Connecting With Support Groups
For victims of stalkers and bullies, the right type of support group for both your personality and your situation can be a real godsend. Connecting with people who have experience in the technical aspects of dealing with stalkers and bullies can really help you to restore control over your life. Finding people who understand and can speak to the emotional and psychological trauma can help you to heal, regain your emotional strength, and get your life back on track.
But, there are support groups that can continue to rehash the situation and keep you trapped in a victim mindset.
So, how do you find support that helps heal and move past the trauma instead of wallowing in victimization?
1# Evaluate Your Situation
While many people dealing with the effects of stalking and bullying share common emotions of fear, anger, and helplessness, finding a group that deals with your specific situation can help you to focus on your needs. Someone who is the victim of an online bullying campaign by an anonymous person will have a different experience then someone dealing with stalking and harassment by an ex. So, while finding a general anti-bullying support group can be effective, finding a group that provides a narrower focus can be more so.
2# Consider Your Personality Pre-Stalking or Bullying
Are you a joiner? Do you feel better when you can share with people? Or do you prefer to work things out privately? Trying to change your personality to fit a support group can do more harm than good. If you feel better sharing with a group, a traditional support group might be a good fit. If you prefer to share privately, consider one-on-one counseling.
3# Name Your Own Goals
Understanding your ultimate goals when it comes to support will help you select a group that works best for your needs. For some, the goal is simply to deal with the emotional effects of the attacks, others need practical advice on how to move their brand from one that has been damaged by bullying to one that is unaffected. Still others want to share their story to inspire others. Select groups that match your goals.
4# Try Out the Group
Even if a group seems to meet your needs, making sure that you feel comfortable with the counselors and other people in the group is really important. It’s hard to concentrate on your healing if you dislike people in the group or don’t feel comfortable and supported. You might want to try out the group for a few sessions before you feel comfortable sharing.
5# Evaluate Periodically
Support groups can provide users with a whole host of tools to improve their situation and enrich their lives. But, groups can also eventually become little more than a habit. Every few months, evaluate the effectiveness of your group. Is it time to move on to a different type of support?
For most people, struggling alone through the emotional effects of being the victim of a stalker or bully isn’t healthy. Finding the right type of group(s) can be a terrific step on the path to reclaiming your life.