The Inner Bully

Written by Tracey

February 28, 2024

Bullying on pink shirt day

It’s #pinkshirtday and the bully that resides within me is LOUD. “Post, don’t post, your writing is the shits anyways.” “You are unoriginal, yesterday’s news, you’ve got nothing, shut the “f” up already.”  “Oh and, remember all the times you were a really big bully? Want me to show you the instant replay? I’ve got the short reels right here ready to play.” 

And as if that isn’t enough to scare anyone into suppressing their voice…  We reinforce the inner bully externally by comparing ourselves against other seemingly successful, popular people. 

Misery loves company

You might even experience your partner, society, your career, colleagues and friends reinforcing or validating your inner bully.  Which gives us reason to measure, pathologize and shame ourselves for not fitting in, giving the inner bully authority and a voice we relate to as “truth” perhaps declaring ourselves unloveable.  And then we shame ourselves some more, “what’s wrong with me?!” for being this shaming, pathologizing, measuring and comparing way.  Shaming, dismissing and discounting our thoughts, feelings and emotions.  Ouch.

My inner bully is harsh and yet also brilliant, dramatic but brilliant. I have a good relationship with her now that I’ve been working with her for over 20 years. Once I curbed the abuse and she learned how to communicate in a healthy way, I realized that she actually had brilliant things to say. Recently I embarked on a new learning journey, studying Process Oriented Psychology with David Bedrick. It’s life altering and life giving and I’m deeply grateful to him. 

Bearing witness

At the end of our time together I’ll be a facilitator of shadow work.  The training has already made a profound difference in the way I work with people even as I find myself in the messy process of unlearning and learning.

It’s even made me realize that some ways coaching is wired reinforces shame. That was eye-opening! The best way I can describe this work is that in some ways it’s like coming home to myself; it deeply resonates with my long-held philosophies and beliefs, brings greater depth to my ontological training and yet has expanded my thinking and perspective so much that I feel liberated and excited. And… I get to work with the body with more depth and understanding.

I’m learning to witness your deep and authentic experiences, amplifying them in a safe and consensual way to counter shame’s power to silence, marginalize and suppress the you in there.  



Let your voice out

Once you shine a light on this stuff, it’s amazing to see how prevalent the oppression is. In writing this blog post, I’ve practiced “just write,” and yet with every sentence, I’ve caught myself ready to correct, amend and shape it so that it’s “consumable,” “marketable,” “findable,” “likeable,” “beneficial.”

My authentic voice smothered and stifled like a vicious hand covering my mouth. 

If you notice your own creativity has been lacking lately or you’ve got something on your mind you’d like to process, come and let me have a listen with my newly tuned ears.


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I have mostly silenced my social media presence as I explore my experience and thoughts about the social media I currently use. I have a big issue with posting on channels that continue to spew one-liners that people then take and do weird things with, such as self-harming or diagnosing others. Take a look at what you do with the posts you read and their effect on your mental health and creativity.

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