How to help, when someone is being bullied.2016-08-10
Adult bullying is a problem not often spoken about. People are bullied at work, in their families or by their social circle. As adults, we are expected to be able to stand up for ourselves. But what about standing up for others? These tips will help you to recognise bullying behaviour, and how to help when someone you know is being bullied.
Observing peoples’ body language is a good way of noticing whether they feel that they are being bullied. Judging by the reactions they have to their bully will help you get a better idea of how it may be affecting them.
Adult bullying very often takes place in the form of the bully ignoring their victim. This could involve the bully talking over their victim, ignoring them when they speak, completely excluding them from a conversation or social event or even downright discrediting everything they say. A way to help in this situation is to make an extra effort to include the bully’s victim; go out of your way to include them in the conversation or even point out when the bully talks over them or ignores them.
Adult bullying in the workplace is quite common as this is where we spend most of our time as adults. Bullying in the workplace very often takes place in the form of a power struggle of some sort; many bullies are in a position of power over their victims which makes it harder for their bullying behaviour to be eradicated. The bully might be repeatedly taking the credit for someone else’s work, denying well-deserved praise or even refusing to acknowledge someone’s ideas at all.
Don’t reciprocate behaviour
If you notice someone bullying another person, never replicate their behaviour back towards them. Even though you may feel defensive, you do not want to get yourself into a situation where you are treating someone else harmfully.
If you notice someone being bullied, make sure you document any offences. Many adults don’t even realise they are bullying or being bullied as it very often takes the form of playful joking. If it comes to the point when a bully needs to be confronted, it is vital to have specific examples of when you noticed the bullying take place in order for the bully to fully understand how they could be affecting someone detrimentally without even realising it. This is also important in order to establish a pattern and to be able to report it if it goes further.
Confront the bully
If you notice someone getting bullied by a person they spend time with frequently, you may very likely need to confront the bully. During the confrontation, you will need to explain and give examples; it is advised that you do so with the permission of the bullied person.
It is not an easy issue to deal with if you notice someone being bullied, even more so if it is an adult and if it is in the workplace. Becoming more aware of the different forms of adult bullying will help you to notice it early on and stop it from continuing as soon as possible.