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The Unseen and Painful Consequences of Being Bullied

bullying Jan 27, 2019
"People bully others, or tolerate being bullied by others, in an unconscious effort to protect themselves, either emotionally or physically, or both". 

Bullying and unfair treatment can appear in many shapes and forms, in all walks of life.

It can (and does) happen at school, university... in the workplace... on holiday... at home.

So why is it people become bullies?

And why is it we tolerate unacceptable or unfair treatment?

And more importantly, how do we put a stop to either of these things?

These are all questions we need to ask if we find our self either a ‘victim’, 'rescuer' or ‘persecutor’ on the 'unfair treatment' spectrum.

The underlying reasons for becoming a victim, rescuer or perpetrator is the same: to protect ourselves from feeling the emotional pain we have hidden inside. To protect ourselves from ‘feeling bad, not good enough, rejected or unworthy’ and more.

Bullying - A Serious Issue

Being bullied is a serious issue with serious consequences, even leading to debilitating health conditions and major unhappiness if not addressed and resolved.

In a survey more than one out of every five (20.8%) students report being bullied*.

In my clinic over 60% of clients with symptoms of illness have been bullied.

I discovered by accident that many of the people I helped over the past 12 years, who were experiencing serious health issues, have experienced being bullied at some point in their life.

Whilst they may be experiencing this bullying now in their life (partner, boss, colleagues, siblings, parents, friends, even children...) I discovered that the original 'set up' is ALWAYS in childhood, usually the first few years of life. ALWAYS! 

One of the keys to resolving bullying (which is going on in your life right now) is to see the connection between what is happening now and what happened in your past. 

To start with, let's look at the bullying 'triangle'.

Victim, Rescuer or Persecutor - where are you?

According to the ‘Karpman Drama triangle’, we will often find ourselves in one of 3 places in our relationships with others:

  1. We may be the ‘victim’ at the mercy of our ‘perpetrator’
  2. We may find ourselves being the 'perpetrator' tormenting a 'victim'
  3. We may find our self the ‘rescuer’ trying to keep the peace between the victim and perpetrator.

None of these roles are inherently healthy, and we need to learn instead to emotionally empower ourselves out of dysfunctional, co-dependent behaviours, and create clear physical, emotional and energetic boundaries with others.

Changing Patterns

To do this we need to understand:

(a) If we are the victim: why we feel and keep ourselves powerless, how to put a stop to unfair treatment, and how to take our power back

(b) If we are the persecutor: why we feel the need to behave like this, and after deciding we no longer want to do this, how to stop treating others unfairly

(c) If we are the rescuer: why we feel the need to 'rescue' people and how to stop this pattern

Understanding 'Secondary Gain'

One of the keys to understanding any behaviour is to recognize that there is always a 'hidden gain' in what we are doing. 

This means that despite the discomfort we are experiencing as a result of the behaviour of others, we tolerate and perpetuate our own behaviours because there is a 'hidden gain'.

In order to truly change we need to discover what this hidden gain is.

This requires introspection to understand where the cause of the problem really stems from:

Over the past 12 years of working in clinic with people who find themselves in abusive or dysfunctional relationships, the pattern has become clear:

  1. We become and re-enact what we have unconsciously observed and learned at a young age, usually by the age of 7 years.
  2. We do this in an unconscious effort to protect ourselves, either emotionally, or physically, or both.

Why we become the victim...

If we look at what leads to becoming the ‘victim’, we will often find at a young age we were in some way disempowered, which led us to falsely concluding we do not have the right to stand up for ourselves, put ourselves first or allow ourself to feel our feelings. And so we hold everything inside, including all the pain and emotional hurt we have experienced, and allow others to walk all over us.

Why we becomed the persecutor...

If we look at why people become bullies, we often find the cause is the same. These people also received 'unfair treatment from others'; they were punished, abused, critisized, bullied, judged, hurt and more. However, rather than ‘introverting’ and shutting down, these people unconsciously chose a pattern of protecting themselves emotionally by ‘extroverting’ into dominating or aggressive behaviour.

Why we become the rescuer..

If we find ourselves constantly trying to 'rescue' others (partner, children, family members, friends...) it's usually because as a child there was some sort of turmoil going on around us in our environment, (parents fighting or arguing, abusive behaviour between family members) and we wanted to try and stop it. We did this by trying to 'rescue' the victim, or become an intermediary between victim and perpetrator. This sets up an unconscious pattern of feeling we need to constantly 'save' people or 'save the day'.

The reasons and causes for all of these need to be explored in detail in order to change the limiting beliefs, behaviours and negative consequences which have resulted from the original traumas.

Safety and Survival

At the end of the day, if you look at all 3 roles, they all boil down to the issue of safety and protection: our safety and that of others. 

We need to feel safe (it's a biological necessity for survival) and we want to feel protected.

