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Life After Bullying

 

LIFE AFTER BULLYING

Nathan Segal

 

Nathan Segal

Shakespir Edition

Copyright © 2017 by Nathan Segal. First Edition. All rights reserved, including the right to reproduce this book or portions thereof in any form whatsoever. For permission, contact Publisher Name by email

admin@nathansegal.org

LifeAfterBullying.net

This book is sold with the understanding that the publisher has made every effort possible to make sure that the information contained herein is truthful and accurate. When necessary, information has been changed or updated, to keep the book as current as possible.

Disclaimer

The author is not a lawyer and what is presented in this book is not legal advice. The reader is advised to consult with an appropriately qualified professional before making any life changes. Due to the rapidly changing state of technology, the publisher/copyright holder does not accept any responsibility for any liabilities resulting from the decisions made by the purchasers of this book.

Please feel free to give this book to anyone who can benefit from it.

 

CONTENTS

Chapter 1

Chapter 2

Chapter 3

Chapter 4

Chapter 5

Chapter 6

Chapter 7

Chapter 8

Chapter 9

Chapter 10

Chapter 11

Chapter 12

Chapter 13

Chapter 14

Chapter 15

Chapter 16

Chapter 17

Chapter 18

Chapter 19

Chapter 20

Chapter 21

Chapter 22

Chapter 23

Chapter 24

Chapter 25

Epilogue

About the Author

INTRODUCTION

What you’ll read in this book is based on my experiences and does not constitute legal advice. If there is any doubt about the veracity of the information contained here, the services of a competent professional should be sought.

Bullying has captured the media spotlight as of late, and there have been multiple stories, not only of the bullying itself but of the deaths of people, young and old who committed suicide because they believed that it was the only way to stop the bullying.

I too have been bullied, many times throughout my life. My late father was a bully, as is one of my siblings. The bullying created tremendous emotional pain. For years, I was in counseling for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and the cause was bullying and harassment.

If someone is bullying you, you don’t need anyone to tell you how difficult it is to cope with, how much it hurts emotionally, nor how many people won’t believe you. And to make matters worse, some of your “friends” might side with the bully and abandon you.

 

2

ESSENTIAL THINGS YOU NEED TO KNOW

One of the first things you need to know is that the bully is not a normal human being. The very things that would be abhorrent to you are fuel to a bully. For one thing, bullies get off on the fight. They get their energy from the humiliation, mind games, twisting your words, workplace sabotage, backstabbing, etc.

By fighting back, you feed their hunger. And while they may seem angry or even appear to be crying while they abuse you, it’s an act. Anything to get you to respond. And if you respond, the bullying will continue.

The longer the bullying continues, the worse the emotional pain becomes. It can totally devastate an ordinary person, and the damage can take years of recovery if it happens at all. One of the devastating effects of bullying is developing Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), which could lead to many years of suffering. Fortunately, there are some therapies for this and we’ll look at those options on this site.

In my years of bullying I tried desperately to beat the bully or to end the cycle but I never reckoned with the power of the bully to bait me and draw me back into the drama. And if you’re reading these words, this has probably happened to you, too.

While I could get into a lot of theory here, I find that’s of little use. It will only suck up a lot of your time and keep you enmeshed in the drama. Fortunately, there are ways to end the bullying, and will allow you to move on with your life.

 

3

AN EXPERIENCE OF BULLYING

If you have experienced bullying, you will know it is painful and emotionally draining. In some cases, you might not have realized it was happening. One bullying incident I experienced was when I was in my early twenties in a technical school.

For a long time, I shrugged off the comments by my instructor (referring to me as “The Hebrew, the Lebanese and the Jew”), until one day, something inside me snapped, and I became angry.

I complained to the department head and almost went to the dean. A few days later, my instructor took me into an empty classroom, called me a racist and tried to goad me into a physical fight. Fortunately, I realized what he was doing and did not fall for it.

Later, after making another complaint, the bullying stopped because the department head (bless him), had a spine and stopped it. To this day, I am grateful for that.

What this story illustrates (among other things) is how bullies like to blame the target for their crimes and cast themselves as the victim. If the people around the target are not wise to the bullying tactics, they can be duped into becoming accomplices of the bully.

The good part is if you are in an environment where the people in power have authority and are not afraid to use their power, the bullying will end.

 

4

BULLYING AND CRAZY MAKING BEHAVIOR

Years ago, I learned about crazy making in a 12-step group. It refers to a situation where someone´s behavior is so extreme that you cannot predict what they will do at any given moment. If you try to make sense of it, the illogical behavior will drive you crazy, hence the term. Another definition I encountered was “Come here – go away.”

Crazy making is a dynamic found with abusive people and quite often manifests in homes where addiction(s) occupy center stage.

It is also a characteristic of bullying.

Bullies will say or do anything to get what they want, and they have no conscience about their actions.

If bullying is present in your life, it will begin to affect you mentally and could cause PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) and other psychological problems.

One nasty little trick that bullies pull is when they realize they are close to being unmasked. In this case, the bully could suddenly reverse course, cast himself or herself as the victim, and accuse their victim of being the abuser.

For many victims (targets) that´s the last straw, and they can sometimes lash out and from an emotional place. If/when that happens, the bully will point at their target and say: “See, I told you he/she was mentally unstable.”

If this has happened to you, you know how infuriating it can be.

When reporting bullying behavior, it is important to stay as calm and reasonable as possible, even when provoked. That way the bully cannot trap you. If you give into emotion and anger, you will damage your position and give more power to the bully.

 

 

5

10 FACTS ABOUT THE BULLY MINDSET

In this chapter, we look at the ways that bullies function in the world. Once you know how they operate, you will have an idea of how to protect yourself.

1. Bullies will take any slight, real or imagined and use it as a weapon against their victims. Another favorite trick is where a bully invents a crime and accuses the victim of committing it.

