Tactics depend on your goals and circumstances. Sometimes you don’t poke the bear and sometimes you must. Or think of different images: Sometimes you must kill the snakes, put salt on the leaches, drive off the wolves, take antibiotics, pull the weeds, remove the bullies and narcissists, drive out the money lenders, shake off the dust.
Hazel’s adult daughter still threw temper tantrums. She’d criticize, yell and curse Hazel. She’d threaten to deprive Hazel of her beloved grandchildren unless Hazel gave her everything wanted immediately and accepted her bullying and abuse. Hazel was afraid to do anything her daughter might choose to respond to with more anger.
Harriet’s older sister had beat her mercilessly when they were children and continued, forty years later, to attack her behind her back to the rest of the family. She’d spread gossip, make up lies and attack Harriet’s reputation. Harriet forgot she was now a competent adult and usually reverted to feeling like a terrified little girl.
“Don’t poke the bear; it’ll only get worse.”
Friends and some family members told both Hazel and Harriet to rise above, don’t give their enemies food for attacks and accept, with good grace, whatever the bullies and narcissists did. Never say anything bad about them and, eventually, they’ll leave you alone.
Bad advice; sometimes you need to protect yourself and what’s important to you.
Hazel and Harriet realized nothing nice, caring or loving had ever made her adult daughter or her sister act any nicer. Those people got great pleasure from causing pain and controlling their lives. They also loved to fight. But not poking them, only encouraged them to attack more often and viciously.
They had nothing to lose by trying to drive off the snakes. Risking a fight gave them a chance for success. No risk meant they had no chance of success; they’d be doomed to a lifetime of being abused and bullied, of being victims.
Relentless bullies and narcissists are stopped only by power; not by conscience or regret.
Hazel and Harriet became more determined to live bully-free lives than their attackers enjoyed attacking them. They overcame their fear and guilt. They also learned skills and tactics to fight effectively.
Instead of trying to change the natures of their snakes, Hazel and Harriet wrote letters to the rest of the family calling those people snakes and princesses, and attacking their oppressors’ personalities and characters.
Hazel and Harriet didn’t expect their oppressors to change their hearts. Instead, they hoped it would become difficult for the bullies to continue acting the way they did once their behavior had been labelled and exposed. They were forcing the rest of the family to take sides.
Then at family gatherings, whenever their would-be controllers said anything, Hazel and Harriet openly and politely shown lights on them. They also said how their feeling were so hurt by that vicious behavior. When their attackers said their feelings were hurt, Hazel and Harriet said the bullies started it. They couldn’t stay at the gathering with such people and they left.
Harriet and Hazel were surprised.
As expected, some people came to tell them to rise above. Harriet and Hazel asked the peacemakers, who were actually throwing them to the wolves, to go back and demand the nasty controllers to rise above and be sweet.
The big surprise was that some family members joined them and threatened the narcissists. That shifted the power balance so Hazel and Harriet didn’t have to leave their families.
Of course, there are many complications depending on your situation. The best way to learn how to take power in your life and to be the person you want to be is to hire Dr. Ben for personalized coaching and counseling so you can:
1. Develop the strength, courage, will and determination to be and to act your best resolutely, diligently and effectively.
2. Develop a plan and master the skills necessary to create the life your spirit has always hungered for.
Since all tactics depend on the situation, call me at 1-877-8Bullies for expert counseling and coaching by phone or Skype.