Dealing with Adult Bullies

Bullying doesn't always end when childhood does. Psychotherapist and life coach Didi Zahariades, MA, joined us to share ways to put the grown-up mean girls and bad boys in their place!

Who does it?   Often a childhood bully grows into an adult bully. This person may be repeatedly criticizing you, have unrealistic expectations, repeat insults, and overall abuse a position of power. It may be a difficult boss, parent, spouse, older sibling, a ‘friend’; or anyone caught in the act of repeated aggressive behavior. If a person makes you feel intimidated or humiliated you are probably dealing with a bully. The Internet has become an active place of adult bullying. Negative comments run rampant.

    • Who is a Target & How does it feel? It can happen to anyone at any age. It destroys a person’s self-esteem. Remember it isn’t the Targets fault! Bully gets Power when others, or the target, believes in the abusive comments. It can lead to anxiety, depression and loss of self-esteem. Financial loss if you are missing work. And physical symptoms like stomach-aches & digestive problems.
    • Most important step: Focus on restoring your self-esteem. This is devastating at any age. You need to take back what the bully wants to destroy. Focus on your strengths; remember the bully has the problem – not you! Your self-confidence is your best offense and defense.
    • How to End the Bullying Recognize it is happening! Stay calm & be assertive. State factually: "This type of behavior isn’t okay or acceptable." Often walking away is a strong reaction which minimizes their power. You don’t need to change the person, you need to change the behavior! Bullying only works if someone believes; remember this is a very childish behavior.
    • Always Tell others Share with a trusted co-worker, supervisor, family member; you are not alone. Don’t be ashamed to tell what is really going on. Bullies are deflated by groups or individuals supporting the target. A bully needs an audience; even party of one will do.


For more information, visit Didi's website.


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