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Archive for the ‘Bullying’ Category

People Pleaser aka Master Manipulator

“If you live for people’s acceptance,you will die from their rejection.” Lecrae

You are born a  person who is humble & polite with everyone; a good human being, not hurting anyone. In the process you somehow starts getting uncomfortable with conflicts, you like people being happy with you. Gradually you can’t afford displeasing them, you’ve to make them happy at any cost. It becomes a self inflicting game of keeping everyone content at each given moment of time. The web grows from being at toes for one person to many. You start weaving stories, drowning in lies to cater to the needs of people around you.

My observation & research have shown a strong connection between people pleasing and self esteem. A person going through a low self esteem phase would love when people are nice to them. You make sure that you agree with whatever they say,do or think. You generally are the favourite sidekick, giving yourself an identity too. It sure does bring a short-lived sense of belongingness turning soon into strong feeling of worthlessness.

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The problem sprouts when you are close to two people having contradictory mindsets. You do the same routine, manipulating your words & actions as the need be. The saddest part is, apart from being a manipulator, you lose yourself!

Self bashing becomes our life style. We get stuck in this vicious loop. Our fear of disappointing people stops us to even do rational thinking. We suffer but we oblige.Sometimes, we helplessly see that we are being taken advantage of and do nothing about it.

People pleasing is a dangerous addiction, here are few ways to try sobriety :

  • Identify & stop the cycle of manipulation: You certainly can’t be a ‘Yes Man’ to all. Understand how sometimes you twist facts or information to make everyone happy and avoid conflicts.
  • Work on your self esteem: You don’t need others approval to feel good about yourself. Find a way to uplift your self esteem, sometimes a professional support helps.
  • It is okay to displease/disappoint people: As they say, you can please some people all the time, all the people for sometime, not all the people all the time. You’ll have few who won’t be contented by your actions, but that means you do have a voice of your own. Be proud of your identity and savor it.
  • Get comfortable with conflict situation: With the flourishing of your identity, you’ll face contradictions and conflicts. These are essentials for growth as a person. With conflicts come clarity.
  • Stop mincing words: You have a mind & voice, which means you’ll think and that will be expressed through your words. Please don’t try to hide your opinions in a gift wrap. Say exactly what you mean and sometimes not in so many words. People need to listen to YOU.
  • Self Care:They say;  the way we mistreat ourselves, if somebody did half of it we would kill the person. It is high time to make yourself priority. You need to please someone, let it be you.

It will take time, you don’t change overnight. Be positive, patient & persistent…be you!

“What hurts them”

First they came for the Jews

and I did not speak out-

because I was not a Jew.

Then they came for the Communists

and I did not speak out-

because I was not a Communist.

Then they came for the trade unionists

and I did not speak out-

because I was not a trade unionist.

Then they came for me-

and there was no one left

to speak out for me.

Pastor Niemoeller, victim of the Nazis.

Ask me if I am a racist or a bully or a prejudiced person and promptly I would reply “NO, I am neither of the three.”

I am an educated person who believes in equality and respects individuals. People are going to accept it as that is the shallow truth. But, if I take the below questionnaire honestly, my answer will be clouded by doubts.

  • Have I ever played with a person’s name or made it subjective to my humor?
  • Have I ever generalized in negative terms about any race or ethical group, disabled, elderly or other people different from ourselves?
  • Have I ever embarrassed someone by calling attention to some of their personal characteristics, mistakes or condition of their lives, families or friends?
  • Have I ever blamed a mishap, misconduct, dispute, loss in competitions on one or few people other than me?
  • Have I ever purposefully ignored or not included a certain person or group of them in my daily activities?
  • Have I ever made or been a part of something which have made a person or few of them so uncomfortable that they have to leave a group?
  • Have I ever made fun or ridiculed the beliefs, clothing, customs or personal habits of a person?
  • Have I ever used my or a friend’s social status to coerce others to do what I wanted them to do?
  • Have I ever forcefully or by other forms of intimidation discouraged or prevented a person or a group of them from participating in a discussion or speaking their minds in social interactions? tumblr_lrbqahrztb1qc2ckz

Be honest to yourself and if your answer is something which is making you not able to meet your eyes…Start the Process of CHANGE!

Every family,group, community,organisation has a culture. People are expected to fit into this culture forgetting their true self. If a person is not able to trust me, we would make him feel miserable because we have been given ourselves a right to make sure the trend is followed. The first step is to become AWARE of the pressure we put on people to behave in the way we want them to. And next time before you do it, just stop for a minute and think if the same happens to us, would we be able to be handle it.

Remember all of us have this innate need to progress and be a better person. This process relies on change, which is an  everyday process. We will have days of our highs and lows but as long as we are working on becoming a better person, we are moving forward.

“We apathise they abuse”

I read a book today. It is called “The Kid Trapper” by Julia Cook. I need to share the jist of it and the situation of this boy ( being a counselor even I know someone like him).

