How to Handle Your Bully
a person who uses strength or power to harm or intimidate those who are weaker.
use superior strength or influence to intimidate (someone), typically to force him or her to do what one wants.
Being Unique doesn't come without its own set of challenges. One of those challenges becomes facing the bullies around us.
As a little girl, I was fascinated with the cartoon "Popeye." Popeye spent the first part of these skits being harassed and intimidated by a character called Brutus who was bigger, louder, and stronger than he was.
What I liked about Popeye was the he never gave up. As soon as I understood the power of "the spinach," it frustrated me to watch Popeye being beat down. "Eat your spinach!" I would yell at the TV. Eventually he would and he would always come back to win.
Most of the bullies that we encounter as adults are not like Brutus. Brutus was loud and obnoxious. Brutus used physical threats and his intimidating size and physical strength.
Most adult bullies are much more subtle. Their tactics use superior INFLUENCE skills that create an atmosphere AGAINST people they don't like or whom they have classified as "weaker," "dumber," or "inept." They charm their "in group" and poison this group to be against a person or group of people that are "different."
I wish that I could tell you that I understood a bully's thought pattern. The truth is that I have struggled to understand and found myself confounded. I can't even think like a bully! I believe that everyone DESERVES love and respect.
What I have mastered is the art of making bullies leave me alone. Sure they may go behind my back and talk about me. But I don't have to put up with their intimidating or harassing behaviors.
First let me say that I am not a therapist, counselor, or psychiatric professional. If you are in a dangerous or violent situation, seek professional guidance BEFORE trying any strategies listed here.
Here are some tactics that you can adopt to make your bullies turn away:
Don't go it alone. If you are being harassed by a bully, rest assured that you are NOT the ONLY one. The trick is finding the other people that the bully has singled out. Once you find them, band together and support one another. Remember that bullies love to isolate you to make themselves seem more powerful.
Talk about it. Bullies rely on the fact that you will NOT talk about what is going on. Get with your support group and find someone in power that you can tell about the bad behavior. Remember that your situation is already bad. Talking about it with people who can support you gives you more control. Bullies love to intimidate you into silence. Don't be silent.
Consider your options. Sometimes we get so wrapped up in what the bullying is doing to us that we forget to consider our options. Again, this is where support comes in to play. In most cases there are support groups and organizations that can help you navigate your situation. Reach out to them. You may realize that you have more support and influence on the situation than the bully does. No one really likes a bully and when they are exposed the dynamics of the situation will likely change.
Don't blame yourself. Part of the bully's strategy is to get inside of your head and convince you that you are at fault for what is going on. Don't accept that as truth. Everyone deserves to be treated with dignity and respect. Period. Don't allow the bully to use your difference against you. You are different and allowing the bully to intimidate you into believing that there is something "wrong" with you is a basic intimidation tactic.
Don't get drawn in. One of a bully's favorite tactics when they feel they are losing control is to draw you in. They will invite you to be part of the "in group." Don't believe them. This is a trick for them to gain more control over you. Resist their advances and stick with your support group. Often the bully is just trying to get close to you so that they can figure out how to intimidate you again. In other words, don't expect them to change.
Stand up to your bully. Standing up to your bully can be scary. Your bully may be powerful and popular (most bullies are). What you must realize is that you are not likely the bully's first victim and you won't be his last victim. I have stood up to many bullies during my life. Do you know what happens when you stand up to your bully? In most cases they will leave you alone. Standing up to your bully looks like all of the strategies listed above. When you show strength, courage, and confidence, the bully will often leave you alone and go find an easier target.
I have stood up to many bullies over the course of my life. One common thing that I have found is this: when they are exposed most people will come out against them. Why is this? No one liked the bully to begin with. Everyone was feeling the same way. But no one had the courage to stand up to the bully so they allow the bully and their in group to control the situation. Don't let that happen to you.
And if the person being bullied is your friend, by all means share this post with them. I am also listing some really good resources for support. We all need to band together to put an end to BULLIES!
Stand for the Silent http://standforthesilent.org
STOMP Out Bullying http://www.stompoutbullying.org
Free2Luv and the Kindness Revolution http://free2luv.org/beyou/
Rachel's Challenge http://rachelschallenge.org/
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org/
North American Alliance of Child Helplines http://121help.me/
Stand in Your Unique. Love Your Unique. Live Your Unique. Know that you are awesome. And don't let your bullies get the best of you.
I am cheering for you.