Bullying doesn’t stop once we leave school. Up to 1 in 3 people reported being bullied at work in the UK a couple of years ago. Women are more likely to be affected than men and the age that bullying peaks is amongst 40 – 59 year-olds. We can see echoes of this in the way that people treat each other online.
When we think of online bullying we think immediately about tragedies involving teenagers but it affects adults just as much as it does children. In some ways the bullying faced by adults online can be more malicious and sinister as people often find themselves targeted because of a political ideology or their race. A poll conducted by YouGov in April found that nearly 25% of Brits have been targeted online.
The advice given to people experiencing bullying is often unhelpful. Being told to ignore it, avoid the bully or to “stand up for yourself” can make someone who is being targeted by bullies feel as though the situation is somehow something they are responsible for. When you recognise that you or someone else is being bullied it is important to take action quickly. Left unchecked, the effects of bullying can last a lifetime.
The National Council for Hypnotherapy (NCH) says that building self-confidence can help ameliorate some of the effects of bullying. Mind UK, the mental health charity writes that bullying can cause low self-esteem which leads to a person having negative and overly critical beliefs about themselves and their worth as a person.
Unfortunately, removing ourselves from places where we might be bullied is not a realistic option. We can’t just stop going to school, work or accessing the internet. By building a healthy self-esteem we can empower people to stand up for themselves and to be able to accurately assess the truth in the hurtful comments.
All members of the National Council for Hypnotherapy – of which there are almost 2,000 across the UK – can help someone who has experienced bullying understand that the bullying is not their fault and help them identify thought patterns and beliefs which may have been created as a result of the bullying, helping them to think in more helpful ways.
If you’ve been impacted by bullying, use the NCH directory, to find a qualified and insured therapist near you.