To wonder why I'm always bullied?(21 Posts)
All through my life I have been bullied. Bullied by my parents and sister, bullied at school, bullied by my first husband and his family, bullied in jobs, bullied out of groups of friends. A mum at my DCs school has even had it in for me for the past year and I am so fucking relieved that it is the holidays.
I do probably come across as lacking in confidence, which I know can be inviting to bullies, but it surprises me just how many grown adults want to bully others.
I have recently started a new job and one bloke keeps being an idiot to me and trying to be nasty, and I can just see things here going the same way as everywhere else.
Whenever I am bullied it makes me lose confidence even more and I feel like everyone is siding with the bully and that they hate me. If I try to answer bullies back I always get told by others to leave it.
I'm sick of it. What can I do? I have had years of counselling and it's made eff all difference.
I don't know. Similar situation to you. In counselling as well.
I am also in a permanent state of shock that so many adults put in so much energy to being fantastically nasty. And that it is so infrequently acknowledged.
Sorry to hear things are tough for you too ethelb.
Like you say, it's shocking that so many adults put so much energy into being utterly nasty.
Bullies can only have power over you if you let them see that it bothers you.
If they laugh at you, laugh with them. If they pick on what you wear, tell them that you're not vain.
Basically, fight back with words. Don't shout or hit them. A firm 'NO!' is all that is required.
Bullies pick on the ones they think won't fight back ever. Be a dark horse and make them think again.
If someone made my life that miserable. They'd better watch their back. There are plenty of ways to get even...
Some people are definitely dicks who prey upon the "weak" in order to elevate themselves. It's a crappy fact of life that there will always be people who Bitch, bully and steamroll others so that they themselves can prosper.
There's nothing you can do about them, but you can work on you and your approach to such people.
Do you tend to just accept when people are nasty? Go quiet? If so, chances are that they can sense your lack of confidence and are using their poor treatment of you to validate themselves in whatever way.
I'm not confrontational by any means, but I am assertive. If someone if being rude or out of order, I'll simplt say "please don't speak to me like that/in that tone etc."in a very calm and matter of fact way, and I'll walk away. It's not about standing up to them-you can't rationalise and "win" against people who never see fault in themselves-but it is about having a bottom line regarding the treatment you are willing to accept from others.
I'm not a confident person. I'm wracked with insecurities and self-doubt, so if I have the ability to manage this, so do you.
If someone says something nasty to you can you say "That wasn't very nice" or "I find that quite hurtful"? A cold tone is best and try to keep your emotions out of your voice as far as possible.
If they then say, as they tend to, that they were just joking you could say "I found it unkind rather than funny".
They'll probably start saying something about you not having a sense of humour, so you could say "No, I don't find nasty remarks funny."
The stuck record trick. Stick to your guns. You are just as entitled to find something unkind as they are to find it funny. More so, probably, as some people have a most unpleasant idea of what's funny.
My friend has always had a similar problem, she has a cowering body language which seems to attract the bullies.
I think it's the eye contact that makes a difference, don't be the first to look away. If someone is attempting to bully you by standing over you, stand up and make yourself the same height as them.
And if someone shouts at you, say 'Oh, you have a louder voice than me, therefore you MUST be right'.
Ami - thanks for those responses. Its really helpful to have something lined up as a response, simple as it sounds. Hope OP finds them helpful too.
Have you looked into assertiveness training? A company I used to work with sent one of the managers on a course and she said it made a big difference to how her staff treated her. I don't know about personal courses, as opposed to work related ones, but it might be worth looking into.
Why don't you talk back at them? What's the worst thing that can happen?
You've been groomed.
Previous bullies have groomed you for future bullies. I went through the same.
You can't change other people's behaviour, you can only change how you react to it.
I have watched on or two people,at work, usually the really pleasant
manipulative ones work on a victim, befriend them, get information, then turn and twist it.
Invariably they are insecure, not brilliant at their job, generally not very nice people but many don't see through them. They have problems and feast on hatred and inadequacy - their own.
I can spot them a mile off now, tell them nothing, play their game and wait for karma. It comes eventually.
I used to get bullied quite a lot and one thing thay really helped was to know and own my strength and weaknesses. Bullies look for your Achilles heal, to make themselves feel better it'a not personal and there is nothing "wrong" with you.
I've worked a lot on my confidence and started to joke about my imperfections, take their ammunition away.
UCLA in America did research and found everyone gets fed 'bullying lines' from time to time; the way they respond marks them out as a future repeat victim or not. The key, apparently, is to appear unbothered. Roll your eyes, laugh along, say 'yeah whatever, you are so hilarious aren't you?' or other comebacks that make the person think either you weren't bothered or you hold them in disdain for making that remark. Crying, obvious ignoring, getting angry or upset are 'bothered' responses that mean you will be amusing to wind up, sadly. Good luck op.
One of my siblings was horribly bullied at school and I've came to the conclusion that while I would laugh off a nasty comment or give back as good as I got, she would cry and run away etc. Which sort of echos the idea of not giving them the satisfaction.
I think I've come across a few people who always feel bullied.
Sometimes I can't see the reason. They seem confident, don't over react, and are generally pleasant etc.
Sometimes I can see why. They over react to even fairly neutral remarks. They take the huff at normal behaviour. They come out with stupid statements. They stand out from the crowd, but don't really react well to being noticed. Or they want to always be the centre of attention even if they can only get it by behaving/saying stupid things.
The last group say they're always bullied but actually they're not. When friend A and friend B, who have been best friends for years go out for a drink they are "deliberately excluding". If friend C says she doesn't like shopping in Tesco's they take it as a huge slight on their shopping skills. They're always talking to friend A about how B and C are bullying her, friend B how A and C are bullying her, and C about how A and B are bullying her.
In a way they're the bully because they're using emotional manipulation to try and get people only do and say things they approve of. I haven't come across many people like that. but they do exist.
Have you considered acts of petty revenge? For instance, you could deliberately break an ornament when you next visit your sister. I guarantee that you will experience a special, peculiar pleasure as you apologise for your clumsiness. I have other ideas if you need them.
This could have been me a few years ago OP. The thing that changed me was having the kids. I just decided I didn't want them to have a mother that couldn't handle people. It has been hard and there have been times when I have felt friendless as the result of trying to find the right balance and getting it wrong but all I will say is that it is so worth answering back and disagreeing sometimes.
Not everything has to be a big statement but you can say I disagree with you, you can say don't talk to me like that. Also, if someone is trying to goad you, why not have an argument? At the end of the day, they aren't going to hit you, because that would really get them inot trouble. Just tell them that their behaviour is inappropriate and were they not taught how to behave by their parents.
Someone at work is like that. The managers can be quite bullying towards her because she is so timid. I often feel sorry for her but I also think she's her own worst enemy. She rarely talks back. If someone criticises and I disagree, I'll say so but she doesn't. She's also never direct and talks in hints which can be irritating because no one knows where they are with her. She can be oversensitive too to remarks that others would brush off
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