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Bullies Everywhere! – 5 Tips To Effectively Deal With Bullying

Written by: Dr. Adriana Popescu, Executive Contributor

Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.


There is no mistaking that there are bullies all around us. We simply have to turn on the television, open any social media app, or simply leave the house and we can easily find them. They are the individuals who may be making unkind comments on our videos, someone who shoots down every idea we have at work, or the family member that we dread being around because they criticize and judge us.

We may have met bullies on the playground as children, where they may have gotten us to abandon our joy and dim down our happiness and sense of fun. As adults, we meet the bullies who never gave up these unkind tactics when we interact with others in the media, politics, the boardroom or at the airport, local community or in the workplace.

As a licensed clinical psychologist and empowerment coach who is an expert in the field of addiction and trauma, I often see clients who are bullied in life, in relationships, and at work.

What is a bully?

How do we deal with them?

What would it take to no longer be the effect of these individuals?

Loosely defined, bullies (or we could also call them mean people, unkind people, or tormentors of any sort) desire to force or coerce us to give in to their agenda of unhappiness and limitation. They are those who seek to harm or intimidate, to get us to choose less, be less, and give ourselves up. They basically want to make themselves feel better by putting us down and asserting power and control over us.

What I would like to offer you are some empowering tools I share with clients every day so that you can use them to have more of a sense of ease, peace, and possibility no matter who or what is around you (even bullies!).

1. Walk Away

First and foremost, make sure you are safe. If someone or something is giving you the sense that you are not ok, that something bad is going to happen, or that you or your body could be in danger, trust your intuition and know that you can leave. You can just walk away.

Have you ever been made wrong for being a “quitter” or for giving up something that isn’t working? Do you have the point of view you have to “tough it out?” What if that’s not true? What if leaving or walking away from an abusive person or situation will actually give you a sense of peace and calm, and empower you to know that you don’t have to be a victim or stand there and just “take it?”

2. Don’t Take It Personally

This is one fact that clients find incredibly freeing. What if a bully is not choosing to intimidate you because there is anything wrong with you? What if you are simply a convenient target for their unkindness, mean behaviors, ridicule and judgments?

Recognize that whatever they are doing, whether it is with words or with actions, is not actually about you. It is what we call in psychology a projection, where they are putting their ideas or beliefs onto you. They are basically taking their own experiences and judgments of themselves and projecting them onto you.

The key here is to not give them that power over you. Recognize what is actually going on. People who are happy and feel good about themselves don't feel the need to be mean.

3. Recognize From Where Bullies and Mean People Are Functioning

Bullies are usually operating from a sense of their own powerlessness and they are simply acting in ways that allow them to have the sense of power they believe they lack.

Most often, it is a learned behavior, usually from childhood. These people were either bullied themselves, or they witnessed things like violence, abuse, domineering or narcissistic behavior in their families or communities growing up.

What if the bully you are dealing with fundamentally feels lesser-than or really bad about themselves, and the only way they know how to cope with that is by putting someone else down? That they pick on you to have the sense of power they feel they lack? Does that give you more of a sense of empowerment to acknowledge that to yourself? What if you could have understanding and maybe even compassion for someone like that, rather than fear or anger?

4. Who Does This Belong To?®

One essential tool I find super effective in dealing with mean people, bullies, and anything of that realm comes from a modality called Access Consciousness®. “Who does this belong to?” is a simple question you can ask yourself that can provide enormous freedom.

It is a recognition that you might be picking up on thoughts, feelings, and emotions that are not actually yours. Many of us are remarkably intuitive and aware. We attune to the energy that others around us are being and often mistake it as our own.

What if the shame, hurt, fear, or anger that you feel when encountering a bully is actually your awareness of how they feel about themselves? What if you could just acknowledge that awareness and send that energy back to them, rather than personalizing it and taking it on yourself? What sense of relief might that bring you?

5. Get Yourself Grounded and Back To Yourself

This is a simple and pragmatic step to empower yourself and re-establish a sense of control. You cannot control what a bully says or does, so what if you shift your attention to what you can control, which is your own reactions and what you choose to focus your energies on.

What brings you a sense of peace and calm? Is there something you find nurturing and relaxing, that brings you more of a sense of yourself? What helps you feel most connected to yourself?

It could be meditating or doing some breathing or visualization exercises, taking a bath, going for a walk or being in nature, having some really great food, calling a friend who supports you, listening to uplifting music, watching something funny… What will make you laugh and bring a smile to your face? What will get you out of a negative energetic space and into a more positive one?

If you implement these five tools, they can give you a greater sense of yourself, and help you to reconnect to the power you actually are when you are faced with a bully.

You may also find that working with a skilled professional can assist in uncovering and healing any past trauma and core limiting beliefs that create patterns of abuse and bullying.

Please know as well that if you ever sense you are in danger or that you are in a situation that is unsafe to you, you can exit immediately and seek support. You don’t have to tackle this all on your own. There are many kind and caring people in the world, and many tools and techniques you can learn to protect and empower yourself.

Follow me on Facebook, Instagram, Linkedin, and visit my website for more info!


Dr. Adriana Popescu, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine Dr. Adriana Popescu is a licensed clinical psychologist and empowerment coach with over 25 years of experience in the mental health field. She specializes in treating addiction, co-occurring disorders, and trauma, and has directed a number of treatment programs in the San Francisco Bay Area. Adriana has a private practice in San Francisco and travels around the world coaching and facilitating transformational and empowering workshops. She coauthored the Conscious Being, Conscious Recovery, and Conscious Creation Workbooks, and she hosts a fascinating podcast called Kaleidoscope of Possibilities – Alternative Perspectives on Mental Health. She loves to empower people to overcome their imagined limitations, release their self-judgments, and discover the brilliance within – creating a life of infinite possibilities.



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