Get up close and personal and do it with a smile.
Yes, a serial bully can change if we help them see the error of their way. They must have a change of heart, not just a change in outward behaviour.
My heart races when this subject arises but it must be addressed all the time.
Reading through a FairWork jurisdiction guide on anti bullying in the workplace instantly caused my heart to palpitate. It took me back to countless occasions I’ve seen, experienced or behaved in a bullying behaviour. Be it in school, the workplace, in not for profit service to mention just some.
Just read the following in italics from the FareWork guide and see if your heart races
Bullying behaviour may involve, for example, any of the following types of behaviour:
• aggressive or intimidating conduct
• belittling or humiliating comments
• spreading malicious rumours
• teasing, practical jokes or ‘initiation ceremonies’
• exclusion from work-related events
• unreasonable work expectations, including too much or too little work, or work below or beyond a worker’s skill level
• displaying offensive material
• pressure to behave in an inappropriate manner.
However, in order for it to be bullying the behaviour must be repeated and unreasonable and must create a risk to health and safety.
How to identify a serial bully
1. They work in darkness, isolation, behind unseen walls.
2. They recruit cronies (mindless followers) that act like dog packs, establishing a reinforced hierarchy culture of acceptable bullying behaviour as the norm.
3. They enjoy demoralising those weaker than themselves.
4. They show little to no remorse for their behaviour.
5. They justify all their actions and even use the law to reinforce their actions.
6. They use their power to control rather than empower others.
I could go on and on but my heart keeps racing writing about it…
How to help others deal with a serial bully?
1. Stay in the light, be a connected person, develop interpersonal relationships.
2. Never seek the approval of the bully, let them like you and dislike you at the same time, their approval is meaningless.
3. Never let them demoralise you under any circumstances, never. A person has to have the right to critique you which only comes by permission you give.
4. Pity the bully because they are unwell, like a dog with rabies, they spread poison so stay clear of them as best you can. Only approach strategically to administer compassion through tough love.
5. Don’t believe their rhetoric of how great they are especially if they are condescending in their greatness.
6. Understand- They aren’t as strong as they project and you’re not as weak as they make you feel.
If they have the bully disease, they can also be healed from it through tough love.
There is nothing more liberating than overcoming the grip of a bully culture and helping others to be free as well.
Some of the greatest anti bullying activists are those that lived through or were bullies themselves, like me.