By Valerie Cade CSP
Many of you may have some holidays over the next few weeks and while you will be away from work, I realize for many of you, you may just take the time to ‘think more’ about your bullying situation at work. While we’ve been blessed with the ability to think and reason, let me give you The 12 Steps To Make it Through Any Holiday if You are Being Bullied to ensure your thoughts are working for you; after all, you deserve to enjoy the holidays too.
Step 1: Realize if you are feeling ‘less than’ with regard to your workplace bullying situation, that it will help you to admit to being bullied. Admission is the first step to your independence. “I admit, this is a workplace bullying situation.”
Step 2: Remember it is natural to want to connect with everyone; and it is important to have a boundary with a bully. Lower your expectations for connecting with a bully.
“Well, if I just smile and come in a little earlier, maybe they’ll come around.”
“I admit this person is a bully and no matter what behavior change I make, the bully will not ‘come around’. I cannot control the bully’s behavior change, so I will not expect one.”
Step 3: Keep a list of all of the hurtful situations with regard to the bully. Re-read this when you start to think ‘He didn’t mean it; I think things will come around’. Remember your wonderful heart has a tendency to create an illusion; it is called humanity and it works great for almost anyone else…except bullies.
Step 4: If you feel it is too hard to shut the bully out, counter-act this behavior and instead deposit into someone else’s life. While doing so, you will gain the connection you are looking for and you may even get a connection back!
Step 5: Schedule in your daytimer: time off from thinking about the bully. Start with small amounts of time and go for the ‘many day plan’ if you can. Everything needs a break. The tide comes in, the tide goes out. We have 4 seasons. We sleep, we awake. We think about the bully, we need to take a break from thinking about the bully.
Step 6: Decide your day. Have something scheduled every day for your enjoyment. Many people forget what it is that has created happiness for them. I decided to rent as many Walt Disney movies as I can over the holidays. I forgot how much I enjoyed these movies! What might you do? Try a baby step…
Step 7: Lavender Oil. This oil was created to ‘calm the senses’ and reduce stress. Did you know that smell is the most powerful force? Why not get it working for you? What other smells could you create? Popcorn? The smell of making a favorite dish?
Step 8: Know you didn’t cause the bully to behave this way. Nothing you did has caused the bully to behave this way to you. What you can control is how you think about the bully’s behavior. Know you didn’t create it.
Step 9: Be aware of the bully’s traps they create in order to get you ‘thinking and doubting’. Did you know most bullies do not take personal responsibility for their behavior? They will use blame, guilt, ‘you should’, hurt emotions of ‘what you did to cause them pain’, etc. Anyone speaking like this is trying to get you to take ownership for their pain. If you own it, they win. You do not have to own it. Be clear on what is true for you and be ok if you think differently than the bully. You are allowed your own truth.
Step 10: Resist the need to be understood by the bully. It won’t happen. They do not have the capacity. If you find yourself ‘thinking things through over and over again’, this is called self-doubt. Once is okay in order to assess where you are at and what you are dealing with. More than that, you would benefit once again from knowing the bully is simply incapable; you didn’t cause it and you cannot control it.
Step 11: Weeds or seeds? Weeds: your thoughts about the bully over and over again (yes, it is good to process things, but it is also good to take a break). Now, with your break, could you plant a seed? In good soil? What does this mean? What are some things you’d like to do in the next year? Maybe it is something simple such as going for a walk in a certain park. Maybe it is finally searching out Emotions Anonymous and seeing if this support group might just be able to give you the hope and encouragement you need.
Step 12: Know you are not alone. Sometimes hearing this can make all the difference in the world. I just want to say to every one of you reading from all over the world in over 100 countries now: thank you for caring enough. Know that you are good. Know that you have a wonderful heart and even though you might be suffering now, this will not last forever. Stay plugged in and know we are in your corner.
PS: Sometimes it only takes one ounce of encouragement to keep shining. The past does not equal the future. May your path be protected.
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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