2. Bullies are convincing liars and are adept at getting innocent people to do their dirty work. Often, the innocent party has does not see the manipulation.

3. Bullies will form alliances with anyone who will help them attain their aims. Later, they can turn on their former ally at the blink of an eye.

4. When confronted, a bully may tell those in power that your experiences are false. Just as you cannot prove (in a one-on-one situation) what the bully says is false, neither can the bully show what you have said is untrue. It is an indefensible position.

5. The purpose of the bully is to cause psychological damage and mental suffering.

6. If you are dealing with a workplace bully, know this: In over 75% of situations, the targeted individual leaves. No matter how much you love or value your job, it is not worth it to fight a bully. The psychological damage can be devastating over time.

7. It is important to know that a bully is not a normal human being. They get off on the fight, and anything you do to fight back is fuel for the bully. They love the conflict and want it to continue.

8. In many publications, you will discover that the bully suffers from one or more types of personality disorders.

9. The effects of bullying are far worse than most people realize, especially in childhood.

10. The bully has a mindset where they must win at all costs. I wound up dealing with a bully in Mexico who stole my damage deposit. I fought back.

At one point, the bully was chasing me with three lawyers. When it came time to agree to give me my money back, he sent me a legal document, which was full of blackmail and extortion. I refused to sign it, and this infuriated the bully.

Around the same time, I learned the only way to win was to lose, which meant to walk away and never return. I did that, and the bully screamed at me through email for months, before he quit. A year later, he returned and tried to lure me back into the fight. I ignored him, and he finally gave up.

 

6

BULLYING CAN CAUSE TERRIBLE SUFFERING

The first step of healing is to get away from the source, no matter what it takes. If the bully is still in your life, it will be difficult, if not impossible to recover.

Below are three direct, actionable strategies that you can put into practice, immediately.

1. Fight fire with fire. Here, you face off against the bully and beat them at their own game, but you need to mentally stable.

One of the major issues with this approach is that the bully, when confronted is likely to switch into what I call: “High bully mode,” in which they intensify the bullying. It becomes even worse if the bully has allies to aid him/her.

Be aware that this approach could expose you to much harm, not only mentally, but physically, as well. In such cases the police and lawyers could become involved, which would make the whole situation worse, so before you consider this method, consult with legal counsel regarding your options.

In one case I was being bullied by a woman in a work situation and despite repeatedly telling her to stop, it didn’t work. Instead, she kept escalating the conflict. It became so bad that I was only a step away from calling the police, and I nearly did, but I found a better solution, which I cover in step number two.

2. Appeal to a higher authority. Looking for a solution to this woman’s bullying, I called the company that we both represented and asked for help. During my call, I learned that the company had a compliance division, and all company representatives must obey these rules. I immediately wrote to them about my problem and asked them for help.

Within 48 hours I had a response. The company contacted the bully and informed her that she violated company policy. They ended the bullying and my involvement with her, immediately. This result was both astonishing and incredibly gratifying. It was an enormous personal victory and was a boost to my self-esteem.

To recap, when being bullied, appeal to a higher authority, whether that be within a company or without, such as the police, if your city/province/state has laws about bullying. The downside is if you’re in a company that’s been cowed or conned by the bully, they probably won’t help you. And if that’s the case, it’s time to go to step number three.

3. Walk away. By far, this is the hardest decision to make. As human beings, we’re hard-wired to strike back when someone hurts us. It’s completely contrary to our nature to do the opposite. And yet, it’s this one option that will stop bullying in its tracks.

If you do this, the battle ends, immediately. The bully will repeatedly try to draw you back into the drama with taunts, insults, and accusations. Open your hands (metaphorically speaking) and let go.

When you do that, there’s no way for the bully to draw you back into the fight. The battle is over. But don’t expect the bully to let go. The threats could last for months, and the bully will do everything they can to get under your skin and make you re-engage. Just make sure that you never give in. Otherwise, the whole drama will begin anew. Keep your silence and distance and you’ll frustrate the bully to no end. Eventually, the bully will leave you alone.

One surprise that may await you is if the bully resurfaces, a year or more after the bullying incident has ended. The bully, looking for new targets, might come after you again with all sorts of threats, accusations, etc. and will attempt to pull you back into the old drama.

The solution is simple. Never respond, no matter how tempting it may be to do so. If you continue to ignore the bully, the threats will stop, and the bully will be forced to look for fresh targets.

 

7

HOW TO DEAL WITH BULLYING ON FORUMS

Some time ago, I was asked to join Quora and answer questions posed by different users. Of the many responses I posted, a user took exception and within days of entering, I was subjected to bullying on forums.

A few days ago, someone posted the question: “Is depression self-inflicted?”

I wrote: “Yes. It is the result of thinking in a way that creates suffering. There is something in your life which don’t like and instead of accepting it for what it is; you create a mental argument about it. It is this argument which creates your depression. If you were to accept what is, without any reservation whatsoever and to sit with whatever is troubling you, without a story, you will find that your depression will lessen and could vanish entirely.

Unfortunately, that didn’t go over well with one user, you wrote to me and berated me for my response. She followed it up with another abusive comment. After the initial shock, I wrote a reply and posted it on the comment thread.

About 20 minutes later, I realized I’d been suckered by a bully and by my reaction, I might incite a flame war. I stopped, took some time to read the Quora rules, then I decided to report this woman for bullying on forums. I also blocked her. That turned out to be the right course of action.

A short time later, I received a message from the moderators at Quora, which read:

“Hi Nathan”

“Thanks for letting us know. Should this ever happen again, please use the report function to report the content, then block.”

“Many thanks,”

“Tatiana”

”Quora Moderation”

This response is a perfect indicator of a company with spine, one who will not tolerate bullying on forums by other users. If you use Quora (or any other forum) and run into any bullying issues, you now know how to take care of yourself. That said, if there aren’t any forum moderators and blocking doesn’t work, stop using the website. It’s not worth it to tangle with bullies.

