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(494 Posts)
FriendlyGhost Mon 20-Jul-20 10:26:58

My goodness there are a lot of interesting articles posted here. However intelligent and informative they are, they do rather overcomplicate the issue. Do people suit all these traits? Do they tick all the boxes on this checklist?

Really there is only one question. Do you have a bully in your life?

A bully is a person who continues to engage in behaviour that they are aware hurts you, that would not harm you or them to stop

That may seem like a rather broad statement. It is not. It is very simple.

If the focus is being placed on your reaction to their bullying behaviour it detracts from the real issue. The bully in your life.

Bullies are online, in friendship circles, in the workplace and in families.

Most bullies will tell you they have a right to their behaviour {insert justification} and believe they are entitled to treat you as they wish. Whether this is someone in a position of power over you like an employer or an older family member, or simply by rote of a strong personality, bullying is not acceptable.

A bully is a person that continues to engage in behaviour that they are aware hurts you, that would not harm you or them to stop

If a person continues to engage in behaviour that hurts you and has a detramental impact on your ability to enjoy your life (not including habits or mental illness you have that ignoring would harm you) then you are within your rights to take steps to remove that person from it.

Bullies are often shocked when it is pointed out to them that it is their behaviour causing all the issues. Not because they are unaware but because they believe they have the right to behave that way and asking them to stop is a personal attack on them.

This is not true. No one has the right to be a bully for the sake of their enjoyment of life.

A bully is a person who continues to engage in behaviour that they are aware hurts you, that would not harm you or them to stop

You have the right to be free from bullying no matter who the bully is and to take measures to protect yourself. Even if the result is estrangement from a family member.

Smileless2012 Mon 20-Jul-20 10:49:41

There's a thread on another forum about bullying.

I think there are many questions in life and whether or not you have a bully in your life is just one of them.

Until coming to GN, I'd had no personal experience of bullies since my school days, and TBH I never expected to see that type of behaviour here, on a site for those supposedly of an age of maturity.

Whatever their ages though, bullies always operate in the same way. Never alone because they need their friends, their fellow bullies to back them up.

Of course online is an ideal breeding ground as they can hide behind their key boards and user names. Bullies by their very nature are cowards; do you agree?

There are so many situations that can result in estrangement and I don't doubt that bullying is one of them.

FriendlyGhost Mon 20-Jul-20 11:12:56

No I do not believe bullies are cowards, I believe they are often in some sort of pain. I think my pain was losing my husband while my daughter was small and my loneliness as a single parent.

I myself became a bully and lost my daughter at age 23 as I thought myself in control of too much and an authority in her life. I knew this was painful for her and she wished to make her own choices in life without my interference but I justified it to myself. I used her defensiveness and rudeness as she railed against my behaviour as an excuse as to why I should have that authority over her.

I did not regain contact with my daughter until many years later when I saw a grievance counsellor over the loss of my own mother. It was pointed out to me that I was responsible for alienating my daughter.

I was the bully in her life, I am now her biggest support. It took much time and hard work but it was worth it.

I have no anger towards my daughter for her choice now. She undeniably made the right choice to walk away from a bully and I made the right choice to stop being one and win her back.

Smileless2012 Mon 20-Jul-20 11:47:34

That's a very sad story. I do believe though that if not all, some bullies are cowards. That's been my personal experience anyway.

FriendlyGhost Mon 20-Jul-20 11:50:45

Our experiences are unique to us and shape us in many ways of course.

Thank you

3nanny6 Mon 20-Jul-20 11:51:34

FriendlyGhost ; You wrote a good summary about having a bully in your life, and your ending was quite informative as I was surprised that it turned out you said you were the bully.

