I have been a bully most of my life. At the age of 11 I was actually part of a group of girls who made fun of a shy boy at school. Our teacher called us out on our behaviour, and we never teased that boy again. I also recall that we sang the pink panther cartoon theme song every time a girl who always wore pink clothes walked past us. That is how the bullying started for me. However, after these incidents I cleaned up my act. I didn’t show it so much to the world, but I did continue to be a bully.
I am not alone, because according to my totally unscientific, and unwarranted questimate 99% of all people are bullies. Yes, that is right! I am calling you a bully, and I am 99% certain you really are one.
None of us wants to be seen as a bully; and most of us want to stop bullying at schools and workplaces. Yet many parents bully their children in the name of discipline, just like dog owners bully their pets. Quite a few people like to read the stories bullies write about celebrities, politicians and other public figures. And most of us bully someone every single day.
If all is well you are getting pretty annoyed with me by now. Let me explain this a bit more.
On wikipedia.com bullying is defined as the use of force, threat, or coercion to abuse, intimidate, or aggressively dominate others.
How many times have you heard that voice in your head say – you stupid idiot! How many times have you wanted to kick yourself for doing or saying something? Or, my personal favourite – for not doing or saying something?
Do you ever make yourself eat something you do not like just because it is considered to be healthy?
Do you force yourself NOT to eat what you really like?
Are you bitching at your reflection when you look in the mirror?
Are you complaining about your body parts, intelligence or social skills?
Do you generally think that you should be more like all those successful, skinny, popular people?
All of that is bullying, and most of us bully ourselves every single day.
Think about it. How are you treating yourself? Do you verbally harass yourself? Do you threaten yourself with possible worst-case scenarios?
Are you trying to dominate yourself by using your willpower?
Are you constantly SHOULD’ing yourself?
If none of this sounds familiar to you, you are one of the lucky few, one of the top 1%. My purpose in life is to increase the number of people in this top group. It is important, because the way we experience life inside is always reflected outside. It is impossible for us to uproot bullying from schools, workplaces or anywhere else, as long as it is alive and well inside most of us. Those who bully others, bully themselves too.
So, why are we so nasty towards ourselves? This is how I see it. We have learned to think that we are not enough as we are. Not good enough, not smart enough, just plain not enough. This is actually pretty funny, because most of us do not even know who we are. We have spent a lifetime trying to be someone else, and in the process lost connection with ourselves. Bullying is also a habit. Just like all habits, if we want to change them we need to first realise we have them. Listen to your thinking, and start following your inner conversation. Notice what is going on.
If you notice that you are bullying yourself, don’t try to force yourself to stop it.
You can intimidate a bully to stop, but really isn’t that just bullying? Bullying a bully will only escalate the bullying, it may not happen in the same relationship, but it will come out somewhere. Bullying can only be cured with love and understanding. Notice your inner bully and learn to love that part of yourself.
Contact me to start a coaching program to help you befriend yourself, accept your inner bully, and become a recovering bully!