Bullies and Dickheads

Note: For the purpose of this article, when I use the term ‘bullying‘ I am not talking about physical violence or abuse. I am referring to emotional and psychological intimidation only. If you’re easily offended by words like dickhead, then this may not be the article for you.

The Occasional Dickhead

harassmentI live on a pretty busy street in a pretty busy area. And living on my pretty busy street in my pretty busy area gives me an opportunity to observe a large cross-section of humanity. Busy people. Cool people. Old people. Young people. Interesting people. Inspiring people. Weird people. Friendly people. A wide range of nationalities and cultures and of course, the occasional dickhead. I know that’s not a term often used in self-help literature but perhaps it should be; they exist. Yes, the psychologists might give them different labels (narcissists, delusionals, sociopaths) but at their core… they’re dickheads.

The Poster Boy

They live among us in human form and permeate every corner of society. They are bird crap on the windscreen of life. They exist in our homes, our businesses, our schools, our sporting clubs and even our churches (hard to believe I know). Periodically you will be required to deal with their dickheaded-ness (a word), so it’s always good to be prepared and understand how your typical dickhead operates. This morning I met the poster boy for dickheads. An angry dickhead. An ignorant, arrogant bully. Oh yes, he was a champion.

Shattered Tranquility

angry manIt was about 8 a.m. and I was waiting in line at my local supermarket. I was enjoying my own little private meditation session, humming a song in my head and using as few brain cells as possible when from out of nowhere my tranquility was shattered by an inappropriately loud voice. There I was, lost in my own little cerebral refuge, groceries in hand when Mr. Potato Head stepped out of the shadows of obscurity and into my life. Apparently there weren’t enough cashiers on duty for his liking and his exceptionally important life and very busy schedule was being ruined by having to wait in a queue. There were two cashiers working and about five or six people in each queue, so it was really no biggie. For the rest of us anyway. The Dickhead (as he shall be referred to from here on) was in his forties and wearing an expensive suit, so he must have been important. How dare he have to lower himself and line up with us commoners to wait a full two minutes to buy his cigarettes. Such an inconvenience. Poor baby.

The Tirade

The Dickhead started his tirade by complaining about the situation to some ladies standing next to him in the queue who clearly weren’t interested in his protest, his language or his manner. When he didn’t get the support he was looking for, he turned his increasingly loud attention to the sixteen year-old girl at the register. When she didn’t seem to have an immediate solution he began to get louder, more aggressive and more intimidating.

“Would it be possible to get any f***ing service in this f***ing place” he yelled into the atmosphere.

A Violent Fantasy

I almost laughed out loud at how stupid he was. I looked at the young cashier, she appeared to be petrified. Part of me wanted to lean over the counter and stab the Dickhead in the neck with one of the Bic pens on the stand next pen manto him. But that would have been bad right? Just checking. Fortunately for him, I’m not the violent type. Often. By this stage he was visibly angry and beginning to rant. I looked around at everyone in line and he and I were the only blokes there. I looked at the other people lined up with their milk, bread and newspapers and they all looked extremely uncomfortable.

Confrontation

I stared at the ranting idiot in disbelief, marvelling at his ability to create such chaos and tension all because of his selfishness, his arrogance and his inability to control his temper. He turned and saw me staring at him. I was glad. He looked at me for a second and then turned away. I was disappointed. I kept staring. He turned back to me. Bingo.

“What are you f***ing looking at?” he barked at me.

Some Male Bonding

I won’t say exactly what I said because my parents might read this but I will say that I walked over and we shared a brief exchange over the top of some trashy mags and a chewing gum stand. In my own special (loving, caring, sharing) way I told him that he should probably treat people more respectfully, control his temper, regulate his volume somewhat and not intimidate sixteen year-old girls. That’s pretty much how it went.

After our chat, he slammed his cigarettes on the counter, abandoned his place in the queue and stormed out of the store, taking all his bad energy and extreme unpleasantness with him. Bliss.

Dickhead.

Before I left I asked the young cashier if she was okay. She was still shaky and a little teary but told me she would be alright. I hated it that a ‘grown’ man had intimidated and bullied a young girl to tears and made twenty other people feel uncomfortable and anxious all because he was a self-centred, socially-unaware tool.

Now, I know the behavioural psychologists would address this issue in a much more eloquent and academic way than me, but I gotta say, my tolerance for people who intimidate and bully… is zero. I can’t help myself. That’s not entirely true; I don’t wanna help myself. Most bullies are gutless and need to be told.

“All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.”
Edmund Burke

Every time I’ve confronted a bully in a situation like the one above, they have backed down. Every time. They operate on intimidation and when they realise they can’t intimidate someone, they will change their tune and move on.

I have an issue with angry people. Especially bullies. For the most part, their anger serves no productive purpose. Especially the moronic, wanna-be alpha males who feel compelled to intimidate people who are physically weaker or smaller than themselves. Strength of character – good. Assertiveness – good. Intimidation… pathetic.

Some facts about Bullies.

abused woman1. They survive and thrive wherever people gather. Even on the Internet. Cyber-bullying is the most recent addition to the bully’s bag of tricks.

2. Bullying is not always obvious. Coercion, manipulation and emotional blackmail are more subtle forms of bullying. This happens everywhere from the workplace to church. People being pressured to conform to certain behaviours and standards, or to embrace certain beliefs or philosophies can also be a form of bullying. Someone who is constantly telling you how and what to think, is a bully.

3. Some bullies hide behind their public persona. Outwardly some are perceived as ‘pillars of the community’ while in reality they are manipulative bullies who control and intimidate rather than lead and inspire. In other words they are hypocrites.

4. Bullies typically prey on people who they perceive to be weaker and more vulnerable than themselves. They don’t seek conversation, they seek compliance.

5. It ain’t just blokes. When it comes to emotional and psychological bullying (what we’re talking about today), women can compete with the best of them. Er… worst.

6. Beware the ‘sales bully’; the person who tries to manipulate, coerce and even trick you into spending your money. “You can have the car at this price but you will need to sign up right now because this is the last one we have in stock and I have five other people interested….”

Dealing with Bullies.

1. Don’t stab them in the neck with a Bic. The thigh perhaps.

2. Stop being a people pleaser. Some people are so desperate to keep the peace and not ‘rock the boat’ that they spend their entire lives letting themselves be coerced, manipulated, pressured and controlled (bullied) by people around them. Often a spouse, parent, sibling or boss.

3. Don’t walk around with that victim sign on your forehead. Consciously work at being assertive and expressing your own thoughts and ideas. Just because you respect someone doesn’t mean you need to agree with them. Your thoughts, ideas, beliefs and values are just as important as anybody’s.

4. At times it will be necessary to distance yourself from people who would seek to intimidate or manipulate you into compliance. This could mean a range of things from changing jobs, to ending a relationship, to spending less time with an over-bearing family member, to leaving a church.

stay away5. Acknowledge bullying for what it is in your life. Don’t make excuses for the bullies in your world. It only allows them to continue their selfish, controlling, anti-social behaviour and keep you in that submissive, compromised, unhappy place (exactly what they want). They want power over you and they can only have it if you give it to them.

6. Bullies are essentially gutless. Sometimes it is necessary to involve someone else in the process to deal with a bully in a strategic, productive and firm manner (no, not violent just assertive). A few years ago one of my friends was being bullied by her boss. When his ‘advances’ to her were shunned he decided to make her life hell. He constantly made her feel uncomfortable and intimidated. I made an appointment to see him. He didn’t know who I was and thought I was a new client seeking some kind of professional advice. When I walked into his office he was surprised to learn that he was the one who would be receiving the advice. I did not threaten him (at all) and did not touch him (physically). I told him I knew exactly what was going on and that it needed to stop immediately. The entire meeting lasted sixty seconds and he didn’t speak. He never bullied her again. In fact, he became surprisingly friendly and accommodating. Funny that.

7. Name it and Deal with it. Don’t pretend it’s not happening. Don’t wait for it to resolve itself. Left unaddressed, bullying can lead to a range of social, professional, personal and even health issues. Things like anxiety, depression, sleeplessness and loss of appetite are not uncommon consequences of bullying.

Let me know your thoughts on this article and/or share from your own experiences by clicking on the comment thingy.

Enjoy your day. Or don’t. No pressure.

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{ 72 comments… read them below or add one }

Tim Brownson July 20, 2008 at 11:30 pm

6 years ago I was in London driving through rush hour in a major hurry. I was weaving in and out cutting people up with no remorse and even ran a red light (carefully if that’s possible).

You can imagine the abuse I was getting from the other people, both verbal out of their windows and with some very creative sign language.

What made it worse was that I was using the flashing lights of an emergency vehicle in front of me to carve my way through the traffic. Cunning eh? I mean c’mon, who’d do such a lowdown conniving trick?

Maybe somebody who’s dad had just had a stroke (that he didn’t recover from) and was trying to follow an ambulance that he had no idea where it was going.

Most people thought I was a jerk. Hell no, most people KNEW I was a jerk. They may be right in the great scheme of things, but not in this case. I am sure though that if they knew what I was going through they’d have done all they could to have got out of the way for me.

Sometimes things aren’t what they seem. In your case though Craig, I’m betting they were exactly as they seemed. I’m struggling to come up with any reason why behavior like that is ever acceptable.

Sounds like you got a real live dick head! You should have had him stuffed and mounted.

