I used to ask that question all the time when I was a child. My mother was the nicest person you could ever meet. She was loveable, fun and a real good sport. We didn’t need to keep secrets from Mum because she was so non- judgmental of our behaviour. All of my friends came to her when they had problems.
So, I couldn’t help but wonder why she was so bullied by my father. The truth was, she was not just bullied, she was intimidated, controlled and physically abused. The way my mother was treated by my father was horrendous.
As I grew older I couldn’t help notice that she was intimidated and bullied by many other people as well. Landlords, debt collectors, neighbours, and sometimes friends all jumped onto the bullying bandwagon. My mother never retaliated and she didn’t speak up much for herself on any of these occasions.
I guess you could describe my mother as the ultimate victim. And it annoyed the hell out of me. I just couldn’t see why she wouldn’t speak up for herself or even on occasions protect herself.
My mother just seemed to put up with things, accepting the meagre crumbs that life dished out. She tolerated verbal abuse and intimidation from others, but particularly from authority figures or those she perceived to have more power than her, which was practically everyone.
And I noticed that this powerlessness seemed to follow her. She could change partners, jobs or houses, but still the bullying and intimidation appeared in one form or another.
Over the years I made a study of bullying. It was fascinating to me why some got bullied and others didn’t. I have a teacher friend who has been bullied in the workplace in her last three schools, and I have noticed that each time, the bully is worse than the one before. She is a very nice person, accommodating, friendly, helpful, much like my mother.
The one thing that ‘victims’ of bullying all seem to have in common is a low sense of personal power. They usually defer to others easily, they try to keep the peace, they doubt themselves often and they absolutely hate conflict.
In fact, the analogy of the chicken coup comes to mind when I think of the bully victim relationship. Why does the one chicken get picked on by another chicken? The same occurs in aquariums. The stronger ones attack the weaker ones.
But why do bullies attack nice people?
Because they are perceived as weaker and won’t fight back.
Because their personal power is limited.
Because nice people want to keep the peace.
Because, contrary to popular belief, bullies also have a low sense of self and somehow they feel a need to make themselves feel temporarily better by attacking a ‘weaker’ person.
So, what can a person who is being bullied do? Well, it depends on whether or not you want to seek compensation for the bullying, get revenge, have the bully vilified, curtail the immediate behaviour or stop being bullied altogether.
If you are interested in finding a way to stop being bullied then perhaps I can help. I can teach people who have been bullied to take back their personal power. Once personal power is restored, you become BullyProof. You become like all the other people in the world who never get bullied.
Standing in your own personal power is a wonderful place to be. You deserve it. There’s no greater feeling than knowing that other people can no longer intimidate you or make you feel powerless. And you can still be a nice person. Isn’t it time you reclaimed your own personal power from bullies? If you are interested in becoming BullyProof, find out more here.
If the idea of Becoming BullyProof resonates with you, book a 15 Minute Discovery Session to see if you are truly ready.