Tuesday, April 03, 2012

Bullying: Part Eleven

Do not deprive one another, except perhaps by agreement for a limited time, that you may devote yourselves to prayer; but then come together again, so that satan may not tempt you because of your lack of self-control. (1 Corinthians 7:5 ESV)

Distance: Thou Shalt Not Separate?

The word of God does not speak against separating for a period time if it is absolutely necessary. I use 1 Corinthians 7:5 to illustrate this idea for myself (though I know this passage is speaking of the inmatcy between a husband and wife). Let's say the bully is someone close to you like a parent, family member, spouse, etc. or maybe even a boss at work. If there can be a mutual, amicable agreement to take a "time out" for a limited time to clear your head, assess the situation, pray, ask God for wisdom, study His word, etc; but then come together again, so satan may not tempt either of you in any way, shape, or form, the scriptures do NOT forbid that! God sees your heart. If your intentions are good and pure, I believe, He will bless you. If your motives are wicked and bad in nature your sin will seek you out and testify against you!

NO ONE CAN CONCEIVABLY GRASP WHAT YOU ARE GOING THROUGH! It is my opinion being bullied is very personal. No one processes, feels, or responds in the same way. Some can handle higher levels of stress than others. No one, but you, lives your particular bullying. Each case is different. Not even a fly on the wall could get a full picture. We are all wired uniquely. No one can accurately advise you so be careful, be WISE, and be safe! If it is a life or death circumstance get out of the way of danger! Go to a secure place (and distance), free from harm first! Then proceed from there. "Better safe than sorry!" Though the world says, "Innocent until proven guilty." Show cause later. Move out of the path of destruction immediately.

Manipulation Tactics and Personality Descriptions

After six years as a court appointed child advocate, I came across a man named Lundy Bancroft, as I continued to try to understand bullies. My burning question was not only, "Why do they do this?" but also, "What makes them tick?" How do they operate? I could find no logic in their seemingly erratic behavior. Mr. Bancroft's studies helped me with this. (He mainly focuses on men --- with the basic principle women are the weaker vessel --- but I feel bullies can also be women.)

In addition to pointing out general tactics bullies use (like how close they stand to an individual to get their desired reaction) he also describes personality types. For example, there is the [bully] who thinks he/she is ALWAYS right and everyone else is wrong. There's the one who talks calmly but the words are damaging leaving the recipient feeling icky afterward. There is the screamer, the kind who strikes terror into the heart of his/her target, one who has a sad story of how he/she has it so hard and everyone is against him/her, etc. Mr. Bancroft makes the argument that the models he describes in his books are people who are very controlling, cunning, calculating, disrespectful, master manipulators who feel they are entitled. Though a bully may play coy or place blame on others he/she knows what he/she is doing.

Pray For Wisdom

"Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened. Or which one of you, if his son asks him for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a serpent? If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him! (Matthew 7:7-11 ESV)

To be continued. Next, Being Bullied Makes the Heart Rate Go Up
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