Beware! Leopards Don’t Change Their Spots
People who have to deal with adult bullying often ask:
- “How can I get along with a bully?”
- “ How can I make a bully see that she is making me a less productive employee?”
- “How can I communicate with a bully?”
The answer to these questions is, “You can’t.” You usually can’t get along with a bully. You’ll never make a bully see that adult bullying makes you a less effective employee. You can’t find a way to communicate with a bully.
Most of us find these facts difficult, if not impossible, to comprehend. That’s because most of us are “hard-wired” to be more or less accepting, more or less tolerant, and more or less fair to our fellow workers. We also expect that when there is a problem or a difference of opinion, that the other party is just as interested.
The bully isn’t interested.
Bullies aren’t interested in having win-win conversations that resolve differences. They are interested in gaining power over another person.
That doesn’t mean that you have no options, however. In this and other editions of our newsletter, we show you how to prepare yourself to confront a bully, how to set boundaries and other useful strategies. You can learn to assert yourself so you don’t absorb the bully’s words, for example. But don’t expect to win over the bully or convince her to stop bullying. That’s as impossible as expecting pigs to fly or leopards to change their spots.
It’s not going to happen. Understanding this key point is foundational to Bully Proofing yourself.
Valerie Cade, CSP
How to Have a Bully Free Workplace