 

8

HOW TO STOP BULLIES IN THEIR TRACKS

One thing I’ve been learning about is how to stop bullies and in this chapter are several points:

When dealing with a cyber bully, subpoena the records of the perpetrators. Another important this is: Do not respond. Eventually, the bully will give up and look for fresh prey.

Bullies will do everything they can to deprive you of your rights. And if you don’t know what they are, the bully will try to stop you from finding out.

I met a bully in Mexico, who kept me and my girlfriend off-balance. We later discovered that even as tourists, we had the full rights of any Mexican citizen under the constitution. Despite that, the bully kept trying to deny us our rights.

When bullies start to lose their power, they resort to all sorts of dirty tricks to keep you enmeshed. One of those is to increase the bullying, what I refer to as “high bully mode” to make you submit. This kind of bullying might also involve physical violence, so if you encounter this situation, I recommend getting out of there and calling the police.

Be aware that bullies are looking for power, control and subjugation. If you walk away from the fight, they cannot stop you. Unfortunately, the natural human tendency when hurt is to fight back, and that natural response is what keeps people enmeshed.

Another dirty trick that bullies pull when they are close to being unmasked is to portray themselves as the victim and to accuse the real victim of abuse.

If that weren’t enough, the bully might invent crimes that never existed and accuse you of them to gain power and control. They will also try to enlist others against you, to use the power of numbers to force you into submission.

 

9

WHY IT’S IMPORTANT TO EXPOSE BULLIES

1. The simple reason is to get them to stop.

2. Bullying is an activity which causes many people to hide or to look the other way. Unfortunately, that allows the bullying to continue. By exposing bullies, one runs the risk of being emotionally and physically harmed; it also creates a space for other victims to come forward and tell their stories.

A common misconception about being bullied is that it might seem like it’s only happening to you. That is likely not the case. Bullies have a hunger to hurt others, and it’s not uncommon for them to bully one person after the other.

3. Unfortunately, exposing a bully doesn’t guarantee that the violence will stop. In fact, it is likely to escalate as the bully, fearing exposure will try to force the victim(s) to capitulate.

4. Another reason for the bully escalating the bullying is they know they are guilty and are afraid of the potential damage that could happen when you fight back.

5. Still, despite being threatened by bullies, some people reach a point where they have had enough and decided to fight back.

To expose a bully involves courage, but when people cross the threshold of having had enough of being abused, things start to change.

 

10

ENDING THE CYCLE OF THE VICTIM OR ABUSER

As I’ve stated in other chapters, I come from an abusive family. My role was the scapegoat, where other people could abuse me, and I was to accept that without question. If I fought back, the violence intensified.

Growing up, I learned everything I needed to know about being a victim. At the age of 19, I entered counseling because I was in a lot of mental pain and I didn’t know how to deal with it.

Also, at 19, I made an important decision; to never have children. One reason is I didn’t want the responsibility. Secondly, I knew those behaviors would leak out of me despite my best attempts to stop it. My resolve was simple: “This dies with me. I will never inflict what happened to me on an innocent human being.”

It was wishful thinking. The behaviors leaked out of me regardless and for many decades I repeated what I knew. Part of the reason I went to counseling was to undo those patterns and with a lot of hard work, I’ve managed to end many of them in my life.

Still, the victim/victimizer cycle has been the most insidious and often, I found myself lapsing into the old victim role. It’s been tough to overcome.

One thing has become apparent to me. If a person grows up in an abusive family and becomes aware of the psychological damage, extensive counseling is necessary to overcome it. If not, there is the very high risk that this person will become an abuser or victim as and continue the cycle.

To end it, I made the decision, “This dies with me.” It was an extreme measure, but I felt it was necessary.

Many years ago, when my father was still alive, his mother and one sister came for a visit. When I walked in the door after a hard days’ work, the first thing my grandmother said to me was: “You’re losing your hair.” I was furious, but neither Hyman, not Minnie stepped up to my defense.

During the week, my relatives were there, they criticized me repeatedly, and I was not allowed to fight back. One day I saw something I’ll never forget. In the kitchen, my grandmother was berating my father who sat in a chair, head down, eyes closed, enduring the abuse. In an instant I knew. She abused him the same way he abused us.

When my relatives left after a week, I walked into the kitchen when Hyman was there and said: “Dad, no offense to you, but I never want to see your mother or your sister again as long as they or I live,” and I walked out of the room. He didn’t try to stop me.

Years later, both died, and I never saw them again.

When I studied with Stephen Bodian, my Zen teacher, I told him the story, fully expecting to be condemned for what I did. When I finished the story, he said: “Why would you? Why would you let anyone treat you like that?” He showed me full and unconditional support, for which I was enormously grateful.

If you come from an abusive family, help exists, though you might have to work hard to find it.

 

 

11

HOW BULLIES TARGET THEIR VICTIMS

As one of my friends said to me, be careful what you post. Once it goes online, it can be read by anyone. There are many ways to violate a person’s privacy without them knowing it is happening.

A case in point is if you have social media accounts. It is easy for a bully (or anyone, really) to create a fake account and then ask the target for a connection. Once it is approved, you have instant access to all their posts.

Some bullies will go to extremes and try to infect the target’s computer with malware (such as a keylogger) so they can track their online movements. Others will use “hacks” to gain access to the news stream of their targets without the target ever knowing their safety has been compromised.

While you can block a bully, be aware that it might not work for all situations. If you are concerned about your safety, be careful what you post. Also: Change the phone number on your cell or, if you don’t want to do that, and you have an Android phone, install a free app called: Mr. Number. It is easy to use and extremely efficient. Even better, you can set it, so you never hear the calls of the person trying to reach you.

