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15 Struggles Only Victims Of School Bullies Can Understand

15 Struggles Only Victims Of School Bullies Can Understand

School bullying is, without doubt, one of the most destructive experiences a child could have. Not knowing from moment to moment whether you are going to be victim of yet another prank, rumor, or violent outburst is soul destroying.

Only the victims themselves know the true effects of these attacks, and that is why I can give you this account so freely.

I was bullied at twelve years of age for the best part of a year. I remember it like it was yesterday. It had a devastating affect on my life, but it didn’t beat me.

Let’s take a closer look at the lives of the victims and how they struggle as a result of this cruelty.

1. They Feel Violated

Bullying comes in many different forms, but even the mildest offense can cause the victim to feel violated. When a group of kids turn on you and start calling you names, it feels like you have lost control of the world you had created for — a world that was happy up until that point.

2. They Feel Alone

Victims don’t want to make a report to anyone when they are bullied — particularly when they are kids. It’s just not the cool thing to do, and they fear it will make the bullying worse. It can be hard making your way home from school every day with a heavy heart, knowing you have to face those pesky bullies again tomorrow and the next day. You start to wonder if it will ever end.

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3. They Feel Afraid

Some bullies are ruthless and will go to great lengths to make sure their victim is left shaken after every incident.

4. They Feel Angry

Victims want to scream “STOP.” They want to fight back but they’re paralyzed. They want to vent their anger and shout about this injustice, but they have nowhere to turn.

They’re angry with the bullies and they’re angry with the people who should be helping— their help is not enough to stop it.

The victim will struggle with schoolwork because they have had a lot of their books destroyed by the bullies and because they are too emotional to concentrate.

If you were locked in a cabinet for the entire recess, you would struggle with your school work, too. The victim is further ridiculed by the teacher and parents for their poor performance in school.

6. They Feel Depressed

Kids who are bullied on an ongoing basis will eventually become depressed. That kind of pressure wears down the victim, who eventually experiences chronic low mood. They are sad both at school and at home. Life becomes unbearable. School bullying has the potential to cause serious anxiety and depression in young people, despite the best efforts of our schools to control it.

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7. They Feel Desperate

If the bullies won’t stop and the kid doesn’t make any effort to report these incidents, this can go unnoticed for a very long time. Some kids are bullied for years on end.

The victim becomes desperate and can’t see an end to this terrible nightmare. Many contemplate suicide, some attempt it, and, sadly, some are successful.

8. They Have Bad Dreams

Kids who are bullied are not only living a nightmare all day, but they often re-live the whole ordeal in their sleep at night.

Nightmares are frightening and make matters worse for the victim when they wake to face the day ahead. The only relief is to stay away from school, and so they face further problems with their schoolwork.

9. They Want to Be Invisible

Being a victim of bullying is so overwhelming that being invisible is the best possible solution. If the bullies can’t see you, they can’t pounce on you, call you names, throw food at you, and so on.

In time, they’ll forget all about you and move on to the next poor victim.

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10. They Feel Humiliated

It’s natural to feel humiliated when you are being targeted by completely insensitive people and in such a cruel way. If you ever had a rumor spread about you — true or false, it makes little difference —, you just want to hide away and never come out.

Cyber bullying is the perfect vehicle for humiliation — it’s so easy to do and has devastating effects for the victim.

11. They Just Want To Be Normal

Victims crave normality. They just want to wake up and feel normal, happy even. They want to go to school and have a normal day, come home and have some normal time with their family.

Instead they feel on edge, depressed, fearful, tearful, and detached from their old life.

12. They Want to Be Bullies

Victims plot and scheme about what they would do to their bullies if they got the chance. Who would blame them? But, of course, this would make them bullies, so it’s not the answer.

13. They Feel Isolated

You can be in the company of loving people, but if you have a terrible secret and nobody knows, you can feel alone.

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Not only that, but those people will notice changes in you and they won’t understand. They may even dismiss you for being silly and offer little help.

When parents don’t understand these changes in their child, they feel helpless too.

14. They Feel Powerless

Usually, victims are outnumbered — bullies aren’t brave enough to take on a victim alone. There is little these kids can do when a gang approaches them — they have no way to fight back.

Every day they wish there was a way out, but the option to snitch is just not worth it. They have been threatened several times and know that there will be repercussions if they defy the bullies.

15. They Can Feel Courageous

Every now and again, things work out for the victim. Sometimes, they’ll throw a punch and surprise everyone and, what’s more, it will land right on cheek of the ring leader. A moment of glory at last — finally the victory is theirs.

