Bullying, Spam and the Email You Wish You Never Sent

It was early evening, and we went out for a walk.  My son rode his bicycle on ahead and I followed with our dog.  As I rounded the corner, I saw that about 8 kids surrounded him. They were bigger than him.  He looked ruffled.

I shouted, what’s gong on?  The kids walked away avoiding my questioning looks. My son looked down, said nothing, it’s just nothing.

By the time I realized that it was far from nothing, the kids had run away.

It only took a few minutes.  They had asked him rude, uncomfortable questions.  They shoved his bike, knocked on his helmet (on his head) and threatened to really hurt him if he told anyone.

I was livid.  I tried to find where these cowards had run away to, but there was no sign of them.

It took me a long time to get the full story from him.  He was shy, a bit scared and seemed ashamed.

It was a rude awakening in a small town where this kind of thing just doesn’t happen.

There was a lot that shocked and surprised me.  That it had happened in the first place.  The viciousness, how fast it occurred and my own helplessness were all factors too.

But what scared me more than anything was how my son just didn’t want to tell me the story.  He didn’t want to admit what they had actually said, and how scared he really felt.

It’s made me think of so many places in life that we get scared to tell the real story.  We worry about the repercussions.  We feel vulnerable and end up protecting the very people that should be brought out in to the light.

In business and organizations it’s not that different either. There are people that bully their way into jobs and deals, with a veil of silence around them that protects them.

No one wants to feel the wrath of the bully, so we keep quiet.

In the on-line world there is bullying through the constant images and indoctrination that filters into our life as spam, incessant, disrespectful, disturbing.

And then there’s that mistaken email that we’ve all sent, at least once and sometimes more often, that was a moment of reaction; thoughtless, judgmental and destructive.

The email that got away, the one we should never have sent; the one that made us the bully.

Silence can be the biggest enemy.

Telling your real, authentic story, the antidote.

You see, when we show up for real, tell the story that is in our hearts and minds, the bully cannot survive. Bullying thrives on silence.  Stories are always OUT LOUD.  Tell your story – transform your silence into one less bully.

Live gently, love out loud and tell your story.

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7 comments on “Bullying, Spam and the Email You Wish You Never Sent

  1. Thanks for sharing this. I am a b schooler. 🙂 I found you because of writing my about page story . I have food allergies and I definitely feel like this at times like when a waiter says they are sorry. I didnt pay to have someone tell me that at dinner or when telling someone you just met that its serious business and I eat like this and you know I like how i eat . We eat whole food because of this thing I have and my husband has his 6 pack from when we first started dating and he feels better than ever. Americans are so stuck in how we eat. There is a big world out there in food that offers flavors and textures that are amazing.. I am combining these 2 things plus the environment and how its linked into food and our health. I think between you and marie I can do this when I do my website. Articles like this make a difference..

    • thanks Connie, good luck with your about page – remember keep the details in the story to make it real…and check in if you have any questions! best wishes

  2. I had a business partner who verbally bullied me. I didn’t put a name to that person’s actions until many months later when I was out of the partnership and sought the help of both a therapist and a spiritual director to heal. I had never been treated the way s/he treated me. All ll I knew was that s/he wasn’t healthy, s/ he was overusing his/her strengths, likely because s/he was afraid of failing, and I was overusing my strengths to keep my head above water and continue the work we were committed to. I am a grown, professional woman who didn’t recognize that I was being bullied! I now know what bullying is. I don’t think my business partner would have called it bullying – at least not in the moment when his/her words came flying at me. That was NOT OK!! What I learned from this is that for some people (even children), a fear of not being good enough, smart enough, talented enough, etc. comes out in verbal and/ or physical pounding. (and there are numerous other reasons, of course) We have to teach our children what bullying looks and sounds like and that it needs to be reported so that someone can help. If we don’t, the bullying will continue.

    • thanks for sharing your story Kathie…brave…bullying in the workplace is so common and so incredibly painful and destructive. Well done for telling your story…the world is a better place for the telling…best wishes,Lisa

  3. Bullying can affect everyone—those who are bullied, those who bully, and those who witness bullying. Bullying is linked to many negative outcomes including impacts on mental health, substance use, and suicide. It is important to talk to kids to determine whether bullying—or something else—is a concern. So I suggest a safety application that your child could use if he/she is in trouble. It really helps me a lot, I hope that this could help you too. http://safekidzone.com/#!/page_home

  4. Live gently!
    That’s so good, Lisa.
    Thank you for all you have shared.
    Now, my gift to you is ChoirChoirChoir singing Hallelujah with Rufus Wainwright leading. Yesterday Montreal, Canada, commemorated Leonard Cohen’s passing. So go to YouTube and enjoy this.
    It’s wonderful.
    Morgonn Brondgist

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