What happens when one is bullied?
- We experience unwanted behavior from another.
- We may or may not be aware that this is happening – we just know we do not feel good.
- We may turn to self doubt – “What did I do?”
- We might, as a result of our wondering “why is this happening to me?” start to lose our personal power.
Wouldn’t it be great to arrive at a place where we were never offended?
So What Can We Do To Handle The Bully’s Anger?
If you can master your response, you’ll increase your personal power.
The Top Tips:
- As hard as this might be, remain and act calm. Any emotion can be fodder for someone who is angry or out of control. By remaining calm, you are setting your boundary. This includes not lashing back with verbal comments and defensiveness as tempting as this might be.
- The person who is angry might have a valid point but it is coming out in an inappropriate way. Separate the content from the delivery and if you have to communicate, do so on the content.
- If someone is very angry, it is not the time to rationalize or converse. Let go of the need to be heard (at this time).
- Remember, great people do not treat others disrespectfully as a rule – this says more about the bully’s incapability to connect than it does about any shortcoming you may (and certainly may not) have.
- If someone was angry with you for having 5 arms, we wouldn’t feel guilty or have feelings of self doubt, and we would not wonder if their anger was justified. We wouldn’t feel that we had to prove something in order to be accepted. Be clear on your self-worth.
- When you’re in the “heat of the moment”, find a way to excuse yourself. “Excuse me, I have to go”, or “I’ll come back when we can talk”, or “I need to go”. You set the boundary instead of staying until the bitter end if the bully’s anger is coming from a win-lose place.
- Stand in order to show more confidence. Break eye contact instead of looking to make contact. Be the first to say good-bye or walk away.
- Have one good person you can talk to and say “Can I just vent for 2 minutes?” If you need more time, ask. Then thank them. And if you’re having coffee – be sure to pay!
- Keep an encouragement file folder with great cards, notes, letters, inspirational sayings, quotes and poems. Sometimes this helps to “re-frame” something that was thrown on you (the anger) that you do not need to be responsible for!
- Lower your expectations of connecting with this person at some level unless they change and are more respectful toward you. Minimize your contact and be “friendly, firm, but not familiar”.
Probably the biggest issue in dealing with someone who is angry towards us (as opposed to being angry at a situation), is the loss of what we had hoped to be a relationship or connection with that person. Continue to be the great person you were meant to be and be realistic about the other person’s ability to connect. Do not be fooled if they suddenly “come around”, bullies tend to let go from time to time, but they do get wound up once again; it’s part of the addiction.
Here’s to the best week you’ve had in a long time!
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Valerie Cade, CSP is a Workplace Bullying Expert, Speaker and Author of "Bully Free at Work: What You Can Do To Stop Workplace Bullying Now!" which has been distributed in over 100 countries worldwide. For presentations and consulting on workplace bullying prevention and respectful workplace implementation, go to http://www.BullyFreeAtWork.com
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