things off”.
What To Do:
- It’s Not What You Think, It’s What You Admit/Know: Our mind, the ability to admit where we are at, and our current reality is 100% in our control. Betraying what our mind, body and spirit are saying to us is a sure self-esteem destroyer.
- Values Win Over Needs Every Time: Make a list of your values and rate how you are living them on a scale of 1 – 5. What could make something a 5? When we fail to live to our values, this is a true destroyer of self-esteem and a sense of control. You will gain strength here by making a few changes in a positive direction in order to help you handle your workplace bullying situation.
- Go Through Things, Not Around Them: Keep seeking, asking and building yourself and your self esteem. It is a daily reconciliation. What do you need to face? decide? do? let go of?
- And finally, a prayer that has traveled the world over:
“God, grant me the serenity to
Accept the things I cannot change
Change the things I can, and the
Wisdom to know the difference”.
Let’s take one step closer to be as conscious as we can to accept, change and grow in wisdom … and with this decision you’ve been given 100% control.
Valerie Cade, CSP is a Workplace Bullying Expert, Speaker and Author of “Bully Free at Work: What You Can Do To Stop Workplace Bullying Now!” which has been distributed in over 100 countries worldwide. For presentations and consulting on workplace bullying prevention and respectful workplace implementation, go to http://www.bullyfreeatwork.com
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