This boy who was trapped in a sexually abusive situation.

How did he get into it?

Simple easy steps which works every time

A friendly stranger makes you feel special

Invite you for a fun time in his place ( or a secluded one)

Let you do something, you always wanted to, but your parents never allowed you to do so

And once you are done, his game begins

Because you did something, you don’t want your parents to know you have to fulfill his wish

The wishes will grow & grow

This is the moment you know, you are TRAPPED

He will make sure you never talk to anyone about it and feel dirty and responsible for the situation. Trust me, that is his power and his biggest weapon. Your fear and shame. picture-to-represent-child-poverty-581748424

You feel your parents/loved ones will hate you if they would come to even know about it but that is your biggest mistake. They love you and they would never be able to forgive themselves if you won’t reach out to them. The moment you’ll talk, the web will disappear.

Parents/ Adults/loved ones:

Do you know?

There is no specific description of an abuser. He could be anyone and anywhere and most of the time he is a very close one.

Be there for your child. Give him the strength to reach you. Be a friend, who doesn’t even need words to feel the pain of his loved one.

Sometimes, because of our own fears, we convey this message to our children that talking about sex ( or sexual abuse) is unacceptable. We believe in the ostrich syndrome…lets dig our heads in the sand rather than looking at the problem.

Though it sounds rare but this is the most common type of abuse which exists anywhere & everywhere!

Please, lets accept this as a fact that sexual predators do exist among us, rather than feeling ashamed and going in a cocoon about it because without this acceptance we will never be able to feel comfortable in talking to them about it and consequently will not be able to equip our kids with the necessary skills to identify and deal with them.

 

 

Rogue Relationship

Sometimes you know that some relationships are more toxic than being a support. You understand that it’s a mistake making your life heavy and exhausting . You spend all your energy & happiness meeting the expectations but nothing suffices. In this vicious cycle you lose your personality, identity & the want of living.

Deep down you also know the only solution but refuse to accept it to yourself let alone the world. There could be several reasons for you being in the dysfunctional situation:

  • You are scared of hurting yourself as well as your loved ones.
  • Have become addicted to this relationship and like a substance abuser know the repercussion but doesn’t have the power to come out of it.
  • You even refuse to accept the truth to yourself & live with the hope of a miracle going to happen someday.
  •  Don’t want people to feel sorry for you.
  • The fear of unknown.

If any of these rings a bell, break the chains and start living your life from today. Let go of it because this relationship is like a virus, which will eat you and make you forget to live the only life you’ve got.

I know saying it is really easy while even thinking of implementing makes you shiver. Take the step to liberate the real you. In the beginning, go through the process of  healing which may involve grieving for your dead relationship but all of this will actually empower you. You would love to find your confidence again and letting go of the shame & guilt developed during the relationship.

“Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened.”
Dr. Seuss

Warning: Before taking the step be sure that you are in a dysfunctional relationship. Don’t take a low phase as the whole relationship. Be objective and if you can’t seek external help to decide. This post is strictly for those you are a part of an emotionally abusive relationship.

 

 

Good touch, Bad touch!

If you are a parent or a caretaker of a child, You should stop and certainly read this!

Being a parent, I know we just wish that there is no word as danger in their world but we know it is not possible. So, we should do the next best thing of either keeping away our kid from danger or make them ready to face it. Again the latter is only possible if we restrict our child at home, which consequently would stop their growth.  

If you think or even want yourself to be a good parent, you make your child prepare for this world in each possible way.

Now the question, I want to ask you today is, have you thought about making them strong enough to deal with a sexual predator?

I always say shutting our eyes doesn’t infer that the problem is not there. It just means that we refuse to deal with it. If you are one of those who believe that it can never happen to my child as we live in a protected world, I am sorry to break it to you but you are living in a delusional world.

I am not only talking about the evil-looking ‘wanted’ individual, whose very look starts ringing alarms but I am trying to bring your attention to the friendly, safe and nice looking individuals. Those uncles with whom we know everything will go just fine or that neighbor who takes care of our child, when we have to run for an errand.

How are we so sure that nothing bad is going to happen?

Do you know that statistics prove that more than 70% of the times, assaulter is a well-known person of the child.

Are you comfortable that you have a son and they are not the potential targets. You need to wake up, as the boys are as vulnerable as girls in getting harassed.

God forbid if it happens, our child will be able to handle it and also let us know about it? Are you sure that you have imparted sufficient knowledge for your kid to actually not feel guilty about it and have the confidence to share it with the right person?

The world is a beautiful place but we all know that bad exists with good. There are people who are mentally sick . The problem here is no one can look at a person and say that there is something wrong with him and my child is not safe with this person. It’s always better to be safe than sorry.