It's important to understand that this safety is needed simultaneously on two levels:

  1. Physical and
  2. Emotional

Either way, if our physical and / or emotional needs are not met in childhood, resulting in deep unconscious feelings and patterns of fear and mistrust, we will often take on the role of victim, persecutor or rescuer in adulthood. This pattern is mostly unconscious, until we become aware of our behaviours and decide to change.

Here is an example of how childhood patterns and behaviours are unconsciously perpetuated into adulthood:

Emotional / verbal / psychological abuse

=> You grow up in an emotionally or verbally abusive home environment, where you are constantly put down, humiliated, criticized, judged, ignored, chastised, compared with (eg other siblings) etc.

=> You feel hurt, alone, unnurtured, frustrated, angry, sad, disappointed, betrayed...

=> This leads to you feeling unworthy, less than, not enough, not good enough, undeserving of love and more.  

=> This creates unconscious limiting beliefs about how you are 'not good enough', 'undeserving of love' etc

=> This leads to you behaving in a certain way around others as you grow up (partners, friends, colleagues, bosses) because you are afraid they won't love or like you if you speak your truth, ask for your needs to be met, put yourself first etc. You suppress your true thoughts and feelings, hold everything inside, so that frustration, hurt, disappointment, betrayal build up inside. 

=> Through the law of energetic attraction, you draw into your life a person with a similar energy signature as that of one of the key people from your past, who causes you to feel the same way you did as a child, and you continue the same behaviour you did as a child

=> You continue to suppress your true thoughts and feelings, hold everything inside, so that frustration, hurt, disappointment, betrayal build up even more. 

=> The cycle continues... until you become aware of it, and break it by choosing different behaviours and learning to value yourself more.

The consequences of being bullied

The ramifications of being bullied are HUGE:

If we become the victim, we will allow others to walk all over us and treat us unfairly. We give our power away, never speak up for ourselves, hold all our true feelings and thoughts inside. The hidden consequence of this is we build up anger, frustration and resentment inside until it literally turns into physical pain or exhaustion. Many people experiencing chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), ME, PVSF, fibromylgia, irritable bowel syndrome and more have a history of being bullied and not knowing how to stand up for themselves. The exercises taught in my programs address these habits directly, turning them around completely, allowing you to become empowered and assertive without guilt or fear.

If we turn into the bully, we will treat others unfairly, but in so doing isolate ourselves as we build an armoured wall around our hearts to unconsciously prevent more pain coming in. We 'dump' all our repressed anger and pain on others, which not only damages others, but also hurts ourself, even if we are not aware of it. We can even do serious damage to others through psychological or physical abuse.

If we become the rescuer we will constantly try to 'fix' things: we will feel we are indispensable at work, we constantly feel we have to 'save' others from their problems. We will run ourselves ragged trying to fix everyone else, ignoring our own needs, leaving us frustrated, intolerant from exhaustion and even sick. 

Which one are you? Can you see yourself on the triangle? Sometimes we can even flit from one role to another!

The way forward - Self-Empowerment

The underlying reasons for becoming a victim, rescuer or perpetrator is the same:

To protect ourselves from feeling emotional pain we have suppressed inside and to protect ourselves from ‘feeling bad, not good enough, rejected or unworthy’ and more.

There is only one way out for any of these players:

To become aware of the initial setup, to make peace with the trauma and pain from the past, and to change behaviour in the present.

  • Bullies need to learn they no longer need to dominate others to feel safe or have their emotional needs met.
  • Victims need to learn how to create clear boundaries around unfair treatment without feeling afraid to do so.
  • Rescuers need to learn how to put themselves first and not become over-responsible for others.

Ready to own your power and freedom?

The Emotional Alchemy Academy 'Empowerment Training' provides the tools and strategies to take back your power in a safe, effective way.

These tools have been tried and tested for over 12 years and they work!

Many of the client testimonials on this page were from people who experienced bullying, verbal abuse, physical abuse, sexual abuse, unfair treatment...

If you're ready to turn this around, it's all possible. All you have to decide is if you are ready... and stop buying into that voice in your head which is telling you it's not!

Ready to learn more?

Test your Emotional Empowerment!

When you register for the free webinar below you can take the quick quiz to test out your levels of emotional freedom. 

Free Webinar - Freedom from the Toxic Ties that Bind

Join me on this free online training where you will learn:

  • How I escaped an abusive, toxic relationship where I was experiencing constant emotional abuse which wore me down and caused all sorts of life problems
  • The number one thing which perpetuates toxic and unhealthy relationships, leaving you exhausted and exasperated
  • The two essential changes you must make in order to stop and create clear boundaries around unfair treatment
  • The 7 characteristics of emotional empowerment which need to be cultivated so that you can truly say you are emotionally free
  • and more eye-opening information to help you transform your life for the better

Register for the webinar here - You can watch live or on demand in your own time.

 

Bully Statistics Websites / References 

*https://www.pacer.org/bullying/resources/stats.asp

http://www.kivaprogram.net/nz/news/new-zealand-bullying-statistics

https://www.stopbullying.gov/media/facts/index.html#stats 

https://www.bullyingfree.nz/ 

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