my name is ……..¹, but I recently started to refer to myself as the ‘Bully magnet‘. I think it all started as a childhood misery, you know that stereotype who is a bit chubby, with mousy brown hair, wearing glasses, being quiet and totally introverted? Yup, that was me.
I am not saying I was a nerd and that I had no friends during my school years at all. I never actually felt like being bullied back then, however definitely wasn’t part of the Popular Girls League either, if you know what I mean. And that has left a mark on my self esteem I suppose.
Later on being a teenager I have gained confidence by loosing weight, changing my hair colour every second month (boy was I black first, then bright red the next week only to change to the lightest blonde later, and then back to black), and just generally becoming more and more aware of my values and knowing what I would want to achieve in life.
About ten years later, I managed to get myself into an abusive, highly toxic marriage, which knocked back all my self esteem and self confidence again, and took several years to recover. During those years, I realised one thing – my personality took a 180° turn. I started to let my hair down whilst I nearly always wore it tied back in a ponytail before, suddenly changed my favourite colour from blue, grey and all the pastel shades to bright red and orange, and so on and so on. I suppose this was my subconscious rebelling and screaming that it had enough. Also got more involved with psychology which helped to analyse and better understand my situation and find the ways to fight for myself and don’t let anyone intimidate me ever again.
Since then, I have been bullied a few times, though not in my private life but at my workplace (at the same company, just by different people every single time). Even though the feeling was somewhat familiar from my past experience, the situation was still new for me at first, with it taking place on the professional “playground” this time. I did realise the bullying was happening but did not know how to handle it, until I eventually lost my job because I did dare to go on sick leave due to work related stress…Ironically enough the same company hired me again a few months later, and I though I would be fine working for a different department this time. However bullying seems to be part of the company culture at this place, as it did not take too long for the second and then the third time for someone else to stab me in the back.
(¹The reason why I don’t share my name publicly at this stage is that I am still officially employed at this company therefore I am trying to be a bit cautious here.)
Having a personality where I always try to find something positive in even the worst events in life, and at least learn from it -just as well as from my mistakes – I decided to leverage the situation, learn a lot more about workplace bullying, the psychology of it, the legislations, tactics and techniques for both my own and other people’s benefit. As this is still a learning curve for me – and probably a never ending story – I will go ahead and share my knowledge and experience on this website as I progress with anybody interested in the topic, being either a direct victim of bullying or a friend/family member willing to help, as well as alternative solutions to prevent your own mental and physical health and well-being on the long run.
I believe that with consistent efforts, together we can achieve a change of culture at every workplace by showing zero tolerance for bullying. I would be happy if you joined me on this journey and shared your experience with me by leaving a comment below!