Friday, May 15, 2015

Bullies, Alphas, and Drama Queens

Dealing with Bullies

When a bad situation doesn’t allow you to remove yourself from it, you’ve got no choice but to deal with these kinds of people. If you don’t deal with them effectively, you’ll likely become their next victim. For the purposes of this section, we’ll call this person the “target.”

The target likely has an over-the-top, type A personality and will display power-hungry, controlling, domineering, egotistic, narcissistic, bullying tendencies. These people have no qualms in using unethical behavior to gain the upper hand, and they tend to pick on people that they view as easy targets. They often pick on people they view as unpopular and less likely to be defended by others. They may choose to bully anyone who is highly individual. Bullies don’t always pick the weak person but sometimes go after the individual who is more likely to be comfortable being alone and therefore less protected by peers. 

I deal with these people by not appearing to be too independent. I’ll make friends with people in power positions and who I trust, so a bully will think twice when seeing that I’m on great terms with the person in charge.  It doesn't hurt to be social sometimes even if its not the dominating trait in your personality.  Displaying a higher number of connections in itself may be enough to dissuade bullies looking for targets.

My dealings with these people are based on the idea that at some level, everyone looks for love, approval, and validation from others. You can use this to your advantage to gain power, especially in group settings, by showing that you need these less than anyone else. The trick is to do so without coming across as a jerk.  You want to show that you are social but also show that you don't care if the bully likes you or not. 

You want to make the target and their fans feel slightly below you. Make them work for your approval, love, and validation instead of vice versa. The goal isn’t to make them feel inferior. They’ll resent you, and you’ll find yourself at the bottom of the pecking order.

It’s also important that you don’t show hate, disapproval, disrespect, or disdain. Negative emotions are an emotional investment none the less, and people will believe that you secretly want the target’s approval (and are angry and disappointed that you don’t have it). When they see your resentment toward the target, they will suspect that you have ulterior motives even when you don’t.

Getting mad at the target is a form of seeking validation, which is the opposite of what you want. Never lose your cool, and do all you can to appear indifferent and make the target work for your validation. Appear neutral. Show that you can walk away from the relationship without any concern or loss. In other words, your life will be wonderful with or without them.

Its also important to note that you mus always stay in rapport. Don’t communicate in an awkward, obvious, or mean-spirited way and if anyone suspects you are using tactics at any point you will lose all credibility.
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