Block the bully if you use Skype.

If you are concerned about a bully finding your physical location, one great solution is to get a ghost address. For more information, read the book “How to Be Invisible: Protect Your Home, Your Children, Your Assets, and Your Life.”

Install tracking software on your digital devices. One option is Smartphone Spy.

Use an automatic program to record calls on Skype. Examples of such programs are: MP3 Call Recorder or Vodburner.

 

12

5 WAYS TO PROTECT YOURSELF ONLINE

Social Networking has become enormously popular with sites such as Facebook, Twitter and others popping up all over the digital landscape. These sites allow you to share information about your life, along with photos, videos, links, blogs and more.

Here are a few tips to make sure you use Social Networks safely:

1. Make sure you enable the privacy settings and restrict posting access to your account.

2. Watch your language and be careful about what you post. Getting too personal could have some serious repercussions. Contrary to the assurances in different groups, your data is not safe. And is not the fault of the group admins, either, so if something goes wrong, they are blameless.

3. The reality is that anyone with the necessary skills can read your information. I had one bully brag about how he was reading my posts, even on so-called “secure” sites. As I said earlier, if you don’t want a backlash in your life, be careful what you post.

In some cases, your employer could view your profile. Some posters have wound up in hot water over their postings. Some have even lost their jobs.

4. Another problem is cyberbullying, which can be both insidious and devastating. In some cases, the abuse has caused loss of life. Extreme cases may cause the authorities to become involved.

5. Be very careful with sex chat/talk online. That can lead to some dangerous situations. In the case of children, they might be stalked by an online predator.

 

13

PROTECTING YOUR INTERNET PRIVACY

One issue that’s come up repeatedly is the issue of privacy. With the revelations made by Edward Snowden about the NSA Prism spy program, that becomes even more important. One common refrain is you don’t have anything to fear if you’re a law-abiding citizen. I disagree.

My lesson on that came when I was still a teenager living with my parents ten miles out of the city in the country. I had a ten-speed bike that I would regularly leave outside on the lower porch. One day I came home to find it missing. I was shocked. All that distance in the country and someone came to our house with the purpose of stealing something, which just happened to be my bike.

After that, I began locking everything, no matter where I was, and I still do to this day, even if it seems no one is around. And regarding Internet privacy, I recommend something similar if you don’t want your movements tracked online. How effective it is I don’t know, but it’s better to do something than nothing at all.

The service I used for Mexico was Proxy Solutions, a monthly service that cost me $7.00/month. The beautiful thing about this service is you can use it to emulate various locations around the world. I chose the United States because many of the services I wanted were in the U.S. It allowed me to play Scrabble on Facebook with my girlfriend, something not possible using Mexican servers :-) Another option is HideMyAss.

 

14

HOW BOUNDARY VIOLATONS CAN CAUSE SUFFERING

One of the most common forms of suffering comes from boundary violations, where one (or more) people will intrude into another person’s space and criticize how they live or tell them what to do.

Boundary violations can cause immense suffering, especially if the victim has no sense of their personal space, which often happens at a young age. The victim grows up not knowing they can say “No,” if someone treats them badly.

Four of the most powerful words I learned came from spiritual teacher Byron Katie, who said: “Mind Your Own Business.”

If people minded their own business, there would be much less pain in life. Unfortunately, many people assume they know how to live another person’s life better than the person living it and interfere.

Interfering in people’s lives is one reason why there is so much violence in the world.

If you have someone in your life who is treating you this way, you need to start setting boundaries.

Boundaries are the space where you “end” and the other person begins. As an example, no doubt you have a sense of personal space, where it feels good/bad to let some people closer and not others. If someone you care about comes close, that might be okay, but if someone you do not like comes close, you might feel bad or uncomfortable.

Why?

Because they just crossed your boundary. Boundaries exist not only for physical space; they exist for communication as well.

It is essential to define your boundaries and tell people around you (especially abusive ones) what you will/will not tolerate. You also need to create consequences when people violate your boundaries.

When people violate your boundaries (and they will be from time to time), you will need to follow through on enforcing them even if you feel uncomfortable (the discomfort will pass in time as you begin to protect your private space).

Note: If you do not enforce your boundaries, they will be violated again and again until you put a stop to the undesirable behavior. When you create more boundaries in your life, you will begin to feel better because people will stop trying to take advantage of you. If they do, you can stop it or end the relationship if the violations are too severe.

Setting boundaries will give you more control over your life. No longer will you be a doormat. Abusive people will tend to leave you alone because they won’t be able to get what they want – power over you.

An ongoing problem many people have is enforcing boundaries. Repeatedly, they cave at the slightest bit of resistance from the abuser.

Caving in is a huge mistake, for the simple reason if you do not honor your boundaries the abuse will continue.

Talking about boundaries brings up many insecurities for people. One of the questions that come up is “What will they think of me if I start behaving this way?”

To be blunt, who cares what they think? They already do not care about you if they treat you badly. The reason you have been thinking about setting boundaries because you are tired of the abuse. To do so is not only healthy, it is a sign of tremendous self-respect.

Another thing that people often say is “If I tell him how what I think I’ll hurt his feelings.”

Baloney. What you are afraid of is getting hurt when he lashes back at you for setting a boundary.

Setting boundaries is necessary with abusive people. Initially, it will be challenging, and you will likely experience the urge to give in when they resist. If you give in the cycle will continue. Hold fast, have courage, and stand your ground. With practice, setting boundaries will become easier, and your life will improve.

 

15

5 STEPS TO EFFECTIVE BOUNDARIES

There are many people in life whose purpose it is to deny you your power and the right to live as you choose. Those people could be family, so-called friends, intimate partners and those at work. Here are five things you need to know:

1. Ultimately, no one can take away your rights unless you let it happen.

2. It’s important you clearly define your boundaries (what you will/will not tolerate) and what the consequences will be if someone violates them.