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Patricia Singleton July 20, 2008 at 11:40 pm

Craig, another excellent article in your usual no-nonsense style. I printed it out to share with a friend of mine. I got kicked out of a church once a few years ago by a minister who was the bully. I had different ideas than she did and refused to be bullied into going along with her ideas just because she was the minister. My voting membership was revolked then I was told that I could continue to come to church if I wanted to. I told her I would not come to a place where my ideas were given no value. Two years later she was gone. The membership had gotten so small that the church couldn’t afford her salary and when she was offered a pay cut, she refused and resigned. It was a small church to begin with. I was one of 12 members that she kicked out. Like you, I have never liked bullies or liars.

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Michelle July 20, 2008 at 11:41 pm

Craig,

Another awesome article. Where were you when my ex husband was emotionally bullying me or my now ex next door neighbour was bulying me and my son, I could have benefited from you championing my cause. My ex did such a number on me emotionally that when he left in 2001, it took ages for me to get my self confidence back. The neighbour thought it was great to “attack” me because I was by this stage a single mum. He went on and on and it was not all that long after my ex so I was a shattered person. I must admit with the neighbour I did sometimes give back as good as I got but to have his finger 2 inches from my face and intimidating me was pretty harrowing. The whole lot caused me so much unnecessary stress.(I must point out that the neighbour was found to have anger issues, but I should not have been the recipient.)

Over the subsequent years and after a lot of tears and working through I am good now and can even manage civil conversations with the ex too.

In my last job, a female boss was a problem and required all of us having to do the harassment training again and a mediation session with the HR people. She actually hugged me and wished me well when we were all made redundant last Nov. Shocked me!!

Wow you are an incredible person to stand up to these people when so many would just rather not get involved. I always try to treat people well and can’t fathom why people need to be “dickheads” But good on you for defusing the situation and being the caring person you come across as.

Michelle

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Anonymous July 20, 2008 at 11:43 pm

Craig

From the self defence side of things you learn that in most situations it’s best not to get involved with trouble cause you never know what someone is capable of you. So that you confront these really angry people is kinda worrying cause maybe one day one of them won’t back down. But yes i agree these people need to be put in their place. I actually admire that you have the guts to stand up and tell them off. I wish that i could do that cause that is always the kind of person i wanted to be. What i always hear from people who have been bullied is ‘there is no point, they always get away with it’ yes because we let them. Or i hear ‘so long as i’m not the bad person then it doesn’t matter what they do or say”. yes it does. This is my life why should i live in fear from others? I wasn’t put on this earth to be smacked and trodden on yet i’ve always allowed it to happen because i don’t believe i’m strong enough to fight back.
I’m sick of having to bend over backwards for certain people, especially people at work who always seem to be in a bad mood, always blowing hot and cold and they dump their latest mood on you by being rude, talking down at you and worst of all, humilating you in public for no reason. These people have been behaving like this for years because no one has ever bothered to call them on their shit. its’ always ‘well they are like that because it’s part of their personality we used to them so it’s best we let them be’. Bullshit. If i behaved like some of these people i’d probably end up getting arrested. But how do u tell someone off in a nice way without letting them know how nervous you are? Do you just stop caring about everything cause people who don’t care have nothing to lose and if you don’t have anything to lose then you may as well just go for it. Am i making any sense right now or is it time for bed?

ange

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Anonymous March 21, 2014 at 8:18 pm

Craig suggested that you ” practice” what needs to be said. Keep it short and to the point.

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Anonymous July 21, 2008 at 12:30 am

Hi Craig

I was married to a bully for 17 years. At the time we met I had very low self esteem and he took advantage of that and I went along for the ride because I didn’t think I could do any better.
We have been divorced for over 6 years but I am still fighting to repair the damage that was done.
I am glad that you have written this story to alert people to this kind of person and would appreciate articles with suggestions of possible solutions for people that have been subjected to this treatment.
Thanks, Mary

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Al at 7P July 21, 2008 at 12:32 am

That’s pretty awesome how you stood up for the young cashier girl.

There are some true crazies out there that’s looking for a fight with anyone, but they’re easy to pick out from bullies, who selectively choose when to go crazy.

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Tina July 21, 2008 at 12:34 am

Hi Craig. This is something that took me half a century to do… stand up for myself and not allow myself to be a doormat. Amazing how much difference it has made ! Thanks for another great post.
{HUGS} Tina

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PEN'S ADVENTURES July 21, 2008 at 5:08 am

Hi Craig

Im seven hours behind here and Im bored and everyone is asleep in Aust internet land. I gotta say, that this blog has made me quite tense!!! It has made me think of all the similar situations I have been in where I just couldnt stand there anymore and say nothing. Whether its been the foul mouth at the footy ( and no- im not such a sqaure, we taught our daughter to say ” kick the bloody ball”) or the inconsiderate vile people I once had to sit next to on a plane who then followed me around Melbourne airport because I stood up to them.