Sometimes, the gang might be interrupted just before they strike — Yes! the victim wins again.

Other times, it may be just the case that the bullies took it easy on the victim for some unknown reason. Maybe they got a conscience or something. Either way, it was an easy day for a change.

There’s no doubt that victims of school bullying have a lot to contend with — many will suffer from low self esteem and may even grow up with more serious mental health problems. But, for many, the experience makes them stronger, and so they find their way past all the hurt and shame and go on to live productive and successful lives.

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Published on September 23, 2020

6 Effective Negotiation Skills to Master

6 Effective Negotiation Skills to Master

I don’t know about you, but many times when I hear the word negotiate I think of lawyers working out a business deal or having to do battle with a car salesman to try to get a lower price. Since I am in recruiting, the term “negotiation” comes up when someone is attempting to get a higher compensation package.

If we think about it, we tend to negotiate almost every day in a wide variety of things we do. Getting a handle on the important negotiation skills can be incredibly beneficial in many parts of our lives. Let’s take a look at 6 effective negotiation skills to master.

What is Negotiation?

First, let’s take a look at what negotiation is. Put simply, negotiation is a method by which people settle their differences. It is a process in which compromise or agreement can be reached without argument or dispute.

Anytime two people or sides disagree on something, they are almost always looking for the best possible outcome for their side. This could be from an individual’s perspective or someone representing an organization.

In reality, it’s rare that one side gets everything they want and the other side gets nothing that they are seeking. Seeking to reach a common ground of sorts where both sides feel like they are getting most of what they want is the key to being successful and maintaining the relationship.

Places We Negotiate

I’ve mentioned that we negotiate in just about all phases of our life. For those of you who are shaking your head no, I invite you to think about the following:

1. Work/Business

This one is the most obvious and it’s what naturally comes to mind when we think of the word “negotiate”.

When you first started at your current job, you might have asked for a higher salary. It could be that you delivered a huge new client to your company and used this as leverage in your most recent evaluation for more compensation. If you work with vendors (and just about every company does), maybe you worked them to a lower price or better contract terms.

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In recruiting, I negotiate with candidates and hiring managers all the time to land the best talent I can find. It’s very common to accept additional work with the (sometimes spoken, sometimes unspoken) agreement that it will benefit your career in the future.

Recently, I took over a project that was my boss was working on so that I would be able to attend a conference later in the year. And so it goes, we do this all day long at work.

2. Personal

I don’t know about you, but I negotiate with my spouse all the time. I’ll cook dinner with the understanding that she does the dishes. Who wants to mow the lawn and who wants to vacuum and dust the house?

I think we should save 10% for retirement, but she thinks 5% is plenty. Therefore, we save 8%. And don’t even get me started with my kids. My older daughter can borrow my car as soon as she finishes her chores. My younger daughter can go hang out with her friends when her homework is done.

Then, there are all those interactions in our personal lives outside our homes. The carpenter wants to charge me $12,000 to build a new deck. I think $10,000 is plenty so we agree on $11,000. I ask my neighbor if I can borrow his snowblower in the winter if I invite him over the next time I grill steak. And so on.

3. Ourselves

You didn’t expect this one, did you? We negotiate with ourselves all day long.

I’ll make sure I don’t skip my workout tomorrow since I’m going to have that extra piece of pizza. My spouse has been quiet the last few days, is it worth me asking her about, or should I leave it alone? I think the car place charged me for some repairs that weren’t needed, should I say something or just let it go? I know my friend has been having some personal challenges, should I check in with him? We’ve been friends for a long time, I’m sure he’d come to me if he needed help. I’ve got the #4 pick in this year’s Fantasy Football draft, should I choose a running back or a wide receiver?

Think about that non-stop voice inside your head. It always seems to be chattering away about something and many times, it’s us negotiating with ourselves. I’ll finish up that report that the boss needs before I turn on the football game.

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Why Negotiation Skills Are So Important

Put simply, negotiation skills are important because we all interact with other people, and not only other people but other organizations and groups of people as well.

We all rarely want the same thing or outcome. Most of the time a vendor is looking at getting you to pay a higher price for something than you want to spend. Therefore, it’s important to negotiate to some middle ground that works well for both sides.

My wife and I disagree on how much to save for retirement. If we weren’t married it wouldn’t be an issue. We’d each contribute how much we wanted to on our retirement funds. We choose to be married, so we have to come to some agreement that we both feel comfortable with. We have to compromise. Therefore, we have to negotiate.

