Stop the bully in your life with hypnotherapy
Is there a bully in your life? Here's how to get the power back
Being bullied is a painful experience, and one which is regularly dealt with by professional hypnotherapists. It can bring on a wide range of symptoms including feeling sick, shaky, tearful, panic-stricken and sleeplessness. Sometimes, we may not even realise the root of our distress is that we are being bullied, because when we are in that situation, there is a tendency to blame ourselves.
Why do some people get bullied, whereas others don’t?
The most likely reason is that you arouse envy and jealousy. When we are being bullied, our confidence takes a hammering, so this may be a difficult idea to accept, but it is true. You have qualities that the bully recognises and also fears.
This may mean for example, that you are, yes, own up to it, extremely physically attractive, highly intelligent, very good at your job (or potentially very good), sociable, likeable and pleasant company. Possibly quite affluent, honest, conscientious and kind-hearted. The bully hates you for the fact that you exist, and for the fact that you are loved and desirable. Deep down, bullies are tortured with self-doubt which they cover up with cruel, sly and tyrannical actions. They feel bitter, insecure and unloved. They know how to bully, as they have usually been victims themselves and have decided to get their own back on the world.
But why are others not bullied?
Your key vulnerability compared to others who escape bullying, is that perhaps, you underestimate yourself and how influential you are, or could be, and possibly suffer from a lack of self-worth as a result. This lack of self-confidence becomes the chink in the armour, providing an access point for the bully.
Unwittingly, you are a potent cocktail of tantalising strengths and delicate sensitivities. After all, if they perceived you as powerless, they would ignore you. As the brutal saying goes, ‘who wants to kick a dead dog?’
What is bullying behaviour?
Bullying behaviour can escalate to terrifying heights but it usually starts soft and low. It can even be passed off as jokey and harmless at first or camouflaged as supportive.
The bully starts in small ways to see how you respond. If you are of a gentle disposition, you may not recognise what is really happening, so naturally, you don’t stand up for yourself.
Bullies gradually become more ruthless. This can eventually spiral into full on blackmail, eg. ‘If you don’t give me your villa in Spain, I will tell the board you’re gay.’
Here are some typical bullying scenarios:
Bullies at work meetings
As soon as you try to raise a valid point, a bully may engage in passive-aggressive behaviour such as yawning, raising eyebrows, shuffling papers, checking their phone, looking out of the window, not acknowledging the point you made or immediately switching topic.
Offering false support
Bullies may suggest you attend basic training courses which are well beneath your existing level in order to ‘up skill’. Example:
- ‘Here’s a leaflet I picked up for you about spreadsheet training for beginners in maths.’
- ‘Have you thought about doing something about your accent? There’s a good communication skills course online?’
Identifying your ‘mistakes’ and pretending to protect you. Bullies are usually insecure and terrified of making mistakes or being seen to make them, so they often focus on your supposed errors, lying or misrepresenting what has happened, which would be difficult for you to disprove. Example:
- ‘I had to stay late to sort out the files after you were using them so we didn’t waste time this morning.’
Paying false compliments
- ‘I think you’re losing weight. Those cords used to be much tighter across the back.’ (When you know for certain you haven’t slimmed down, and may even have put a bit on lately).
- ‘I just wish I could be as relaxed as you about wearing things that don’t go together.’
- ‘I’d love to be able to sit and relax like you do while the kids play. I am just too worried about what they are getting up to.’
How to stop a bully
Bullies get more power not less, unless vigorous action is taken. Here are some immediate steps you can take.
1. In social and work situations, keep your relationship on neutral ground. Whatever you do, do not show a bully you need them and want them to like you, as this cements their control over you and will make them far worse. Do not bring them gifts, make them a cake, join them at lunch, finish off a report for them, offer to take their kids swimming, and never, ever, under any circumstances invite them to your house.
2. At work, keep a diary of bullying incidents. Check out whether the company has a policy on bullying and harassment. Ask for a formal meeting with HR to discuss it with them, bringing the documented evidence of occasions when bullying occurred. It may take courage but remember, bullies are highly competitive and doing all they can to put you in a negative light to undermine you. Unless you take drastic action, they might win. Bullies are cowards and seek to curry favour with those above them in the hierarchy so they may well crumble when confronted by an authority.
3. If you feel bullied by an ex, even years after a very fair and reasonable divorce settlement or a much needed break-up, it is wise to consider your part in allowing bullying to happen. Does it perhaps stem from your own wish to keep a friendship with your ex? This is obviously not inappropriate if it has led to bullying. If there is any residual guilt or pity for the ex on your part, however irrational your guilt seems to everyone else, a vindictive ex can use it as a weapon that never ends. This can take the form of poisoning your relationships, destroying your self-worth, damaging career prospects or manipulating a ‘right’ to access your money and possessions. The most successful way to pull the plug on relentless demands is to make a clean break from the relationship.
4. If you suspect you son or daughter is being bullied at school, use the school pastoral service at first. If this, sadly, lets you down, get a copy of the school’s policy on bullying and make a list of ways in which the school is failing to protect your child. Seek an urgent meeting with management and discuss the best way forward. Try to avoid taking your child off the school roll because that ends their responsibility for educating your child. You may however, like to investigate other schools your child could move to. You could also contact Red Balloon which is an educational charity for bullied children which offers excellent guidance.
If, despite giving it all your best, you still haven’t fixed it, why not consider professional hypnotherapy to eliminate this savage and destructive force which is spoiling your life? It is a powerful and safe method which gets to the root of the reasons in your unconscious which have led to your predicament and hindered you from a resolution. It will help you break the chains that bound you, restore your freedom and enable you to be the person you really want to be.
As always, when engaging any professional, take care to choose the right person for you.
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About Marian Barry
Marian Barry was voted Hypnotherapist of the Year 2018 East of England. Marian an advanced cognitive hypnotherapist practising at the Harley St Hypnotherapy Clinic London and Gt Abington, Cambridge. She has given talks at conferences around the world. She is a best-selling author of many popular works published by Cambridge University Press.