It is the nature of a good person’s heart to want to connect, as opposed to creating conflict and dissonance. When anything but harmony exists, most people at best try to modify who they really are in order to cope. It is not natural. On the other hand, we tend to gravitate to people who “allow us to be ourselves”. So what happens when you feel uncomfortable and guarded around another due to their bullying or difficult behavior? Usually, anything but peace and naturalness. Here’s the good news…
You do not have to keep reaching out to a person who is not respectful of your feelings, wants, needs, circumstances or desires. Question: How has reaching out worked for you so far?
Here’s What Happens:
Honest and Strong Boundaries
Honest and Strong – YES!
Yes – you are honest with yourself in how you feel, and you are not second-guessing yourself while the bully is ranting. Rather, you are keeping on your agenda, and you are distancing yourself – friendly, firm, but not familiar!
A Few Bonus Notes:
1. Try it with one behavior first
2. Notice the sun still comes up the next day, and try it again!
3. Continue to add small but significant behaviors that help to create your boundaries – “Inch by inch, it’s a cinch; mile by mile, it’s a trial”.
4. Guilt is the gift that keeps on giving. Release guilt; it is unproductive, and in this case, the bully feels no or little remorse for you; why should you? Will it really help? Has it in the past? (Yes, with respectful people, but not with a bully).
5. After a while, notice that, where you used to react to the bully’s demand (and agenda), you now have your boundaries and you stay firm – the bully has less wiggle room.
What is This Called?
Your new boundary is a consequence for the bully. You cannot confront or connect with a bully. They will only change with consequences. You must be (and you can be) in charge of setting your boundaries – this is the only way a bully will treat you differently. Remember, you’re worth it!
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Valerie Cade, CSP is a Workplace Bullying Expert, Speaker and Author of "Bully Free at Work: What You Can Do To Stop Workplace Bullying Now!" which has been distributed in over 100 countries worldwide. For presentations and consulting on workplace bullying prevention and respectful workplace implementation, go to http://www.BullyFreeAtWork.com
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