I absolutely hate confrontations but I feel worse afterwards, If I dont stand up to these types of people.

Why is it that when you do confront these dickheads that the only way they can defend themselves is through 4 letter words??? Anybody who tries to win an argument using bad language instantly looses my respect. Hey, I swear like any other person when I stub my little toe though…..faaaaaahhhhhhhaaaa haaa hhaaaa luffle!

Btw- as you know where I am living at the moment, I could really tell you some stories about Male dickheads…………but I wont.

byee —eeee

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Anonymous July 21, 2008 at 6:50 am

Great read today. We all need to be reminded about bullies and bullying. It happens more than we really realise. Makes you really think. Thanks

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Narnie July 21, 2008 at 7:10 am

Thanks Craig,

Points 4 & 5 just gave me clarity on an issue I have been struggling with for quite some time. I realise that I am not an ungrateful, hateful, pitiful excuse for a daughter who is a complete failure, as I have been led to believe for my entire life right up to a conversation last week! I am in fact the daughter of a weak man who is a bully, and I will not accept this any longer. A man who does this is not a father and as such does not deserve that level of respect.

Thanks and because you love hugs so much here is one just for you ()xx

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Anonymous July 21, 2008 at 7:12 am

What is it with people in supermarket lines? In my local area, you put three people in a line and some retired lady, with nothing better to do starts complaining to the checkout chick about how busy she is and hasn’t time to wait! Like it is the young lady’s fault. She has to wait in line just like you. I have recommended Dale Carnegie’s book on “How to Win Friends and Influence People”. I am pretty sure the main idea of that book is not to humiliate and intimidate….gets you absolutely nowhere……

Michelle

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Marita July 21, 2008 at 10:57 am

Craig Harper, you are a legend!!!

Great article on bullying. I love the fact that you simply “called” dickhead on his behavior instead of remaining silent- well done.

Bullying is one of my pet hates as well and I have had a few interesting encounters with bullies. My experience is very similar- they always back down, when their behavior and bullshit is outed- game over.

Thanks for highlighting the issue and giving others options and ways to deal with it, and for raising the issue that it will not go away on its own- it does need to be talked about. Bullies left to their own devises continue to believe that their crappy behavior is ok, and continue to hassle those who are quieter more vulnerable or more compliant, and making their life hell. Thanks again for openly talking about an important issue.

Cheers

Marita

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Craig Harper July 21, 2008 at 11:01 am

Thanks for sharing your story Timmy Boy… enjoy your week.

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Craig Harper July 21, 2008 at 11:03 am

Hi Patricia – how dare you have your own ideas and think for yourself… How could you be controlled if you’re going to be such a rebel?

Hugs

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Craig Harper July 21, 2008 at 11:04 am

Thanks for your story and your feedback Michelle…

( )

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Craig Harper July 21, 2008 at 11:08 am

Hi Ange. Take a peek on my article at giving feedback… it might help..

Cheers.

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Craig Harper July 21, 2008 at 11:10 am

Hi Mary. Thanks for saying hi.Take a stroll through my library of articles – there are a bunch which could be of value…

( )

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Craig Harper July 21, 2008 at 11:12 am

HI al at 7p.

Cheers…

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Craig Harper July 21, 2008 at 11:14 am

Hi Pen, I bet you have some stories..

Cheers ( )

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Brennan Kingsland July 21, 2008 at 11:16 am

Dear Craig,

Bravo!

I’ve been standing up to bullies since I was only 4’8″ tall. When I grew up to be 5’4″, backing a bully down was no problem. I was an old hand by then. As you say, they generally slink away.

I’ve always had the self-image of protector-of-the-under-dog, probably from being the oldest daughter (or else, some deep psychological scars).

Course it helps that I learned martial arts. Now that I’m old, I carry a concealed weapon with a permit.

It’s not the bullies I’m concerned about, it’s the crack-head criminals.

Enjoyed the way you shared this story.

Oh, and Patricia, I belonged to a church where the herd followed the bully to the point of ostracizing anyone who believed differently. What’s with those self-righteous nuts?

G’Day,
Brennan

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Craig Harper July 21, 2008 at 11:16 am

Hi Narnie… thanks for my hug…

I’m a hugaholic.

( )

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Craig Harper July 21, 2008 at 11:18 am

You could always try the Bic in the neck option Michelle.

Ok, maybe not.

It’s nice to imagine though.

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Evan July 21, 2008 at 12:19 pm

Hi Craig,

You’ve got me thinking about bullying and selling/marketing.

