Bullying can take many forms and it doesn't stop in the confines of a playground. Cyberbullying can be received and dished out regardless of gender, age, race etc...
I'm a female from Generation X with a strong passion to succeed and a moral compass that will make the Devil sit upright and listen! That makes me a target.
The point of this article is not to gender bash. It's to empower you, regardless of gender, to identify bullying and how to deal with it.
Here's the thing. Bullies are cowards. They won't go right up to you and punch you in the nose. Frankly, I'd prefer they do that. Not because I want to receive a bloody nose, but at least look at my offender in the eye. There is honor in that. Plus I'm pretty good at blocking a shot and will have my offender licking my shoe in about 10 seconds flat.
What is cyberbullying and how can you identify it?
Cyberbullying are messages and tactics delivered in an online environment that are often subliminal in nature promoting undermining activity.
They are meant to make you feel bad about yourself. It’s uncomfortable and feels wrong. Worse, you may be ashamed to express it to your offender because you don't really understand what is going on without sounding Crazy! In some cases, you don't even know who your offender is because they are anonymous.
Here's what you can do.
Identify it for what it is. It’s bullying. Having a conversation is one option; but likely not effective, especially if you are concerned for your personal safety. Under no circumstances should you keep it to yourself.
Don't wait it out. Cyberbullying will likely continue if you don't take action. Block the offender on your social media. See our link list below on how to block offenders. Leaving offenders with access to you can be perceived as consent. Your offender may be under the impression that they are joking or just having fun. If you are not finding it humorous then Game Over! Shut it down. Block the door. Bullying should be zero tolerance.
Report cyberbullying to the parties involved. This may be hard if you are the CEO of your own company like me. But if the cyberbullying is referencing a brand or another company I am aligned with, then you can bet your bottom dollar that I'm following up. This isn't a sympathy ploy, but rather communication with parties involved to ensure we understand what is going on. Because I can guarantee that if you are bullied so is someone else. This helps in many ways. You don't feel alone and speaking about it publicly can be reassuring to others.
Research your state/province cyberbullying laws or request information from your local police department. File a report if you are concerned about your personal safety or that of your family unit.
Discuss the issue with mature close family members. Let them know what is going on and what measures you are taking to minimize the impact on the family unit. This is the time, if you haven't already, to have a conversation about cyberbullying with your children or dependents. Create an open space to talk about it.
Links to block an offender on Social Media
How to block on LinkedIn
How to block on Facebook
How to block on Twitter
How to block on Instagram
I'm thankful to have many supporting individuals in my life and community. They have seen me overcome postpartum depression, harassment and grow a brand and business. I can not overemphasize enough how speaking to a counselor has equipped me with the tools needed to handle the tough stuff in life like cyberbullying. Don't do it alone. Talk about it.
Yours in apps,