Widespread ills of adult bullying: What to do

The first step is to identify the triggers behind your worry and then make a plan to make sure they don’t arise in the first place.

A mean family member, an intimidating colleague or an abusive partner, adult bullying is today's reality and it can have irreversible damage on your mental health. Step up and choose your mental peace.

Did it ever occur to you that bullying is not only restricted to children before the popular #metoo movement? Though, the acceptance has come in, what kind of the world we are living in. You, as a parent, older sibling or caring friend, may stand for a child who's getting bullied. However, what's the solution to adult bully? Certainly, can't involve your elders into it, not every time. On the other hand, standing up for yourself, against your bully, may result in extreme situations. For instance, retaliating to a bully boss may get you fired or impact your appraisals and answering back to your partner may provoke him to abuse you, it's not easy. What you need is a strategic way to deal with it.

What is adult bullying

Adult bullying is referred to an aggressive and repetitive behaviour. An adult bully repeatedly and intentionally causes another person (an adult) discomfort and hurt. It could be through words, subtle actions or manipulative strategies. At times, the reason and pattern are difficult to know. It could be a result of revengeful behaviour or purely to assert one's authority and show his dominance. Adult bullying is difficult to notice at first as it's more subtle with adults than it's with kids. Rather than beating or threatening outrightly, an adult may be deeply affected by political tactics at workplace, social media outrage, humiliation or embarrassment in public or belittling his presence and contribution.

Adult Bullying results in emotional trauma

Adult bullying can be as horrifying as any other physical trauma. It can adversely impact your mental health leading to anxiety, panic attacks, severe and recurring headaches, stress, depression, fatigue and body pain, and sleep loss. Unfortunately, these affects could be long-term and detrimental. If a child goes through a traumatic experience of bullying can still (and may) build himself together during his formative years. For an adult, it could cause a significant, irreversible damage. Health experts believe that the mental trauma that occurs because of bullying can result in thyroid, mood disorders, eating disorders, high blood pressure and gastronomical issues in an adult. Adult bullying is associated with serious behavioural issues like self-harming behaviour.

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It can adversely impact a persona's ability to focus or being productive at work. Psychologists believe that impact on effective functioning of a persona gets affected because of bullying. It's because the time that he may spend working and concentrating on achieving results is often spent in contemplating ideas of self-protection. He's always worried to move out of the situation without getting harmed or embarrassed. To live in constant fear can be extremely traumatising in a long run. Adult bullying could also be harmful for others; watching the suffer getting paranoid creates an atmosphere of fear for everyone around him.

How to deal with adult bullying

It's important to accept that you are being bullied. It won't make you look powerless or vulnerable. Acknowledging the trauma you are going through and accepting that you are suffering are steps towards getting better. It may take time; it, most likely, will not happen immediately. No one wants to tag themselves as victims, but acceptance is crucial. It's important because otherwise it may aggravate your health condition, especially if you have underlying health problems.

As soon as you accept that you are suffering, it's time to analyse the effects. See where and how it's causing you pain. And then plan to see a therapist or a counsellor at workplace. Talk to them about everything that's in your mind. You may also consider talking to a trusted family member or a colleague. It's also important to consult to a physician if you see your physical health getting worse. Sleep and eating disorders require immediate help.

It's also a good idea to indulge in constructive activities to harbour positive thoughts. Till you are in process of coping with bullying, make sure if you indulge in self-care. Eating what you like and exercising regularly can help you a great deal. It distracts mind and also keep you stress-free and fit. If exercising seems too much of efforts for you, do yoga and meditation. Write how and what you feel; keep a journal, it's great to take out sadness on paper.

Remember, to handle a bully, never react angrily or almost immediately. That reinforces bully behaviour. Bullies thrive for reactions. Don't make it easy for them. Instead keep a note of their pattern so you have enough to go and complain against them. Even if you react, make sure to stand up against him with logic. Bullies often logic and sensibility. Finding support is crucial in a friend, colleague, a family member, mentor or authorities. Reach out to people you think would listen and help you out.

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