I find high-pressure sales loathsome. And those who preach its virtues point out that they make a lot of money. And so it’s my problem and I just need to get over it and do what I need to also make a lot of money.

I think that maybe there is some truth to this. Sales and marketing are a long way from what I’m best at.

So I hope to live my way into a way of sales and marketing that aren’t bullying.

That’s for provoking my thinking.

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Patricia Singleton July 21, 2008 at 4:16 pm

Craig, I really appreciate your wonderful sense of humor. We all need to laugh at ourselves more often. Yes, now I am a rebel. You wouldn’t recognise the child that I once was, way too serious. Thanks.

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Anonymous July 21, 2008 at 4:24 pm

I just left a relationship of 5 1/2years with a bully. The intimidation and horror are all over. I’m quite an assertive woman and I put up with a lot of crap in the name of love. Looking back, I know that if the shoe were on the other foot, he would not have taken it for as long as I did. I’ve moved on and havent looked back (especially over my shoulder to see if he’s behind me, stalking me.) I have my life back and all of the things that I thought were “our” goals have now become mine. He never had any, just led me on to think that he did so I wouldn’t leave. I did though. He’s a definite dickhead.

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Craig Harper July 21, 2008 at 4:27 pm

Hi Evan.

I’ve been using a technique called soft-selling for years. I never push anyone into anything. I simply work at understanding what it is they want and need and I do my best to create a connection with them. If people trust you they’ll do business with you.

Cheers…

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Irene | Light Beckons July 21, 2008 at 8:06 pm

Way to go Craig … this is my second visit to your site, and my first comment. I was bullied for many years, and then I bullied others a little (gasp), and now I’m kinda in between. Time for me to learn from this fabulous post and stand up to the bullies (gasp again)! Love the way you write. :)

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Leanne Magraith July 21, 2008 at 8:14 pm

“They are bird crap on the windscreen of life.”

You are too clever Craig ;)

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jay July 21, 2008 at 8:21 pm

how timely your article was. My son (20) and i were happily paying for our Great Vic. Bike Ride that we are going on to celebrate my 50th birthday. When my husband came in and said that it was a waste of money. I have been talking about this all year as he went last year with 2 of our sons I thought it would be a great way to get fit and celebrate a pretty significant birthday. I think i was pretty encouraging of him going last year. so after reading your article i am going on the ride and i am bloody well going to enjoy it.
thanks craig love ya work

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Laurie | Express Yourself to Success July 21, 2008 at 10:26 pm

Great post, Craig – I bet there are a lot of bullies being stood up to right now.

I had a similar situation as you but in a quaint little local bakery (!) and with a woman who looked to be someone’s grandmother (!!). She was being plain nasty, agressive, and insulting to the salesgirl (probably 16 years also) and I just had to cut in. I won’t go into detail, but in this case, it was as if the woman did/said what she wanted because no one ever told her that it wasn’t OK to abuse people. As soon as I said something to her, she stopped – not happily, mind you, but she completely backed down.

I really like your post – thanks for writing it.

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Corinne Edwards July 22, 2008 at 6:21 am

Well, Craig, as one of your biggest fans, I feel I am entitled to disagree with you in many parts of this extremely well written article.

You are crazy. The man you descibed in this article is obviously mental deranged.

Did it ever occur to you that someone like that could have a weapon?

Maybe things are more peaceful in your part of the world – but your blog is going to the US – to Chicago- Philadelphia – Miami- Los Angeles – areas that have the worst violence and murder rates in the world.

Anybody can get a hand gun now in the US after a “background check” (please)

I am definitely a confronter. I told a woman the other day who was slapping around a small child in the supermarket if she did not stop I would call the police. She did. I took a chance she did not have a gun.

What I would have done in your situation is call security. They are trained to handle dickheads.

There was an article in the Chicago Trib today about how the police are being trained to handle dangerously mentally ill people who may be armed.

I live on a quiet street in Chicago – but three blocks west, and this is common in urban areas -it is gang infested.

Would it make sense for me to confront one of these people?

I do agree we should not let people get away with unappropriate behavior.

Believe me I have called 911 more than once. Let the authorities handle the nutbags.

But please – be careful. I would hate to lose you because of one of them.

I love you anyway! You are the best storyteller on the web.

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Craig Harper July 22, 2008 at 8:09 am

Go Irene!

( )

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Craig Harper July 22, 2008 at 8:10 am

I do what I can Leanne… ( )

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Craig Harper July 22, 2008 at 8:12 am

“Now that I’m old, I carry a concealed weapon with a permit.”

Remind me not to piss you off Brennan! ( )

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Craig Harper July 22, 2008 at 8:14 am

Enjoy your new life Anon….

