Bullying is often only thought of as something that happens on the school grounds. Sadly, people who are bullies as children have a tendency to turn into adults who bully. This type of behavior presents serious issues in relationships and can be very hard to overcome for the person who is being bullied. When you add a substance abuse problem to the mix, the situation can become unbearable for the people who are around the addict.
Benjamin Disraeli, a two time British Prime Minister in the 1800's, said “courage is fire, and bullying is smoke." Disraeli was subjected to bullying throughout his political career because he was of Jewish descent. Bullying can leave a person feeling hurt, alone, abused or as though they are being suffocated by the individual who is bullying them. Many bullies do not even realize that their destructive behavior and words are breaking down the people close to them.
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What is bullying?
Bullying is defined by Webster's Dictionary as the use of “superior strength or influence to intimidate someone, typically to force them to do what they want.” In cases where the bully has a drug or alcohol addiction problem the abusive behavior intensifies. Alcohol, in particular, actually encourages bullying behavior to surface. It tends to make people more aggressive and irritable.
Why is bullying so prevalent in individuals with substance abuse?
1. Enabling - Family members tend to make excuses for their relatives and loved ones with addictions. These excuses just enable the person to continue this practice, possibly because it allows them to convince themselves that their behavior is acceptable. One of the key traits of addiction is a lack of empathy for those around you. This comes from the addict's selfish drive to get their next fix. This need for their next fix is what causes most of the bullying behavior. The individual will try to bully or manipulate their friends and family so that they can get what they want, when and how they want it, no matter what the emotional cost.
2. Low self-esteem - Many addicts bully to make themselves feel better and give themselves a false sense of control or superiority.
3. Desensitization - After a prolonged period of abuse, victims become desensitized. When you experience the same behaviors over and over again, your mind starts believing this is normal, no matter how destructive the behaviors are. Allowing this behavior to continue is another way of enabling your family member. People tend to focus on not upsetting the addict, or trying to deal with their anger and sadness.
Bullying shows no gender preference. Although less common amongst females, the men who are affected by these behaviors show a greater emotional response. They might feel social shame in admitting that their spouse is treating them badly so they allow these actions to go on for many years. In other cases, the men react by being equally aggressive and abusive towards the women, as a way to stand up and 'be a man.' This situation can have dangerous consequences for both the victim and the bully. If someone you love needs a Raleigh drug and alcohol treatment center they can trust, call Legacy Freedom. You'll love our outpatient treatment options.
Other forms of bullying
Name calling – Name calling is talking down to someone and using words like “stupid,” “idiot,” “weakling,” or using profanities when talking to or about a person to make the victim feel belittled. Using words like this towards a person can make them feel and believe that they are worthless.
Taunting behaviors – This is frequently described as trying to pick a fight or calling a person out. The bully does this to get a reaction or simply just to be verbally abusive towards the victim. Saying things like "Call the cops. They will never believe you," or “Try and stand up for yourself, Dummy" can be a means to control someone and put them down at the same time.
Lack of contact - Bullies feel the need to control and intimidate others. When someone tries to break the cycle, it makes them uncomfortable and angry, so they will ignore the situation until they can get that person to submit to their power again.
Verbal and physical aggression – Many bullies combine both verbal and physical aggression and turn it into other types of abuse. Some choose to show this aggression in the bedroom; over time this can turn into sexual abuse. In many cases it takes a physical altercation between spouses to make one of them realize that something is not right. Only then will they seek help or get out of the relationship. If someone else tries to intervene and convince someone in an abusive relationship to get help, violence may ensue.
Controlling behavior – Bullying is based on the bullies imagined superiority. Controlling the victim on a daily basis, not allowing them to have time to themselves, or do things alone, always questioning them, getting the person to give them money can all be part of bullying.
strong>Social belittling – This is another way for the bully to show superiority and exercise control over the victim. This abuse often has a reverse effect on the victim. They will just hang on waiting for the day when they might receive a compliment or some form of gratitude.
Knowing when, and how, to ask for help is often difficult both for the addict and their loved ones. If you feel unsafe approaching the user about their behavior, seek the assistance of a trusted family member, friend, member of the clergy or an interventional therapist. As an addict, asking for help is a humbling experience. Admitting that you are powerless to overcome your addictions and choosing to enter treatment is a big step. At Legacy Freedom, we are ready to help you begin your journey towards living a sober life.
The Best Raleigh Drug and Alcohol Treatment Center For 2017
The help you or your loved one needs at the number one Raleigh drug and alcohol treatment center, Legacy Freedom. Read about our programs and our alternative therapies, talk with your friends and family and then make the call to Legacy Freedom. We are ready to help you on your journey towards breaking your addiction with quality Raleigh drug rehab.