3. Some people won’t like the changes you’ve made and will threaten revenge and reprisals against you if you don’t capitulate. Ignore them. State your boundaries again and be firm. If necessary, end the relationship. It is essential you do not let anyone control your life, no matter how important they seem to be, including family.

4. Never the reason for setting a boundary. The act of saying “NO” is enough. Don’t give in to the pressure for an explanation because there’s an excellent chance these people will try to manipulate you.

5. Some people won’t respect your boundaries no matter how firmly or how often you state them. In this case, be prepared to end the relationship.

Setting boundaries is a learning experience, sometimes you will cave in; other times you will stand your ground. The important thing is with practice you will get better over time.

 

16

THE IMPORTANCE OF DEFINING YOUR PERSONAL SPACE

Simply put, your personal space is where you end, and the rest of the world begins. When you define your space, you will start to feel better because people will stop trying to take advantage of you. If they do, you can stop it or end the relationship if the violations are too severe.

Here are some of the benefits of defining your personal space:

*
p<>{color:#000;}. You will have greater freedom of movement in the world

*
p<>{color:#000;}. People will know how close they can come to you

*
p<>{color:#000;}. People will know what kind of language to use when they are with you

*
p<>{color:#000;}. People will know what will happen if they violate your space and what consequences you will impose if they do so

*
p<>{color:#000;}. You will say NO when necessary

*
p<>{color:#000;}. You will have more self-respect because you are taking care of your most pressing needs

*
p<>{color:#000;}. You will be assertive

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Your intimate, personal, and business relationships will improve

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Other people will have more respect for you

Here’s a fast way to learn how to define your space and get the results you want:

Spend time with people who have. I’m sure you have one or more people in your life who you admire, someone who is kind, yet firm and will not put up with abuse from other people. If you don’t have someone in your life, look for a public figure, someone you like to exhibits the positive traits you’re looking for, who are living a life which appeals to you.

If you cannot hang out with them, follow them online, on Facebook, Google+, YouTube and other channels.

Watch what they say, what they do, how they move. If possible, engage them and ask questions. Being bold can pay huge dividends.

What you are doing is called “modeling” and it’s one of the fastest ways to get what you want.

 

17

HOW TO SET BOUNDARIES WITH FAMILY BULLIES

Now we’re going to look at setting up boundaries in a family where one or more members are bullies, including a mother, father, brother, sister, relative, etc.

If you’ve had enough, then it’s time to write a letter where you set firm boundaries and leave. I’ll get to that later.

If you choose to stay, then you must take another approach. Here’s an example of what I recommend (assuming you’re an adult and no longer live with the family):

No matter how difficult it might be, you must stop walking on eggshells around the bully.

You need to set some firm boundaries around behavior, where you might say something like this: “For years we have been getting together, and invariably there’s a fight because X doesn’t like what I say.”

“I’ve had enough. When I come here, I expect to be treated with respect and I will not put up with any more abuse. If X stages a fight I’m going to leave, immediately.

“I’ll return when X has calmed down. If X erupts again, I’m leaving, and I’m not coming back.”

At that point you need to decide whether to come back in a day or two or, if the abuse is severe, to end the relationship.

It’s important to know that the bully will almost certainly violate your boundaries. He/she might threaten you, use other family members as allies against you and try to force you to capitulate. Whatever you do, don’t give in. If you do, the abuse will continue.

It’s important to follow through with consequences (such as getting up and leaving) if the bully violates your boundaries.

Over time, the relationship might improve, or it might deteriorate further, at which point you will need to reassess the situation and decide to keep trying or to say “I’ve had enough,” and end the relationship once and for all.

Options

One option is to create a boundary where you meet the family members you like on neutral ground, such as a coffee shop or restaurant, which is another way to solve the problem.

An alternative is meeting everyone at a restaurant. If the bully becomes abusive, you can go to management and get them to force the bully to leave.

The key to fixing this problem is firm boundaries and not allowing the bully to get away with their behavior.

 

18

WHEN IT’S TIME TO SEVER THE TIES

Here’s another template script you can use.

I’m writing this letter to let you know that I’ve decided to leave this family.

I will no longer tolerate the way I’ve been treated, and I refuse to put up with any more abuse in any form.

After spending time writing about the abuse, the thought came to mind, “Why am I still talking to these people?”

The obvious answer is because you’re family, but if I remove the label of “family” and just look at the behaviors alone, I would have ended the relationship decades ago. I would never have allowed any “friend” to treat me the way that you do. I’ve allowed the “family” label and the implications of that to blind me to the truth. Not anymore.

When I consider how much I’ve suffered, I know I’m long overdue to get out. Every time we connect there’s always the threat of violence and, worse, ongoing manipulation.

The bottom line is simple. I never want to see any of you again, nor do I want to hear from you by mail, email, phone or otherwise.

And XX, don’t try to find me. I don’t wish to be found. I’ve changed my phone number, and I’ve closed my email account, as well.

 

19

3 STEPS TO EFFECTIVE WORKPLACE BOUNDARIES

One major problem for many people is establishing boundaries in the workplace. They fear (and rightly so) that if they push back against an abusive boss or coworker, they could lose their job.

1. One way of dealing with this is to set firmly established boundaries about your job description and to be clear about what your duties are. It’s also important to define what’s not a part of your job description.

2. Further, it’s important to determine what will happen if you get more work (extra compensation, etc.) and to define the limits of how much more you will take on (or not). These will help if a dispute arises down the road.

3. Another situation you might run into is bullying in the workplace. First off, don’t confront the bully. It is likely to make things worse and could get you fired, especially if the bully has many friends in management.

If your workplace has policies against bullying, speak to those in charge. If they follow their policies, they can stop the bullying. If not, you move to the third step, which is to stay or go. It's important you know that in 75% of the cases involving bullying, the target leaves.

If you experience bullying, it is not worth it to put up with the abuse. If you stay, it could cause severe mental and emotional damage and can trigger PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder). In my opinion, you’re better off leaving, even if it’s difficult to find a new job.

CASE STUDY: Relationship Boundaries

I received a message from a reader about a situation where her son (who had many emotional problems) had cut her off and refused to speak with her. Desperate to re-establish contact, she left multiple messages on his phone, by email, and even resorted to traditional mail.

He never responded.

I told her “You need to accept your son has ended contact for his reasons, and you need to respect them. If you continue to try to reach him, he will rebuff you even more, and you could make the situation worse. Stop where you are, accept the situation and move on with your life.”

Then she told me she had gone to her relatives, and they all told her she should keep up the pressure and even show up on his doorstep, if necessary.

STOP!!” I told her. “That’s a major boundary violation. If you do that not only will you make the situation worse, you will also make your son even more determined to keep you out of his life.”

LEAVE HIM ALONE.”

“Accept that he doesn’t want to talk with you and move on with your life.”

“If he does choose to speak with you again, he will do so when he’s ready.”

She decided to heed my advice and to a tell her family to stay out of it.

~ Disclaimer: Details changed for privacy.

 

20

RELATIONSHIP BREAKUPS: HOW TO GET OVER ANYONE IN A FEW DAYS

Relationships, especially intimate relationships are important to many people. Often, when they end the results can be emotionally painful. Many people, including myself, have had a hard time recovering from breakups.

I wanted to know why and to see if there was a way to hasten the recovery process. As one might imagine, there are many websites devoted to breakups and recovery, but none was helpful. Many just repeated the same information in different words.

Then I discovered the book How to Get Over Anyone In a Few Days.

I bought it because I was having trouble getting over a breakup and the psychological pain was driving me up the wall. In the book, I learned that my problem had several causes. One of these was the lack of intimate friendships in my life (I only had the relationship).

As Farouk points out, the fastest way to recover is to kill off all hope because even if you're 95% sure the relationship is over, but you have 5% hope of recovering the relationship, it is that 5% which will keep you imprisoned.

To destroy that hope, Farouk gives specific instructions on contacting your ex and confirming by phone or email that the relationship is truly over. Doing this enough times will kill off any remaining hope. Once that happens, recovery will be rapid.

I followed Farouk’s instructions to the letter. It was a painful experience but with each message, the hope eroded more and more. Eventually, I was done.

After that, I continued to read Farouk’s book and learned about the relationship from a different place. It was the key to my recovery as was telling my ex how I felt.

More to the point, I also addressed the intimacy problems in my life by creating more friendships and not allowing myself to be alone too much. Farouk discusses this strategy in-depth.

Farouk also addresses the myth of the soul mate; the distorted ideas about relationship planted in our minds by the media and shows the reader how to form realistic expectations of love.

In his book, Farouk gives you all the tools you need. It is the best book I have ever seen on the subject, and I recommend it highly.

 

21

THE DISASTER OF LABELING AND BLAMING

On many forums and Facebook groups, I see how an abuser is labeled as a “narcissist,” “Narc” or “loser,” in addition to seeing people heaping plenty of blame on the abuser.

Labeling and blaming is a disaster for several reasons:

*
p<>{color:#000;}. It creates polarization.

*
p<>{color:#000;}. If you experience abuse, you become a victim, and the abuser becomes the perpetrator.

*
p<>{color:#000;}. It places you, the abused person, in a place of imagined moral superiority over the abuser.

*
p<>{color:#000;}. While your story may garner sympathy, it will keep you stuck.

*
p<>{color:#000;}. There are two sides to every story.

*
p<>{color:#000;}. If you experience abuse, you are not blameless. If you look at what happened, honestly and fearlessly, you will realize you have contributed to your pain and suffering.

• Thinking about the truth can be painful. If you are or have been in an abusive relationship, at some point you must take responsibility for what happened to you and stop labeling and blaming the other party. No one will do it for you.

A key way of taking responsibility is to start looking at the thoughts and beliefs that caused your problem in the first place.

This post struck a huge nerve with many people. Some claimed that I did not know what I was talking about; some readers accused me of being condescending, and still others told me that the abuser is always 100% wrong; that it is never the fault of the victim.

What I have said is my understanding, based on hard practical experience. If you want freedom from your suffering, you must face every bit of pain, and that includes taking responsibility for your part in the abuse. It is never one-sided.

To learn more about relationships and to free yourself from destructive patterns, I recommend the book “I Need Your Love: Is It True? By Byron Katie.

 

22

THE MYTH OF THE SACRED FAMILY BOND

One of the great taboos of our society concerns the myth of family, that family will always be there for you, that family is the most important thing in your life, that the bonds with family must be preserved at all costs.

But what if the family members (parents included) treat you like dirt? What do you do if, in fact, they are your greatest enemies? What then? Do you continue to put up with the charade that family is everything, or do you cut them out of your life like a surgeon removing a malignant tumor?

If you ask yourself the question, “Why am I still talking to these people?” You will realize that the obvious answer is because they are family, but I suggest you remove the label of “family” and look at the behaviors alone.

I highly doubt you would let any “friend” treat you the way your family does. Chances are, you have allowed the label of “family” and the implications of that to blind yourself to the truth.

If you look at the situation without the “family” label, you will probably realize you have endured a great deal of abuse and violence. If that is the case, you are long overdue to get out. As I said earlier, you would not take this abuse from a friend, so why do you put up with it from your family?

5 Facts About Abusive Relationships

In this section, I want to share a few facts about abusive relationships and why many people stay in them:

1. A primary reason is that the abused person hopes the relationship will get better. Hoping things will get better is what keeps so many people stuck.

