Have you been target of a bully or bullies during your childhood? Have you experienced bullying at work? It says nothing about you and everything about the bully. The bully may have a dysfunctional brain! Research shows that some people who lack social empathy have under-reactive amygdala and weaker connection in their social brain that mediates morality. If you’ve been bullied, it doesn’t mean that you’re weak, incompetent, stupid, slow… or whatever the bully wants to make you seem. Mean controlling people (parents, siblings, teachers, school mates, bosses, colleagues or anyone else) will use cunning ways to make you believe that you are at fault when you’re not. Your healthy desire to take responsibility is manipulated by bullies, narcissists, and sociopaths. Bullying is a serious form of trauma and it disrupts the normal functioning and natural development of the brain. If you take someone else’s nasty words and actions seriously you may be damaging your self-esteem and your brain. Facing a bully is a huge challenge but you can come out on the other side victorious! If you are being bullied please seek help by contacting a specialist helpline. Here are some strategies that you can use while dealing with an episode of bullying. And yes, it’s an episode and you can overcome it!
- First of all, don’t assume it’s your fault.
- Take a moment, right now, and deeply relax. Mindfully allow a memory to surface when someone put you down. Don’t judge the memory.
- You can stroke your arms or face in a pleasurable way to disrupt the “reconsolidation” of a painful memory or use a soft object such as a stuffed animal to provide a soothing tactile experience.
- Observe the feelings of shame or guilt or sadness, whatever comes up knowing that they are memories from the past.
- Recall 3-5 memories of your accomplishments.
- Visualize and savor your friends and loved ones
- Still stuck? Have a Trauma-Based NeuroCoaching session with me.
Marsh AA, Cardinale EM. When psychopathy impairs moral judgments: neural responses during judgments about causing fear. Soc Cogn Affect Neurosci. 2014;9(1):3‐11. doi:10.1093/scan/nss097