Bullies drain you with threats, and unrealistic or unreasonable demands and makes you feel sick and afraid all the time. Unless you do something productive, drain your life force as we imagine a vampire might.
Living or working with a bully vampire is a problem that’s bigger than you are, so be kind to yourself but start planning a new life.
Here are some suggestions:
· Move on. Save your life, your health, and your self-esteem.
· Limit your exposure. No, you don’t have to do everything together
· Use your allies. Ask for help so you’re not alone
· Be assertive. ‘I’m not sure, I’ll get back to you,’ and ‘No.’
· Get clear. Clarify expectations, assignments and obligations. Even if the bully vampire won’t care, at least you know you’re not crazy
· Change your words.
Words that express
judgment, contempt, criticism, stonewalling and defensiveness trigger strong emotional reactions that seem a lot like bullying.
Check this out…
‘You did…’ (Judgment)
‘You’re always… (Contempt)
‘You are wrong/bad/stupid, etc.’ (Contempt)
‘What’s the matter…(Judgment)
‘I’m sick of you…’ (Contempt, criticism, & judgment)
‘I didn’t do that, you did (?)
‘What do you mean by that? (Defensiveness)
And then the old refusing to answer or talk about what’s going on. (Stonewalling)
What’s the matter with you anyway? (?)
- Why can’t you be home on time? (?)Find a relationship counselor or coach. If your bully won’t participate, then do it alone but avoid a bully counselor (it can happen).
- If your bully vampire wants to see the light of day, then work on your communication skills together. Read John Gottman’s ‘The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work’ a fantastic way to understand work or family relationships. It’s not just for couples and marriages, by the way.
If you’re the victim of a bully vampire, then prepare for a blood drive. I’d love to tell you that it’s up to the bully vampire to get better but reality is … do what you can but craft your exit strategy before you lose your self-esteem and can’t find a way out.