We all have ideas of what a bully looks like;
- The big mean boy, maybe physically large and maybe overweight.
- The pretty girl who controls the class/workplace etc
- A certain boss who wants everyone afraid of him.
I am sure you could add more to the list but these are not the complete picture because anyone can be a bully in any walk of life. You could be one, I could. You possible do not think you could ever bully anyone but when does assertion become bullying, when does confidence start to blind you to how others react to you? If you are confident and assertive it might surprise you to know that in some areas of your life you could be thought to be a bully. Shocking isn’t it, the last person you would expect to be a bully often can be. Don’t misunderstand me I am not saying we should not be confident or assertive but we should be aware of the effect we could have. There is much more to a bully’s profile and we will look at those in further posts. I just want to challenge your perception of what a bully is.
My great grandma was a bully, she was a tiny tiny woman who lived till she was 92, I never heard her raise her voice but if she wanted something it was done or given. I once watched her insist on the a rugby match being turned over. My dad, grandad and brother had been looking forward to it for days – some final. My Great gran knew that but wanted to show she was in control and insisted that it was making her ill. Now she could have gone to another room but no they had to turn it off. Her voice never raised in a shout but her demands were law. It was the small smile she wore all afternoon that shocked me and I still am by what that little woman could do. Call her strong willed, assertive even but to be honest she was a bully; her pleasure was in disrupting my grandads life (son-in-law) and she did not mind that others were affected as well.
As you can imagine I am not a believer in the definition that a bully only uses strength and intimidation to get what they want. I think it is far more complicated that just strength, it is about power and how it’s held and maintained.