Nov 1, 2022 in Online Consultations

Dealing with Toxic people and Bullies

Bullies are normally insecure individuals who derive some form of gratification from inflicting pain on others

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Realistically, there is always a causal link to bullying behaviour in various situations. This article is focussing on bullies in different contexts. Generally, bullying behaviour is normally associated with the school environment and children. Nonetheless, it is very common among adults in a work environment, family environment like mother in law and daughter in law, or other similar institutions. 

Among adults, you find that the behaviour is triggered by an  inferiority complex of the bully towards the  targeted victim. 

In practice, it is vital to analyse the behaviour of the bully from a psychological/sociological perspective in order to identify the causal links. For example, the application of CBT (cognitive behavioural therapy which would be  conducted eclectically in the theoretical framework of psycho dynamics, cognitive  behavioural theory, systems theory and any other  relevant theory.  Consistency in recording  incidents that lead to the bullying behaviour; ( ABC charts: Antecedent - Behaviour - Consequences ) the behaviour itself in terms of how the bully imposes it on the victim and the consequences, particularly the emotional impact on the victim;  for example; In that state of mind they can be highly opinionated and economical with the truth in order to effectively carry out the destructive agenda, leading to backstabbing or spreading malicious gossip based on assumptions or opinions of limited knowledge to prove a ' delusional qualified knowledge', abusive language with hidden connotation that is made to come out like jokes, aggressiveness that could  either be physical or harsh tone of voice, in some instances, the bully would even try to make it look like they are giving constructive criticism to the victim although the condescending or patronising  attitude would be reflective of a desperate attempt to impose their power on the victim because the victim's level of success or competence could be a true reflection of their own insecurities , inadequacies or inferiorities. In a work environment, this often results in the victim presenting with anxiety or depression, leading into a sense of helplessness because they would be getting attacked in an organised or premeditated way that is meant to set other people against them because the usual pattern of a bully is to involve other people with the intention of ostracising the victim. That is when you find the victim dreading to go to work, leaving their job etc. 

Effective  therapy sessions for the victim must focus on assisting them to understand the bully s cognition or thinking and reasoning. In practice, you find that this has an empowering effect on the victim. It exposes the bully s vulnerabilities, fears  or weaknesses to a point where the victim would be able to understand why the bully behaves like that. Some bullies find it very difficult to accept that people who they feel are inferior to them in terms of socially constructed divisions, i.e gender inequalities, are capable of achieving better than them. A  clearer understanding of these hidden motives serve to empower the victim and enhance their resilience or coping mechanism. Furthermore, it enables them to rise above the situation and come up with effective solutions to deal with the situation.  
In conclusion, the client will have the ability to understand that their own kindness or understanding of why the bully behaves like that will not necessarily change the bully s behaviour but it will help them to move on and maybe at a later stage in the bully's life, some life experiences may change the bully to be a more reflective and better person. Bullying from adult to adult is common and toxic.  An informed therapeutic intervention can make a very big difference. 




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