Bullies – not only in the playground

iStockStopBullyingGirlI must admit that at first thought the term “bully” is one I associate with adolescent boys in a playground. The typical image comes to mind; three or four rough looking kids physically intimidating one obviously meeker child.

As an adult, what I have found is that the “mature” bully can be as equal and at times a more dangerous predator than their adolescent counterpart. They may not be as obvious a threat at first, no physical punches thrown, but the net result of their destruction can be vast.

I have come across a few bullies in my life. Most of whom I have had business relations with. Much like in a domestic setting, the entire psyche of a company can be bent around the intimidation mantra of a bully if they are the one in charge.

Beware of common traits I have noticed. They are seemingly very approachable at first; awkwardly friendly; going out of their way to massage their connection with me.  As is nature’s way, true colors push through. When? At the moment I disagree with them. Enter the controlling, intimidating, self-serving bully.

Beware their attempt to manipulate you and the situation. In my experience, these full grown aggressors are very good at preying on those of us who believe most people act in good faith. It’s like cat nip for bullies. Their ability to twist facts and leave their victim second guessing right from wrong is quite remarkable. I have left many conversations with a bully, feeling guilty for having an opinion and feeling responsible for their well being.

I now recognize the bullies in my life.  I have learned to stay focused on what I need to say and accomplish when dealing with them. Less interaction is better and I always have a strategy.

I have come to understand that my reaction to these adult tough guys/girls is totally controlled by me. It’s a powerful realization.

Are there bullies in your life? How are you reacting to them?

Caird Urquhart is Founder and President of Newroad Coaching, a boutique coaching firm providing one-on-one personal and business coaching services and also author of 30 Ways To Better Days: How to Rally After You’ve Been Dumped. Find Newroad Coaching on their blog and on Twitter and YouTube.