Monday, 9 March 2015

Bullying and Intimidation of the Local kind . . .

Intimidation of the 'local kind'

A brief meaning of Intimidation which can sometimes sadly be persistent: offensive, abusive, insulting behaviour which can be in both physical and verbal form

We have already discussed Intimidation on a larger scale or relating to larger Companies threatening smaller Companies but what we forget sometimes is the intimidation that goes on within our daily lives. Sadly, both Children and Adults can be the instigators of this type of negative behaviour, and in many cases, until caught or indeed taught otherwise, these individuals seem to feel this kind of behaviour is acceptable. However, one of the saddest things about this type of behaviour is that Adults are often the individuals who instill in their children that this type of behaviour is considered acceptable.

Often this form of intimidation, for the moment let's classify them as :

  1. 'Individual intimidation' 

This can be initiated or triggered on line, or on a one to one basis within Schools, Playgrounds, Public Parks, The home, in the Workplace and even on a bus or train. 

 2. Group or 'Tribal Intimidation' 

This can often be triggered sometimes by just one person who then tries hard to encourage others on board or in Groups/Sets of Individuals and can be experienced in School, The Playground, Public Parks, High School, College, University, within the Workplace, At Public and Closed Events, Public transport, Leisure Centres as well as many other places where the Public gather or Groups Gather.

Let us dissect No 1, please, feel free to comment or add any of your experiences or thoughts to this post and just in case you do not wish to put your own name to the post you do have the option of signing it as anonymous, or perhaps you would prefer to send an email regarding your thoughts and we can add them accordingly.

The online Intimidator generally only feels brave to type, what can be, cruel words from behind a screen (Individual intimidation). Yet if you come across these particular individuals on a one to one basis or on a street they would not have the confidence to either face you, talk to you or indeed walk at the same side of the street as you, in fact they would more than probably cross to the other side of the road, unless of course they are in their known Group (Group intimidation) or within a Group that they have encouraged to act in a similar manner. However, often the victim of such behaviour chooses to cross the road before the abuser! If the Victim could try hard to have the confidence to stay at their chosen side of the street but perhaps just walk closer to another pedestrian at the time of passing the abuser, even although by this time the abuser will more than probably have walked across the other side by this time any way

Children, teenagers, 'vulnerable' and  individuals who lack in confidence or who have perhaps had a knock in confidence for what ever reason sadly seem to be the main victims suffering from cyber bullying, there are many sites on line that can help with this so do not be frightened to type your specific questions in to Chief Inspector Google, here is one link that could be useful.

But what are the signs of cyber bullying – Your child or a child you know may show signs of

  • Being withdrawn
  • A change of his/her known behavoiur 
  • Being anxious 
  • Wishing to stay at home more or being around you more 
  • Signs of depression, teary, angry, subdued 
  • Aggression 
  • Sleeping issues 
  • Change in eating habits – eating more or less 
  • Bed wetting 
  • Wanting to miss school 
  • Showing signs of Truancy 
  • Nightmares 
  • Takes more risks 
  • Self Harms (in more areas than one)
  • Obsessive behaviour 
An interesting link on the impact of bullying for not just the victim but the bully themselves as well as bystanders and the families of both the victim and the bully can be found at this link within this link there are also additional links that can guide/advise parents towards the next step in solving issues such as these. 

When it comes to children or students it is imperative to try and resolve these issues earlier rather than later on in life, so, if you know of any child who is showing any of the above signs please advise their next of kin or someone within their family who you can trust to resolve this painstaking and extremely upsetting experience for any youngster to experience. After all, if an individual can learn to cope with issues at an earlier age then their confidence to cope with issues in their future life as an adult will be easier and much more encouraging for others.

