fighting bullies

Mary Ann Marx, BS, PLCC, ACC

True North Life Coaching, LLC

We all have gremlins – that inner voice that tells us what’s wrong with us, we’re not worthy, and that we’ll never be good enough among many, many other terrible things. But what happens when they have friends…in your world. Dealing with your own personal gremlins requires you to take a step back and simply notice them. When you do this, you create a little space between you and them and you have the opportunity to see them for what they are – horrible creatures who do not serve you and definitely do not have your best interests in mind. Their job is to keep you weak and doubtful. They want to have all the power and many times we give it to them.

What happens when these gremlins have friends – people in your life that echo their same negative messages? Sometimes the very same voices that echo inside of you are expressed by people in your life who also don’t have your best interests at heart. They want you to fail, they want you to feel less about yourself. They are bullies. They exist whether you are a child on the playground or an adult who experiences bullying from a co-worker, acquaintance or even a family member.

What makes them want to do this? Are their motives the same as your inner gremlins? Perhaps…but maybe in this instance, it’s not about you but more about their own inner gremlins who tell them they are not worthy, and not good enough. They may even believe it, but instead of withdrawing within themselves, they project this negative energy to you, or anyone who comes in their path. They feel that if they send it outward, it will somehow leave them. But it doesn’t…it just gets stronger because it doesn’t serve them. It doesn’t help them become whole and fulfilled inside. They may not even realize they’re doing it, but it still hurts just the same.

The very first thing that you must do to take back your own power is to simply tell your inner gremlins and your real life bullies- NO. NO, they possess no power over you. NO, they cannot penetrate your true self with messages that cause harm. When you are approached by this, you simply say…NO. Remember, they only have the power that you give them and by saying NO, and speaking up for yourself, the power disappears. This is where the debate ends and there is nothing more to say but, NO.

What else can you do? You can forgive. It sure sounds impossible and there have been plenty of times when I’ve struggled with this myself…probably always will, however, forgiveness is the only way to make yourself truly free – free from any damaging things they may throw out at you and free from taking it to heart and letting it join forces with your own inner gremlins.

But how do we forgive? The first step is the same as when you deal with your own inner gremlins…simply step back and notice them. Allow them to exist in their own energy without that energy touching you. Imagine a physical space between their negative projections and your own physical and emotional space. Then, notice what’s happening there. Are they struggling with their own stuff? It’s not your stuff…it’s not your stuff….and if you can let it be theirs, you keep it from harming you and strengthening your own inner gremlins. Then think about how forgiveness of their actions allows you to recognize the pain and negativity that exists for them. Empathy will most likely take up that space between you and that person, and the seeds of forgiveness can begin. You don’t need to have the other person’s permission to forgive. It can simply be something you hold in your own peaceful heart.

We all have places inside of us where self-doubt and negative self-worth live. This is where we are most vulnerable, but it does not ever mean that we have to allow it. My wish for everyone is that they can flourish within their own inner strength so that no matter what happens inside or outside of themselves that they have the ultimate ability to be solid within themselves. Wouldn’t this world be a better place for everyone then?