If you haven’t yet started, begin it today. Talk about the real evil of this world and talk in their language. Some tips to get you started:

  • Introduce them to the dangers of this world and then move to this particular area.
  • Tell them the ‘ Must say NO areas’, which are a strict NO. No one could or should touch you there. These areas are the chest, the area between your legs and your bottom ( bums). If you have are difficulty in explaining it to your kid, show them this picture and tell them to make sure no one touches them in the areas covered:

Please make sure that the kids understand that any touch which feels uncomfortable or leaves them confused need to be discussed with you. Make them comfortable with it. Tell them, it is not and never going to be their fault if a person touches them in the inappropriate places or ways.

  • Teach them how to shout NO. If a bad touch happens they should repeat No and run away from the place as fast as possible.

From childhood, somehow we have conveyed this message to our kids, that saying ‘No’ is not a good thing. You should listen to adults and do what they ask you to. We need to make them understand that sometimes you need to say ‘No’ and stick to it. Mom is not going to be upset if she finds out about your ‘No’, in fact she is going to be proud of you.

  • They should identify a ‘Safe Adult’. Someone with whom they are able to communicate and feel safe. If they face any such circumstance, they should find their safe adult and share the experience with them.

Children take secrets too seriously. They seldom break them. Make them understand the difference between a good secret and bad. Any secret, which makes you uncomfortable or sad need to be only shared with your safe adult.

If you are a parent, see the signs. Children are like flowers, you can see them withering if tampered!

Both Bullies And Their Victims Are Three Times More Likely To Have Suicidal Thoughts By Age 11

I chose to start my blog with the topic of bullies because of a reason. Bullies, in any age, can be a major traumatic experience for all the players involved. You get affected as a victim, bystander or even as a bully. We live in a community, were still major population is not even aware of this term. It is sad but true! Please as parents, wake up. Start talking to your kids about bullying. Trust me if you’ve a child, he or she is a player in this game; the roles are different. Join hands for a cause!

Both Bullies And Their Victims Are Three Times More Likely To Have Suicidal Thoughts By Age 11.

Bullies at Workplace

Whether as a victim or a bystander, subtle or on your face, verbal or physical : we all face bullies at our workplace. To understand it better, because most of the time we aren’t even aware that we are being bullied at the first place, lets revisit the definition of bullying.

Bullying is a form of aggressive behavior manifested by the use of force or coercion to affect others, particularly when the behavior is habitual and involves an imbalance of power. It can include verbal harassment, physical assault or coercion and may be directed repeatedly towards particular victims, perhaps on grounds of race, religion, gender,sexuality or ability.

The word which stood out for me from this definition is COERCION. Most of the time at  a work place there is no obvious verbal threats or physical aggression but yes pressure is very much there.  You can point your finger and describe the pressure, and often it is even indescribable.  How many times at your workplace you’ve taken another route or changed your lunch table because a particular person/group of people is present there?

It is quite interesting to see how as we grow up it becomes strenuous  for us to accept , that even we can be a victim of bullying. I think the thing which makes it is  harder for us to believe it is the smoothness of our bullies. Workplace bullies  to often operate within the norms and practices of the workplace. They aren’t doing anything out of line but still hurting people. I am sure, half of the time, even the bullies are not aware of their role and same goes for the bystander. This is the biggest challenge in working with this type of bullying because most of the time, there is no defined problem, finding the solution becomes more and more impossible.

Though whenever we talk about workplace bullies the face of a devilish ” BOSS” comes to our mind, but it is not true. Our colleagues, workplace friends or our clients can also very well play the role of the bully with a friendly, smiling face. For bullying, we need to understand there should be a repetition of events or a particular event with dire consequence. A passing workplace stress can’t be counted as bullying.

How tolerant I need to be as far as workplace bullying goes? This totally depends on an individual, what kind of person he or she is. Sometimes a person, to maintain his or her dignity and sanity decide to quit the working environment only and try to seek a new desirable work place but my question is what is the guarantee that the following place is not going to have a bully waiting for his next victim. Are you going to leave working because of a bully?

Then, How am I supposed to deal with this monster and my life, which is becoming worse from bad?

TALK: Seek a person, who can be helpful & trustworthy. It can be a person who had previously dealt with a similar situation and have successfully done so. You can also be very clear about the problem, jot down the points and have an objective interaction in which you can state your problem with a senior/ HR personal.

CONFRONT: If you can, you should confront the bully. It need not be an ugly conversation, never yell or threaten.

NEVER, EVER GOSSIP: Even if you’re sharing it with others, not at any time feel people are going to do something about it. What you’re doing is just getting it off your chest but at the same time giving  the people reasons to gossip and make it worse.

KEEP A RECORD OF EVENTS: Maintain a diary with dates and incidents because if it reaches a level of  a formal complaint, you need to be prepared.

PLEASE REMEMBER BULLY IS A PART OF YOUR LIFE NOT ” YOUR LIFE.” EVEN IF YOU DECIDE TO CHANGE YOUR WORK, MAKE A POINT & THEN LEAVE!

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