Surviving harassment, 11 things to do.

Getting harassed can be really hard on you mentally, emotionally, financially, and socially, to say the least. You suffer real life, tangible consequences. Here are some things to do (or think about) to get ahead based on my own personal experiences.

sad woman sitting

  • Standing still will not get you anywhere. You must want to get out of the situation the harassment has put you. Do something every day to do so, even if it is something very small or simple. Repeat to yourself: "Keep moving forwards".

  • Realize not everybody is against you. This situation will actually bring about new people who will be on your side and willing to lend a helping hand. Just like there can be attacks out of the blue, help can also come from the least expected of places.

  • Silence is the one thing they can't take away from you, no matter how hard they try. Talking and silence are your easiest to control assets, learn when to talk and when to keep silent. “Silence is sometimes the best answer” Dalai Lama XIV

  • Following up on silence; you can't win them all, you don't have infinite energy or time, pick your battles. Which is most important for you to win (or win back): job, friends, career. Focus your energy on that/those which will make you most happy to win or regain.

  • One good thing to come directly from experiencing a harassment campaign, is that you will see who is really on your side and willing to help, or at least not hinder you. You will also see who your real opponents and false friend are. In that sense harassment can provide a gift in disguise. What do you prefer? A a fake friend or a real enemy.

  • During the harassment campaign I've endured I've managed to turn 3 pet projects into successful open source projects (awesome-django, django-sabot, django-autoadmin) which have been featured in information sources of their respective communities and industries such as the Two Scoops of Django 1.8 book, Full Stack Python, ImportPython #31, PyCoder's best of 2014, Lincoln Loop Django Round up #33 Many StackOverflow answers, as well as doing talks at world class stages like as PyCon Italia 6 in Florence. Turn frustration into creative energy.

  • When things become too much to handle, just turn away for a while. We live in a world of hyper connectivity where time zones don't affect communications as they used to. Trying to stay on top of things 24-7 will burn you out. Disconnect for while. The world will keep turning, the sun will come out again tomorrow, and data will still be floating in the internet, ready for you when you are.

Horse laughing

  • Pay much attention at battling emotional self sabotage. If you can't motivate yourself, don't attack yourself. The internet provides an almost infinite amount of funny videos, funny memes, inspiration quotes, and awesome world photos. Pick the ones that make you feel the best and keep them in a folder on you computer for when you need a pick-me-up.

  • Don't write off depression or stress as unimportant consequences of your harassment. When left unchecked they can end up causing not only emotional or mental health problems but also physical ones too. Don't succumb and keep in control, if you can't, talk to someone you trust entirely or better yet, seek professional help during your crisis.

  • Make something easy in a craft that you like and are good at: make a greeting card, build a simple electronics circuit, write a short piece, beat a video game, take some cool photos. Small incremental achievements will help you realize your own worth.

Mountain range

  • And finally, no matter how a days starts, you never know how it may end. Your entire life can change for the better in less than a day.

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