You’d be surprised how many people are actually bullied in relationships–even as adults. The bullying could occur in an adult child-parent relationship, sibling relationship, friendship, dating relationship, or marital relationship. However it occurs, many times people don’t even realize what’s going on because WE’RE ADULTS and who thinks about adults being bullied?
So, before I go further, I want you to know that you are a fabulous creation of God. God treats you well and it is His intention that you be treated well by others. You are too important; you come with your own purpose, your own gifts and talents—the devil sends many to stifle what God has given you, and he comes disguised, oftentimes cloaked in the shadows behind someone you love.
I’m writing this from a personal point of view. And I took myself, by the grace of God, through the steps of dealing with being bullied, without even knowing it! See, I had been bullied, pressured, into giving up things that spoke to my purpose, that spoke to me as a woman, that spoke to me as a black woman. I was bullied into giving up much of my self-expression and freedom to just be me. And why? Why did I give up so much? Because unconsciously, I had the need to please, the need to prove myself, the need to prove that I was good and worthy. I didn’t realize that I ALREADY was good and worthy, because my acceptance of Jesus Christ and his sacrifice for me made me that way. I didn’t realize that He was the only one I needed to please and if He was pleased with me, then anyone truly about God would also be pleased with me.
And why was I bullied? Why was I victimized in this way?
Because the other person was extremely insecure and had the need to be in control of me and most things that I did.
This person artfully played mind games and emotional games filled with abuse and neglect–I never saw it coming. But because God heard my prayers, I came to the realization of what was going on, and hurt as it did, I knew what I had to do to deal with this bully. And this is what you can do, too.
1. First, sever the relationship, if possible. If you can’t sever the relationship completely, then love them from a distance. Once I caught on to what was going on, I loved from a distance at first, but eventually I had to sever the relationship. I decided I didn’t want to subject any more minutes of my ONE life to being belittled and manipulated. (And this includes tying up all loose ends so you can be done with them completely.)
2. Secondly, now that you have severed the relationship, avoid them completely. Because they most likely feed on the drama and chaos they caused you, they will seek you out to engage you in situations where they can bully (verbally, mentally, or emotionally abuse and/or intimidate) you again. They may pop up on you one day, call you, text you, email you, or try to message you through social media. Limit their access to you. Block, block, block!
3. Next, if you come in contact with the bully, stand up for yourself if there is a confrontation. If not, then just ignore them; don’t acknowledge them. Limit the time you are around them. Keep it short and sweet and keep it moving.
4. Finally, make sure that whatever you do, you have a great support system. I’m blessed to have an excellent support system. I haven’t told EVERYONE about what I endured, but I have told a small handful of people that I trust and who love me dearly about what I was going through and they made me feel that I wasn’t alone. I counted on them for mental, emotional, and spiritual support, and I don’t think I would have made it through had it not been for their strength and their optimism.
So, this is how you deal with relational bullies. This is not for their benefit, this is for YOURS. This is how you honor yourself and make it through the difficult times. This is how you treat them in order to allow yourself the freedom to be yourself and to move and flow in your purpose and in your life in whichever way God directs you. If this applies to you, decide to free yourself today. You deserve so much more and God has so much more in store for you.
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