Helping You Cope With & Stop



Assertive Techniques To Influence Bullies

One of the most frequent questions we are asked is:  How can I say something to the bully…not at the expense of myself or others?  Many of you are saying these four things:

1. I don’t know what to say to the bully.
2. I want to say something but I am scared of retaliation.
3. I feel paralyzed and therefore I don’t stand up for myself.
4. I detest leaving an ‘incident’ where the bully got the upper hand…again.  What can I do?

It is commonplace for someone who’s been bullied to feel like the wind has been knocked right out of your sails.  Call it shock.  When this happens, most targets feel they’d still like to have the confidence to say something rather than simply be a whipping board and stand by idly.

I used to think I was going crazy until:

  • I realized “Hey, I do have something to say…maybe I just need to know how I can ‘just say it’ without feeling the baggage.”
  • I began to see, “I have had good communication with others.  The bully does not care to connect in a win-win way with me…and this says more about the bully than me.”
  • In order to have something change, I could wait for the bully to listen to me and ask me how I’m doing (this has NEVER worked), or;
  • I could learn Win-Win Assertiveness in order to have my needs met, meet the needs of the company as best as I can, and not harm too many people!  What does this mean?  I could say ‘something’ without sacrificing my values of wanting to be a kind person, yet I could deliver a powerful statement to the bully that will set a much needed boundary!

Here are 3 things I learned over the years:

1. When I realize and accept that the bully will never reach out to me, this is the first step to building back my self-confidence.

2. How to not take some of the things the bully does personally.  Saying this is the easy part…knowing it – well, I must remember the bully is motivated by a deep insecure sense of low self-worth that started long before I came into the picture.

3. Knowing that the bully’s brutal behavior has nothing to do with me might be hard to swallow, but it is the truth.  Self doubt, although very understandable, is exactly what the bully wants from me.

Did you know that I was bullied at work not just once, not just twice, but three distinct times?  Did you know that I am experiencing a bullying situation right now?

So why am I telling you this?  Even though I travel the world speaking to help people and organizations stop workplace bullying, I must confess I was blind-sided when this happened to me.  Knowing what to do is helpful – make sure you get and stay educated.

Knowing that it’s happening is harder to detect, but by being educated in the first place, my resilience bounced back faster.  However, the confidence of knowing what to say and planning what to say…well, let me be open with you – I decided to listen to “Win-Win Assertiveness”, and I was quickly reminded:

  • I was not alone
  • I can say something
  • And I can now feel good about saying it

So, these were the secrets that helped me once again!…and now we have people that we’ve helped in over 100 countries from all over the world.  Win-Win Assertiveness not only has the best secrets of how to ‘say something to the bully’ (the ‘information’), but it is recorded live in
2 CDs complete with a CD workbook you can use to follow along.  The live recording is your ‘inspiration’…working through this is your ‘implementation’ plan for moving ahead.

We all benefit from studying what has helped others.  So why not take advantage of Win-Win Assertiveness and get your copy right away? Isn’t it time to gain back some confidence?

For your step-by-step guide on how to stop the Workplace Bullying that is happening to you, order our eBook or hard cover book of Bully Free at Work.

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6 responses to “Assertive Techniques To Influence Bullies”

  1. Lynne says:

    I agree with Indee. I have worked at the same hospital for 24 yrs. In Aug 2012 a lovely bully was hired as our manager. Many of us went to HR and their response was it’s a misunderstanding or personality conflict. Very frustrating that HR was not listening. I then wrote a letter to the head DR of our department. The Dr tried to help us but nothing changed. We had a huge union meeting and were told that there is nothing that we can do. We just have to learn to work with this bully. Finally after 18 months of being targeted I went off sick. Eventually I was directed to write out a bullying complaint. Senior management and HR have tried very hard to cover up and not do an investigation. I have continued to push. I have called worksafeBC and they have gone into the hospital twice. The hospital finally was ordered to redo my investigation. I then went to the CEO of the hospital and it was her who ordered an independent investigator to be hired to do my investigation. I documented everything that I saw happening to my coworkers and experienced happening to me. I phoned my previous supervisor of 18 yrs and my manager of 14 years, a Dr that I have worked with from the beginning, my children’s principal and the PAC chair and asked them to write me a character reference. I have worked very hard to build my character back up. It is starting to pay off. HR gave me a copy of the 1st investigation that was done. HR gave my investigator a slightly different copy of the 1st investigation. I am shocked that there is this many people who are willing to lie and cover up what is really happening in my workplace. What ever happened to integrity? I am very proud of myself for pushing so hard to have a voice. I am so thrilled that my coworkers are coming forward to talk to this investigator. We are being heard. Whatever happens with this investigation, I am going to be okay. My story was heard.

  2. Bully Free at Work: Valerie Cade says:

    Yes, it is so important to be aware of not only what is happening but also the politics of what is happening. Many HR Professionals do not have a system for truly handling workplace bullying from deciding if it is bullying, protecting against retribution and getting assistance for both the target and the bully. Of course, one cannot fix what is not acknowledged and this can be the first stumbling block. I’m sorry it has come to this for you – wishing you the best in your next place of employment and much strength…

  3. indee says:

    The bullies learn to run to HR and turn the situation around in a complaint against the person being bullied. They know how to manipulate HR successfully. My job has been completely ruined by a bully and i have been at it for 26 years. The claims against me were obsurd but i guess whoever runs to HR gets the upper hand. I’m quitting.

  4. Melissa says:

    -Did you know that I was bullied at work not just once, not just twice, but three distinct times? Did you know that I am experiencing a bullying situation right now?-Yes, I know this situation. This is what happened to me. I don’t work now, because I believe it is better to avoid the risk of it happening again, as it likely will. It happened in most of my workplaces, so I have every reason to believe it. There is really nothing you can do or say to stop a bully. They are like a tank that rolls over you again and again picking up more and more of your colleagues, friends and family until more and more of them are brainwashed into joining the bully. In my opinion, the best and only way to deal with bullying is to educate those who care about you most, such as your partner and your closest friends. They are the ones who will be most likely to give you the love you need when the bully is destroying your life and reputation by isolating you from society in general. I don’t know why people are so prone to being influenced by bullies, but they are. And, it does not just happen at work either. I have also experienced it from some of my neighbours.

  5. Trudy says:

    Heck yeah this is eacxlty what I needed.

  6. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by eBossWatch, Tenika Luke. Tenika Luke said: RT @eBossWatch Bully Free at Work Yes! You CAN Influence A Bully Boss. […]

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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

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