So let's go to the next stage up from the playground, let's say one child falls out with another, the normal way to resolve this would be to find out what happened from both sides and a conclusion and apology is made to either party, or both, and suggestions made if such an event was to happen again. However, some parents feel their children do no wrong and only their story is correct. In this instance often there are signs of hostility, bad mouthing, intimidating comments made, but worse still these are often said in front of the child, which, at the end of the day, also plants the seed that they (the child) in the future, can behave like this, then all of a sudden, let's say the possessive parent has 4 children playing, then all of a sudden you have the potential of 4 more youngters growing in to being intimidating individuals or becoming participants of for example Hostile Aggressive Parenting - and all because one of their parents showed them that this type of behaviour is seen as acceptable in front of others! 

Another common reason, is snobbery sadly, some parents feel they are better than others, which is often, not the case. This is an issue that rises its' ugly head quite frequently, but which in many cases should be resolved or a half way house met and each individuals circumstance taken in to consideration. The other children and Adults who can go through a difficult time are those from one parent families, once again this is not the child, children's or the Adults fault and their situation should be given understanding and perhaps a little extra thought regarding what it must feel like for them all. 

Above all we need to remember we are all human, we all have a heart, we all have a history, sometimes sad, sometimes difficult, Some have too much, some have too little. More often than not it's those who have little who have the biggest heart and those who have too much who consider themselves on a different planet and who make things awkward for others or make others perhaps worse off than themselves, feel uncomfortable. We are all brought in to the world in the same way just as we go out the same way and in real terms we are alive for such a short period of time, wouldn't it just be wonderful if all could accept each other on an equal level without the 'intentional divisions created by greed'

Back on to intimidation - Perhaps you know someone who is being intimidated at work – if so here are another couple of handy links This link has a number of positive actions to take whether the bullying is going on in the workplace or elsewhere, worthwhile taking a look.

But the most important thing to know is how to handle such situations as they present themselves. Of course each and every situation is going to be slightly different but at the core there is the same feelings, although different, experienced by both the victim and the abuser, so what can you, as a child or even as an adult do to prevent this or indeed protect yourself and others from what can become repeated experiences from such individuals.

If you bite to an abusers bait then they will probably give you more hassle, but on the other hand, human behaviour can be similar to that of fishing, if you put some bait down for a fish, the fish will bite just as a human will. Granted no one knows what triggers an abuser, and it may well be something that you did not do, but there will be something rest assured, so, firstly if you sense something try not to irritate the issue any further. If something has triggered the abuser, the abuser will then start to feed off your reaction leading to further verbal abuse or indeed physical abuse just like a dry sponge soaks up water. In fact often these types of people, once something has triggered them, tend to stick together, live within a close proximity from others of this sort, which can sadly result in 'Group Bullying or Tribal' bullying/manipulation/bribery/intimidation/hostility towards youngsters and adults.

Group or Tribal bullying adds another dimension on to individuals who they have decided to attack. Their behaviour can prevent the victims from going to Public events, Group events, Social gatherings, Sports centres and similar venues. This is a tricky situation but again, as long as you are amongst friends or another Group of individuals do not feel threatened by the negative group as once again evidence can be experienced and seen by others. Perhaps mention, on the quiet, to a couple of trusting members of your Group that you are anxious and they will give you the extra support you need. If you find yourself going in to a shop and they are there, don't worry, again you have the shop staff to back you up especially if you are on your own.

However, with this Group also comes another Group, the Group who do not have the confidence to stand against the negative Group or indeed the confidence to support the sufferer of abuse, yes, you've got it, the type that would rather keep the peace. In a way this second Group almost gives confidence to the first Group with the added thought that they are right, when in fact they are wrong and sadly giving the negative Group additional feeling of 'Power'. You often find these negative types of Groups commenting on Facebook, or on Facebook Grouped pages, but more often than not the Administrators of the Groups stop negative attitude and comments, at least until the next time. So all in all it doesn't take much to see what these negative Groups are made of. Especially the 'behind the screen bravado' type  of Group

So now to some suggestions of how to handle such situations.

