Resist bullies

bullyIf Momma ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy.

This old saying shows up a lot on t-shirts, coffee cups, and wall plaques. It’s supposed to make us smile, but it annoys me.

Shame on Momma for being so self-centered and narcissistic that she manipulates people with her emotional moods.

Momma is a bully.

A mature mother would have this attitude: Even though I may not be happy, I want others to be, so I’ll conduct myself in such a way as to conceal my unhappiness until I can find the right time, place, and method to deal with my challenges.

Bullying is the use of force, threat, or coercion to abuse, intimidate, harm, humiliate, or dominate others.

The only way to stop a bully is to resist him. Bullies can’t exist without victims, so if we refuse to be passive and actively resist their behavior, we can stop bullies in their tracks.

Some bullying is obvious: high-level Mafia-type extortion, tyrannical behavior at school or at the office. These certainly need to be identified and resisted. But there are also more subtle types of bullying—like Mamma making everyone unhappy if she’s unhappy.

Have you ever known someone whose behavior is so unpredictable and irrational that you feel like you’re constantly “walking on thin ice” when you’re around him? You always have to think twice about how and when to interact with him because you never know what mood he’s in. It’s a subtle form of bullying and he won’t quit until someone stands up to him.

My father was a bully. He manipulated others with his erratic, temperamental, and sometimes volatile behavior. His moodiness made everyone uncomfortable and on edge. Early on, someone should have told him, “Stop it. Your behavior will not be tolerated. Do that again and your family will leave and you’ll be all alone.” Sadly, no one ever pushed back. He was a bully until his death at age 77.

Resist bullies.

[reminder]What are your thoughts about this topic?[/reminder]

What? – Don’t be bullied.
So what? – As long as we play the role of a victim, bullies will continue their behavior. So tell bullies, “Stop!”
Now what? – Are you tolerating any bullies in your life? If so, calmly but forcefully resist. Don’t compromise or bargain with them.

Leaders – Do you bully others? Is there a bully on your team? Address this behavior.

6 Replies to “Resist bullies”

  1. Don, your words are wise and needed—but so challenging to apply. For some reason we seem to shy away from the necessary confrontation, hoping that somehow it will change by itself. (We’re hoping prayer along works.)

    Your post reminds me of the wisdom of Proverbs 19:19: “A hot-tempered person must pay the penalty; rescue them, and you will have to do it again.”

  2. My father was also a bully with physical and emotional abuse.
    After coming home from my first semester in college there was an altercation when my father kicked our dog down the landing to the cellar. My sister started screaming that she hated him and my mother tried to stop her from saying that. I took her to our bedroom and must’ve said I hate him too because he came after me and with his arm raised ready to hit me. I finally got the courage at 18 to say “go ahead and hit me you always do anyway.” He stopped and turned around and left the room and never hit me again. When Dr. Butterworth ask us to think of a fantastic time that we had with our father I was at a total loss to think of something, and even after all these years., tears just ran down my face throughout the rest of his message. I wish I had had the courage to put a stop to it at a younger age, but only after I went away to college did I realize that I didn’t have to put up with that anymore. Thank you for your messages every month. God bless you.

    1. I’m saddened by your story. We anticipate that our fathers will meet our needs and be kind. When they are not, it’s devastating and hard to get over. I’m glad you stood up to him when you were 18. I hope God is healing all of us through these experiences.

  3. I can relate. My dad was a bully too. He died at 45, after 4 years of a serious physical problem.

    1. Caroline, I’m sorry to hear that you, too, had an abusive father. Sometimes it’s hard to get over those early experiences, but we can, and must. Take care and thanks for sharing your thoughts.

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