Definition of a Bully

by Jul 21, 2012

My thesaurus uses terms like annoyer, antagonizer, browbeater, bulldozer, coercer, insolent, intimidator, oppressor, persecutor, pest, rascal, ruffian, terrorizor and tormentor as a definition of a bully.

Going to work can be very difficult when you know among the cubicle walls lurks an antagonistic, annoying, browbeating, coercive, ruffian of a pest co-worker. Feeling like a deer scared to tip toe down to the water in fear of the lion lurking in the tall grass, the trip to work can certainly cause anxiety. Once you get there, the depression and other negative feelings kick in. That dread can cause us to lose sight of things, and lose faith in ourselves.

But think about this. Every minute of every day we are thinking. Every second we are thinking about all kinds of things from what to cook for dinner to how to handle the bully at work. You never stop thinking, and therefore you never stop affirming for yourself that the goings on around you are in fact true reality. Every second of every day you are affirming beliefs in something. Even now you are agreeing or disagreeing with what you are reading, and thus affirming your belief (or disbelief) in the content of this blog.

“My child is doing really great on his baseball team.” There. You made it true in your mind. “That customer was rude.” There. Now it’s a reality. “The new marketing manager is kind of cute.” There. You affirmed something else. “That bully is hurting my feelings.” “My loyalty to management has just dropped off the chart altogether as a result of the way I am treated.” “It doesn’t matter what I do, that person will never respect me.” Oops, you did it again.

When you say those things to yourself you affirm they are true. You make them so. These thoughts affirm the bully is winning, and knocking you out cold. These thoughts take away your desire to succeed in the organization, or even in your career. They affirm that you have given up.

Wouldn’t it be nice if your reality was “I am the best out there at my job.” “I absolutely deserve respect from everyone I work with.” “I am a confident, dependable and important employee.” Aren’t these thoughts better?

You are in charge of your own reality. You write the story, not the bully.

About Catherine Mattice

Catherine Mattice, MA, SPHR, SHRM-SCP is President of consulting and training firm, Civility Partners, and has been successfully providing programs in workplace bullying and building positive workplaces since 2007. Her clients include Fortune 500’s, the military, several universities and hospitals, government agencies, small businesses and nonprofits. She has published in a variety of trade magazines and has appeared several times on NPR, FOX, NBC, and ABC as an expert, as well as in USA Today, Inc Magazine, Huffington Post, Entrepreneur Magazine, and more. Catherine is Past-President of the Association for Talent Development (ATD), San Diego Chapter and teaches at National University. In his book foreword, Ken Blanchard called her book, BACK OFF! Your Kick-Ass Guide to Ending Bullying at Work, “the most comprehensive and valuable handbook on the topic.” She recently released a second book entitled, SEEKING CIVILITY: How Leaders, Managers and HR Can Create a Workplace Free of Bullying.

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