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Craig Harper July 22, 2008 at 8:15 am

Nice work Laurie…

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Craig Harper July 22, 2008 at 8:17 am

Hi Corinne… have you been talking to my mother again?

Love you back… ( )

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Corinne Edwards July 22, 2008 at 10:37 am

Hmmmm-

No, I don’t know your mother but it would be interesting to know more about your beginnings.

We see you now. Where did you come from?

By the way, the article about the police training today in the Trib said that YOU SHOULD NEVER CONFRONT THESE PEOPLE.

It is time for an autobiography?

I am interested.

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Sus July 22, 2008 at 4:22 pm

Great article Craig, passed on to a workmate & friend who I thought could use the info.

I wish I could stand up to more people though – I find in those situations I am fearful of the person, & would get emotional (crying) if I tried to stand up to them on behalf of someone else. However, afterwards I can always think of the perfect things to say!

Sus ( )

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carolin July 24, 2008 at 6:31 am

Thank you! You just made my day!

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Janet August 20, 2008 at 10:21 am

Hi Craig,
Just found this site and went straight to “Bullies and Dickheads”
Love your sense of humour. I need to be more assertive without being a “Butthead”. I tolerate, tolerate, tolerate (my hubby) then EXPLODE,then I feel like one of THEM.
I’m ready to change. Any advice appreciated.
P.S. He’s a Truck Driver.

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loofemmaps February 3, 2009 at 6:54 pm

I’m a white person living in a town of immigrants who stare.

I consider rude hateful stares a form of bullying as intimidating and offensive as verbal.

Catching a glimpse of their hatefull stare, then I have to stare back and before long, it’s on.

Is it me or them that is the bully?

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Leticia February 18, 2009 at 8:36 pm

Hey Craig,
I just read your posting on bullying and it really spoke to me.
I’d had a bad day at work where a supervisor was bullying me into changing the way I do my job…and guess what when I spoke up and challenged her ideas…she backed down and admitted that hers was not the only way to do it.
I was really proud of myself as I am often a peace keeper…I hate making waves and upsetting people.
Reading your article has made me feel better…and I will stay and fight-not flight!
Leticia

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Burak March 14, 2009 at 10:47 am

Hey Craig,

Great article! Love your stuff. This one in particular is rather inspiring. I’ve always seen myself as a rather conservative person in the face of bullying, like most people, but this has motivated me to take action in future. And worry you not my good man, I know all too well that ‘Knowledge isn’t power. APPLIED knowledge is power.’
So I’d like to thank you dearly for your insight.

Have a good day buddy. That is, if you wish it so.
- Burak

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Jan June 8, 2009 at 12:46 pm

As a teacher of 37 years I was travelling along OK untill I was bullied by students both physically and mentally. The result another teacher lost from the system, And I was a good teacher who spent many many hours over and above those stipulated – late nights, week-ends and holidays included! It’s not just adults that bully, kids can bully their teachers, the people that are trying to help them, as well as their peers.

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Tracy June 24, 2009 at 11:27 pm

I stood up to a work bully today and I feel great. In no uncertain terms I told him that I did not appreciate his attitude, being told that I am stupid because I am a woman, humilating me in front of customers etc etc. I told him that I will not tolerate or put up with it. My life, emotions etc will not be controlled by some one else. I endorse assertive communication with bullies and let them that they are way out of their league!

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Anonymous July 22, 2009 at 8:13 am

So accurate and to the point! Bullies need to be dealt with differently than other people. Thanks for the advice!

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Craig Hawke July 22, 2009 at 9:23 am

Hey Craig!!

It’s been a while since I have read one of your posts…. glad to see you have the fire and passion to pen such awesome articles!! I am sure a lot of cashiers out there who would love to have you as their champion!!

Cheers……Craig

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h July 23, 2009 at 5:25 pm

got a growen man same problem bullying esp. he bullies me & my kids online billusa2000 on the net he’s in his 50′s what would cause a growen man to lash out at underage ppl or other adults esp. women? He makes threats and rants makes up stuff then types stuff like dddddddd what is wrong with this guy? Nutcase?

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h July 23, 2009 at 5:51 pm

I had to deal with 3 giys in school bullying me & my family tben oneday they got the crap knocked out of them they stopped that stuff. Ppl who bully are unfit and unhappy as well they have low self esteem.

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h July 23, 2009 at 5:54 pm

I regret stuff in the past but bullies gotta learn and relize that they hurt others and need to shut their mouth and think before they say anything.

