My bully knows me really well.
They know exactly what to say to inflict the most pain and the weakest areas to exploit.
They know exactly when to say the words that will stop me in my tracks, unarm me and have the most impact.
They know how hard I try and what my true intentions are and yet they deliberately misunderstand, confuse and dispute my efforts.
I tried to ignore them. They punished me.
I tried to be nice. They ridiculed my attempts and took it as an invitation to wipe their feet harder.
Exhausted from trying to manage my reactions I felt powerless.
Isn’t that the point? The loss of power given up to the bully. It isn’t about me but them.
We always coach the victim on what they can do, in many ways putting the onus on their shoulders.
The bully’s behaviour is inexcusable not mine.
I lost sight of that fact.
Easy to do when the bully is the voice inside my head. The inner critic, Top Dog, the bad voice, whatever you call it – it doesn’t come quietly.
I thought they were me and that was it.
Only by recognising I am not my thoughts allows me to put the necessary boundaries in place.
I am currently embarking on Alex Mill’s Heart-to-Heart Compassionate Self-Mentoring course. I really recommend it. He asks that you record yourself and listen back. One of the prompts “The voice says….” unmasks my bully and captures it in free flow.
Hearing its physical voice is overwhelming, painful, shocking, yet also a fundamental shift.
Although like external bullies it has its own agenda, I know my bully is trying to protect me .
It is trying to keep me away from my edges. The places of change and expansion. The fear of the unknown, the parts outside of its remit.
However, just like in the outside world, having an understanding and compassion for the bully, does not excuse their behaviour.
I am not my thoughts and I am not OK with being harassed, belittled, patronised, babied, smothered or berated.
When I hear myself played back giving reassurance and encouragement I don’t recognise myself. I am so use to hearing my harsh inner dialogue that I don’t hear the voice I use to encourage and support those around me.
What about you? I meet you when you are going through change. Pushing your edges, going on job interviews, changing your career, making choices and decisions and learning more about yourself everyday. Are you having to listen to your worst fears and weaknesses? Are you in your own way? What would happen if you stood up to yourself?
What would happen if you had your own coach and support team giving constant reassurance, coaxing and cheering you on instead?
image edited original Photo Credit