Revenge, Getting Back at The Bully Boss. (revised edition 5/13/08)
I can tell by the search engine stats that my readers are interested in reading something about how to seek revenge against the workplace bully. How do you go about getting back at the workplace bully? A very common question. I have asked myself that very same question dozens of times. The last time was as recently as two weeks ago when a coworker was brutally emotionally bullied. Immediately after, with my outrage still fresh against this senselessness, I wanted more than anything, for the bully to feel the pain that she caused my coworker for no damn good reason at all! At least us victims of work place bullies have a fair reason to want to exact damage on our tormentors. Don’t we? Well yes, but if we intentionally do something that would cause the bully in our life emotional pain, wouldn’t that make us bullies too? Well yes, and that’s only one reason why us targets need to take the higher road.
Almost twenty years ago I learned something from a man named Roy Masters. He runs an organization called The Foundation of Human Understanding. He has always taught that people have a tendency to actually become what they resent. An example being, people who were molested as children have a greater tendency to become a child molester as an adult than someone who was not molested.
Just knowing of this tendency, to become what we resent, leaves me wanting to avoid it, simply by being mindful to do so. To learn more about this principle, and the fascinating teachings of Roy Masters, click on the link to Roy Master’s web site, which is on the blog roll, on the right side-bar of this page.
Another thing that must be considered is the level of pain that the average workplace bully is experiencing already, without our help. Have you ever spent time reading on the Internet about what are thought to be the motives of bullies, causing them to behave in this way? These people are really very mentally or emotionally disturbed individuals. Whether their destructive behaviors are symptoms of a physiological brain abnormality, or whether they are learned behaviors, either way, workplace bullies are not happy people. I suspect that although many of them are incapable of feeling empathy, that they do suffer a type of pain, a kind of pain that we are not familiar with. I believe this pain, this rage, that I have seen in a bully’s eyes, is what drives their destructive behaviors. I believe them to be in a very lonely, dismal place, and deserving of our pity and our prayers.
Although I don’t hesitate to defend myself against a bully, I have yet to utter a cruel lie against one or spread malicious, hateful rumors. It must be considered that it is precisely our reaction to a bully, that will fuel the fire or prove to extinguish it. A major bullying tactic is to provoke a target to anger, then use that angry episode as an example against the target. Being bullied by three different people, in a span of 32 years, I can tell you I reacted in every conceivable way possible. I found out along the way that certain behaviors or reactions are more advantageous than others.
When I was younger, and filled with youthful passion, the senselessness of bullying behavior made me nuts! This too, was way before learning about the phenomenon of workplace bullying and mobbing. When a target knows nothing about bullying and mobbing, the experience they find themselves in, makes no sense at all. It’s creates an emotional crisis, which the target has no experience with. The target may find it hard getting others to believe that their boss is out to destroy them, or to understand the depth of their concern, when accounts of the bully’s issues with the target, often seem rather trivial. And they are trivial. The complaints workplace bullies make against their targets ARE often trivial. The literature calls it “trivial fault finding”. In the United States where most people have never heard the terms “workplace bullying and mobbing”, even the target’s usual sources of support and guidence, often fall short of both understanding and of useful advice.
My less advantageous reactions were made during these early years before understanding the pheonmenon of work place bullying and mobbing. Lashing out angrily is the biggest mistake a target can make only fueling the fire. Don’t give the bully examples of all your negative behaviors. Your bully will use every negative comment against you.
Over the years I’ve come to a place of peace, with the fact of the existence of bullies. I’ve learned to become someone they can no longer provoke. I’ve learned that not reacting, keeps my bully from reacting. If my demeanor is calm and controlled, her’s is. Why? Bullies think in a competitive way. They are always comparing their behavior or performance with that of their target’s, or more importantly, the perception they believe others have. Knowing this, I think she is mindful to behave at least as well as I do. She wouldn’t want it said that I cope, perform or in some other way behave better than she does. Whatever the reason, it’s not really important. What’s important is realizing that my bully’s behavior often mirrors my own, and using that knowledge to my own advantage.
As I’ve matured over the years and through these experiences I’ve become more peaceful as I’ve become less fearful. I now know who they are and what they want. I know they are nothing more than big, bad, old bullies….and there’s nothing scary ’bout bullies no more… Live your life in happiness, and mean no one, no harm. That’s the best revenge there can ever be, is…living life well, despite the bullies… ABC
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