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h July 24, 2009 at 2:08 pm

sorry for type o’s really tired he he bye

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Andrea July 28, 2009 at 9:10 am

Great story! Earlier this year I was being emotionally and verbally bullied at work by another female colleague. This had been going on for a couple of years. Got to the point where it was really affecting my health and I didn’t want to go to work anymore so I took the bull by the horns and addressed it. Several meetings later with management and this colleague, everything is great now. It definitely wasn’t pleasant but it had to be done. She bullied because she could and nobody had ever challenged her for her behaviour. I think we have a better working relationship now then ever before. I used to be scared to speak up but now I’m not….sometimes that gets me into trouble! But I hate seeing injustice towards other people and can’t sit there and watch it happen without doing something about it.

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al August 20, 2009 at 9:05 pm

i can see that i am one of those people who constantly rock the boat and it is great to have role models like yourself who are willing to stand up for what they believe in. Thanks for a reminder to not just be that person who keeps being friendly and ill remember this story for a while

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Jared Young October 26, 2009 at 2:47 pm

I’m just about to face my bully boss in an hour and 15 minutes. I’m a little nervous, I want to say what I need to say to him succinctly, and although I’m quite stressed about it all I’m going to stand strong and mirror compassion. I’ll let u know how it all went when i get back.
I’ve been searching all day for info on bullying and I’m very glad I found yr blog.
Thanks Craig for an extra vote of confidence and for making me see I’m not being overly sensitive. It’s not my fault!

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Jared Young October 26, 2009 at 5:34 pm

hey there again Craig & evryone,

Just had that meetin with my boss. Thank god thats over.
He listened and Im certain things will be better (it also allows me to pull him up if he starts again). I don’t think he really realised he was bullying me, and he said he was Embarrassed.
I feel so much better and very pleased with myself for standing up for my rights. Thanks again for yr advice etc here. I spent all day searching the web & yr blog here really meant alot to me.
Stand up to “dickheads” its good for you and the next victim on their list may be lucky you did too, it may just stop them in their tracks!

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sue angel January 20, 2010 at 7:48 pm

I agree with all you have mentioned. I am currently being bullied my our neighbor. Very nasty individual. The moment I tried to be assertive, he had no option to then start calling me offensive names. It is starting to effect my life in my home and backyard. I feel intimidated. I have spoken to a few orgainizations who had good advice but no results. There is this fine line with neighbor disputes and he is getting away with it. Could u possibly write more on neighbor bullies please. I feel trapped in my own home.

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Anonymous January 25, 2010 at 8:29 am

Sue angel, get a lawyer to write a cease and desist letter to your neighbor. That’s what I did, and it shut her up. Then I put my house on the market. I still had to put up with some passive aggressive behavior until I sold my house, but at least she stopped yelling and swearing at me out the window. I’m not familiar with Australian law, but in the U.S. you can take out an anti-harrassment order with the police department. My lawyer threatened to do this if she did not stop and that she would have a record with the police. This stopped the behavior. In the long-term, the tension will be taxing to your mental health, and life is too short for that. I strongly suggest you find another place if you can. You don’t know what aggressive wacko you are dealing with or if he will resort to violence. I totally empathize with you, and good luck.

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Anonymous January 29, 2010 at 11:35 pm

Sue Angel, I’m about to investigate harassment charges against my (sociopathic) neighbor also. Verbal abuse, noise, canvassing other neighbors to make complaints, throwing foodscraps and garden refuse on our nature strip, and now we have a fire infringement notice to deal with because we are regenerating the native vegetation and it seems they like to spread misery wherever possible. They have lied to our insurance company in an attempt to make us responsible for their actions. They have killed a beautiful tree. And, amongst other abuse, they call me a f***ing greenie while their 4Walls McMansion and closely controlled garden is mostly concrete. We are in the Melbourne Suburbs!!! We’re not moving! Our only solace is – we don’t live next door :)
Any avenues of assistance would be appreciated.
Ironically their web site mentions integrity and respect – they must have a different dictionary to mine.

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Anti-Bully February 26, 2010 at 9:08 am

Excellent post, Craig. You nailed it.

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Anonymous August 9, 2010 at 9:13 am

I’m very glad that you included the types of subtle bullying as well like manipulation. They can be just as bad as the obvious, loud, aggressive bullying. When someone tries to control someone else’s lives and actions that is bullying. When someone tells someone else that they need to “conform” that is bullying. When someone orders you about and tells you how to life your life and then gets angry and aggressive with you if you won’t do as they say is bullying. Unfortunately these types of people don’t respect other people’s wishes and feelings. The only feelings that matter to them are their own. Thanks for confirming that to me. I really needed to read this. It really cheered me up. There’s nothing I love hearing about more than people getting their commeuppance. I was originally looking for the answer to the question- why are people such dickheads? But couldn’t find any. This article has satisified me. Thank you.

