Saturday, August 15, 2009

Coping With Emotional Harassment

Physical bullying is physical assault and leaves physical marks, while, emotional bullying leaves invisible psychological wounds. Emotional abuse comes in the form of constant blunt, harsh, and destructive criticism. It is a direct attack to one’s self-esteem. Whether the criticism is true or not, it still leaves a deep-rooted mark in one’s emotion. It is so easy to react with resentment and anger, but in doing so, makes someone more vulnerable to the critic. Emotional wound really hurts, perhaps more hurting than physical wound. If you receive unfair emotional bullying, try to be calm, be cool and try to take it positively. This is never easy, but it can be done. The wound created will heal faster.

Remember, “ang isang puno ay binabato dahil hitik ito sa bunga” - an abundant fruit bearing tree is targeted with stones (this is the best translation I can make without losing the meaning of the saying). The greatest MAN who lived on this earth was bitterly criticized and then crucified because of HIS convictions and beliefs. When you are emotionally harassed, examine the qualifications of your critic. Is he sincere and trustworthy? If so, examine his accusations and try not to dismiss them readily. On the other hand, has he the reason to be envious and malicious? Then you can ignore them. Silence with dignity is often the best thing to do against insult. Of course there are times when the criticism is false and damaging, you have to reply to it. If you are on the verge to do this type of emotional bullying yourself due to anger, stay cool for a moment, wait until your anger subsides, then act positively, state the facts and not to retaliate. Wait for the right moment to act. It is but normal to blurt out harsh, damaging words in retaliation, but after a while, when we really deeply think about what we said, we feel sorry. I have fallen in this pitfall many times and often, I felt sorry; doing the above often lead to positive results.

Critics who constantly find faults from others are often warped and unhappy people. They try to cover up their own inadequacies by pointing out failings of others and hang on to false substance. When you face this hostility in another person, try to be behind this anger, try to understand what causes it, and try to remove the cause of this anger. Again, this is not easy but it can be done.

Your best defense against emotional harassment is your own personal conduct. Keep your standards high and have a clear conscience.

“Criticism is something you can avoid by saying nothing, doing nothing and being nothing.” – anonymous.