I hate bullies. Despise them. I loathe them.

Now that I've been upfront with you on my overall opinion on bullies I'll elaborate a little.

I think we in America have become soft in our attitudes about bullies. We are too often seen trying to placate, ignore or psychoanalyze bullies rather than the only thing that works...confrontation and some ass-kicking. I'm talking about effective confrontation and ass-kicking which means you apply some old-fashioned pain.

There is no doubt that my attitude on bullies is the result of being a recipient of it for far too long by the narcissists in my life. Being raised by a narcissist, I was taught from my most formative years that it is wrong to resist. It is wrong to get angry when bullied. It is not "nice" to try to defend oneself.

Bullies are terrorists. Like a terrorist, the bully looks for your weakness, or your soft spot, and attacks you there. They attack you when your defenses are down. They pick on you when they are least likely to get caught. There is no such thing as a fair fight. They are underhanded and sneaky in their tactics whether it is an emotional or a physical attack.

Perhaps not all bullies are narcissists, but I know all narcissists are bullies. Both bullies and narcissists pretend they are big, strong and invincible by picking on someone smaller, weaker, vulnerable. Somehow they prove to themselves they are godlike as they crush the bug (that would by you) under their shoe. The narcissist bully lives in their alternate universe where such ridiculousness passes for sense. Bullies also interpret kindness as weakness. Beware.

Bullies are, above all else, cowards. Which is why they only attack those whom they perceive to be weaker in some way to themselves. Narcissist bullies specialize in emotional terrorism. They have keen perception of human nature and are very quick to hone in on your vulnerabilities. I have stressed before the necessity for you to introspect, to really know yourself, to be unafraid to identify and acknowledge to yourself what your weaknesses are if you are going to be able to keep the narcissist from using your weaknesses to control you. Just because you can ignore your own character, emotional or moral weaknesses doesn't mean the narcissist will do the same. Oh, no. They sniff 'em out like a vulture sniffs out carrion.

Assess your vulnerabilities. One way to do that is to ask yourself how a person can best flatter you. For example, are you easily flattered when someone compliments your looks? This could be a handle the narcissist can grab to make you jump when they say jump or to crush your soul. If you are overly concerned about your appearance then someone flattering you on it may be a quick way to soften you up. It can also be the fast track to beating you up emotionally by tearing you down on this point. The more you are susceptible to being flattered, the less defense you have in that area. It is a soft spot. Do not swallow flattery whole. You may take a little sip, but do not over imbibe otherwise you are likely to help someone get you drunk so they can emotionally rape you later.

Your moral failings can also be a big handle. Bullies are good at emotional blackmail. Your moral failings weaken you. We see this in politics all the time. The whole objective of "opposition research" is to hunt down every scent trail in the hope of finding some moral failing of a candidate to use to weaken them. Some uncovered indiscretion is all it takes to disarm you against the assault of an emotional bully. Your sins weaken you because your conscience becomes a bludgeon in the hand of the bully. Nothing like an accusation that has some foundation in truth to weaken your knees and make you submit to the abuse and perhaps become an accomplice with the bully. I'm not saying the bully has the right to beat you up for your moral failings. They don't. It is hypocritical for them to do so. I only hope by pointing out this possible tool of the bully that you will be prepared to stiffen your spine and not let them use your conscience against you. Forewarned is forearmed. You will feel overwhelmed at the moment they use this tactic. Even if it is something you long ago stopped doing and repented of. They love to throw it in your face anyway. Many decent people can be blindsided by this cruel tactic. Don't crumble. Don't cave. Stand up straight and blow it back at them. I hope I've given you some idea of how to take a good hard look at your self so the bully can't use YOU against YOUR SELF.

I recommend you sensitize your bully-o-meter to go off at the first small sign. Aim for a zero tolerance policy on bullying. The reason I recommend this is because with narcissists the bullying always starts small. Little things. Push, push, test the limits of your tolerance. If you have zero tolerance you can see why the narcissist won't get far with bullying tactics on you.

The only effective way to deal with a bully is to show that you are not intimidated. What form this takes depends on the circumstance. The principle is push back. Do not act like you didn't notice. Don't tell yourself "he didn't mean it the way it sounded". Don't try to understand the "pain" of the bully in order to excuse his behavior. Bullies are small-minded, small-hearted creatures who feed off the pain and intimidation of others. Stand up to it. If you aren't up to that, then leave. Get away and stay away. Keep in mind, though, that the only way to get a bully to back down is to get in their face, show courage, call them on their crap. After you've done that, then walk away. There is no point to keeping a bully in your life. They are mean, evil little freaks. Kick 'em hard and wave good-bye.

For all you "nice" people out there who wouldn't dream of hurting a fly, I'm sorry if my promotion of emotional or physical violence in self-defense offends you. Well, I'm not sorry. Never mind. There are some realities that have to be met with force. Because bullies only understand the language of power, sometimes self-defense requires the use of it. I will tell you that when I come up against a pacifist I tend to suspect they are closet bullies themselves. It seems those who expend the most energy trying to disarm us against bullies are really reserving to themselves the right to use terrorist tactics when it suits them. So, as far as I'm concerned, pacifists are cloaked despots.

Disclaimer: this is not an exhaustive treatment of the subject of bullying. You can go other places for that. These are just a few of my personal thoughts about this lower life form. Take it, or leave it.

[Icon by gryphonsmith]

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