Bullying: It’s not just for kids anymore . . .

We’ve all seen the headlines- Child Bullied Into Suicide, Student Expelled For Bullying and Parent Arrested For Bullied Child.  But kids aren’t the only ones who are participating in bullying.  Adults bully each other at work, their kids’ sporting events, online, at church, in their marriages, even at the grocery store!

I’m amazed at the many different bullying types- face to face, cyber or cell, road rage, stalking- anything that puts fear into another can be classified as bullying.  It can happen anywhere, anytime, to anyone.  There’s nowhere to hide from it!

I’ve been bullied a few times.  As a kid I was locked in a pitch black bathroom at church.  As I screamed in terror, the kids holding the door shut laughed hysterically.  By the time an adult came to my rescue, I was scarred for life & to this day I am afraid of the dark.  In 1993, I was targeted by a man on the freeway.  He was looking for someone to run off the road to rob or worse.  I was driving to work at 4am, he paced me for a mile then began swerving into me, cutting me off & slamming on his brakes & trying to push me from behind.  This went on for 15 miles.  Thank Heaven for my huge brick of a cell phone & defensive driving skills!  I was able to fend him off until the CHP got him- he was arrested because he’d done this before!  I was so scared . . .

What can we do when we are bullied or witness it?  Most people do nothing to help themselves or another, they just hope that it will go away.  We deny that it is happening.  But does it ever really go away?  What can YOU do?  Below you will find information on what you can do depending on where you face bullying.

  • Workplace – Unless you are the Top Dog already, go to your boss.  Sounds like common sense, right?  It’s easier said than done.  The bullied usually suffer from anxiety because of it & are afraid to report it.  There is more fear in NOT reporting bullying because it will continue or even escalate.  Take charge, don’t let that happen! It is your boss’ duty to squash the bullying- please let them help you, they are your advocate.  Check out this website if you or someone you know is being bullied at work.  http://www.workplacebullying.org
  • Public- Also called Public Humiliation.  There’s usually a witness to this type of bullying which is great if they are willing to support you.  It can be a good idea to call the police or get the attention of a security officer.  If you are the witness, don’t be afraid to help!  Call the cops or security without waiting to be asked- you would hope someone would do it for you, right?  Get help for the poor soul!
  • Relationship- This type of bullying many times leads to spousal abuse- don’t let it get that far!  Please see this Q & A blog by Dr. Testa.  I wish I had known of this a few years back…  http://www.drtesta.com/ask.htm

Have YOU ever been bullied?  My guess is YES- most people experience it at some time in their lives.  As uncomfortable as it is to talk about, I believe there is power in sharing.  Tell me all about what you have endured & how you handled it.  Also, do you step up & help when you witness bullying?  What has worked?  What hasn’t worked?

Molly Keating
Molly Keating
Molly grew up in and around funeral homes her entire life. In 2009 she began working for O'Connor Mortuary and found a bridge between her passion for writing and her interest in grief and bereavement. In 2016 she earned Certification in the field of Thanatology, the study of Death, Dying and Bereavement. She is honored to be able to write about these taboo topics with knowledge, compassion, and a unique perspective.


  1. Jeff Turner says:

    Sweet girl,

    It is interesting the way you have been intertwined in my personal and work families. We have seen great and difficult times together and I am so proud of you for persevering. It doesn’t always feel like winning but because you have waded into the hard stuff, you have chosen to let them shape, mold and transform you. The result is the miracle of a transformed life. Well done!


  2. julie says:

    Great article!
    Unfortunately, I think bullying is at an all-time high because accountability is at an all-time low. Not only do we blame others for our anger, hatred, and bigotry…we feel we are justified in our attitudes, so we bully. On the other side if we witness bullying, we have been taught to mind our own business to the point of turning our face from wrongs done to another, probably out of fear mostly. I don’t know if I was taught or it was because I understood what it felt like to not fit in much of the time, but I found myself fighting for the “under dog” throughout my school years and I tend to do the same, still. We MUST look out for each other! We must be willing to speak up, especially for those unable or not willing to speak for themselves! We must NOT give up if we see a problem, we speak up and the issue does not get resolved….be a darn loud squeaky wheel until it does!! One of my boys was being bullied by other boys that used to be his friends all thru elementary school, so I was surprised when he told me they were teasing him and threatening to hurt him. I went to the Principal of the Jr.High and was assured the matter would be dealt with. I could tell by our conversation he did not take it as seriously as he should have. When the taunting did not stop, I continued to “squeak”, finally reaching a Vice Principal who seemed concerned. The next day, that man was waiting on my side of the wall the kids would jump over to harass my son. Not sure who was more surprised, the boys or me! A few choice words and threats of detention was all it took. That was the end of it! I squeaked for my son, but I would and have done for many other kids. I have even stopped my car to check on kids who seem to be fighting and have broken up fights between kids in the park. Yes…it’s risky and yes I am sticking my neck out just as I hope anyone would do for my kids/grandkids! (If it looks dangerous, I use my phone and call police instead) Bullies can be intimidating, but where there is one bully…there is usually more than one willing to stand up to them, if we join forces against bullies, we can defuse them!

  3. Amy says:

    Great Post! It’s a topic that no one really wants to talk about, sadly it does exist and more than you know.

  4. Molly says:

    This post is still resonating with me as I look around at former relationships of mine and begin to see strange patterns I didn’t know were lurking there. I think I’ve experienced a slowish type of bullying through friendships that weren’t healthy, that made me feel crummy, guilty and sad. While I know this isn’t exactly what you are talking about it does seem to relate to at least the abuse aspect and it’s a difficult thing to get over.
    One of the big things that’s been helpful for me is to realize that there are big parts of the problem that aren’t me – it really is them, THEY are the problem. While I’ve contributed through allowing their treatment in stopping that and turning away from them I’ve been able to take care of my biggest fault – letting them get away with it. It’s hard to turn from people, it’s also really hard to admit that they are hurting you, but unless we turn away and make efforts to end their power over us we’ll never be able to put a cap on that hurt.
    Thanks so much for writing on such a profound and deeply embedded topic. It’s truly a blessing to see that I can relate to someone and know that however much I’m hurting – it’s normal. Love you, Carrie!

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