A spiritual approach to dealing with passive aggressive people
Do you experience a familiar sinking sensation when you have to deal with a certain person at work? Perhaps there's a cliquey group whom you can't avoid seeing socially but who always make you feel uncomfortable? You could even feel that sense of dread about a sibling, parent or friend. Or maybe it's your child who comes home from school with tearful tales of being called names in the playground? Or is it your partner who is losing sleep about the way a particular person treats him?
Bullying can happen to anyone regardless of age, gender or situation. But by recognising the problem you can tackle it and with a couple of clever tricks you'll be able to banish the bullies for good.
Bullying comes in many guises, from the playground bully who steals your child's chocolate bar to the colleague at work who is continually belittling your contribution. Some forms of bullying are easier to identify than others.
Aggressive: This is the very obvious form of bullying that can range from physical violence to abusive words and shouting. It is extremely intimidating and can lead to physical harm. Violence and certain abusive terms are illegal; inform somebody in authority immediately if you are a victim of aggressive bullying.
Passive aggressive: Every bit as bullying as shouting and screaming, this is when someone disguises their aggression behind a smokescreen of politeness. It's probably the more common form of bullying and, because it can be very subtle, it is more difficult to identify and to stop.
Examples of passive aggression
*The group of women who ignore you at a social event
*The colleague who is polite but distinctly unhelpful
*The friend who is always late
*The boss who never praises you but always finds fault
*The sales assistant who makes you feel stupid for asking a question
*Your mother-in-law or father-in-law who disguises criticisms with 'fine', 'unusual', 'I don't mean to be rude but ...'
*Your partner's friend who often makes a joke at your expense
*Your sister or brother who has to be the centre of attention - even at your birthday party
What's the bully's problem?
Although it may seem scant consolation if you are suffering, it's worth remembering that the only reason a person bullies is because they are deeply unhappy people. A happy, well adjusted person has no desire to bully; a damaged person does. Bullies typically lack confidence so they seek to belittle others to make themselves feel better.
The bully may be jealous of your achievements, your relationship, your appearance or your happiness. Bullies feel inferior, that's why they bully.
Top tips for beating the bullies
Avoiding the bullies is the best option. It's not about winning a moral battle against the bullies as it's unlikely you'll change their outlook. Instead, you can quietly feel sorry for them and steer clear of these damaged people. Of course, avoidance is not always possible...
2) Don't be a victim
Bullies want to upset you, so the best way to combat this is by not reacting to their behaviour. If you don't react it's likely they will get bored and move on. This applies especially to online bullying. Don't respond or engage. Also be sensible about the information you put online - don't be too personal.
3) Tell Somebody
Never suffer in silence. Tell a friend about the bully's behaviour so you can talk it over and feel supported. Then tell somebody in authority - depending upon your particular situation. Keep a diary with dates and details of the bully's words and actions in case you need to make a formal complaint at work or at your child's school.
4) Be confident
If you can't avoid interacting with the bully because you work with them or they are part of your social circle, show the bully you won't be intimidated. Remain calm when the bully makes her/his comments but state clearly that what they said is inappropriate. If it continues, don't respond but move away.
Always tell a person you trust if you are the target of bullying. But for an extra layer of protection, try the following tricks to diminish the power of bullying people.
Right Back At You!
Bounce negative vibes back at the bully who is targeting you
*Visualise yourself safely behind a protective shield.
*Imagine this shield as a reflective surface, like a mirror.
*The words and bad vibes coming from the bully cannot break through your protective shield.
*Instead, see the bully's negativity bounce off your shield's reflective surface and return to the bully.
Shrink the bully
Remove the bully's power
*As the bully is talking, imagine him/her slowly shrinking in front of your eyes.
*See them becoming smaller and smaller, until they are about two inches high.
*Imagine the now tiny bully still spouting their negativity in front of you and see how ridiculous they look. See the bully for what he/she truly is - pathetic and rather comical!
(Photo credit http://ow.ly/EamTP)
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