Every relationship whether it may be friendship or intimate is built on mutual respect for each other. If there is no mutual respect for each other then the relationship will slowly deteriorate until it becomes intolerable and both parties goes their separate ways, hopefully unharmed. It is impossible to have a vibrant and healthy relationship where there is no respect for each other.
Bullies can be found everywhere, in schools, at the workplace, at church, in friendships, and very sadly in marriages and the home. These people insist on being heard and getting what they want without considering the feelings of the other individual. Most times they will not stop to acknowledge or to see the hurt they are causing the other person, or how afraid the other person may be of them, even in marriages where there should be love and respect for each other.
But what are the characteristics of a bully? Let’s consider the traits of a bully:
Power. A person that is a bully strives on dominating the other person. They want control. They must have someone who they can control and who will tolerate their abusive behavior. Their powers are broken when the other person who is being victimize stand up them.
Egotism. A person who is a bully thinks that he or she is always right and think of themselves more highly than they should. Most times they are not aware of their distorted perception of self. They will think that they have the right to always be heard and to always get what they want.
Aggression. Bullies are very aggressive and sometimes do not realize how aggressive they are. They might not inflict physically harm, but they cause great harm by how they speaks to the other person. They are very disrespectful, will “talk down” to others and use hurtful sarcasm.
Lack of Empathy or Remorse. They speak and act without any regards to other person feelings and have no sense of remorse for their actions.
No relationship, especially a marriage will strive where one partner is a bully. If you are living with a bully you to need to take some actions to deal with the bully in your relationship; the bully must be confronted and stop. Although these tips are address to married couples, they can be applied to every different forms of relationship, friendship, bullies at school, at the workplace etc. Here are some tips on how you can confront and stop a bully in his track:
- Know your self-worth and that you are powerful more than you even know. Many spouse after living with a bully after sometimes becomes very afraid of their spouse and believe that they are not strong enough to stand up to their spouse abusive behavior. Similarly, many spouses are made to feel like they are nothing, weak and insignificant and unloved. Remember that God made you special, do not take any negatives from anyone, you are special, and you are powerful. Start regaining your self-worth and power.
- Make up in your mind that you will no longer accept his/her abusive behavior anymore, but you will stand up to your spouse the next time he or she starts behaving like a bully.
- Anticipate the aggressive behavior of the bully. You know who the bully is in your life and have enough experience to know how he/she will exert his domineering behavior. Because you know of his/her antics, you can anticipate how the bully will behave and instead of becoming frozen and shrinking under their behavior, you can plan your next move (how you will respond).
- Think carefully how you will respond. Do not coward under their tantrum but you must stay alert, remain calm and plan ahead determining your responds; a responds that will shut them up and cause them to listen to you; a responds that breaks their power over you.
- Set limits on the bully. The bully will insist and getting what he/she wants or to be heard, you need to make it clear that you will not listen until he/she shows you some respect. If the bully insists you need to take a stand and not coward under their behavior. Remember bullies strive on having power over their victims. If you are physically forced to comply with their wishes then you need to decide what you will do.
- At an opportune time, sit the bully down and talk to him/her. Bullies have a domineering attitude most times because of what they were taught when they were growing up and simple do not know better at times. Sit the bully down at an proper moment and talk to the bully letting him/her know how their behavior affect you and an alternative way of dealing with situations.
- Celebrate small victories. Set small goals and celebrate small victories. For example, just standing up to a bully should be cause for celebration.
- Develop your self-confidence and accept nothing more than respect from the bully and watch as the bully shrink. One thing bullies cannot stand and that is someone standing up to them; when that happens they realize that their power over the individual has been broken and they no longer can continue their abusive behavior. I am not saying you should try to overpower your spouse, but that you simply cease allowing your abusive spouse to have the power they have previously enjoyed. It will not happen overnight but if you continue to stand up to your spouse, with respect, then little by little they their behavior towards you will change.
Bullies can never survive in an atmosphere that refuses to accept or tolerate their abusive behavior. No one has the right to bully anyone, especially in a relationship that should be fill with love and mutual respect for each other.
No matter who the bullies are in your life whether your spouse, co-workers, boss, or family member, you can stand up to them and take back all they have stolen from you. It will not be easy but God will give you the strength to win the battle.
What are your thoughts on this topic? Have any experience you would like to share? Please leave a comment below and share this post with your friends.