Dealing with a bully can be emotionally painful- it's emotionally taxing and it creates a great deal of stress.
Wouldn't it be wonderful if we could just block bullies out and not talk to them anymore? The reality is most of the time bullies are people we can’t get away from – they're people we work with, they're relatives, and they're people we encounter on a daily basis.
We as adults get hung up on fitting in and being a part of the group. We don’t want to be embarrassed or called out in front of others. Bullies can be wrecking balls – they have a tendency to embarrass people.
According to Workplace Bullying Institute – 70% of people who are bullied leave their jobs because they don’t want to deal with it. From an organization standpoint, it’s clear: one single bully who is kept in the organization because they’re getting results can cause up to 100 other people to become less effective and engaged.
Often times men will bully women because women will take it. Women generally love harmony and keeping the peace, so for a bully, being able to push the buttons and have control and isolate people contributes to their strength. Therefore, they look for people where they can have a sense of control and power (women).
7 Truths you should know and understand about Bullies
1) Bullying is a learned behavior and a coping mechanism for people who are fearful
2) Bullies are bullies because they’re insecure about themselves and they need to dominate others in order to feel secure
3) Bullies recruit weak and fearful people who eventually become cronies to support their bulling work
4) Those close to bullies have learned to be quiet so they don’t get injured
5) Bully kids grow up to be bully adults and are difficult, if not impossible, to change
6) Bully adults tend to bully their way into positions of power
7) Bullies are not leaders – bullies are wrecking balls
4 Ultimatums you can do when dealing with bullies:
1) Do nothing and keep getting bullied
2) Change yourself and your reaction
3) Confront the situation at a higher or different level
There’s a place and time to leave and that’s when you’ve tried the other three recommendations. Or, if you’re leaving because you’re getting a better opportunity or you’ve grown as much as you can and will get better growth else ware. Those are the appropriate times to leave. You’re a woman of courage and you have the ability to stand up to bullies.
Recommendations when encountering a bully:
1) Manage yourself first. What is it that’s bothering me about this bully? How am I feeling as a result of their tactics and behavior? Check your confidence level. What are some inner critics that may be talking down to you and making you feel guilty or inadequate – these will come up as you’re dealing with a bully. Bullies look for these vulnerabilities.
2) Decide what your position is going to be. Don’t be a bully monitor by not taking any action.
3) Focus on the situation, not the person.
4) Think of dealing with a bully as God’s job. Read and reflect on Psalm 37. Don’t worry yourself about evil-doers because they’re out doing the wrong thing and God will deal with them. Your job is to trust in God – let him do the hard work.
Ask yourself: Should I give up control or should I be true to my values no matter the cost? Others are watching you and are counting on you to stand up for what’s right. Decide to stand up for your values.
Angie Nuttle is a Certified Coach, Author, Speaker, CEO of a private consulting and coaching firm, Corporate Mom, Wife, Dog Walker, Taxi Driver...and other job titles.