Joy Ignites Success

Are you a Bully? Don’t be so quick to say no…

By - Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Bullying is the use of force, threat, or coercion to abuse, intimidate, or aggressively dominate others.  The behavior is often repeated and habitual. Behaviors used to assert such domination can include verbal harassment or threat. Wikipedia
Reading this, some of us may admit to occasionally bullying a loved one with a threat designed to intimidate. Think “If you don’t make that phone call or take out the trash, I’m going to…”
But that’s not what I’m referring to. It’s the relationship that you continue to pretend doesn’t matter, doesn’t exist or is not relevant. It’s the relationship with yourself. How often do you condemn, threaten or judge yourself? Yes, that’s bullying too.

When you tell yourself that you aren’t good enough, that you screwed up, or that you’re not capable, you are being a bully to yourself. Imagine someone else saying these things to you. How would you react? If you’re like most, you would feel small, belittled and unloved. Same things happen when those statements come from within.
It’s not your fault this is happening. You learned this behavior from someone else along the way. But it is in your power to correct it. How can stop bullying yourself? Here are five steps that can lead you to freedom from this destructive habit.
1.    Recognize that it is a habit and set an intention to be free of it.
2.    Begin to pay attention to when and how often it’s happening. When you do catch yourself being critical, just notice it. As best you can, don’t add any judgment to it.
3.    After a few days with step 2, allow yourself to get curious. “Where did this come from?” “What do I believe I get from it?” “What would happen if I dropped it?”
4.    Allow yourself to be with any feelings that might arise from these inquiries. Every habit we have arose at one time because it was the best we could do. Give yourself some approval for developing a habit that you thought would serve you (you didn’t know any better at the time).
5.    Do something different. Take action. For example, when the negative voice arises acknowledge it and say “thanks, but no thanks”. Or, put a rubber band on your wrist and snap away the negative chatter. Or write down everything you hear in your head. Any way you choose to deal with it is fine. As long as it’s different than what you were doing.
Let’s all make this world a nice place by starting with ourselves.
Please share your experience with us. 

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Melanie Smithson Institute is dedicated to enriching lives through embodied education and training; using movement, play and releasing to connect with innate wisdom and joy.  

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