How to Not Let Bullies Get What They Want
We all have an ego. However your ego can get in the way when you are being bullied. Imagine hearing whatever a bully said and thinking to yourself ‘so what?’.
This phrase shows indifferent to however you are being treated or spoken to and is very difficult to respond to. It is no good, of course, when a bully is holding you by the neck against the wall to look at your toes and squeak out a faintly audible ‘’so what?”
That is why I suggest thinking it first. Tell your mind that everything being said or done to you doesn’t mean anything. It’s not personal. When you can really feel it respond to the bully with a bold ‘So what?’ and see what their reaction is.
If you are facing cyber-bullying, this would also be a useful response, to whatever is being said to you. In fact the word ‘whatever’ works pretty well too. Think of Katherine Tate’s character Lauren and how she tries far too hard to persuade everyone that ‘she’s not bothered and how unconvincing she is.
The following idea might be fun. Observe what people who bully do that makes you feel worst or particularly pushes your buttons and ask yourself what you don’t like about what they said or did. OK, the fun bit is yet to come. Has anyone ever replied to you with ‘whatever’? How did it make you feel about what you just said to them?
Whatever is one of the arch-bishops of sarcasm, in my opinion. How easy did you find it to think of something to say next? Here’s the fun bit. Notice what your bully does that you most dislike and say it to them instead of trying to reason with them or say anything else. The exchange will probably end when you have just started to enjoy it! I don’t suggest imitating them as that tends to make people look a bit silly.
If you are an executive director of a large firm, school playground behaviour won’t serve you well (am indulging in a comedy tangent here as I know you don’t need to be told this). Particularly where work hierarchies are involved, the above suggestion would probably be unsuitable for a professional environment. I will look at workplace bullying in a later chapter as it’s not pleasant spending all that time in work with people who are nasty to be around, so you might need to consider wider options rather than just your response.