Frustrated with verbal bullying

Discussion in 'Health Tips for the Martial Artist' started by spidersam, Jun 1, 2019.

  1. spidersam

    spidersam Orange Belt

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    hey guys, I’m posting this years because I appreciate this community and need advice.

    I’m a small framed, skinny person. I practice martial arts, try to eat healthy now that I’m in my twenties and care about my future, I lift weights at the gym, and am generally fun. But, I’m a target for bullies and it’s annoying. Everyone always picks on my size/skinniness. I can’t help but be nice and smile back or “laugh about it” because I don’t like being a jerk. But when people say things it puts me in a really depressed mood. I thought when I finished high school, people would grow up and stop. then when I finished college, people would mature. I’m in a professional workplace, and now it’s happening here when I suit up in workgear, have lunch with coworkers, or anything. I’m proud of my skin and the muscle I’ve put on, but I’m self conscious around other people because I know they’ll say something. I’m not THAT small, just usually the skinniest in the room; it’s my genetics. I don’t want to tell my boss or kindly say “please don’t pick on my size because I’m sensitive” because I don’t want to look like a pansy. Actually, I even get picked on for my size in martial arts class by an individual.

    I’m just sick of hearing it, and I thought by this time in my life I wouldn’t be hearing it anymore. I don’t want coworkers to see me in the locker room, at post-work bbq in the pool because I don’t want to hear it. I just thought people would stop.
     
  2. Dirty Dog

    Dirty Dog MT Senior Moderator Staff Member

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    It can only bother you if their opinion matters. Why does their opinion matter to you so much?
     
  3. spidersam

    spidersam Orange Belt

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    That’s tough, I don’t really know honestly. It just is always said with a negative notation, and I’ve heard it so many times I just get the point already.
     
  4. CB Jones

    CB Jones Senior Master

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    Well if you never let them know it bothers you....then why did you expect it to stop?

    You need to speak up ...and if that doesnt work....then either be a jerk back or speak to the boss.
     
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  5. Headhunter

    Headhunter Senior Master

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    Who cares if you look like "a pansy" if you don't like it do something about it tell the boss or tell them.
     
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  6. ShortBridge

    ShortBridge Black Belt

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    Be the bigger man. Smile, breath, find your center, and then throat punch them.
     
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  7. JR 137

    JR 137 Senior Master

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    Just like all the “asking to promote” threads, there’s a time, place, and way to go about it. Speak to your boss privately. Tell him you’ve heard it all your life and you don’t like hearing it. If he’s not receptive to it, that’s what HR is for. There shouldn’t be anything like this going on at work.

    I don’t know you, them, nor anything else about the situation. If you’ve been acting like you’re good about it, they probably think you’re fine with it. I’ve got friends at work that I joke around with. They seem completely fine with it. They joke around about me too, and I’m genuinely fine with it. If they were to tell me they weren’t fine with it or if I went too far, I wouldn’t lose respect for them. Unless of course they liked dishing it out but not taking it back.
     
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  8. CB Jones

    CB Jones Senior Master

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    Nothing gets a man's mind right like a swift punch to the Adam's apple.
     
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  9. spidersam

    spidersam Orange Belt

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    What’s challenging for me is that everytime it happens it’s never one on one; there’s always people around (both at work and outside of work), and the other people laugh light heartedly along, and I don’t want to cause a scene and say what I should in front of people. I guess I should pull them to the side when I see them alone and bring it up? I just feel like it’d be strange to them that id bring up what seemed to be a minor joke to them days ago.
     
  10. Buka

    Buka Grandmaster

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    Hard to address this without being there. I feel for you, especially because "I’m a small framed, skinny person. I practice martial arts, try to eat healthy now that I’m in my twenties and care about my future, I lift weights at the gym, and am generally fun." Pretty much describes me...except for the age part.

    I can tell you a couple things. First and foremost, it gets easier. A lot easier. Stick with it, bro, please.

    What happens on your job is hard to address because you didn't go into much detail. But harassment in the workplace isn't really tolerated anywhere that I know of any more.

    As for being picked on in Martial Arts class, I am at a complete loss for words. But hang strong, bro, and keep us posted, my skinny brother in arms.
     