I have the opposite to you and I have the problem that I find my daughter that has my grand-children can be quite a bully.
I would call it verbal bullying and not physical bullying.
I find that sometimes people who are easy going and whose natures are mainly calm and placid are sometimes chosen by the bully as these people seem to be an easy targets.
I have always wanted to be apart of my grand-childrens lives and at first I did not see how I was being used as a "free"
open cash point to subsidize my daughters lifestyle. When the target begins to question the actions of the other you find they have every excuse to say why they are justified to treat you that way.
I like your wording about overcomplicating things and so I will not, but just to say I had to do a lot of work to hold back on a constant money flow to her and although I still help out it is not as much. Our relationship is less than perfect but I keep trying although old habits die hard and she will try on occasions to get extra money out of me.

Smileless2012 Mon 20-Jul-20 12:01:33

Bullying takes many forms 3nanny and for me the psychological bully is more sinister and potentially more harmful than the physical bully.

I never did agree with that old saying that 'sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me'. I agree with what you're saying about bullies finding easy targets, which is why for me they're cowards, going for the one they think is unable or unlikely to stand up for themselves.

Of course they don't always get it right and it's good to see a victim taking back control, which I guess is what sometimes leads to estrangement.

You've done well to restrict the amount of financial help you give your D which I totally understand, must be so hard for you with so much at stake.

As long as your relationship exists there's always more than a chance that things will improve; I hope soflowers.

3nanny6 Mon 20-Jul-20 12:29:49

Smileless2012 It is harmful to have someone that is a psychological bully and much strain can be put on a relationship because of that. Some bullies can also use physical
bullying but like I said they will be clever enough to look for the easy targets and yes of course they are cowards.

My daughter never bullied anyone at school in fact she was the complete opposite. Over the years and the fact she was not living at home as she was away for education, I found over a period of a few years she had turned into a young woman whose behaviour was completely changed.

This same daughter that then had two babies in very quick succession was soon guilt tripping me to potentially fund a big chunk of those babies needs.

I do still try as I have the grand-children to think about and just maybe one day my daughter will turn around and get me that long awaited birthday card or that one bunch of flowers and make my day although from experience all I can say I will not hold my breath on that happening.

EllanVannin Mon 20-Jul-20 12:34:55

I don't have anyone bullying me nor have I been bullied---apart from school many moons ago. That taught me to stand my ground should it ever happen again, which gladly it never did.

I wouldn't dream of bullying anyone to justify my own feelings.
I'd certainly stand up to them, of that there's no doubt but I wouldn't go all out to encourage that insidious trait within the bully to make an appearance either. To me they are pathetic and lacking.

However, you've seen the error of your ways which is commendable since bullies never change their stance, so I hope it now continues throughout and life becomes a lot easier all round.

Smileless2012 Mon 20-Jul-20 12:51:31

I hope so 3nanny and look forward to the day that happens and we can all share in your happinessflowers.

I agree EllanVannin that the OP is to be commended for the changes she's made, as is her D for giving her another chance.

FriendlyGhost Mon 20-Jul-20 13:31:45

I had to learn that mother doesn't always know best. I confused knowing what was best for my daughter with wanting what is best for her. As a result I became overbearing and bullying. A lot of that came from how close we were while she was growing up. It was just she and I for so long I didn't allow her to grow into an autonomous adult.

Of course bullies are as individual as their victims and so my behaviour was not as cruel and unforgivable as some but it did push my daughter away from me. Those years we lost are now put in the past unless my daughter needs to discuss it with me. That can be difficult for me but she and I know we share an equal relationship.

My mother was a force to be reckoned with. I attended counselling for not being able to express the normal amount of grief at her passing. I loved her deeply but our relationship was strained and worsened as I became her carer d her death brought more relief than sadness. Understanding my relationship with her helped me to draw a road map back to my own daughter.

I am infinitely grateful that I am now the important part of her and my grandchildrens lives that I wanted to be, as a valued family member not a respected authority.

It warms my heart to know many of you are able to recognise and manage the bullies in your lives

Smileless2012 Mon 20-Jul-20 13:43:49

*It warms my heart to know many of you are able to recognise and manage the bullies in your lives*smile. It's good when you can but a shame if you have too.

