What are bullies? A bully according to Merriam-Webster Dictionary “a blustering, browbeating person; especially:  one who is habitually cruel, insulting, or threatening to others who are weaker, smaller, or in some way vulnerable”  another version “use superior strength or influence to intimidate (someone), typically to force him or her to do what one wants.” These are the people who whisper behind your back telling others private things about you that should be yours to share, mock you, tease you in a hurtful way and are just plain “meanies”. Most likely we’ve all experienced bullies in our childhood, but guess what; it happens as an adult too.
So how do you handle it? The answer is simple, but not easy. Remember, if you’re an ethical individual your reputation can stand on its own merit. Also, think about who is bullying you. It doesn’t matter if they are a popular person, favored in your bosses eyes (or your parents), a public figure, the President of the United States or business. It may be time for you to take a closer look at these individuals or groups and see if you want to associate with them at all. Don’t be afraid to put on your self-respecting business bonnet and make changes that are healthy for you and your life. Shedding some unwanted and unneeded luggage is always a good thing.
Look at the groups you’re a part of and really ask yourself;
“Are these people really lifting me up as a person?”
“Are they really interested in my personal growth?”
Or…it is more of a social club, carrying with it all the gossip, back-biting, and need for greed. 
Only you can make that distinction for yourself. Choose what will serve and nurture you.  
Change can be difficult and fearful, but it is often necessary for growth to happen. Be sure that whatever changes you make will benefit you as a person first. If you’re healthy, then your life and friendships will thrive with you. Also, don’t be afraid to walk away from someone or something that appears to “have power or influence.” The only power they have is what you give them. You’ve come this far on your own, forging your own path. You can do it again.
If you find yourself struggling with letting go of these groups or individuals feel free to reach out to us for some help. In the meantime try these 3 techniques:
1. Get some paper and create two columns.  Column 1 write down the things the bullies are saying about you and column 2 write down the opposite of what the bullies are saying about you.  
For example:

I’m uglyI’m beautiful/handsome
Go back to the country you came fromI am a human who has rights and I seek freedom from those who oppress me
LBGTQI should be medically treated for their illnessThere is nothing wrong with me, I am a beautiful gift to this world and I give love and compassion to all living things.
Your body look terribleMy body rocks!
You’re going to be alone forever, nobody will ever love youI don’t need another person to complete me…I am a strong, loving, amazing person and if the universe places the right person in my life who wants to be with me then great…if not I have all I need!  Besides I have (or will have) an amazing group of people who love me for who I am!

2. Take a look at the groups you belong to in social media, your free time, your job, your social life…are their bullies?  Remove yourself and find something that is uplifting to you and lives the same ideals you do.  Better yet find a positive group who shares love and compassion that may challenge you.
3. Instead of sitting at home or working too many hours to hide from the outside, find a group that is living the ideals of love, compassion and serves the community.  Get involved!!!  We like to volunteer our time at a food bank and during the summer months help out at a local community garden that provides the produce to immigrants looking for a fresh start.  Find something that calls to you and makes you feel like you’re giving back!
Remember….Don’t give them the power or permission…you are in control of your reaction to bullies…Sometimes it will hurt, but you can and do have the power to shake it off and move on!

September 17, 2017
Written by Soren & Sabina Thoreau
Life Guide & Mentor – Living life with love and compassion

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