Let’s be clear – I don’t think being bullied is a good thing. But I do think that most people have been bullied at some time in their lives. Whether it was at home, school, work, or some social situation, it’s likely to have happened. And the memories are not to be forgotten. But neither should they be remembered only with shame.
Rather than detail all the negatives of being bullied, I want to express what the experience can teach, particularly during this pandemic and economic downturn.
Obviously, multiple strategies are needed to deal with bullying. They include defending oneself, building a support network, developing an understanding of the dynamics that underly the situation, and taking the actions needed to make it stop. Harnessing the lessons learned from this experience can be quite valuable to your career. Understanding the ‘drivers’ of your personal situation is important, given that such understanding can help you get to the heart of problems that you’ll face in the future. It can also be a confidence builder if you can look back and see how you extricated yourself from the situation.
I’ve been bullied – to the point of tears. That, of course, only made it worse. Given that I am an introvert (which means getting energy from within), all I needed was to build the confidence needed to extricate myself from the situation. This confidence was the foundation of some huge strides I made in my life: moving to England, Germany, and the Netherlands for work; the closing of unbelievable business deals; and the launch of my own business fifteen years ago. It also helped me build the creativity I have needed to navigate the last nine months, if not the past fifteen years.
Pressure creates diamonds and I believe that people who have been bullied are better equipped to deal with the crises in which we now find ourselves. We are responsible for the creativity and forward impetus that can bring the economy back. Pressure creates tomorrow’s diamonds.
Upon reflection, I’ve come to realize that the reason many people are bullied is because they are different. Perhaps they have talents of which others are envious and that envy leads to bullying. Many times, the action of bullies suggests they are more assured of your talents than you are. If that’s true, then it’s only a question of being willing to ‘push the envelope’ using the talents you have.
Given that, let me encourage you to embrace your differences and join me in the creation of the future….