When you are faced with a problem of bullying, how do you go about solving it? Sometimes you may let it overwhelm you, on other time you flex it. Today I will show you how to do it in an efficient way.
You will meet the 10 steps of coping with bullying. Here is a 10-step method you can use to think systematically ans solve any problem, including bullying. With this method, you develop your critical thinking and master problem solving techniques to genius levels.
1. Take complete responsibility.
Even if your boyfriend batters you, there is also your part of responsibility in that. You can control the way you react for his abusive actions and what action you take. Accept complete responsibility for that. Suppose that your boyfriend bullies you. The first step is to realize what you during being bullied– are you passive, letting him to be more and more aggressive or do you say “no” and stand up for yourself? Remember, nothing will changes unless you will take full responsibility for your actions and reactions. This is the first step, to be aware that “I let him to be bullied”.
2. Define the situation or problem clearly.
What exactly is the challenge you are facing? Bullying is just one way of communicating deeper problems in your relationship. It may be your low self-esteem, your inability to set borders and stand up for yourself, your fear of assertiveness and also the balance of power in your relationship – when he is a breadwinner and you do not work or the flat is his. What exactly is causing you the stress and anxiety while he is bullying you? Write it out clearly in detail. Be brutally frank and honest doing this.
3. Approach bullying from several different directions.
Ask, “What else is the problem?” Don’t be satisfied with a superficial answer. After having described your problem you can still dig deeper Look for the root cause of the problem rather than get sidetracked by the symptom. I have already mentioned some reasons why women give permission for being bullied. The most common is not setting clear boundaries and inability to stand up for themselves. The deeper reason of that may be manifested by lack of assertiveness skills or the fear of being assertive. This, on the other hand, can be caused by experiences in the childhood.
4. Brainstorm different solutions.
Knowing what is hidden behind the problem of bullying you can find solutions to it. If you lack assertiveness skills, sign up to one, attend workshops where you will practise healthy patterns of communications with your boyfriend. Work on your fears attending counseling and talking to friends. And of course, find time and safe conditions to implement the steps mentioned in the previous sentences, which is important when the abuser is controlling.
5. Pick the best solution to stop bullying.
I have give you some examples above. What is the most important for you at the moment? Probably at first you have to learn how to stop reacting desperate or how to start stand up for yourself. You might also need to find some spare time for assertiveness training at first, when you are not controlled or at risk of even bigger bullying. Pick the best solution by comparing your various possible solutions against your problem, on the one hand and your ideal solution, on the other. Answer the question in writing: What is the best thing to do at this time under the circumstances?
6. Clearly define the ideal solution.
What exactly must the solution accomplish? For example, if you decide to practise assertiveness in the workshop – where will you go, how long will it take to practise, how much will you have to pay, how to behave when your boyfriend faces your changes. Define the parameters clearly. It is important to write down your ideal solution and visualize it regularly, using all your senses – what will you feel, see, hear, smell?
7. Set a deadline.
A decision without a deadline is a meaningless discussion. Having the deadline disciplines you to take action. Otherwise you can say “I’ll do it the next time” and nothing will change – he will bully you again and again. If it is a major decision and will take some time to implement, set a series of short-term deadlines and a schedule for reporting. For example, when you attend counseling, define how long you may work on different problems – fear of assertiveness, setting boundaries, dealing with toxic people ext. With the deadlines and sub-deadlines, you will know immediately if you are on track or if you are falling behind.
8. Measure your progress.
Set measures on your decision. How will you know that you are making progress? How will you measure success? In case of bullying – how many times do you stand up for yourself, what boundaries have you set and how many times have you asserted them? If you are working on some solutions simultaneously (e.g. assertiveness training and counseling) – how will you compare the success of this solution against the success of another solution? Again, do it in writing. Start a journal of success and regularly, for example once per week, record your results.
You can keep your diary safe on computer by using passwords or writing in the language which is not known to your boyfriend. You can also keep the record in the place which is not available to your boyfriend. Another challenge can be lack of progress. Remember that sometimes it may take more time than a week to learn a skill. You should find even the smallest sign of progress then – the fact that you have tried and done anything than nothing is your progress. It is a temporary failure and you can always analyse the reasons of it – what not to do and what to do better the next time.
9. Prepare for the worst.
Before you implement the decision, ask, “What’s the worst possible thing that can happen if this decision doesn’t work?”. In case of bullying it may be abuse escalation and physical or economic violence (i.e. your boyfriend limits you financially). Even if it happens, you can always ask for help – check the Find Help section on my blog.
You may also notice that the option chosen does not work. For example, if assertiveness training does not work, ask a professional what might suit you better. But the solution may also not work because you do not follow the rules learnt on the training.
10. Change your language about the problem from negative to positive.
Instead of using the word problem, use the word challenge or an opportunity. The same applies to “bullying” of your fear. Anthony Robbins in his book “Awaken The Giant Within” gives a whole list of of negative words with alternatives which sound neutral or even positive. For example, instead of “hurt” he says “depressed”; “angry” – “frustrated”, “insulted” – “uncomfortable, “jealous” – “expectant”, “overwhelmed” – “disappointed”. The more positive your language is, the more confident and optimistic you will be when approaching any difficulty. At first it may seem funny to speak about the problem using different words than so far – but I can assure you, it works. Therefore, make a list of your most negative words, used on everyday basis, and find more positive counterparts for them.
Solve Your Problem!
Get busy. Develop a sense of urgency. Abuse does not stop by itself, without your action. The faster you move in the direction of your clearly defined goals, the more creative you will be. Even making mistakes you will learn. You can solve any problem by using your wonderful creative mind and then taking action consistently and persistently until you succeed. Success is a mark of a creative thinker. Thus, when you use your ability to think creatively, your success can be unlimited, even in case of bullying.
Do it in writing – in your journal of success. Define your situation, brainstorm and list possible solutions, choose one on which you will work immediately. Then set the deadline and measure your progress. But above all – take full responsibility for your action and… take immediate action.
Please comment today’s post and share with your friends. Have a nice day.
Autor: Victoria Herocten Writer and coach.
Since 2009 she helps women with abuse to start over and how to be happy .
The co-author of the bestseller “Gratitude Book”.