How To Deal With Bullies? Part-IV FEARLESS FORESIGHT.

The motivation to write this entire series came when last month I witnessed a conflict arise between two professionals which quickly turned into bullying and labelling. A typical patriarchal reaction when faced with a challenge. (He later even claimed to be a “feminist.”)

It was a moment of déjà vu from my own experience earlier this year on a flight where out of four captains, I, the junior most, only woman, under check was bullied and labelled by the senior most patriarch after I called out a breakdown in communication. I am certain many of you, like me, have been in similar situations, perhaps, even more than once.

The idea was to take you through the different stages through my lived experiences. Starting with the difficulties we face in Childhood. How we cope in Adulthood. How we may learn to overcome our handicaps in Coming of age. Finally, the goal, to raise our awareness and prepare for future events in Fearless Foresight.

Most of us learn from previous experiences and expect that we will be unfazed the when it happens next. Or simply, never expect that it will happen again. We tend to criticize ourselves for not having learnt the lesson well enough the first time. I believe that we do learn from every incident. Just that the challenges keep changing.

Perhaps, we can look at life like a video game. It gets harder with every level you cross. It never really finishes. Each level prepares you for the next.

The truth is, we may have come of age but the whole world has not!

You may find yourself asking-

  • how to deal with this better?
  • How to get over the shock or surprise?
  • How to prepare for what’s coming next?

As per my experience and learning, I have tried to put down a simple exercise of 4 A’s. Just like every exercise, you might find it hard in the beginning. Imagine it in your mind and put it to practice.

  • Awareness. Recognize an unhealthy environment, situation, interaction. (This is not cool!)
  • Accept the unbelievable reality. (Here we go again!) (This shit never stops!)
  • Acknowledge your feelings about it. (It feels like crap!) (I am pissed off!)
  • Assertive communication. After you gather your thoughts and take a few deep breaths, share your concern, request a clarification and express your feelings calmly. “I don’t think what you said was very nice. I feel offended. Would you like to try one more time?”

A reasonable person might recover from here. We are not responsible for the unreasonable ones.

The bolder and the more courageous you are, the more you will learn about yourself.

Dr. Harriet Lerner, PHD from ‘Why won’t you apologize?’

I have come to realize that we all have various aspects of our persona we want to work on. I wanted to build some Gumption (I love that word.) After years of self-work and introspection, I can safely say that I have.

I leave you with An autobiography in 5 short chapters by Portia Nelson.

Which chapter are you on? Think about it!

Until next time..Over and out! @thethinkingcaptain

8 thoughts on “How To Deal With Bullies? Part-IV FEARLESS FORESIGHT.

  1. I have not been in such situation many times but that doesn’t mean it’ll never happen again. Its a nice reminder. Nicely keyed in👍🏻👍🏻👍🏻

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I am delighted to know that. I would not wish it on anyone. However, this publishing is meant to more. To raise awareness that it does happen and a lot. Different people experience it differently. It is also meant as a deterrent to future defaulters who might recognize their own biases which otherwise may go unnoticed.

      Thank you, Ritesh for you generous words. I am thrilled my words reach you.


  2. Going off to sleep at night yesterday, I thought of “The Thinking Captain”, drafting part IV of her wonderful series. Lo and behold! Sunday came and here I am reading through your amazing piece. I am left with a sense of wonder and respect and admiration and awe and all the fantastic things one could think of!
    Your 4 A’s will become permanent residents of my heart, I shall practice them with religious fervour.
    And, mam, you put across a hard hitting albeit sad truth – We may have come of age, but the whole world has not 💯. These words are etched in my heart forever, only senility can drive them away from me. You brought alive the dreamer in me.
    Thank you for sharing such authentic, original and breathtaking narrations with us, mam. We’re blown away ✈️

    PS: Learned an awesome word today: GUMPTION (the synonym says Mother wit! I’m wondering: do fathers lack it then? 🤔). I hope not, just that moms are a notch cooler.

    Till next time. Sunday, come sooner.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Although aviation has come a long way from CRM issues causing plane crashes, incidents, accidents there are still some pertinent issues which although don’t happen everyday they still do. If not with me , definitely with someone else or someday it might be me! There is no scope for bullying of any sort even if it might be subtle. The psychological impact it leaves on people for their whole lives raises a warning flag and this behaviour should be stamped out. Very well written.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, dear Captain. You say it without mincing words. I didn’t want to highlight the female genome in the text but we both know that is the biggest elephant in the room.

      You are absolutely right about crash free operations due CRM issues. However, the feeling of “safety” goes beyond cockpit, company, industry.
      Every living thing has a innate need for safety. Humans’ feeling of safety is a little more complicated than just physical.
      We want to feel safe from judgement, expectation, pressure, coercion, shame, insult… the list is endless.
      The environment must be free from these at home and work to provide a feeling of safety. Only then can one perform without fear and with abandon to bring their best self forward.


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