2. If you have been in an abusive relationship, you have probably discovered you can make things worse, not better.

3. Abusive people are predisposed to the negative, meaning they tend to think of anything you do as a negative, even if the action was positive or neutral.

4. Many people have the fear of “never being able to find someone else.” The oft said statement they use is “No one will be able to love me the way XXX does.”

5. Many people stay due to a fear of the unknown, which is huge for many people.

These fears keep people stuck.

 

23

HOW AUTOMATIC THOUGHTS CAUSE SUFFERING

Automatic thoughts can cause a lot of suffering. Included in those thought processes are global or incomplete statements. These are thoughts which seem all-encompassing when in reality, they are not.

Here are some examples:

*
p<>{color:#000;}. I don’t have enough time

*
p<>{color:#000;}. I don’t have enough money

*
p<>{color:#000;}. It’s too hard

*
p<>{color:#000;}. It’s impossible

*
p<>{color:#000;}. I´ll never recover

When you look at the above statements, they seem complete but in reality, they are fragments. Let´s look at the declaration: “I don´t have enough money.” Consider this – you don’t have enough money to do what? Can you define that?

If you say: “I don´t have enough money to buy a Porsche,” that´s an example of a complete statement. It ties the entire thing together. If you believe the “I don´t have enough money” statement by itself, that´s an excellent way to create anxiety or depression.

When you complete the statement, you take your power back. What was once a global statement becomes finite. After that, you can inquire into what you´ve said, to see if it´s real or now. One way of doing that is through “The Work” of Byron Katie.

How to Overcome the Paralysis of Worrying

Worry can cause a lot of suffering, partly because you have recurring thoughts which repeat endlessly in your mind. Fortunately, there is a way to stop worrying, which we will look at in this post.

Here are some quick steps to get results.

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Write down what you´re worried about

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Write down the origin of the problem

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Work on a way to solve the problem

As part of solving the problem, write out all the possible things you can do, even the most ridiculous ones. The point is to get the drama out of your mind and onto paper. Afterward, look at your options and pick one or two that might work and act on them.

Later, if you begin to worry again, have a look at what you´ve written. That one simple act could cause your worrying to stop.

When you are in deep pain, deep suffering, it takes you deeply inside your very being to a place where only you can be. Sometimes, the pain is so intense you cannot reach out, even though you might need it desperately.

The challenge is to say “Yes” to the pain, “Yes” instead of “No,” to learn how to embrace life fully, on its terms, not yours.

When you say “Yes,” suffering ends. When you say “No” (resistance), suffering begins.

The Number One Thing You MUST Do to End Your Anxiety and Depression

You’ve probably seen it before, people complaining in various forums about a wide variety of symptoms and ailments. Here are some examples:

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Nobody loves me

*
p<>{color:#000;}. My husband/wife/family/friends don’t understand me

*
p<>{color:#000;}. I’m so lonely

*
p<>{color:#000;}. I’m so depressed

*
p<>{color:#000;}. No one cares about me

*
p<>{color:#000;}. My anxiety is through the roof

*
p<>{color:#000;}. I hate my life

*
p<>{color:#000;}. No one would miss me if I were gone

*
p<>{color:#000;}. I can’t take it anymore

Do you want to get better? Are you willing to pay the price to be free of your suffering?

Then you must decide here and now to stop creating suffering for yourself. You must make the decision to stop letting your mind run the show.

When you do that, you’re well on the way to recovery.

When you become sick and tired of the self-inflicted torment caused by the unending stories and become determined to change that, you are well on your way to recovering from your anxiety and depression.

 

24

PAIN IS INEVITABLE: SUFFERING IS OPTIONAL

Have you ever heard these words? Do you recognize the truth in them? No matter how carefully you live your life, nor how well you treat others, you cannot avoid pain. Suffering, that is something else. Suffering is caused by what you think about, not by what happens to you.

The process of living often brings pain, such as an accident or illness. The pain by itself is not a problem. It is the story you tell yourself about the pain, which can make it much worse.

Suffering is always the result of thought. If there were no thought, there would be no suffering. If you were injured, you would feel pain and would probably be motivated to do something about it, but there would be no story to create suffering.

The challenge is to reduce thinking or to think differently. Here are some useful techniques:

*
p<>{color:#000;}. When painful thoughts appear, mentally move backward in your mind, disengaging from the thoughts and watch them. Often, doing that is often enough and the thoughts will dissolve.

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Focus your attention on the front of your forehead, around the region of the third eye, and hold it there. That often works to disengage from thought and allow silence to appear.

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Direct your attention to a part of your body such as your stomach, hands, or feet and keep your attention there. Over time, your thoughts will slow down and stop.

*
p<>{color:#000;}. An advanced strategy is to say to yourself “Stop Thinking.” For some people, that will be enough, and your thoughts will stop.

When you begin to develop space in the mind and begin to live in those gaps, you will experience the beginning of peace. In that state of peace, you will be free from suffering.

 

25

WHEN THE BULLY IS NO LONGER IN YOUR LIFE

For some people, getting the bully out of their lives is enough and they will begin to recover. Others have been traumatized by the ongoing harassment which has caused a psychological injury, sometimes known as PTSD, or Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

If this has happened, you know you’re in trouble. Fortunately, help exists. I work with Hamish Bayston, a coach who specializes in working with victims of bullying. With his coaching, you can remove the trauma of bullying from your life, change your limiting beliefs, stop the obsessive thinking and begin to live a normal life, free of the bullying trauma.

For more information, write to me at visualartist49@gmail.com or call me at (408) 844-4851. My hours are from 9-5, Monday – Friday and I’m on PST. You can also interact with my posts at LifeAfterBullying.net.

When you write to me, I will respond within 48 hours. If your issue needs immediate attention, a phone call would be better.

