Why don’t men stop harassing me?

<span>Photo: Peter Bardocz/Shutterstock</span>” src=”https://s.yimg.com/ny/api/res/1.2/htOnsxgi8Wesh7EQJJCskw–/YXBwaWQ9aGlnaGxhbmRlcjt3PTk2MDtoPTU3Ng–/https://media.zenfs.com/en/theguardian_763/b89a809cc9715720abcbef92f92fdatarfc=” “https://s.yimg.com/ny/api/res/1.2/htOnsxgi8Wesh7EQJJCskw–/YXBwaWQ9aGlnaGxhbmRlcjt3PTk2MDtoPTU3Ng–/https://media.zenfs.com/en/theguardian_763/b89a809cc9715720a8e62f2bcbef”/></div>
<p><figcaption class=Photo: Peter Bardocz/Shutterstock

The dilemma Wherever I go, men seem to bully and harass me. What makes me so attractive to stalkers? How do I find the energy to deal with them? I’ve tried getting counselling, but the counselors seem overwhelmed by the magnitude of my problem and have nothing helpful to say.

I started a new job a few weeks ago. A colleague made sexual advances to me. I tolerated this because I assumed he was a lonely older gay man and felt sorry for him. I later found out that he was, in fact, a married straight man and his cohort had been secretly filming my reaction to his advances and then sharing this around the office.

Another colleague confided to me that he has been falsely convicted of horrific sex crimes, the details of which he has not spared me and of which he claims to be innocent. It was an impactful story to be a part of. I suspect they were all lies designed to upset me. Another colleague cornered me and made lewd suggestions, including that he should be my pimp. I turned it down. Later, he told some female colleagues, the only people who had ever been nice to me, that I was a sexual predator and they shouldn’t be alone with me because I’m actually straight and a danger to women. I wish these men were an exception, but they are representative of a larger trend in my life, starting from school.

Philip’s answer It sounds like you are a target for people who want to feel more powerful by harassing or making fun of you. And taunting is another word for bullying when the person being teased is not in on the prank.

First, you are not alone. In July 2017, the TUC published a study showing that 36% of LGBTQ+ people have been harassed or bullied at work. If your job has a human resources department, you need to tell them exactly what happened, where and when it took place, and how long it’s been going on. Or if you belong to a union, your union representative could be of help. Hopefully not everyone at work is homophobic, harassing, or horrible. Ask others for help. We often feel that we must somehow address our problems alone, but it is much easier with allies.

The first defense is to avoid bullies whenever possible. When you walk away, imagine walking away from a stranger. In this way, your body language will communicate a lack of interest in them. A bully wants you to react, disempower you, generally put you down and make you feel bad. So don’t show them you’re hurt, scared, or angry, and don’t react, then the bully loses his own power instead of eroding yours. You have power over your own mind and what you focus on, so focus on the things that make you feel positive, like your relationships that are working.

When you imagine your stalker, distort it in your mind as if it were as small and vulnerable as a slimy slug that you could step on; Imagine that you have a force field around you that the attacker bounces off. Act like you’re confident, and if you go to his part of the workplace, take someone with you; Bullies are more likely to attack you when you are alone.

No one deserves to be bullied and it shouldn’t happen, but experiences throughout life can cause us to develop a victim mentality; it can become part of our identity, but it is an adaptation to the environment and can be changed. Past experiences can make us hypervigilant so that we begin to assume that every situation is about us. This reinforces our negative view of others and of life. Always seeing ourselves as a victim can make us stop taking responsibility for our lives, which seems to only happen to us. I’m not saying it’s you, but I’m mentioning it in case it resonates.

One of the indicators that we are in victim mode is that we give a list of reasons why whatever solution is offered to us will not work, so people who try to help are often left confused or frustrated. I wonder if this is what happened with your advice. An experienced therapist would recognize if you’re stuck in victim mode and be able to help you get out of it.

There are no advantages to being a victim, but there are advantages to being stuck in victim mode, like not having to take responsibility for the things that happen in our lives, since we believe that everything bad is just the result of other people’s actions. . We can remember that while we cannot be responsible for other people’s behavior, we are responsible for how we react to them.

Look at your lifelong experience of being compassionately intimidated. Feel the anger towards your bullies as fuel for your power to believe the following: “No, I am not going to be manipulated by this behavior of theirs anymore.” Change won’t happen overnight, but keep a journal of your intentions and the results of your different reactions, and you’ll be able to record your progress.

If you have any questions, please send a short email to askphilippa@observer.co.uk
Submissions are subject to our terms and conditions.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *