It can happen anowhere. At home. On the bus. At school. At work. On social media. It isn’t limited to school age kids. It happens to adults as well.
1. Bullying is aggressive behavior that involves unwanted, negative actions.
2. Bullying involves a pattern of behavior repeated over time.
3. Bullying involves an imbalance of power or strength.
I worked as a nursing supervisor on a Pediatric floor and ICU. My manager and I were pretty close the first year I worked there. Our plans for the floor and the unit were the same. I received texts even when I was off work about things that happened, etc. I thought I was blessed to be working under such a great manager.
Then she changed. The closest time I can pinpoint is when I took over the conversation with our joint commission inspectors. I had just been through a similar inspection at my previous hospital before I moved the year before. One of the inspectors was actually the same person that I had talked with previously. I felt very comfortable and confident answering their questions and showing them around. The inspection went well.
Shortly after that things begin to change. I was constantly belittled. She wouldn’t share information but expect results. She went to meetings but didn’t discuss anything that happened in those meetings even though I had to type up updates and send out once a week. She claimed I ruined her whole vacation because of something minor at work before she left. She brought in staff nurses to try and have them divulge some possible way I wasn’t helping them or doing my job. I was constantly walking on egg shells around her. She would right past me and not speak or she would give a fake, terse smile
This was a pattern with her. The same thing had happened with the two previous supervisors. I went to HR to voice my concerns about the bullying twice. Nothing changed. I went to the director several times. I was told to hang in there. She was working on it. I went to the president of the Children’s hospital with no results.
Things at home were being affected by the way she treated me at work. I was short tempered with my kids. The pressure from work was released at home. My oldest who was a 6th grader at the time wanted to move back to NJ. He wanted me to go back to working nights because I was happier then.
People told me to hang in there & that things would change. She just got worse and worse. I textend her about something and she told me to contact her on her office phone during work hours. This coming from the same person that just a few months previously was calling and texting almost every day.
People recognized what was happening but despite my going up the chain of command, no one higher than her would do anything.
Eventually I quit that job. Sometime after that she ended up seperating from her husband and loosing her job.
They act out because of things going on in their own life. Maybe they are insecure about something. It’s likely they are trying to fill a void of some kind. By acting out they feel in control or powerful. They are getting wanted attention.
WHAT CAN WE DO:
Listen, Listen, Listen
Listen to the person that’s being bullied. Don’t blow them off. Don’t tell them to hang in there as if it will magically stop. Don’t downplay it. Do let them know they did the right thing by coming to you. Do let them know you will look into it. Do follow up with them.
Talk to the person being bullied. It’s likely they will deny it. They will take the tough guy approach. First and foremost make it clear that they behavior will not be tolerated. You have to protect the person being bullied. Try to get to the bottom of why they bully. This may be difficult. It could be something deep rooted that they aren’t likely to talk about.
Show love and compassion to both the bully and the victim. They both need to feel loved and appreciated. They both need to know that behavior won’t be accepted and they will likely both need help working through it if it’s something that’s been going on for some time.
ON TODAY…my stand up Sunday…
STAND UP FOR THOSE BEING BULLIED
STOP BULLYING IN ITS TRACKS
IT TAKES EVERYONE DOING SOMETHING TO MAKE THIS WORLD A BETTER PLACE.