 

 

EPILOGUE

As I wrote in the introduction, what you’ll read in this book is based on my experiences and does not constitute legal advice. If there is any doubt about the veracity of the information contained here, the services of a competent professional should be sought.

There is no question bullying exacts a terrible toll on those who suffer from its effects.

Here’s a summary of some of the major points in this book:

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Bullying has captured the media spotlight as of late, and there have been multiple stories, not only of the bullying itself but of the deaths of people, young and old who committed suicide because they believed that it was the only way to stop the bullying.

*
p<>{color:#000;}. If someone is bullying you, you don’t need anyone to tell you how difficult it is to cope with, how much it hurts emotionally, nor how many people won’t believe you. And to make matters worse, some of your “friends” might side with the bully and abandon you.

*
p<>{color:#000;}. The longer the bullying continues, the worse the emotional pain becomes. It can totally devastate an ordinary person, and the damage can take years of recovery if it happens at all. One of the devastating effects of bullying is developing Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), which could lead to many years of suffering.

*
p<>{color:#000;}. In my experience, there are several essential things you need to do:

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Do whatever it takes to stop the bullying, regardless of whether that means leaving your job, moving, or closing your social media accounts.

*
p<>{color:#000;}. If you are dealing with workplace bullying, remember, in 75% of the cases, the target leaves.

*
p<>{color:#000;}. DO NOT stay and fight back. In my opinion, that’s one of the worst mistakes you make and will expose you to lasting psychological damage that might take years to recover from – if it happens at all.

*
p<>{color:#000;}. And don’t complain about your pension or tell me that you can’t move on. That’s baloney. I understand the previous investment bit but when bullying is happening your life could be at stake. You don’t want to become another statistic.

*
p<>{color:#000;}. One way to stop bullying is with effective boundaries, but if the people in your life won’t respect your space no matter how clearly you define it, it’s time to end the relationship – this includes family.

*
p<>{color:#000;}. The number one task is to get away from the source of the bullying. While you could fight back in a legal way, there aren’t as many options as you might think, and it could consume years of your life. It’s far better to walk away.

*
p<>{color:#000;}. And if you’re being bullied online, again, I recommend walking away. I know this is counterintuitive, and some people will accuse me of putting my head in the sand, but it’s hard to fight an opponent who won’t defend themselves.

*
p<>{color:#000;}. If you’re suffering from trauma because of bullying. I know of someone who can help you using timeline therapy. With timeline therapy, it’s possible to undo years of trauma and to stop the obsessive voice in your head. I know because it happened to me. If you want help, write to me. I promise you, if you choose timeline therapy, it will make an enormous difference in your life.

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

My name is Nathan Segal and I have been working as a Freelance Writer for 18 years. In that time, I have written 1027 articles and published 9 books.

My articles been published in many popular magazines, including: CE Tips (Consumer Electronics), Computer Graphics World, Database Journal, Mac Design, Photoshop User, Rangefinder, Smart Computing, The Computer Paper, Streaming Media World and Windows Expert.

I worked as an Associate Editor at WebReference.com for five years. I also wrote several feature columns on 3D and video tutorials.

I was the sole columnist at StreamingMediaWorld.com and wrote 111 articles over a 16-month period.

My books are: The Photoshop Companion, How to Speed up Your Computer: In 30 Minutes or Less, Professional Photographic MS Word Templates and The Corel PHOTO-PAINT X4 Insider.

This book is a radical departure. I decided to write about my knowledge of bullying, in an attempt to help others. As I said at the beginning of this book, I too have been bullied, many times throughout my life. The bullying created tremendous emotional pain. For years, I was in counseling for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and the cause was bullying and harassment.

With the help of my coach Hamish, the trauma dissolved using a variety of therapies. As a result, I would say I'm 99%+ free of the trauma of bullying. Hamish can help you, too. If you need help to free yourself from the trauma of bullying, write to me using the email address above, and I'll put you in touch with Hamish.


Life After Bullying

My name is Nathan Segal, and I am a bullying survivor. While there will be some references to my history, the vast majority of what you will read is about how bullies function, how to get them out of your life, and, if you’ve been traumatized, how to remove the trauma with TimeLine Therapy (more on that later). Here are some of the main topics of this book: • Bullying and Crazy Making Behavior • 10 Facts About the Bully Mindset • Long-term Effects of Bullying • 3 Actionable Strategies to End Adult Bullying • How to Deal with Bullying on Forums • Why It’s Important to Expose Bullies • How Bullies Target Their Victims • 5 Ways to Protect Yourself Online • Protecting Your Internet Privacy • How Boundary Violations Can Cause Suffering • The Challenge of Enforcing Boundaries • The Importance of Defining Your Personal Space • How to Set Boundaries with Family Bullies • When it’s Time to Sever the Ties • 3 Steps to Effective Workplace Boundaries • Relationship Breakups: How to Get Over Anyone in a Few Days • The Myth of the Sacred Family Bond • 5 Facts About Abusive Relationships • How Automatic Thoughts Can Cause Suffering • How to Recover from the Effects of Bullying Faster Than You Ever Dreamed Possible with TimeLine Therapy The chapter on TimeLine therapy is of crucial importance. Before that session, I thought I would suffer from the effects of bullying for the rest of my life. The TimeLine Therapy released the bulk of the trauma from my life. When working back and forth with my coach, I discovered an important fact, which the incidences of bullying, while painful, were not the problem. The problem was the ongoing story in my head, the never-ending war against the bullies, which is what was causing me the most pain. TimeLine Therapy dissolved that story and the drama that went with it. The change was so fast that I’d become a different person before I even knew what had happened. The result was that most of the effects of bullying dissolved from my life. To this day, I still feel the effects and what’s left over continues to dissolve. It can work for you, too.

  • ISBN: 9781370167241
  • Author: Nathan Segal
  • Published: 2017-02-20 22:05:16
  • Words: 9773
Life After Bullying Life After Bullying