How does being bullied affect relationships?
One of the effects of bullying, whether by parents, teachers, employers or peers, is difficulty in relationships. When people hit you or talk down to you because they perceive you are weaker than them, there is a part of you that believes you are inferior. That you deserve this treatment, since they have especially selected you for their attention.
Of course it is not true that you are inferior. You may well be physically weaker. And no doubt they are bolder and louder with their words. But that does not mean you deserve bullying. The reason for bullying always lies within the bully, not you. Bullies are people in pain who hurt other people to make themselves feel better.
But even though it is not your fault it still affects you. From my own personal experience, I would say the main affect is a strong instinct to self protect. For many years I would not cry in front of anyone. I held all my difficult emotions and kept them to myself. This is also due to my up-bringing, where honest communication about difficult emotions never happened.
Ironically, positive emotions were also non-existent in our home growing up. If we were watching TV and someone said “I love you” to another person, and kissed them, my mother would switch the channel. Her typical remark would be “These Americans are so sentimental!”
Back then people in the UK didn’t know about the importance of affirming someone. So nobody spoke affirming words in our family home. This resulted in me becoming overwhelmed when as an adult someone would affirm me. In a romantic context it would absolutely guarantee my feelings for him. In friendships it would feel awkward because of my inability to reciprocate. Many times I would not even hear the positive words as my ears would mysteriously go deaf at that precise moment!
This paralysis around vulnerability is a huge problem! It is one of the ways we lose friendships. And it leads to breaking hearts. Many divorces that would have been unavoidable occur because of this issue.
So let’s be honest about our feelings, whether those are painful or positive.
If any of this resonated with you, I invite you to come to my webinar for women who have been bullied. Or let me know if you want a webinar for men! I would love to hear how having been bullied affects you and your relationships.
Also if you want to try out coaching, I would love to offer you a powerful coaching call so you can experience it for yourself. It is my gift to you.
To get free tips on improving your relationships with yourself, your colleagues and your partner follow me on Instagram.
Feel free to let me know why you like or dislike this. ❤️
Lastly, please share with someone who might benefit.