Be a good friend not a bully

If I’m apsolutly honest, i am an extremely confident, strong willed, opinionated extravert. Who sees my world as a black and white series of options, which i do or don’t choose to follow. However since i understand my own failings and appreciate that everyone is an indivdual, with different coping mechanisms to mine, i try extremely hard not to force my life choices on to others. Which brings me to the point of this post.
When people talk about bullying most people imagine the kinds of situations where someone is deliberately doing or saying something hurtful to another person. This is bullying, but there is another often far more hurtful kind that is carried out in the name of love.
I’m sure we all have people in our lives who believe that they know what is best for us. Who’s expectations are so far from our own wants and desires that we couldn’t possibly live up to them no matter how hard we tried. Colleges, friends, teachers who believe their skills, opinions and ideas are more valuable than our own. This is also a subtle kind of bullying.
Without meaning to, it is lowering the self esteem and confidence of a person who is supposed to matter.
So now i want you to honestly answer how many times have you done that?
Told a friend they were better off out of a relationship? Instead of offering your love and support.
Talked over the top of a collegue? Ignored their ideas?
Failed to listen when a loved one tries to tell you their not happy with their life?
It’s easy to change the pattern if you want to.
Start listening to what people actually say.
Clarify points to make sure you understand.
Ask open ended questions which allow them to explore their own thoughts and feelings.
Offer a range of solutions, not just what you think they should do.
And most importantly accept and support their decisions, even when you don’t agree.
Be the friend, the loving family member you mean to be, not the closet bully in someones life.

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