There has been a great deal of discussion about bullies on the playground and I
applaud the efforts being made to curb bullies in the classroom and at play.
Unfortunately however, bullying does not end when one becomes an adult.
Bullies are in the adult workplace too, and they can make your life and the
lives of your family members miserable.
So how do you cope?
Very often the bully in the workplace is a man.
Don't assume that they are always men. Women can be bullies too,
and as a woman I am ashamed to admit that our sex can be brutally cruel.
So what is the profile of a bully?
I am no expert, but from my own personal experience all the
bullies I have known have shared one characteristic ~
We have all met them. The person who only cares about
him or herself. The person who has no or very little interest in
the needs or concerns of others. So don't expect the bully to
back down because they have gone too far. They don't care
how you feel. To them, you are on the edge of nowhere.
This knowledge may make you feel that you don't stand a
chance. Obviously there will be times when the bullying is
so intense that you are better off cutting your losses and leave.
But that is not always the case and I'll help you understand why.
It's also been my experience that narcissists have self doubt that is
masked by their bravado. Despite the fact that their lives are so filled
with "me~ism" unless they are a full fledged sociopath, the bully will
have an insecurity. My advice ~ find it. Observe this person closely
learn what pushes their buttons and you will have found the flaw that
they are so anxious to hide with their bravado.
So if you want to hold your own in a bullying environment you
can sit back and let it happen or you can gather every bit of courage
you have and stand up to it.
Okay ~ I don't want you to do anything stupid so I am exaggerating a bit
here. While this is a serious topic, I don't want a bullying situation to
become so intense that you feel helpless to overcome. A bit of humor
can help to overcome all negativity.
What I don't want you to do is cower. Stand up for yourself. Don't
let yourself be abused by a narcissistic insecure co-worker or boss.
You have every right to shine too, and here is the rub.
Very often you are not the only one being bullied. The bully will target for
different reasons. The bully will go after the weak, the desperate and the
bully will especially target the one who is smarter, more creative and more
productive than himself.
The weak and desperate are easy targets and it bolster's the ego of the
bully. You can just see the bully puff up when he goes after someone
like this. This gives the bully the strength to go after the main
target ~ the one who threatens his or her position. This might be you!
Suppose you are smarter and more creative and ultimately a bigger
asset to your organization than the bully. The bully will have to come
after you because in his or her mind no one is allowed to be better.
The bully is threatened. That's a problem for you and you best be
prepared to take it head on, or run for the hills.
Why do you want to stay? Perhaps it's because you love your
job and despite the bully, you are happy. Or perhaps the potential for
advancement in your career requires you to be in this position for a
while. Whatever the reason, if you want to keep your job, don't let
the bully scare you off. You know he or she will so be prepared.
So you are in the battle. Now what?
Maintain a positive attitude
Don't expect your co~workers to defend you
Control your emotions
You are not in a fist fight ~ it's a battle of the mind and the will
and remember two things my Mom taught me:
My Mom was smart ~ but she didn't make this one up, Charlotte did.
Let the bully make a fool of him or herself. They will eventually
Kill them with kindness.
Yes ~ Mom said this too. Stroke their ego big time! They can't refuse a
compliment. And remember after you do, it's okay to fart as you walk
away. Make sure it's a real stinky one too. Have some cheese and beans
Remember, I told you that I am no expert. My Daddy taught me to
stand up to bullies when I was a little girl. I have been through the school
of hard knocks and can hold my own. But if it appears that I am no
match for the bully or if it's not worth the energy ~ I think it's okay
to run for the hills!
Right Bentley? Bentley says no. He has first class bravery.
He never backs down. He's a terrier after all.
Big Texas Hugs,
Susan and Bentley