I am including bullying as an issue on its own as it can affect many of us at almost any age.  The effects of bullying can be enormous, affecting how we view ourselves, how we relate to people and our lives, and ultimately our mental health.

What is bullying?  There are all sorts of behavior that can be included under this umbrella.  Small children not liking another child and refusing to let them play with their toys could be an early example. If this is not dealt with it could lead to the school bully – where a child is singled out for not being part of the “cool gang” and is given the cold shoulder by peers and excluded from friendship, playing games or party invitations, or even worse these days, subjected to internet harassment.  

As older people, we can be bullied in the workplace, if our face no longer fits in the corporate organisation, often as a result of a new boss and change of ethos, impossible targets may be set and nothing we do is ever praised.  We may be given very difficult tasks or jobs to do and may not be given support necessary to carry them out.  Or in the workplace itself, other workers may decide they don’t like us and follow playground bullying tactics, covertly encouraging other colleagues to ostracise us.  As a result of any of these issues, and many other factors, the workplace can become very unpleasant and even become intolerable.

How does this make us feel and how do we cope with it?  The easiest route in some ways is to get out of the situation and start again.  In practice, this is easier to say than to do.  Let’s face it, moving jobs or changing schools is difficult and disruptive for everyone involved.  Perhaps we might be oversensitive to what others say because that is how we are, or because of earlier experiences.  Even in the most robust of individuals I have seen the cumulative effects of bullying breaking a person’s confidence or least diminish their sense of self-worth and how they see themselves in others’ eyes.  How lovely it would be to live in a society where people respected each other’s differences and celebrated them.  Many of us have been lucky enough to have brought up our children to be well loved and to have a healthy self-confidence.  However sadly, just because a child is loved does not necessarily mean they have either good self-confidence or strong self-esteem.  We are all born different and experience different lives even when the general environment may seem superficially similar.

As a personal injury lawyer, and as a homeopath I see many examples of this in the workplace, people being made thoroughly miserable, and being driven, by the time the case was passed onto me as a lawyer, into taking legal action as by then they felt they had no choice.  As a parent, and now in my consulting room, I see many examples of children as the victims of bullying.  My heart goes out to them.

So how can homeopathy work to help in this situation?  The consultation is the beginning.  This is an opportunity to explore what has happened and how you are feeling about it in a safe environment.  I am not there to judge you but to help you examine the issues, how they make you feel, and explore how you may be able to deal with them in the future.  Being able to talk in a safe environment is an essential starting point.  This applies to children and adults.  I am amazed at the number of children who come for a consultation with their parents and spontaneously start talking about a situation that is worrying them, even occasionally it is the first time they have given voice to their anxieties.    After the consultation, I will prescribe a remedy which may help you cope with the situation better and make you feel stronger and less sensitive.  You may even be prescribed remedies to take on a daily basis for a little while to help strengthen you in dealing with the situation.  Ultimately it is probable that only you, or if you are a child, you with the help of your parent, who is going to be able to resolve the situation.   How it is done is important to your and/or your child’s long term mental health.  Feeling some control is restored to you is a good first step in the healing process.  

Repair and rebuilding of self-confidence and self-esteem once the situation is resolved hopefully follows.  This is discussed in another post.