Those of you who frequently read this blog will know we post about a number of different things relating to our Hundred Acre world, which naturally include topics around safety and health. We also post personal pieces too, and we felt it was time to write a personal piece about a topic that’s been part of our world again recently; bullying.
Bullying is a topic we feel very strongly about as we know and understand the impact it can have on every aspect of your life. While we don’t want to dwell on the negatives, we know we’re not alone and hope this helps people understand that they don’t have to suffer the consequences in silence and together, we can work to eliminate occupational bullying.
Bullying doesn’t just happen to children and young people in school, at college or in clubs; it happens in workplaces and families across the world. It doesn’t come in any specific form, though from what we can tell, it happens far too frequently. If you’re repeatedly ignored or excluded, overlooked or blocked for roles and opportunities, intimidated or picked on whether in private or in front of others, given impossible deadlines, criticised, shouted at or demeaned, the chances are it’s happening to you.
It’s a topic that’s part of the IOSH Working and Managing Safely course and one we take time, whenever we train, to let people talk about. When we first started delivering the courses, it was a topic Bridget Gilmour, Hundred Acre’s founder and director, struggled to read. Discussing the reality of what goes on and the impact it can have on life and work brought back painful memories for Bridget, and sometimes she presented it while she was being bullied.
A few months ago, while Bridget delivered the course, she realised that actions listed were happening to her again. She shared the lightbulb moment with the delegates and the conversation became very different. A few days later, one of the delegates made contact with us though our website. They thanked us for sharing our situation and explained their own personal story and how they were struggling. They were in the process of making significant changes to their whole life and world following their own tough time. Being able to support them was humbling for Bridget, and of course, very emotional. Not everyone has the strength to reach out, or to change their whole work and life, though.
Sadly the bullies still continue, and while Bridget currently has her own challenges, this time around it’s very different, thanks to a huge amount of support and implementing personal coping strategies. We are fully aware that bullying is not a reflection of the person it happens to; instead it reflects the person who commits the behaviour. It’s been a taboo topic for so long, and even if it is talked about, it’s often buried or swept under the table.
That’s why we’re talking about it. We’ve realised that the more we speak about it the more people join us in the conversation. By supporting each other, we are controlling our own worlds.
This weekend, Bridget is attending Mel Wells’ Self Love Summit. The summit will bring hundreds of women together from all over the world to discuss a whole host of topics that have traditionally been difficult to speak about. It’s the first event of its kind for women wanting to tap into their greatest potential.
Bridget’s been following Mel Wells’ adventures for a while now and can’t wait to experience her event: “I love the fact it’s about empowering women to be the most unapologetic, untamed versions of ourselves. We’re told we’ll leave feeling inspired, connected, confident, free and loved, ready to free ourselves from our limiting beliefs. It’s a big statement, though I have very high hopes for the day.”
Bridget knows she’s not alone in trying to manage the gremlins life has left behind and silencing the inner voices that sometimes overwhelm us and play tricks on our minds. As Mel Wells tells us: “Self love isn’t a luxury – it’s an absolute necessity if we want a beautiful world for future generations to live in. Together we can change the world, but we must start by loving ourselves.”
Whatever the situation you’re trying to manage, whether it’s related to bullying or not, it makes a difference when you come at it from a place of self love. Just remember, nothing happens overnight and support from friends, family and colleagues makes all the difference.
There are some amazing resources available if you want to speak to someone, like the Samaritans and mental health charity, Mind. For those of you who like to be inspired through social media, we suggest following some of our favourite self love influencers on Instagram, like @iammelwells, @bodyposipanda and @superlativelylj, who have all written amazing books too.
We’d love to hear from you if this blog post has inspired you to challenge bullying in your workplace. We’re always happy to provide support and advice in this, and any other area, of occupational health and safety. Please feel free to call us on +44 (0)1933 201103 or send us a message through our contact page. We look forward to hearing from you and helping you resolves potential issues within your place of work.
Hundred Acre – everyone’s safe place