  11. Danny T

    Danny T Senior Master

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    Accept that you are skinny. You are what you are. Like Popeye always said: "I yam what I yam, and that's all what I yam."
    Stand strong and keep true to yourself.
     
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  12. gpseymour

    gpseymour MT Moderator Staff Member

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    That's rough. I was skinny in college and beyond - up to my 30's. I'm not stocky now, but I added some real muscle in my early 30's, and still carry enough that I don't look skinny.

    But I never had any problem with folks picking on me over being skinny, even when I was really skinny. When people pick on you, it's often not about what they use as a target. I got picked on back then because I was shy and awkward, and they'd pick out things they could pick on (because saying, "ooh, he's all shy!" apparently wasn't cool enough). I'm going to suggest it's the same for you; the skinniness isn't really the reason they're picking on you - it's just their target. It sounds like you're pretty self-conscious about that aspect of your body, and they've keyed in on that. They probably picked it up from your reactions - early stages of picking on/bullying often are a shotgun approach, looking for what gets a reaction.
     
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  13. gpseymour

    gpseymour MT Moderator Staff Member

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    Have you considered that they may not mean it in a mean-spirited way? Some folks pick on each other as a bonding thing. Letting them know you don't really like it might be the communication they need.
     
  14. spidersam

    spidersam Orange Belt

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    Thanks for the words. Interesting what you stated about targeting.

    Honestly the spirt varies for each situation. In school it was always out of mean spirit. At work, it’s probably not meant to be as mean since they laugh but that doesn’t make it better for me. Though hearing it in a playful manner also reminds me of all the times it’s been used in a non playful manner. And if they said it joking, it’s an obvious fact that doesn’t need to be said another countless times.
     
  15. dvcochran

    dvcochran Senior Master

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    I you do not bring it up, who is? It doesn't have to be loud and brash, better not to be. But you should "kindly" let them know you do not appreciate their remarks. I would do it in private first. And have a chat with your boss.
     
  16. hoshin1600

    hoshin1600 Senior Master

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    I wasn't sure if I should respond on this because it's going to sound a bit harsh but my heart is in the right place and I do mean well.
    Your asking for people to change and grow up. It's not going to happen the way you think. All interpersonal interactions are a dynamic between more than one person. What is your part in this interaction? Their behavior will change when you change. Peoples behavior does not exist in a vacuum, it is a response to your behavior.
    Case in point is my sister, "the baby" she is 30 now but because she is the youngest she is often treated in a way that upsets her. she says that no one takes her seriously, that she is a grown women. But what she doesn't see is that she also behaves in a way that highlights her as a comedian and very childish.
    I myself was troubled because I always looked 10 or 20 years younger than I actually was. Being a guy in your 20's wanting to date but looking like your a high school freshman sucks. On top of that I didn't act my age. Like my sister I was a comedian. Later i learned there is a difference between being funny and being silly. I can be silly with my kids but at work I am in charge of a manufacturing plant responsible for 2.2 million a month in sales. I can't be silly and be respected. It is still something I have to be aware of and struggle with.
    Your working on your physical self...great! Don't forget your inner self and inner self worth.
    If you change, everything will change for you.
     
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  17. yak sao

    yak sao Master of Arts

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    Yeah, like was already said, maybe they're just ribbing you a bit to buddy up to you.
    Give it right back to them. Make fun of their beer belly, or their comb over.

    Don't let it get you down. Keep training, keep strength building. Be happy that you're not having to watch your weight like so many others have to.
     
  18. What's good for the goose is good for the gander. Next time they do it point out their physical flaws, but not in an aggressive or mean way. Do it jokingly with a smile so you're not the "bad guy". You can hurt people with words way worse than with martial arts.
     
  19. dvcochran

    dvcochran Senior Master

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    Very, very well said.
     
  20. kempodisciple

    kempodisciple MT Moderator Staff Member

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    Why try to actively/secretly/passive-aggressively hurt the people before just talking to them? With your suggestion, OP would be making an active attempt to be harmful, to people who are likely utterly clueless about how they're hurting OP. It would be so much easier just to talk it over with them, and set up boundaries/be assertive.
     
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