  1. Stay calm 
  2. Do not bite to their bait 
  3. Where possible you will need evidence, so practice putting your phone or ipod on record without being seen by the abuser or ask a friend to quietly do this but do not tell or show the abuser that you are doing this at any stage. 
  4. Give the abuser and yourself some space, the more in the face you go to them the more they will react. 
  5. Walk with friends, genuine friends, like minded folk, caring individuals 
  6. Walk quietly in to the nearest shop or public place and ask to use their phone to call someone, or say, can I stay in here for a minute because I am a bit anxious. 
  7. Warn others of trigger points 
  8. Stay calm and do not return until the problem is resolved or unless you have sufficient back up to support you. 
  9. Do not hesitate to call the Police, especially if you have evidence or ask someone else to phone the police, but having evidence from a previous experience would be advantageous or at least the names of a couple of witnesses. 
But above all, no matter how much you might have been threatened, at some stage, it is much better to tell someone, whether it be a member of your family, a friend, your Doctor or indeed the Police. But for the Police, to have evidence would give a much quicker response. 

Also remember, you are not on your own, thousands of people are attacked in this way, and stopping one abuser could save hundreds of others from experiencing what you have experienced. We need to try and prevent abusers from doing this to others and often it is only with the help of adults as well as the Law that can reduce such dreadful and damaging crimes happening.

It would be wonderful if we could change the abusers or predators towards being protectors . . . so perhaps, just perhaps we should take a little time to understand why this type of an individual is so aggressive or sensitive. There are ways of doing this but they can be fairly complex.

In the meantime some of the following reasons could be why they react so; 

  1. A controlling up bringing
  2. Too free a rein when young, or a childhood without boundaries
  3. Rebelliousness due to a lack of understanding of their needs when they were younger
  4. Feeling of lack of self worth
  5. Bullied themselves in earlier life
  6. Abusive parent(s)
  7. Lack of parent guidance perhaps due to both working.
  8. Alcohol/drug usage within the family circle
  9. Their personal hang up from an experience in their past
  10. Their lack of respect for what is acceptable and what is not
  11. Their lack of respect for listening to reason
  12. Their lack of experience or understanding of problem solving strategies from an early age 
But the most important thing is clear – they have a massive lack of respect for humans and that all living creatures have a right to share this planet/playpark/activities or whatever the venue with all.

Often once the younger bullies are re-directed it's generally found they have massive hearts and just need a little extra understanding and careful support. 

When it comes to older teenagers or adults, then this type of an abuser is a bit more difficult to re-direct purely because they have got away with controlling their life, parents, families, wife, children and even their work colleagues and employees for so long resulting in little or no respect for anyone. Or perhaps they have held a controlling position within their workplace. But the one way they can be and should be brought in to check is proof, yes proof that they have said and done what you said they had said and done. Which is where recording on the q.t. comes in and the Law can take over. Even worse still however are those who are in Power or in the limelight – such positions can also breed a nasty variety. Often victims from this type of an abuser are too frightened to say or do anything, when in their heart of hearts they know they should but perhaps due to threats, or bribery they are encouraged to keep quiet, at least until someone else is strong enough to take their case forward.

What ever the case, no one has to put up with abuse, whether it be verbal, psychological or indeed physical. So, find a friend or member of the family or even your local MSP or Doctor, speak to them and help prevent others from experiencing what you have experienced.

So, the final message in this little post is, 

Stay strong, stay calm and keep track of all evidence and prevent others from going through the same. 

Intimidating behaviour (WHITE)
Potential signs that someone is  a Victim of negative behaviour/(ORANGE)
In brief - How to resolve the issues (GREEN AND YELLOW)

Perhaps a little message for all who feel intimidated or find themselves in a situation they can not get away from, rather than reacting go for the softly softly approach, perhaps these bullet points might help; 

The other form of Intimidation, Bullying and Manipulation also often goes on within families where one of the partners is suffering from issues such as Vascular Dementia/Alzheimer's but this we will go in to in another post. This can have horrific consequences on the sufferer and, sadly in many cases goes on unseen, or behind closed doors leaving the victim feeling ; inadequate, useless, frightened, isolated even more than normal, as if he/she is walking on egg shells with the feeling he/she needs to hide in his/her room, only appearing when shouted on or called for.

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