Subject: Message posted
Date: Tuesday, May 13, 2003 11:10 AM
Thank you for your comment, which has now been reviewed by the Editor and has been posted on the relevant site discussion area.
— Original Message —
Reply to question on irishhealth.com page regarding Bullying which does not just apply among children, in fact it is very much part of the human condition.
This I believe to be true. I have known of people in the health service who have been bullied. Also some of these have been in the medical professions.
People who bully ironically are the ones with low self-esteem. They project onto others those characteristics they share, but don’t like in themselves. Alas they seek the vulnerable targets. What is more interesting is that they may not even be aware that they are bullies, the reaction may be from their subconscious.
Ask some person like Tony Humphry’s to lecture people for an hour and make them aware as why they engage in bullying.
As a young secretary, I was facing the problem. It was a set up situation to establish the power element of I am ‘the boss’ and you are ‘the secretary’. This is nearly 20 years ago now.
I was saved by a wise Chartered Accountant in his 60’s who told me ‘Young lady’, if you don’t make a stand now, this will continue’. I took his advice and it worked very well in that company and I was most sad to leave.
I became re-acquainted with Bullying and others seeking to be in control when I became humbled through ill-health. The only difference this time is that I had neither the health or ENERGY TO engage……and the only coping mechanism was to be a passive recipient.
As I recover, I know that bullying exists. My way of dealing with it was and continues to be reading about it. A small book that I found excellent is John Powell’s (Jesuit Priest) ‘Why am I afraid to tell you who I am……written 1950’s but sets down parameters…….
Now I will give an example (in extreme). When I lived in Zimbabwe, I either heard or read about this. The New Government in the 1980’s was left with the remnants of the British civil service. Naturally, there was a change over in staff and of course the new staff had an acquired status position in line with their promotion and based on what they identified from the past administration.
However, the system did not quite work the same way. Sometimes to get say one’s tax sorted out – you had to employ a few relatives from the rural areas to get tax due back. Power / control – we are talking about being human and susceptible.
I read/heard of one case of a white woman probably for the first time having to deal with the new system attending a civil service office. She like the rest had to queue. The black Zimbabweans had spent their lives queueing. However, this woman each time she reached the desk – the African woman dismissed her and kept telling her to go to the back…..
Eventually – the answer came. You are white, you have done this to us all our lives. Now you see what it is like.
This I would call redressing the power balance and is understandable. However, the key point is that people learn. The learning is key.
Bullying is more a characteristic and it is acknowledged that if you confront bullies – they retreat. The characteristic is born out of their own insecurity.
What is important is that this characteristic can change IF PEOPLE ARE WILLING TO INVEST THE TIME IN SELF DEVELOPMENT AND GROWTH.
To confront: May be as simple as say to them – That is your projection. This disempowers the bully.
A Gandhi quote:
You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe,
deserve your love and affection.
Michelle quotes Nietzche
‘He who has the reason why can deal with any how’
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