Monday, August 1, 2011

Do you bully yourself?

Last month some people dropping by might have thought; “Workplace bullying? Nope, that doesn’t apply to me; all is fine here".

You might have a comfortable home life, nothing out of the ordinary in the line of illness, your relationships are loving and secure, with no particular problems.

You may even have wondered what all the fuss is about regarding bullying. I've heard the comments such as "Suck it up" "Toughen up" "Stop whinging" to name a few.

A few people contacted me and said something very similar. But there was a niggle, a sense of unease and it turns out that although they’re not on the receiving end of serial bullying at work, they’re definitely on the receiving end of their own well crafted and highly personalised bullying. Could this apply to you?

The uncensored cruelty some of us dish out to ourselves – and that we believe – can be as damaging as serial bullying by a co-worker.

Have you ever caught yourself thinking: “Oh I couldn’t do xyz, I’ll never be as good as … so I won’t try.”

“I stuffed up last time, so I’ll give it a miss now”.

“Gee you’re crap at this aren’t you. Why are you wasting your, and everybody else's time?”

“Eeeew, you’re getting a bit big for your boots now aren’t you; better quit before you make a fool of yourself.”

“You don’t really think you can compete with x do you! What a joke! Oh, they’re going to laugh long and loud when they see the drivel you’ve come up with.”

or even: "You know they'll realise you're a fraud really soon; better stop now."

Nyip nyip nyip all day long, it can be utterly exhausting. It's no wonder life can feel utterly draining when you're contending with such negativity.

That critic sitting so brazenly on your shoulder can be a malicious, vicious, undermining sod; sniping, whinging and moaning and with direct access to your ear. Very difficult to escape!

In summary, what we hear, day in, day out in the privacy of our own head can be equally as vicious, malicious, undermining and relentless as what I’ve described regarding workplace bullying.

What to do?
Kurt Vonnegut often wrote about how we should behave towards one another, and believed strongly that we should treat each other with kindness and common courtesy. I’d like to add that ideally, we should treat ourselves in the same manner.

Do you treat yourself with common courtesy? With kindness, compassion and tolerance?

The Dalai Lama in Sydney 2009.
Treating ourselves kindly is a choice, and we can learn to treat ourselves as we would treat others, although it may will take time and effort. As the Dalai Lama said at a lecture I attended - and I'm paraphrasing here - we can take a pill to make ourselves feel better for a short time - this is easy - but we need to make wise choices about how we will live for the effect to be long lasting.

While shaking his head in wonder he described a person taking anti-depressant pills to feel better, yet continuing to abuse the mind and body with unhealthy life choices.

What can we adopt in our lives to begin loosening the grip of the negative sniper on our shoulder and stop bullying ourselves?

In one of last month’s posts I mentioned in passing, a television series that aired here in Australia called "Making Australia Happy". In a future post I’ll look a bit more at the ideas presented, and the ways we can address those snitchy undermining comments.

Until then, “How do you treat yourself?”

Thanks to Roberto at Roberto's Report for describing how to continue posting even when the Spinning Wheel of nothingness strikes!


Bob said...

Thanks, Sue - you really are the champion I called you before.
Take a look-see at THIS BLOG's TAB bar

Hope you like it.

sue said...

Thanks Roberto, I love it, especially the purple!

Anonymous said...

It would appear that I have been bullying myself for years. The sad thing is, I think I have always known it.
thanks for dropping in on thefeatherednest

B's Mom said...

Love this post!

sue said...

mybabyjohn, you're certainly not alone. Good to see you here.
B's Mom, thankyou, hope to see you back again sometime.

Talli Roland said...

Love this! I don't always treat myself well. I think I may need to relax a bit!

oliversiblerxn said...

nice article. reflected around.

Anonymous said...

Coffee in the morning and wine in the evening. I'm low maintneance. As long as I have those two to help me along while writing, then I'm happy.

sue said...

Sorry about that, I thought I'd replied, but with Blogger throwing a hissy fit, perhaps I only thought I did...
mybabyjohn, I suspect treating ourselves badly can become a habit. Hope to see you back here again.
oliversiblerxm thankyou
Stephen, Cheers for low maintenance!!

sue said...

Talli, Gmail tells me you've dropped by and commented, but I'm perplexed about where it's gone. It's not here, and not in spam, so I guess it's wandering around in cyberspace somewhere, exploring and hopefully having a good time! Take care, be kind to yourself and enjoy London!