FriendlyGhost Mon 20-Jul-20 14:29:48

Most rational people would never want to see or think of themselves as bullying but a bully is as a bully does, engaging in behaviours that hurt others even when they are aware the recipient does not like it.

If that person is preventing you from enjoying your life, it is important to distance yourself and hope as thankfully my daughter did that they come to recognise they have been the cause of the issues that have escalated since.

Smileless2012 Mon 20-Jul-20 15:18:41

You are fortunate that your D was able to put it all behind her and felt able to reconcile.

Sometimes we're not aware how damaging a particular relationship is until we are freed from it, either because the victim walks away, or the person treating them badly moves onto someone else.

Madgran77 Mon 20-Jul-20 16:08:55

Hi FriendlyGhost. Lots of questions in your OP to ponder on.

Just wondering why your thread is called "Over complicated" when it is about bullying? What is over complicated ...or does it refer to the links you mentioned at the beginning ...although not sure what links you were referring to? confused

Madgran77 Mon 20-Jul-20 16:53:05

I have been pondering on the questions asked. One aspect of bullying that is difficult is within employment isn't it. Someone who is not doing their job properly, not fulfilling their contract etc would be given development support etc to improve. If they don't/aren't able to improve then competency procedures would be started, resulting, if no improvement seen, in their being dismissed from the post.

People who find themselves in that position might well feel that they are being bullied and it is a fairly common accusation made in such cases, even when all procedures are followed to the letter. Of course competency procedures will continue regardless, even though the employer knows the employee doesn't like it and sees it as bullying

So bullying can be in the "eye of the "beholder" but maybe not necessarily taking place in some circumstances.

Smileless2012 Mon 20-Jul-20 16:58:33

That's a good point Madgran what someone may perceive as bullying may not be bullying at all.

quizqueen Mon 20-Jul-20 17:08:46

Bullies can only operate if they are allowed to do so. At the first sign of bullying, walk away and refuse to engage in any way that shows it bothers you, no matter how close the family member.

quizqueen Mon 20-Jul-20 17:09:37

No one can be a bully unless they have an audience.

FriendlyGhost Mon 20-Jul-20 17:15:19

Interesting thought Madgran77 but the tool I was given explains that it is not bullying if stopping a behaviour harms you. I don't know if work place procedures count as behaviours and if they do, not following them may harm you as an employee. If an employer were unfairly singling you out for more procedures than others it could technically be harassment.

Thank you for your thought provoking response

Smileless2012 Mon 20-Jul-20 17:35:28

That's a good point quizqueen especially when it's happening on line I think.

I don't understand what you mean by saying the tool I was given explains that it is not bullying if stopping a behaviour harms you. Is that in reference to your D estranging you so stopping your behaviour are have you also been a bully's victim and stopped their behaviour, because it was harming you?

Madgran77 Mon 20-Jul-20 17:45:58

If an employer were unfairly singling you out for more procedures than others it could technically be harassment.

Not with competency procedures as those are specifically focused on improving competencies that are not being delivered at an appropriate level, after normal levels of support etc. That would not "technically be harassment", that would be addressing the fact that someone was not doing their job, providing support, and then implementing specific competency procedures with targets that have to be met in order to stay in the post.

Again this process could be construed as bullying by the recipient but competency procedures are not bullying.

FriendlyGhost Mon 20-Jul-20 17:49:12

Please parden me Smileless2012, the tool I was given by my grief counsellor.

A bully is a person who continues to engage in behaviour they are aware hurts you, that would not harm you or them to stop

This has become a mantra when negotiating all relationships for me. Yes certainly those relationships online too if I have been made aware of it.

FriendlyGhost Mon 20-Jul-20 17:51:53

Madgran I do apologise but I have no experience of that sort of thing at all.

I'm terribly sorry if you have had a difficult experience in the workplace

FriendlyGhost Mon 20-Jul-20 17:53:47

Oh I am sorry, now I have missed part of your username off. It's a very good username too.