So what happened??
Well it all started with a conversation I had with someone explaining to me how I needed to look a little less like me and a little more like her. She pointed out how successful people dressed vs the way I dressed and how successful people did their hair vs the way I did mine. I tried my hardest to please her, but everything I did seemed to be terribly wrong. Eventually I decided I hated my job and the only reason I was going to keep going was for the sake of my children.
Right now I'm on maternity leave and although I'd like to be back at work where we could use the money I'm taking as much time off as I possibly can in order to stay away from this woman I work with. I just don't want to face her at all!
Often people have the idea that "bullying" is something which only happens in adolescents and is something you deal with, move on from, and grow out of... But - unfortunately - this isn't always true. Adults can be just as capable of being a bully as any young child or teenager. The biggest problem is by the time they are an adult they've pretty much mastered the art of bullying..
I always felt lucky in school. Since I was related to 1 out of ever 4 people that walked around my high school more people stool up for me than not and so I was never a target of bullying. Now however in the adult world I'm not so lucky. There is a massive worldwide problem in adult bullying and it's not just at work. I've also recently been subject to adult bullying somewhere you might least expect... church... yes CHURCH! I won't go too terribly far into the idea of church bullies just yet, that one is another day and another blog, but I will say that I've been bullied at church to the point that it has caused me to not only leave but to question my faith to the point of almost no return. It was just like work; I decided I hated church and the only reason I still went was for the sake of my children and to a degree that is still very true.
So, what's the deal?? Why are people like this??
I would imagine that since Adult bullies target their victims in many of the same ways children or teen bullies do their reasons aren't very far off either. They are insecure, jealous, envious, and seeking attention.
Adult bullies target people with differences from themselves, especially those who have high morals and integrity. Adult bullies usually have problems coping with their own problems and are desperately trying to find ways to make themselves look better by targeting other adults who they perceive will not fight back. Adult bullies seek out these people because they are less likely to retaliate against them. Adult bullies target people with vulnerabilities as well, such as inexperienced employees or older employees. If a new employee refuses to join an established clique or act a certain way, adult bullies target them. If new employees do not conform or have new and independent ideas, they also may be targeted.
The big question now.. what can I do about it?
The church situation is easier, I can either find a new church or quit church. It's easy to ignore the problem, but doesn't solve it in the long run. The work problem may sound simple "Call HR!" I've been told over and over by friends, family, and other co-workers, but as other co-workers who have been bullied by this same person calling HR on her isn't the answer.
So... really... what can I do about it?? Well I started out by quiting church and by looking for a new job. The problem there is that I already belong to a good church and I already have a good job and I shouldn't let insecure and immature adults who are intimidated by me for some reason or another cause me to change my entire life around. I can't let them win and I won't. I'm not sure where I'm going to go from here, but letting the world know that adult bullies are real is the first step I think in created a solution to the problem.
It is a problem. Think about what you say and do before you do it. Don't be a bully and don't let people bully you. Get over your jealousy and insecurity or whatever else makes you do the things to do and be an adult.