Keys To Stopping Bullying and Difficult Behaviors

white and blackbull on brown soil

When a bully figures out his/her nasty ways aren’t working, they tend to move on. Here’s how to send the message, “It isn’t going to work with me”

It Isn’t Going to Work with Me

One interesting thing about difficult people and bullies is that they aren’t stupid. They will tend to be more difficult when they feel what they are doing is having an effect on the target.

You don’t want to send the impression that the difficult behavior is getting to you. You want to send the exact opposite message — that the difficult behavior is not going to work with you.

What Does the Phrase “Not going to work with me” Really Mean?

When and if you allow difficult people to see they are succeeding at getting what they want, they will continue to use difficult techniques on you. If a person succeeds in getting under your skin, you will probably send subtle or not-so-subtle messages that their tactics are working. That’s exactly what they want psychologically.

Your anger or frustration reinforce the nasty behavior, so they continue. You get more frustrated.

They are rewarded and continue, and round and round it goes.

To combat this cycle, first you want to develop a mind-set or attitude that allows you to put the difficult person or behavior in perspective. It isn’t going to be fatal (usually). It doesn’t have to drive you nuts. And you don’t have to allow it to control you, your reactions, your health, and your well-being.

Remember this: A difficult person doesn’t make you feel anything.

Your feelings are your responsibility, and believe it or not, you actually choose to feel angry or frustrated. So you need to learn how to make better choices.

Some people think that’s nonsense, but think about it for a moment. How come Mary reacts to difficult behavior with anger, while with Ted, it rolls off his back?

Simple: because they think differently, and say different things to themselves. Mary, who gets angry, says things to herself that create anger. Ted says different things to himself, things more likely to keep him calm and in control.

You can learn how to do that. It’s not magic.

The bottom line here is that you don’t want to reward bad behavior. You want to show the person that you aren’t getting suckered in, that you are cool and calm, and that, perhaps above all, you will not be manipulated or allow anyone to control your emotional state or your actions.

You are a responsible adult and you are going to act like one, in control of your own actions and reactions.

So What “Bully Rewards Do You Need To Eliminate?

What you do NOT do or say is critical here. As we said, you need to do and say things that do not reward the difficult person. But what is rewarding to such people? Here’s a short list of the most common things difficult people can find rewarding.:

  • Sense of Control Over Self and Others (that would be you)
  • Straw That Stirs the Drink (center of attention)
  • I’m Not Much So I Have a Lot to Prove (insecurity that requires constant validation)
  • A Reaction … / Need A Reaction (wanting a reaction, even a negative one)

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