We tend to think that bullying is something that only exists between children or teenagers, but in actual fact, it is not only children that bully. Just because adult bullying is not so easy to identify or the fact that it is not so obvious, does not mean that it does not exist.
Adult bullying is real and many adults fall victim to being bullied by other adults.
A lot of adults who decide to make lifestyle changes or who are succeeding in transforming their bodies, are bullied about their success and unfortunately the bullying often comes from the people who were supposed to be part of their support system or the people who were supposed to love them unconditionally.
Bullying is not confined to only certain areas of our lives. We can experience bullying at work, at home, in schools, religious organizations, social groups & even on the internet.
If we experience bullying at home it is a lot more detrimental, as it creates a feeling of being completely exposed, as we do not have a “safe place”.
Although adult bullying in some instances differ from traditional bullying, the common factor is still that the bully is usually someone who struggles with insecurities and as a result belittle others to feel better about themselves. It is important to remember that bullying is all about the bully and in actual fact it has nothing to do with the victim. The victim does not deserve to be bullied and there is also nothing that the victim has done wrong to cause the bullying.
Being bullied is very traumatic, but being bullied by someone you love is even more emotionally harmful and for the victim it is extremely difficult to make sense of this. Like all other aspects of life, you can only change the things that are in your control and you can’t control the behaviour of other people.
Here are 5 things that you should remember when being bullied:
- Remember why you started
I remember when I decided to change my lifestyle, man did I get resistance! Although my close friends and loved ones understood why I wanted to change my lifestyle and supported me, there were people in my life that just didn’t understand. There were people that didn’t understand my commitment and they were constantly testing my boundaries. They used to say things like: “Just eat one, it won’t make a difference” or “No milk in your coffee, really?”. It was difficult for me at first. I couldn’t understand why they couldn’t respect my decisions? Why couldn’t they just leave me be? At first it upset me, until I decided that I won’t allow the resistance to slow me down or influence me anymore.
Sometimes it’s necessary to remind yourself why you started. If you know WHY you’re doing something and you really feel passionate about it, it doesn’t really matter what anyone else says or thinks. That’s why it’s important to ask yourself why you want to reach this goal? Why is this goal important to you? Write it down and put it up somewhere where you can see it frequently, because when the resistance comes, you will need to know deep down inside why you are doing this.
- Give them the benefit of the doubt
When we get resistance from people for decisions that we have made or when people have things to say, we instinctively believe that it’s coming from a malicious place. We tell ourselves that “They don’t want us to reach out goal” or “They are just jealous”, but what if it’s none of those things. What if they are just talking from a place of insecurity?
Have you ever considered that; the fact that you are making healthy decisions, while they are making not so healthy decisions, might make them feel insecure? Have you ever considered that their comments about your healthy choices might actually have nothing to do with you?How about giving the people around you the benefit of the doubt?
When you are in a situation where someone is questioning your choices, just consider for a second that that person might be feeling insecure about their own choices.
The same is true for you, if you take offense easily; you are actually showing your own insecurity. If you are 100% confident in your choices, what other people think or say won’t bother you.
I can almost guarantee you, if you are confident in your choices you won’t be offended by any comments and the person who had the comments will envy this character trait in you.
- Be the teacher, but know that not everyone is “ready” like you
Here is one thing that I learned with my own transformation:
People might not understand at first, but when they start seeing results they ALL want to know how you did it.
Don’t let this make you angry. Be willing to share your story and be willing to teach others, but always know that not everyone is ready like you.
There will be people that will ask you questions, a lot of questions. Some people will want to know exactly how you did what you did. How did you eat? How did you train?
Tell them, but know that most of them won’t follow the advice. Most of them will have an excuse as soon as you stop giving the advice. Not everyone is ready like you.
Changing you lifestyle is a major change, something that most people will never do, because most people are too scared of change and they become creatures of habit. The fact that you have successfully changed your lifestyle will inspire many. Be willing to teach others, not only when they are ready to make the change, but be willing to teach them on every stage of their journey towards that decision.
- Don’t defend yourself
When there are nasty remarks or comments coming your way, listen, smile, laugh it off and do whatever you were going to anyway. Don’t defend yourself.
If you defend yourself you just reveal your insecurities, because if you are 100% confident in your decision then you don’t have to explain your decision to anyone.
Most of the time people who have nasty remarks will also want the last say, so if you start defending yourself it will just result in a back and forth word game. Just leave it be, you know why you are doing what you’re doing and that’s all that matters.
- Re-evaluate the people in your life
Sometimes when we are faced with resistance for the decisions that we are making in our own life it grants us the opportunity to re-evaluate the people in our life.
Ask yourself; are the people that are giving you resistance acting out of insecurity? Do the people giving nasty comments deserve to be in your circle of influence?
We all interact with a lot of people daily, but we all have a choice who we allow to influence our lives and our emotions. I don’t know about you, but the only people that I want in my circle of influence are people who really care for me.
The truth is; the people that REALLY care about you will support any endeavour that makes you happy, because usually your happiness is what’s important to them.
If the people that REALLY care about you and who will accept you unconditionally are worried about you and tell you that you might be taking things too far…then you should listen, because their comments are coming from a place of love and caring.
But otherwise, do the things you love, chase after the goals that you have set and don’t allow the opinion of others to side-track you.
If at all possible, we need to try to remove ourselves from a harmful situation, but if we can’t, we need to be willing to invest in ourselves a lot to minimize the effect of the bullying as much as possible.
Always remember: “All cruelty springs from weakness.” – Lucius Annaeus Seneca