Sunday, September 28, 2008
Friday, May 30, 2008
Why more bullying, you wonder? Because she's testing you with "Pass-by Nibbles." If you don't stop her when she takes these testing nibbles, she will continue, just because she knows you 'll let her. But, don't feel badly, there are many good reasons why you don't nip it in the bud early on. One of them is that you simply don't know what to do or say.
Here are two suggestions.
#1 Make sure you catch it early when it first happens.#2 Say a neutral, even amused comment, to show that you NOTICED it happened. That's it.
#1 Catch It Early
I can't emphasize enough how important it is to catch it early. Your success depends on it. Why? Because the less offended you are, the easier it is to find humor in a bully's nonsensical putdown of you. Really. You're not a bad person. You're as important as she is, so it's ridiculous when anyone else tries to make you feel unequal for any reason. It's absurd for a bully to try to make herself feel better at your expense. What divine power gave her that right? The earlier you see "The Pass-by Nibble" and stop it, the more amused you'll feel when a bully tries it. Early, you're un-invested-you haven't been stomped on repeatedly so you aren't holding a grudge, yet. She may not be holding one either, yet. When you first get to know people, you don't know who the bullies are. It's easy to be breezy. Later, it feels like every interaction you have with her is a fight to the finish…your finish. The stakes are higher, and you may feel intimidated by their importance. Hard to feel amused or light by then. Catching it early discourages the bully from escalating into more obvious and hurtful bullying. She sees you step up and say something to a minor offense. She may think you'll escalate your defense as well, which will require more stealth from her. She wants to get away with bullying, not be caught at it.
#2 Show That You Noticed
Speak up quickly with a neutral or even an amused comment. Showing a bully and the bystanders that you NOTICED an "off" remark is one of the most effective defenses I've ever used. No one wins or loses when you just "notice." It's not a "stand" or an argument. But it lets the bully know, with a neutral,offhand remark you won't tolerate further monkey business from her.
Here are some examples of "Pass by Nibbles" so you can recognize them better. You're left feeling badly after these:
- a joke
- a comment
- a look
- a voice
- a tone
- a body movement
- an accidental bump
- or, your stuff was moved without your permission.
A bully will use these later on too, when the bullying is in full swing. But early on, they are much more vague and subtle. The key to realize a "nibble" occurred is a letdown-type feeling. You don't know what happened, but it didn't feel good. You may even feel a little confused. So, now is the perfect time to speak up. Say something like these, but remember to keep it light:
"Excuse me? What did you say? You bumped me? Someone moved my___? Oh, another…. (joke, comment, bump)" No blame, no anger. Amused and light. Just so she knows you noticed. If she answers back and wants to engage you in an argument, you shrug with indifference. You can even leave the room casually. (See how I did this in my eBook) Everyone thinks that bullying is stopped in a show down. It's not. It's won best early on, in the "Pass-by Nibble" stage with gentle, non-confrontational statements and questions. Mild as they are, they speak volumes to the bully about what you will, and will not accept. You won't believe how I went from wimp-to winner-in a few short months! Read about it in, "Bully Blaster."