Bullying can happen on the playground, at work, peer to peer, boss to employee, adult to child, child to adult, bullying can happen everywhere there are hurt people who never healed.
We are a wounded society when it comes to emotional health. No one learned how to feel feelings, communicate properly, set boundaries, or safely heal when something hurtful inevitably happened. Few, if any people learn to effectively parent, teach or lead when it comes to our fragile emotional needs as human beings.
That’s why I set out to learn. I have extensive experience healing from debilitating shame, a broken family, public stigma, physical chronic pain, and lack of tools to be effectively in the world with other people. I feel like I’ve been an anthropologist since a young age, when I was truly confused by human behaviour and how to handle it confidently. I watched for models, and found very few that truly felt like healthy, mature, capable humans.
Hopefully, these tips will help you if you have memories and old wounds from a situation of abuse or bullying.
Consider this article to be useful tips, not the solution. I did hours of work on myself with professionals to get myself whole, but what really rocked my world was to realize I could in fact heal. The mean voices in my head did not have to stay.
There is hope for you to truly be free from past pain and live a life with confidence, connection, love and self-trust. No matter your past, no matter the degree of bullying⏤you can heal.
Trust me. I do this with my clients everyday, they think they will never change the pain deep inside no one else sees, the pain that hijacks them in the quiet moments, and they all find their own inner, loving self to replace the years of pain taking up space and stopping them from claiming their best life.
Here are the 2 steps to healing bullying below.
1. The Inner Critic. Notice: “Is this voice mine?”
At a young age, we all create a mechanism called the Inner Critic. This inner voice, the inner critic, is a protection mechanism from the pain we felt when someone hurt us. At some point in our development an Adult or fellow peer said something that carved into us for life: “You are stupid, you will never succeed, what an idiot, your are worthless, you can’t sing/run/do math/have friends…” When we heard these things, we felt feelings that were too overwhelming to feel, so we shoved them down.
In response to intense pain, our mind’s create an inner psychological protector to stop us from any possible situation in the future that would ever cause that much emotional pain again.
The problem with the Inner Critic protection mechanism is that we become cursed with the voices of our bullies, abusers, and misguided humans from our past, to play over and over in our own mind. We are prisoners of their pain, that we took on as our own.
The Inner Critic mutates over time and becomes like a Big Boss in a video game that is harder and harder to beat.
But, we can beat it, we can be free of it. The Inner Critic Big Boss does NOT want you to know that you can be free of its grip. It thinks it is there to protect you, and will be relentless as you begin transforming the amount of space it takes up in your mind and life.
This inner part of you became so obsessed with never feeling embarrassed or rejected and it desperately wants you to stay away from new relationships, experiences, and opportunities. Never make a mistake. Never risk a first move. Never try a new thing because you might look dumb.
Needless to say, the Inner Critic needs a system upgrade.
Simply begin by questioning the voice in your head.
“Is this my voice?”
“Is this even true?”
Then wait and be patient. Wisdom and healing comes from space and gentleness, the critic is fast and erratic. You will begin to notice the difference after some practice.
2. Heal the Vulnerable Inner Child/Part that was hurt in the first place.
The deep pain within you, that got tucked away, is still there. 🙁
Your body and heart are the path to healing.
Kindness, gentleness, and love are required for your vulnerable self to emerge and past pain to heal.
The inner critic and protection systems that were created will try to prevent this with lots of thoughts! But⏤stay with your feelings, and be with them like you would be with a hurt child, or a puppy.
I always do the heart breathing technique and body scan with clients to teach them to BE WITH themselves on a whole other level, a level beyond their mind. The mind is where the Inner Critic rules, so don’t try to heal from there. The healed mind is like a mine field.
When we heal we can become the adult or parent or mentor we needed back then.
We become capable of being both innocent and wise, peaceful and powerful when we begin to move through past pain locked away because it seems too big, too much, and will result in us being swallowed by the earth, or going mad and unable to cope with life. This might sound dramatic, but this is what our inner experience sounds like when we feel big feelings. We fear we will never get out and it will never end. Or we fear we will go crazy or break under the pressure.
Our bodies know how to digest food, and know how to digest unprocessed emotions too.
Here are the two main tools I use with clients to begin their integration and healing journey.
Why do Bullies exist?
Helpless people, want to get their power back. Bully’s try to take it back by forcing power over someone else, someone else more vulnerable of course. It is not intuitive to expand your compassion to see an abusive person as a type of victim as well. But, if you knew what trained them to be that way, what happened to them to cause this much hate and violence toward another person, you would at least see it isn’t about the person they are abusing. It is an unconscious cycle, that can only be interrupted with consciousness, healing and education.
I try to choose love and acceptance when dealing with abusive or confrontational people, and I don’t always win, we are all human and fallible. Hate and vengeance keep the cycle of abuse going, the main thing we can do is heal ourselves, and educate other’s how to do the same by our example. That is how we can take our power back, and avoid unconsciously hurting others as well.
Hurt People, Hurt People
This does not mean you forgive people and leave yourself open to constant abuse. Forgiveness can also include being bad ass, Jesus himself wasn’t a doormat, he spoke up and created change wherever he could. Boundaries are necessary when teaching people how to treat you.
Let me say that again, it was a huge breakthrough for me in my own life.
You are responsible for the way people treat you.
If someone treats you poorly, speak up, or leave. Don’t tolerate behaviour that is unacceptable.
I know it is not always that simple. My bully was a family member I couldn’t just up and leave because I was a child. But damn skippy I am outta there if I am in that situation again.
The more you become your own inner, loving protector- not the guard dog, Big Boss, reactive energy of the past pain- but truly present, aware, and open, you will have the ability to access your inner resources to deal with challenges.
When you are here fully, the more you will know intuitively how to speak up, how to discern to leave or attempt reconciliation, how to self-heal if you get slimed, and overall have your own back.
Being in your body-being present- is the most effective protection you will ever cultivate.
In the past, I felt that if I left the pain by leaving my body and shoved down the hurt, that I would be able to run away, forget it, and move on. “I didn’t want to give it power.” NOPE, that doesn’t work.
We need to heal peeps! We need to move through the pain to find our inner protecter waiting for us to engage its healing, intuitive intelligence.
Healing our past allows us to be out in life living, rather than psychologically locked in a cave somewhere in our mind and heart where it’s safe because we will avoid pain…because we also lock out love, connection, self-expression and self-acceptance that way too. Let the Bully go, and find yourself instead.
If you need help or have questions: www.jennasmithcoaching.com