Growing up, there was always one kid (or maybe more) who stood out above the rest in grade school as the playground bully. For me, there was a girl in Kindergarten who was upset that the boy she liked instead liked me. So she sent her friend to drag me across the playground to her. Luckily, I was always intercepted on the way. I have no clue what would have happened if I would have ended up at her feet!
As I grew older, the bullies changed a bit. Instead of lurking on the playground, they proudly pronounced their judgments and opinions in the hallways between classes. They sat at the lunch table and mocked others’ clothes, grades, cars, and families. They eagerly confronted people in front of large groups to build their ego (and drain your confidence).
For some reason, being prepared by our parents for the peer pressure that accompanies middle and high school gives a false sense of expectations. We believe that after graduation, once we get out “into the real world” that those threats and uncomfortable situations where we can be bullied into submission suddenly fade away.
One very real source of stress for many women comes from feeling manipulated, cornered, powerless, and voiceless to those in their lives who are finding subtle and obvious ways to bully them into submission. No longer are we pressured to wear the same brand sneakers as our friends, to try habit forming substances, or to sneak out of the house to a forbidden party.
Instead, we are made to feel inadequate about our parenting decisions. Or we’re verbally judged in front of others about our relationships. Maybe someone publicly embarrasses us.
These bullies in our lives aren’t found on the playground. They’re at work. They’re at church. They’re our friends. They’re our neighbors. They’re our family. They’re where we go to unwind and relax after work. They can even be in our own homes.
This week at WomenManagingStress.com, we’re going to take a closer look the bullies who are lurking in our lives, and how you can make strides to overcome feeling manipulated, cornered, and powerless. Be sure to follow along and share your thoughts by posting below!
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