Helping You Cope With & Stop



Bully Boundaries: Not Giving into Aggressiveness

Forceful or Aggressive: Not honoring the boundaries of others.


To get their own needs met – first as efficiently as possible.

What They Do:

Overt and direct – demand that others comply in order to meet their needs.  They use direct words and tone of voice to push you into decisions you do not want.

Manipulative – A more persuasive approach that is less confrontational but creates pressure nonetheless.  They seduce others and try to convince by using guilt, over-convincing chatter, manipulation and force.

Bottom line – you feel what you want or need was not heard or honored.

What Happens:

They have difficulty accepting that other people have needs and their own boundaries.  They attempt to control others in order to feel a sense of control (they usually do not have self-control).


Cannot seem to play in the sandbox together and accept another’s limits.  They cannot seem to accept another’s difference of opinion, and when faced with this difference, they resort to force in order to maintain having it ‘their way’.  Others feel pressure to comply and therefore the team spirit and synergy tends to die, and people give in, withdraw and ignore.

Why Do They Do That?

  • Fear of being taken advantage of.
  • Fear of not getting the results they need.
  • They feel others (might) not do it like they would, so they attempt to control.
  • They have a hard time with discipline – curbing their needs to hear the needs of another.
  • They are driven by impulse.

What They Can Do:

  • Decide to listen, honor and acknowledge other people’s needs, and admit/take responsibility for owning their lives. When they do not, this says a lot more about them than you.

What You Can Do:

  • Decide to not give into their force and strong-willed nature.
  • Everyone has a rough day, allow for the occasional bad day – however, if this is is their nature, change your co-created relationship to one of friendly, firm but not familiar.
  • Remain calm and do not expect agreement, remorse, empathy or curiosity.
  • Do not fight back.
  • Assert one key statement in order to state what you want.
  • Leave if too overpowering and suggest to chat another time.
  • Shift your focus from needing acceptance from them to what you want instead from them.
  • If they are not showing kindness, consideration and respect, accept this as soon as it is revealed as opposed to trying to change them or believe “they will change”. If they show you who they are – believe them!
  • Be the first to say good-bye, walk away, break eye contact or suggest another time to meet.
  • Bottom line:  Start thinking about what you want instead and make the request.

Remember:  It takes two to create a respectful relationship.


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2 responses to “Bully Boundaries: Not Giving into Aggressiveness”

  1. Deanne Coburn says:

    Excellent, practical advice. I look forward to you weekly messages.

  2. Kim says:

    Excellent tips. My bully situation has been resolved thanks to your advice.

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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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