Bullying Articles

Powerful Parenting: Anger Management Tips for Children

Sunday, September 7th, 2014

Powerful Parenting: Anger Management Tips for ChildrenAnger occurs when a person of any age is feeling overwhelmed and overpowered. It is our way to say “No, stop it! I don’t like it. It is unfair. I can’t handle it,” and so on. Since children have many rules to learn and follow daily, they are likely to feel challenged and frustrated often. Therefore, parents should not be surprised that children question and challenge boundaries.

Anger is natural. It is about our sense of feeling wronged and attempts at boundary setting. It does not have to be toxic and abusive, but it might escalate to that level. It happens when people don’t know how to express and handle it appropriately. It is important to allow children to express their anger and teach them how to go about it.

It Must Be My Fault

Wednesday, August 27th, 2014

unhappy boy in yardWhen I was a child, I was told that everything was my fault. Eventually, I believed it.

In reality, none of it was my fault. As an adult in recovery, I intellectually understand that now. But my unconscious parts are still working that out. My unconscious parts are still trying to make sense of the illogical.

I have struggled with self-worth my entire life. While I don’t see myself as capable of doing good things, I do see myself as powerful at manifesting the bad. More than likely, this comes from my understanding of the abusive adults in my childhood. I felt the same way about them. And I internalized that.

Grieving the Loss of Time

Monday, August 25th, 2014

Grieving TimeSometimes starting a new life can bring up grief and regret for the old life. While I am happy to have new experiences without the pain and anxiety of the past, it makes me wish there had been more of it.

Time is such a tricky aspect of the human experience. We can’t control it. We can’t make more of it. We can’t get back what we think we have wasted. As the song says, it is like an hourglass glued to the table.

And while we can figure out how to control so many aspects of our lives (which is not always a good thing), we can’t control time. It will keep on going, with or without us.

3 Ways to Reclaim Your Work Life

Wednesday, July 23rd, 2014

3 Ways to Reclaim Your Work LifeIf you’re stressed, depressed and dreading Mondays, you’re probably working in a toxic interpersonal environment that has started to take its toll on your physical and mental health.

In my recent research on workplace bullying, I have discovered a baffling phenomenon: Targets often don’t realize they are being bullied for months or years. I believe that the reason it takes so long is because no one likes to admit they’re a victim.

The mere thought of being a victim is so stigmatizing that most people would rather give the bully the benefit of the doubt and continue tolerating the abuse. Yet it’s so damaging to a person’s well-being that I want to declare my central message: Catch it early and think strategically. It exponentially increases the possibility of obtaining a better outcome.

Lowering the Volume in a World of Living Out Loud

Sunday, July 6th, 2014

Lowering the Volume in a World of Living Out LoudLife in the age of living out loud presents some unique challenges. You may have heard the well-known saying about jazz music that there is great importance in the notes that are not played, that the notes that are not played are as important as the ones that are. American jazz musician Miles Davis is often cited as the creator of the phrase, but it is sometimes attributed to other musicians as well.

The concept of the importance of space and silence is relevant in many artistic mediums, and is also applicable to human communication and interaction.

Constructive communication is best approached with a spirit of editing, of identifying what will not be said. I sometimes tell clients to think about their communication and interaction with others as a book that is being written. All books could benefit from editing and refining rough drafts. The editing of the self in the realm of communication may serve to not only avoid escalation and conflict; it may provide a chance to practice mindfulness and self-discipline in a way that benefits the self and others.

Mass Shooters = Mental Illness?

Sunday, June 29th, 2014

Mass Shooters = Mental Illness?In the wake of yet another mass school shooting, we mourn. We are angry. Why is this happening in our country? What is going on? And yet, as I flip on my television — what do I see? It’s certainly not anything about gun control or raising children properly, but alas, mental illness.

No one is disputing that our mental health system is a wreck. I know from firsthand experience that it is a travesty. I must admit, however, that the media’s portrayal of these shooters is uncomfortable and offensive.

Adverse Childhood Experiences Affect Adult Behaviors

Saturday, June 28th, 2014

Adverse Childhood Experiences Affect Adult BehaviorsAdverse childhood experiences negatively affect adult life, says a recent study by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). One in four young adults were severely maltreated during childhood and approximately half of adults in England have suffered an adverse experience during their childhood.

Roughly one in ten adults have experienced four or more adverse childhood experiences. There are many forms of childhood adversity, ranging from physical abuse to emotional neglect.

Bullied in the Workplace? Don’t Lose Your Power by Emotional Dumping

Friday, June 20th, 2014

Lose Your Power by Emotional DumpingEmotional dumping is when you verbally offload the intense rage or fear you feel onto someone you think should care and fix it now. For example, if you’ve been the target of workplace bullying, you might spew forth your outrage onto human resources or senior managers. You might expect them to do something, but become even more upset when they react in an oppositional way.

As a therapist, I regularly encounter this phenomenon, often from otherwise intelligent and articulate women who feel OK about seeking help and solace from others (men usually find it more difficult).

Social-Emotional Learning is a Must to Reduce Bullying

Thursday, June 19th, 2014

Social-Emotional Learning is a Must to Reduce BullyingI’ve heard it said too many times: Social and emotional learning shouldn’t be taught at school because that’s a job for parents.

Good in theory, but in reality, there are many children who lack supportive, loving and safe home environments that promote good values. Instead, these children often experience an ugly side of life that can have a devastating effect on their character and development.

The Psychology of Elliot Rodger

Tuesday, June 10th, 2014

The Psychology of Elliot RodgerI’m a bit scared to admit that I actually wasn’t shocked when I watched Elliot Rodger’s now-infamous YouTube video. I was horrified, to be sure, but not surprised.

You would think that it’s unnatural not to feel shock when watching a video of an intelligent, articulate young man relish describing his plan to “slaughter” all of the “girls” in the “hottest sorority.”

But these types of desperate, vengeful fantasies have become familiar to me in my line of work. I have, with some frequency, sat in my therapy office and listened to similar sentiments expressed by more than a few patients over the past several years. There are many more Elliot Rodgers in our country than we’d like to believe.

Where Do Bullies Come From?

Thursday, June 5th, 2014

Where Do Bullies Come From?I don’t write about my experiences with bullying very often. Maybe I have internalized society’s beliefs that I should have stood up for myself in middle and high school, especially when my peers were doing the bullying. Maybe the shame is more significant because this time, the abusers were my age.

Maybe the messages about “asking for it” are still driving my interpretation of the situation. Sometimes it is even hard for me to believe that I could be subjected to so much cruelty by so many heartless people. I felt as though I was a magnet for abuse.

The Ultimate Pain: Recovering from Trauma

Tuesday, June 3rd, 2014

The Ultimate PainRecovery work is painful. It is the hardest thing I have ever done. It is no wonder that I spent two decades avoiding it.

Deep down in my unconscious where the memories were stored, I had determined that the pain of the emotional memories was far worse than spending my life defending against them. And my overactive cortex was happy to oblige.

I could come up with almost anything to justify my feelings or an image that may have flashed in my head. On the bad days, I could keep myself so insanely busy that there was no time to examine anything.

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