Maybe it’s your unruly neighbor who is part of your Home
Owner’s Association, a co-worker, a member of your professional organization or
even a fellow parent at your child’s school – you’ve encountered an adult
First - examine the situation at hand and assess what you
can do vs. what you cannot do depending on the bully themselves.
There is always a root to a cause. And bullies only bully for a real reason – and
it stems from insecurity, inferiority complex and lack of maturity. While you expect this from children who are
not emotionally developed, this can also come from adults who are not
emotionally developed as well. While this is not your problem, bullies sure can
create a lot of problems, awkward and uncomfortable situations as well as
unnecessary stress, anguish, sometimes more severe like lack of sleep, or even
What can you do?
Empower yourself trying to address the situation
directly to solve the problem. You will
often find that most ‘bullies’ do not like confrontation. Ask if they are holding a specific resentment
toward you or if there is something else going on in their personal life. At least you are attempting and trying to get
to the problem at hand. If the bully
resists or reacts worse, you know you’re hitting a raw spot and are on target
with your assessment.
Talk calmly and see if there is anything you can
do to resolve the conflict if there is one. If there is not any they will admit
to or they avoid you and don’t want to talk to you, then you know you have done
what you can as an adult to try to resolve the situation. If there is something
that you have unknowingly done to spur on the bullying, you will know about it,
as they will tell you. And chances are
that it will come out as anger.
Wait it out. If you’ve done the above, let there
be time for some of what you have addressed to sink in. It is likely no one has addressed the bully
before and it may come as a shock. If you have done nothing wrong and nothing
has been pointed out to you – see if the bully changes course. What you can do is stand firmly on your
beliefs and do what is in front of you – beit your job, participation in your
association or group or your child’s sport/activity or whatever this project is
where the bully resides.
If the bully continues and you’ve done what you
can do, you have a couple of options.
You can walk away and take refuge into a healthier environment or you
can get proper support from family, friends, clergy, or other associates who
can give you the strength to deal with the struggle. They say that ignoring the bully makes them
go away. Sometimes this is the case,
sometimes this is not. Sometimes the harassment continues so they can get some
sort of reaction out of you because they actually crave the attention.
Bottom-line when they are needing the attention, you know you are dealing with
someone who needs constant feeding of praise or acknowledgement. While the behavior is narcissistic, this is
really a matter of trying to gain constant ‘control’ – and usually this
behavior comes from someone whose life is out of control. And they need help. If you really don’t know this person well
enough to suggest it, get out of the situation.
If they happen to be a loved one, seek an intervention to see if this
person can get help.
People generally are not aware of what they do
and how it affects other people unless they are evolved enough to be conscious
of their own behavior and actions/reactions and what it ends up doing to
others. You can invest your energy in
these people if you believe this is a relationship you wish to work on and
keep. Otherwise, it is suggested to move
forward and into better, healthier situations for your own mental
well-being. If the situation has to do
with work or a group that is attached to something you cannot truly walk from –
you will need to develop coping tools to deal and get through until you can get
to a better situation. It is in your
best interest to take care of your health, exercise to relieve the stress,
meditate, read, sleep and eat well and give your body and mind a chance to rest
and relax often so you do not physically tax your body from what emotional
distress you absorb and take on in having to deal with a situation like this as
best as you can. Make small forward
movements every day to work toward a better scene – whether it’s looking for a
new job, or a new group/hobby or something that can inch you closer to a place
where you can be peaceful and be around people who respect you.