“Please, don’t bully him.”
My next-door neighbor disclosed to me that someone in our residential community’s Viber chat group told my neighbor that. To not bully a fellow neighbor.
I no longer have access to that chat group. [I uninstalled my Viber app not long after I resigned from our group of volunteer homeowners. Thankfully, no more access to the drama!😊]
Three weeks later, I knew exactly why my neighbor was told that — why he was told not to bully a fellow resident.
See, I found myself in the same situation as our bullied neighbor — the recipient of this neighbor’s bullying energy. Whew! 😵
Was I surprised by the toxicity of the energies? Of my neighbor’s energies?
For the longest time, I distanced myself from him. From my neighbor.
I didn’t want him to be an active member of our group of volunteers. There was something that didn’t feel right about his energies. A roughness. A perception shared by others.
I knew he wouldn’t gel with our group [of homeowners who were volunteering our services to help address the issues we were having with management.]
Not long after I resigned from the group, there was an opportunity for me to pursue on my own an initiative with the management.
He — the neighbor whose energies I found repulsive — expressed his support for me and the initiative.
Because of my determination to get the initiative going, I chose to overlook what I had already sensed as a misalignment in our energies.
It didn’t take long for him and me to engage in a nasty phone conversation that zapped the life force out of me! 😵That conversation which took place exactly one month ago today required at least a couple of weeks for me to recover! 😥😣
I’ve realized that when I sensed that the conversation would be going nowhere, I should have just disengaged and not allowed it to escalate to a heated argument.
I detest being interrupted and not being allowed to finish what I’m saying. [Introverts, anyone?😏]
In my desire to be fully heard and understood, I pushed my luck. Bad call.
I ended up raising my voice as well and tormenting myself — a big no-no considering my serious health condition. Oh, well. Lesson learned.
I was already in tears. I had told this neighbor that I felt being pushed against the wall.😫 I even reminded him of my health condition.
But he wouldn’t hear any of these. He wasn’t backing off.
I don’t use aggression with others; hence, I detest it being used on me.
Using the intimidating tone of his voice, he continued interrupting me as I was still explaining, depriving me of my right to be heard fully. He was raising his voice on me as a way to make himself heard instead!
You know, as bullies do.
It became apparent to me that conversations that are characterized by raised voices and impassioned energies are ordinary or acceptable to him. A non-issue.
As is with bullies.
Such, though, isn’t the case with me.
I cannot and do not wish to engage in any conversations with anyone who would choose to raise their voice on me to gag me and get their point across, propelling me to do the same to them. [I’ve had my fair share of those with my birth family. No more. Enough.]
When possible and as best I can, I’d rather have a discourse calmly and peacefully.
I also refuse to engage in a dialogue with someone whose idea of being able to make me change my mind is through raising their voice on me and making me feel coerced.
Approaching a situation or an individual with aggression isn’t my style. I don’t believe such would deliver the results — not the results with long-lasting value and the least amount of damage.
I don’t use aggression with others; hence, I detest it being used on me.
Some of the residents were surprised that I didn’t just hang up the phone. They would have done that, they said.
But I didn’t.
Because I wanted and needed to practice self-assertion. To take my power back.
Despite having felt so helpless and being in tears, I was able to regroup and get a hold of myself enough to forewarn him, “If you wouldn’t listen to me and allow me to talk, I will hang up.”
Stunned, he was.
You could hear a pin drop.
It was my turn to silence him.
And it felt so damn good, yeah! So empowering. Liberating! 😇
And so healing and transformative! [His energies are very similar to those of my father and brother, the feeling of entitlement and all. No surprise there, eh? 😉]
I redeemed myself — and with only a few words and without screaming. I just had to be firm and speak with a take-charge tone.
Because I was.
At that moment, I was in charge. I took charge and showed him who was on the driver’s seat.
Asserting My Right To Be Heard
He had thought we would continue and finish our conversation. He wanted to.
His display of lack of regard and respect for me is enough reason for me to terminate any further conversations or interactions with him.
I do not wish to engage anymore in any form or means of discussion or conversation with him — be it in connection with our residential community state-of-affairs or any other matter.
The minute I hang up the phone, I put a stop to any and every interaction with him — but not without writing him a long — 13 pages!!! — letter.
[While writing the letter, I set the intention of doing what I was unable to do with my father and brother — and other members of my family for that matter — give myself the permission to express myself fully, safely, mindfully, responsibly, and respectfully. This, despite having been the one disrespected.]
I wasn’t duty-bound to reply to any of the messages that he sent after our conversation [via text and Messenger.]
I didn’t owe him any explanation.
But I owed it to myself to express what I was prevented from saying during my fated phone conversation with him.
After all, it is my birthright to be heard. We mustn’t allow anyone to take away that right from us — especially not a bully!
And it was an opportunity — a golden opportunity — for me to enforce my boundaries with him. [Yup. My life-long learning of boundary-setting and self-assertion knocked loudly on my front door once more!]
I wasn’t aiming for any resolution whatsoever or working out of any differences with him. My resolution and closure took place with the writing and eventual sending of my letter.
I do not wish to receive any more information, suggestions, or messages from him of any kind, directly or through someone else, be it over the phone, in person, written, texting, messaging, etc. — a request that I explicitly stated in my letter. A decision that I trust he would respect and abide by.
Well, it’s been two and a half weeks since I gave him the letter. So far, no messages of any kind, thank you.🙏
I also wrote that should he and I bump into each other, I would rather we exchange nothing more than “HI’s” and not engage in any more conversation, discussion or interaction of any kind.
A “HI” is all that I’m willing to give him. That’s all that he deserves from me.
Oh, that doesn’t mean that I’m holding on to bitterness and resentments.
I just know that seeing the Higher Purpose — and being grateful — for me to practice self-assertion and boundary-setting doesn’t mean that it’s already safe or healthy for me to subject myself to the toxic energies of the aggressor.
Having made peace with such an experience of being a recipient of aggression and finding the gift [growth opportunity] doesn’t mean that the aggressor is no longer toxic.
The same reason that I do not believe that forgiveness means reconciliation.
Interestingly, this bully neighbor lives just right across my unit! So far, though, the Universe has deemed it best that he and I do not cross paths.
Sometimes, even a “Hi” isn’t worth it.
Sometimes, even a “Hi” to a toxic individual leaves a bad taste in the mouth and a poisonous effect in one’s system.