How to Recognise Bullying in the Workplace

Sadly, bullying in the workplace is more common than you think. I hope that what I’m about to say will help someone out there who’s too afraid to speak up; to recognise what they are experiencing and remembering that it’s okay to speak to someone about it.

There comes a point where being challenged becomes something else. It tests your mental health and brings out a worry in you that you’ve never had before. You keep telling yourself it’s because you’re still new, and it will get better.

Maybe one day, the atmosphere in 1-1s and in the office will be the same.

You’ve got to remember that just because they’ve shown a nice gesture, doesn’t mean to say that they aren’t capable of bullying someone. Bullying isn’t just actions, it also words.

Being bullied before, you would think I would see the signs. I just thought that this is what real life was like. You know, starting something new, settling in to a new environment, you’re bound to feel nervous. But nerves turn into fear.

Just like I said in that previous post, I wanted to succeed and feel accomplished. But should you be put down each time you try? No you definitely shouldn’t.

For 6 months I tried and tried, to only get knocked back down again. There was some smiles on some days, but a very small amount. The last two months turned into silence where I felt drained and exhausted from feeling like I couldn’t do things right or I was constantly being patronised.

Don’t let the bullying make you think you’re weak

Such a deceitful two-faced environment. I didn’t want to become one of them. I didn’t want to be branded as part of that ‘team’. Because in actual fact it wasn’t a team. Not a full one anyway. It felt more like we were the troops, or even better, the slaves.

The amount of times I heard, “Oh Natasha will do that.” too many times without knowing how, what, why, when, where… enough was enough.

My blood pressure was sky-high, and my team leader was made fully aware. Not with the exact cause but surely it was something for them to bear in mind when I mentioned it. One day I needed an emergency dental appointment and I was being asked on the phone how I was going to make up for not being in work before I even got an appointment. So I used the remainder of my toil that was left.

My doctor warned me to take things easy. And I knew taking a couple of days of work wouldn’t be an option because the thought of the amount of work I’d have to catch up on terrified me. As a result of the worrying, my health was being damaged physically and emotionally. My migraines increased more than ever and felt like my head was going to explode. My evenings and weekends, just weren’t for ‘me’ time. It was more time for my mind to work overdrive.

There came the day where frustration grew to silence and silence turned into tears. I have never felt so low before when I had worked so hard. I had never felt so under-appreciated. And I wasn’t the only one.

Have you spoken to someone about bullying?

It was in that moment that somebody told me ‘you need to speak to someone’. Some people think the comments you make just go away once you get home but they don’t. I wasn’t able to switch off. And that’s so damaging in more ways than you can imagine.

It tests your patience with everything including the important things like relationships, getting to sleep at night, eating properly, and even the simple things like putting on that brave smile. The smile just didn’t cut it for me anymore. I wasn’t my happy usual self. I was someone who was getting frustrated at everything. It was then when I realised how important my health was in this experience.

Don’t let them brainwash you

When you finally decide to be strong and honest, don’t let them fool you. When they ask, “Oh are you just saying this because ___ said it.” No. You see, that’s where I and you are completely different. Not because of your status, or the money you earn, or your lifestyle. I’m true to myself and I am who I am.

I don’t bring up something so hurtful just to copy somebody else. The thing that’s worse is that I’m pretty sure you see what’s happening right in front of your eyes but you’re constantly trying to cover it up.

The amount of times I thought there was nice meaningful conversation, was it all just sarcasm? Like the countless amount of times (including my interview and my CV) with mentions of working at Manchester United but you never seemed to remember each and every time you would tell us you had a meeting there or some sort of thing related to work.

What’s funny is, I mentioned before and being expected to do something without knowing how so I would obviously ask. But then, there were times where I was experienced in certain areas, more than you in fact and you made me feel so little.

You can’t treat someone differently because they’re younger thank you, dress differently to you, have different interests etc. If you’re someone’s manager, then manage them. Make it a two-way street where you listen to each other and actually put methods into place. Value your employees. Don’t push all of the jobs onto one person just because you think it is okay or they need a push.

A new chapter

Since deciding that it was ‘time to start a new chapter’ it’s taken its time but it was the best thing I’ve ever done after realising how much I had learnt.

I look back and I don’t seem professionalism nor do I see a ‘team’ or rewarding workplace.

I saw fear. People who were scared to speak up. People who felt like they had to be someone else.

I stood up for myself and said exactly how I felt, how I was made to feel. My role was soon coming to an end due to maternity cover and I knew that I needed the time to start a new adventure, to discover what’s really out there for me. Many judged my decision negatively. But if you even knew the half of it, you would have made an escape so much sooner than I did.

That’s it from me. No amount of words can explain how good it feels to be in the place I am today. I valued even though I am still a new member of the team. People actually get to know things about me and take interest in my work and achievements outside of work… not for anyone’s benefit but just because it’s nice.

I am also part of a much stronger work ethic where I look forward to continuing to grow and developing in everything that I do. I’m not being pushed, I’m being respected and recognised for my capabilities.

The message of the story is: bullying should not be ignored in any way whatsoever. No matter where you are or who you are, it’ll never be right.

My Thoughts About 13 Reasons Why

After hearing so many good things over Twitter about 13 Reasons Why, I decided to give it a watch. Little did I know that I would  finish the whole season by 3.00am this morning!

Wow this is the most amazing, thought-provoking series I’ve watched so far on Netflix.

If you think you’re about to watch a typical teenage/adult series about relationships and school life, you’re wrong. There’s so much more to it underlying that’s really important for people to see. There’s a lot that can be going on in someone’s life that others might not be aware of. Or even still, they might be aware but either don’t want to or sadly don’t have the courage to help.

Sometimes, the signs of the pain from someone will always be there but people either fail to recognise them or the sufferer will push away the ones they love the most. Others are left questioning if they ever did enough.

I don’t want to go into the storyline too much. You’ll be captivated from the first moment you begin to watch the drama. What I will tell you is that, there’s a young woman named Hannah, played by Katherine Longford who tells us her journey through 13 reasons why she wants to kill herself.

Before you think, ah that’s not my thing… give it a watch and you might be surprised at how moving and engaging the series really is.

The way the story is told through Hannah and Clay’s (Hannah’s classmate, portrayed by Dylan Minnette) dual narrative is truly heart-wrenching. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t cry. Each and every little part of the episodes hold a meaning, which convey several messages to the audience.

I’d like to share what I learnt from 13 Reasons Why.

People hurt differently

There could be ten people in a room who have all been hurt, but it can affect each and every one of them differently. Some people might shrug it off. Others may be damaged mentally.Some will be disturbed when it comes to doing the physical things. But there’s one clear message that, everyone has more going on that what meets the eye. You don’t know what happens behind closed doors. Some people are more sensitive than others, and it’s what we do about it when we see these people hurt that might change a decision they have.

Bullying still exists

You would think that in this modern world we live in, bullying wouldn’t even cross peoples’ minds anymore. But sadly it does. It happens in both child’s and adult’s lives in today’s society. It’s sickening to see the consequences it has on victims. To belittle someone, to hurt them physically and/or emotionally is unacceptable. It’s so disheartening when words and actions play a such a negative part of a young person’s life. Or anyone for that matter.

Acceptance

Should you accept that somebody raped you with good reason? No, certainly not. However, some victims are made to feel as though it was their fault – ‘giving the signs’, not screaming no, being drunk etc. What right does that give any person to abuse the nature of another by hurting them and doing something you know they aren’t ‘asking for’.

Should you change who you are to be in with the crowd? Again, no, definitely not. However, teenage life definitely involves this motion today just as it did in the past and it may well do so in the future. We are all human and I don’t think it takes too much effort to be kind to someone no matter how they look. You don’t know what they’ve been through.

13 Reasons Why give their representations

Hannah Baker accepts all the bad decisions that she had made and it’s heart-breaking to see what she goes through. She felt neglected at times, lonely, known for a false and misinterpreted reputation. She was a young woman who simply wanted to live a happy life and feel loved.

Sadly, not everyone gets this feeling. And I think Katherine Langford deserves so much credit, alongside Dylan Minnette for how they portray their roles so real life-like.

Many of the girls in the series love that they are on the ‘best’ part of the best and worst list. However Hannah is different. She sees how belittling it is and how it objectifies young women like herself. People take advantage of seeing her on the list. And they think they can insult her verbally and physically.

What do you think?

Could you accept those 13 reasons as to why Hannah Baker killed herself?

All About Bullies, Belittle, and Bother

Bullying is cruel. I am not saying this for the simple fact that it is. I have been bullied therefore, I have experienced the belittling world that it can be. Cyber bullying, verbal bullying or physical, they all count. People will not always admit that they are a bully and that is just more embarrassing for them. Under no circumstances should anyone feel that they have the right to bully another human being. Why would you wish to lower yourself that much?

You all share laughs and fun memories together. This is how it all starts out, right? Unfortunately, it does not always last. This is what I have learnt.

I was a 12-year-old girl, in my second year of high school. I attended high school in order to work hard to pass my GCSEs. It was great to meet the friends that came along the way. Although, the most important thing was to stay motivated and driven to my studies. I’ll admit, there were times where I wish I did not have such a big pile of homework or the day could have gone quicker. However, the one thing I hated the most was loneliness.

Bullying happening because you’re no longer ‘part of the group’

Have you ever felt so ‘part of the group’ and then suddenly so isolated? Maybe you haven’t. I have. You feel unreachable like some people do not even acknowledge your existence. You sit in class and wonder who is going to pick you to be a member in their group work. The other girls (the bullies) are in with the popular crowd now so, you stand no chance with them. There are fewer people left and you begin to feel anxious. I was not hated, let me make this clear.

I just did not have big friendships with every single member or each class I had to attend. Everyone knew who the ‘mean girls’ were from the ‘loners’. I always seen myself as being somewhere in between. But, it was completely different when it came to moments where I could not find my friend in class. Amongst this, there’s Physical Education. We all have to participate in order to be active. That’s the whole point. I rather enjoyed the physical activities that were available at my high school – both indoor and outdoor.

Though, mostly, the sports day and rounders were more thrilling for me. I never wanted to wear the little green shorts that were part of our PE uniform. I much preferred the joggers. They kept me warm and I simply did not want to show my legs off. You know the feeling, the other girls look so much prettier. Maybe it was make-up. Maybe it was my false perception from worry. But one thing was for sure, I was not going to let this stand in my way.

The uncomfortable feeling that being bullied gives you

I participated in all of the activities. I began to put aside their thoughts about me, no matter how negative and spiteful they were. I took a positive approach and that was to show them that it did not matter what they said or did to me anymore. Before now, my days would consist of walking round the school yard and they would make an appearance. Whenever my friends were in class, having extra support or in school this particular day, they would target me. Never alone though. They only had the confidence to target me as a three, never on their own.

Pretty cowardly, don’t you think? Three is a crowd after all and can be quite intimidating to one singular person. Especially when this person was as vulnerable and weak as I was.

I think you’re the weak ones

I would share my thoughts with my friends, I was a happy person. However, I did not always discuss to my friends, the opportunities in which these girls had to try to ruin my high school experience. In my eyes, I just had to get focus on everything but them. And I began to.

No longer did their comments online or face-to-face bother me. Cyber bullying, verbal and physical bullying can destroy people’s confidence. I was not allowing this to be the case for me. Nor was I letting the word ‘erw’ be threw into my face. It is a cruel thing. Moreover, the people who are bullying you are either jealous or see themselves as superior to you – for what reasons exactly? I will never see myself as lower as anyone. We were all in the same year, of the same school. It would have been a lot nicer if they didn’t attempt to upset me, but these experiences help us become a stronger person, just like me.

You never forget what it’s like no matter how old you are

One thing that I will also mention is that, one of the girls did apologise to me. I am thankful for her apology. I might never forget what they did to me but I now see that she does not follow the ring leader of the group. Since later years of high school, she parted from that group as they were welcomed into the popular crowd. I am glad she did because she never had the evil nature in her. She stayed true to herself and we still keep in contact to this day.

Now, when I look back, seeing them throw things at me walking from class to class and shouting things, was just pathetic. Were they really so happy with their new friendship groups if they thrived so much from lowering other people’s self-esteem? They would walk right past me in the street today if I passed by. So, their actions did not really serve a purpose did they? I have been influenced to be a mentor to young children using my own educational and negative experiences. Whereas, they probably associate themselves with the same group of friends living the same materialistic lifestyle.

I would rather have a small amount of friends who are true to me, rather than fake ones who are trying to be somebody who they are not.