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anon November 22, 2010 at 1:10 am

I really needed to read your article it helped me realize I have been too much of a doormat to my ex-husband’s bullying and intimidation. I realized after almost 15 years of marriage he is a dickhead. I filed for divorce and since that time, 4 years ago, he has continued to bully and be a dickhead. By reading your article it has given me some hope after putting up with it, talking to counselors, reporting to the police and finally seeking out help with a domestic violence center. I have continued to say that by seeking out the resources above I won’t be the only one who can see what a dickhead he is. I needed a good laugh and sometimes humor can help me through the day and gives me the encouragement I need to deal with such a bully.

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kp December 25, 2010 at 4:22 pm

i have one of these living next to me, hopefully will be gone soon as ”P” as listed his house as sold ,poisoned my fern trees as he put in a pool, ripped out trees on borderline with bobcat when i was at work ,hurled profanities at me when drunk at his stupid little parties,threw eggs at the house, and my nephews car late at night ,sent many annoying phone calls ,never did anything to him ,not even retaliate ONCE !!!! business name is (deleted) dont ever do business with him, juvenile football jerk who wont grow up,has a rag of a wife older than him ,professional loser

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Anonymous February 5, 2011 at 7:13 am

THANK YOU, I’m no angel myself, but THANK YOU

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Anonymous July 20, 2011 at 5:03 am

Thank you for your chit chat, very informative, I have left your site feeling uplifted and enabled into moving away from being a victim, I will try to remove the victim elastoplast from my forehead when facing the next dickhead that comes along.
I particularly liked the language you used – ordinary stuff that I could understand, dickheads, mr potato head, imagined stabbings with a bic etc… not ponced up words.
Thank you for being in this world and giving wallies like me an idea of how to grow a pair.

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Anonymous September 5, 2011 at 6:48 pm

Hi sounds funny (not really) but I’m one of those dickheads and I’m just realising it. I have never realised how many people I’ve hurt. It’s no excuse but I never meant it – I just have been so selfish and unable to see my own behaviour. I’m on steep learning curve but i want to change

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kazz November 27, 2011 at 7:47 pm

I loved reading your article!!! I’m being bullied at the moment and are trying all sorts of strategies to keep going and deal with it. I think my work mates are finally realizing it’s just not on and are starting to support me….slowly…:)

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ZIbby March 5, 2013 at 1:02 pm

Oh the altruism.

But we know you actually wanted to have sex with the 16yo cashier, same as all the other males (who aren’t gay) in the queue and a % of the females.

Address the real life behind the drama, really, seriously, please do.

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Anonyfem March 6, 2013 at 10:01 am

Thank you Zibby for bringing this message to our attention again. Even though it is several years old, the message really hasn’t changed. Maybe some of those who posted the first time around may like to update on their “bullied” status today.

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Anonymous April 5, 2013 at 7:20 pm

Hi, Thanks for the article. I am dealing with a bully…now ex husband. I have to deal with him because after I left he wanted to take our daughter that he barely took care of during the marriage. He abused us both. He continues to threaten and make (now feeble) attempts to cut me down and cut me out.
Bullies need one thing: discipline. They are weak minded and pathological liars that don’t even know their true selves. They are also delusional with a thought disorder. True narcissists. They fit criteria for conduct and oppositional defiant disorders…they are con-men. They look in your mirror to find ways of blaming their crappy existence and ultimate low self esteem on someone else rather than tackling their own issues. So, they need discipline. They cannot be reasoned with. They will never admit they have a problem and go through the proper steps to address it.
Never respond to their emotional outbursts. Wait a day at least before responding to their questions/requests. Respond to their aggression with, if you do x, y, z then I will do x,y,z. And follow through. Show little emotion with them, b/c that’s what they want. A reaction. They thrive on that. So ignore them as much as possible. Communicate through written means for documentation. It’s like a toddler who does annoying things to get a rise out of you. And then keeps doing it b/c it looks funny to them. Difference is, toddlers are cute, mean well and are just kids.
I hope this helps other people too. Being on constant guard is no fun. Just have to keep remembering that in the end, they are just mean people with a sorry existence and all they want is the drama, not even what they are really bothering you about. Sick!

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Anon November 8, 2013 at 1:10 pm

My previous comment was in January 2010. I am now at the stage if getting a personal protection order against my neighbour after five minutes of vitriol from both husband and wife while i was walking my dog in the park. mr tried to kick the dog and threatened to shoot her, while mrs screamed that I was f**n hostile, f**n evil, f**d in the head and so on. I have tried mediation – they refused. They torment the dog – what do they hope to gain by tormenting a German shepherd? While she hurled abuse that could be heard 50m away, he crept up and whispered “you’re a f**n greenie slut” in my ear. I even rang their parish priest anonymously and without divulging their names. He said he could do nothing and referred me to the police. The police, for the third time, have recommended a personal protection order. Finally, says my daughter, I have taken their advice.

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