Did you know that cyber bullying is not just a kid problem? -Yes – Adults are bullied too and cyber bullying negatively affects them as well.
You may not hear a lot about adult bullying, but it is a problem. Generally speaking, you would think that bullies would disappear after high school, but sadly some people never grow out of being a great big jerk. They may not steal your lunch money or hide your books, but bullies can still harass you, put you down and undermine what you do. Most of us are bound to encounter adult bullies at certain times in our lives. They come in all forms. They can be an intimidating boss or colleague, a controlling romantic partner, an unruly neighbor, a shaming social acquaintance or other types of abusive relationships.
For one innocent mother, minding her own business a simple act turned her into a target for bullying. One fateful day, Erin Oprea was being a supportive mom while watching her son at soccer practice. It takes a loving and patient mother to wait more than an hour at a male dominated game. To keep herself occupied and to get her daily steps in, she decided to do some exercises, as well. She stayed several yards away from the field on the concrete to jump rope and watch her son at the same time.
Mother and son were both enjoying this hilarious moment. Why not. Who says moms shouldn’t have fun. Erin also says jumping rope keeps her from overly cheering for her son, as any eager parent would, during the game. It seemed like a win: she wasn’t in the way and was getting a workout during the two-hour-long practice. Little did she know that someone was watching her, not out of genuine interest, but to wreck havoc.
Later, Erin was so stunned to see that another parent, a dad, at that, had taken a photo of her without permission. Can you imagine this level of disrespect! He did not only stop at taking the photo, but he also went ahead and posted it on social media with the motive of bringing her to shame. Just like most seasoned bullies would do, he provocatively wrote;
“Would it be wrong of me to tell her that every dad at the soccer field thinks her standing out front with her jump rope for two hours only screams she wants attention?”
Makes you wonder whether he consulted with other dad’s. It is amazing how one person’s opinion can be perceived to be everyone’s idea.
To make it even more damaging, he wrote,
“And I can only imagine what the soccer moms are thinking,”
How is staying far away from anyone and minding your own business an attention-seeking practice? Erin was disheartened to see the post. She believes it’s people like this who discourage women from working out and taking their fitness seriously.
However, she decided she would not let this man get away with his bad behavior. Erin knew that to handle adult bullies is truly an art of communication. Her priority was to protect herself.
Wait and see what she did. Erin also went ahead to post on Facebook. She re-posted the man’s photo with her own caption: “Don’t let others bully you!” Smart girl! Effective and assertive communication skill was her approach.
She also took it to another level when she appeared on “The Doctors” to talk about her experience. Luckily, Erin happens to be Carrie Underwood’s personal trainer. How cool! When Carrie heard about how her friend was bullied on social media, she immediately took to Instagram to give this man some piece of advice She wrote on Instagram,
“Way to go, Erin! Use someone else’s negativity to help others. That man obviously has a big problem… with himself. I only hope he can learn to like himself someday so he can be an adult and stop bullying others for bettering themselves!”
It’s so sad that cyber bullying still exists. Do not cry yourself to sleep when faced with the same situation as Erin, cyber bullying is a crime and it is punishable. If you ever become a victim of cyber bullying, do not delete the evidence, save all comments, posts and the profile of the person bullying you. Report the bully or person harassing you to the social media service provider, for example, Facebook or Twitter. They will immediately block or remove that person’s account. Do not respond to the bully’s post or comments unless you are kindly asking them to stop as this will worsen the situation.