1️⃣ Bullies definition
As they have more power because they are bigger, stronger, or in a position of authority. This ‘authority’ sucks in power from other organisations and so their sphere of influence and power grows as your sphere of influence diminishes.
The normal advice of Dealing with a Bully, which is to
#️⃣ Tell someone so the bully will stop.
#️⃣ Look the bully in the eye and tell them to stop.
Doesn’t work if the NHS service, Regulator, Ombuds or NHS Commissioner of health services, won’t listen to you because
▶️there are no consequences for them for the use of this behaviour and
▶️Because of the reputation of health services, it is unlikely that anyone will believe you.
▶️You can’t just walk away as you need the health treatment to regain your strength to be able to physically or mentally walk away. And Catch-22 is why the complaint handling process is such a vicious and brutal one .
✴️ The most important priority when dealing with bullies is to protect yourself. If you don’t feel comfortable, leave.
2️⃣ Bullying in the health service usually takes the form of:
People who bully are geniuses at knowing which of your buttons to push to and keep you off balance. They do this to manipulate you so you look as if you are the badly behaved person.
They do this using the following behaviours:
▶️ minimisation and
▶️ denial of your concerns.
If you persevere, this red flag professional behaviour is ramped up to:
▶️ blame&shame and
▶️ intimidation tactics.
But they don’t work alone as a lone bully has zero power.
3️⃣ Flying Monkeys
Bullies recruit ‘assistant’ bullies, who spread their reality reconstruction and discrediting of you via rumours and gossip. Known in psychology terms as ’flying monkeys’.
In a healthcare provider setting, ‘flying monkeys’ is the term used to describe healthcare professionals who ‘swing’ from person to person to department. ‘Chattering’ half truths & malicious gossip along the lines of ‘how difficult you are’ and your behaviour makes an already difficult job, impossible. (4 D’s of discrediting )
3️⃣.1️⃣ This leads to:
▶️ they feel their behaviour is justified.
▶️ And you question your behaviour and sanity.
The may also take on the role of ‘acting bully’ when the bully is not around.
Their aim is to make you doubt yourself and your facts enough to withdraw your complaint.
4️⃣ Enablers by silence.
The other ‘assistant’ group are the enablers by silence. They can be identified as the people who:
▶️ stand by and see the behaviour
▶️ and do nothing to stop the bullying.
Often out of a fear of confrontation, or the personal and professional consequences of angering the bully.
Enablers by silence can be summed up from this quote
All that needs to happen for evil to succeed is for good people (enablers) to stand back and do nothing.
5️⃣ Bullies have Zero Loyalities.
Bullies have no loyalty to anyone but themselves. if you read any whistleblowers account of how they are treated by the NHS. It becomes apparent that the Bully/Bullies will not hesitate to make the flying monkeys and/or enablers by silence, scapegoats when and if needed.
6️⃣ How to cope with this behviour
▶️ Don’t dwell on being embarrassed about what they will do or say. Their opinions about you are not important.
▶️ As no matter how much time and effort you put into your answer or complaint, it will never be good enough. As they want to find fault with you, your facts, your second opinion etc. Let me repeat that. It will never be good enough.
So remember don’t give than any ammunition so they can exploit your ‘weaknesses’. (also known as being a human with can only take so much before you fall.)
▶️ You have the right to be treated with respect.
▶️ You have the right to have opinions different than others.
▶️ You have the right to express your feelings, opinions and needs.
▶️ You have the right to decide what your health priorities are.
▶️ You have the right to say “no” without feeling guilty.