We all know them. They are the people that we cannot get away from because the nature of our relationship is such that we are forced to have contact. We cringe every time something happens that we know is going to involve them and we begin the process of putting on the armour needed to deal with them. They are going to be loud, abusive, and possibly scary. The are not going to listen. They are going to blame you.
This is the bully.
Unfortunately they are also sometimes our parents, our brother or sister, our ex partner, someone we work with. If they were a stranger, or even a friend, we could probably just walk away and shake our heads, but these people hold everyone prisoner. They threaten, they talk over everyone, they are always right. They never apply the lessons from the past to the current situation, everything is repeated over and over and you hate every moment of it. Everyone else in the family, workplace, courts, whatever …. all talk about this person. Everyone sees the same thing. Some have even tried to address it, to no avail, so what do you do???
You simply don’t engage them. You don’t. The louder they get, the quieter you get. If there is no ability to continue talking (on your part) you walk away and wait for them to calm down enough to come and seek you out. They may not the first time, or the second time, but eventually, once they know they are not going to get the information without talking to you, they will.
They cannot keep screaming if they are the only one screaming.
They can’t argue if no-one responds to their statements.
They can’t keep attacking if there is nothing to attack. You make yourself their target by holding so tightly to your defense, they want to just rip that from you.
No-one can non stop come up with horrible names for more than a few seconds.
If you are on the phone, just quietly say,”I am hanging up now, call me when you are calm enough to talk.” In their presence, walk away saying, “I will give you some time to calm down.”
DO NOT involve anyone else. When they come back to you, continue on calmly as you originally intended. Deal with the issue, NOT the personality. Stop trying to address the behaviour because if it mattered what you thought or that anyone else felt bullied or upset, they would have stopped it by now. You cannot alter their behaviour by “teaching them” a better way or by appealing to their compassion. You can only be yourself and ensure that you control how people are allowed to treat you and speak to you. That is it.
The calmer you are, you are actually changing the emotional charge between you. You are throwing water over the fire. You show people that they will not get anything by treating you that way. The only chance they have, to have a say, to be heard, to engage, is to do so with reasonable respect and calm.
You take the focus off of THEIR problem and fixing them and you focus only on totally being you. You matter. You are in charge of you.