If we each lived on a planet by ourselves, we would be free to do just about anything we wanted to. We wouldn’t have to compromise with anyone because we wouldn’t interact with anyone. We would make every choice unilaterally the way we wanted to.

As we all know, this isn’t how things are. We are constantly interacting with other people and organizations, each one with their own agenda’s, viewpoints, and opinions. Therefore, we have to be able to work together.

6 Negotiation Skills to Master

Having strong negotiation skills helps us create win-win situations with others, allowing us to get most of what we want in conjunction with others around us.

Now, let’s look at 6 effective negotiation skills to master.

1. Preparation

Preparation is a key place to start with when getting ready to negotiate. Being prepared means having a clear vision of what you want and how you’d go about achieving it. It means knowing what the end goal looks like and also what you are willing to give to get it.

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It also means knowing who you are negotiating with and what areas they might be willing to compromise on. You should also know what your “bottom line” is. By “bottom line” I mean what is the most you are willing to give up to get what you want.

For instance, several years ago, I decided it was time to get a newer car. I say newer because I wanted a “new to me” car, not a brand new car. I did my research and figured out what type of car I wanted. I decided on what must-have items on the car I wanted, the highest amount of miles that would already be on it, the colors I was willing to get it in, and the highest amount of money I was willing to pay.

After visiting numerous car dealerships I was able to negotiate buying a car. I knew what I was willing to give up (amount of money) and what I was willing to accept, things like the color, amount of miles, etc. I came prepared. This is critical.

2. Clear Communication

The next key skill you need to be an effective negotiator is clear communication. You have to be able to clearly articulate what you want to the other party. This means both clear verbal and written communication.

If you can’t clearly tell the other person what you want, how do you expect to get it? Have you ever worked through something with a vendor or someone else only to learn of a surprise right at the end that wasn’t talked about before? This is not what you would call clear communication. It’s essential to be able to share a coherent and logical vision with the person you are working with.

3. Active Listening

Let’s do a quick review of active listening. This is when you are completely focused on the speaker, understand their message, comprehend the information, and respond appropriately. This is a necessary ingredient to be able to negotiate successfully. You must be able to fully focus on the other person’s wants to completely understand them.

If you aren’t giving them your full attention, you may miss some major points or details. This leads to frustration down the road on both sides. Ensure you are employing your active listening skills when in arbitration mode.

4. Teamwork and Collaboration

To be able to get to a place of common ground and a win-win scenario, you have to have a sense of teamwork and collaboration.

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If you are only thinking about yourself and what you want without giving much care to what the other person is wanting, you are bound to wind up without a solution. The other person may get frustrated and give up if they see you are unwilling to meet them halfway or care little for what they want.

When you collaborate, you are working together to help each other get what is most important to you. The other upside to negotiating with a sense of teamwork and collaboration is that it helps create a sense of trust, which, in turn, helps provide positive energy for working to a successful conclusion.

5. Problem Solving

Problem-solving is another key negotiation skill. When you are working with the other person to get the deal done many times you’ll face new challenges along the way.

Maybe you want a new vendor to provide training on the software they are selling you but they say it’s going to cost an additional $20,000 to provide this service. If you don’t have the additional $20,000 in the budget to spend on the software but you feel the training is critical, how are you going to solve that problem?

From what I’ve seen, most vendors aren’t willing to provide additional services without getting paid for them. This is where problem-solving skills will help continue the discussions. You might suggest to the vendor that your company will also be looking to replace their financial software next year, and you’d be happy to ensure they get one of the first seats at the table when the time comes if they could perhaps lower the pricing on their training.

There’s a solution to most challenges, but it takes problem-solving skills to work through them effectively.

6. Decision-Making Ability

Finally, having strong decision-making ability will help you seal the deal when you get to a place where everyone feels like they are getting what works for them. Each step of the way you can cross off the list when you get what you are looking for and decide to move onto the next item. Then, once you have all of your must-have boxes checked and the other side feels good about things, it’s time to shake hands and sign on the dotted line. Powerful decision-making ability will help you get to the finish line together.

Conclusion

There you have it, 6 effective negotiation skills to master to lead a more fulfilling life. Once we realize that we negotiate in one form or another almost every day in every phase of our lives, we realize how critical a skill it is.

Possessing strong negotiation skills will help you in nearly every one of your relationships at both the workplace and in your personal life. If you feel your arbitration tools could use some sharpening, try some of the 6 effective negotiation skills to master that we’ve talked about.

More Tips to Improve Your Negotiation Skills

Featured photo credit: Windows via unsplash.com

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