How to deal with a bully

Warning: This may be offensive to some. I don’t care.

When I was about twelve years-old, there was this family of ne’er do-wells who moved into a rental house on Dale Street, between Lafond and Blair in St. Paul. You can look up the neighborhood using Google Maps and take a gander at the kind of neighborhood it is.


12 Replies to “How to deal with a bully”

  1. Two wrongs don’t make it right?

    Powerful and honest. Not sure if I agree, but I’ve definitely been there. Like when Ralphie beats up Farkus in “A Christmas Story.” If you’ve got no other options, time to put the bully in their place.

  2. Not saying it is right or wrong, fair or unfair. Just saying what works. Sometimes calling up the most vicious parts of our nature is the only solution, especially against those who prey on those who rely on the better virtues to resolve conflict.

  3. Well, I love your story and your solution works for me and you for sure.

    When I think of bully I always picture a big kid picking on a smaller and defenseless kid. To me, that is what makes a great bully story. The little kid has had enough and has decided to put in all the chops and have it out with the big kid. Hopefully, he can scare off the bully for good.

    I just can’t view politicians being bullied by each other. I think we, as the collective American people are the ones being bullied by the lot of them. Even when they are fighting with each other we are the ones being bullied.

    We sit back and watch the posturing and fighting and, aww, we feel sorry for the democrats or we feel sorry for the republicans or we feel sorry for the tea party, okay, no one feels sorry for the tea party but you get my point.

    I feel sorry for me and my neighbors as we see nacessities skyrocket and the incomes flatten or drop and all we get from both parties are name calling and blaming. And OMG the blaming. My kingdom for a politician that will take responsibility…..for something! Oy!

  4. This was an interesting post. I’ve been following you on Twitter for ages and never would’ve guessed that you’d been bullied as a child. You’re such a strong person and so sure of yourself. I think that all stems from you fighting back and getting closure! Yay for you. The incident when you retaliate sounds brutal and I hate to say it but the guy had it coming to him. I don’t condone violence and was a victim as a child of a few bullies. My story didn’t have a happy ending and to this day I feel like I carry the scars of it. I wish I’d had the strength to stand up for myself like you did.
    That being said, I find it a stretch to make a correlation between being beaten up as a kid and the bullying by politicians. They’re not using violence but they do browbeat. Neither is right but the first step is to vote someone new into office. The American people are condoning that behavior by electing and reelecting these officials. Anyway, this post gave me more insight into you which is a good thing!

  5. It was that one time for a brief period. I’ve heard of kids who have been bullied for years. I can’t imagine what that must be like. Maybe it helped to fight back that viciously, but I’m not an expert at conflict. All I know is that a rescue is the product of an after-school special script that hardly ever happens in real life. Too many kids hope for it.

    I don’t think it a stretch at all. I think one of the misconceptions of bullying is that it only happens as kids. After all, adults can handle themselves. I think most people avoid conflict and by doing so, enable all sorts of bullies in their lives; their boss, spouse, the soccer team mom, the PTA president… on and on… The surprising thing is most people think childhood bullies grow up to be the adult bullies. They are wrong. It is almost always the bullied that grow up to be the adult bullies. They bully with power, money, sex, attention, access, love, membership…

    Bullies understand the formula well. The formula for bullies is the same as the cure for bullies: Strike decisively, hard and relentlessly. Look what Walker is doing in WI, Kasich in Ohio, Haley in SC… watch how the Koch brothers conduct themselves… watch Sarah Palin, Grover Norquist and Donald Trump. They use the bully formula to exert power over others. Once you get a taste of the power being a bully gets you, it’s hard to come down off that high…. and like any addiction, the dose you get today won’t satisfy you tomorrow.

    We are under the illusion that the vote is enough. It isn’t. Barack Obama was elected with a huge majority and under the wings of a lot of people who were tired of being afraid, tired of being bullied. We wanted him to take a bat and beat the crap out of fear. His election may have been a decisive first blow, but he forgot to keep hitting until the bullies could not get back up. He forgot to act like he had nothing to lose…. That was a huge mistake.

  6. I may be derailing this conversation but that isn’t my intent.

    You were tired of being bullied and you decided that it was your responsibility to do something about it because no one else would.

    I would love to see Obama do this but we get the same response from him now that we got from him during the first 100 days, “I’m trying but I’ve just been pushed into a corner that I can’t get out of”.

    Obama isn’t being bullied by the GOP he’s being bullied by someone who isn’t even around anymore, president Bush.

    At some point he has to quit blaming. It’s looking backwards, not forwards. If he does that during the next electing I think it will hurt him, a lot.

  7. I don’t think we are being bullied by the politicians as much as they are recruiting us to be part of their posse. Beth Taylor (@betwriter) writes this blog called Undercover Waitress. She wrote this joke on her blog the other day.

    An employer takes his employee up to the top of the mountain. He puts his arm around the employee’s shoulders as they look over the expanse of land and town. The employer tells his employee, “Look around at all of this. If you work very hard, and do exactly as I tell you, then someday, someday… all of this will be mine.”

    The politicians may be the “bully,” but they are promising membership in power as a prize for those who join them, even though at the end of the day, they just need the army of the willing and weak.

    Politicians from either side will ultimately not be the answer to save you from the bully. You have to be willing to take up your own bat. Most people never commit to the point as the pain of losing everything they think they own and have worked for is too high a price to pay. So they hunker down and hope the bully will eventually quit. They are wrong.

    And that is how revolutions eventually break out. Too much pressure and not enough controlled release. Smart politicians give people a controlled release to give them the illusion their protests work. Dumb politicians double down. And you are right; both are bullies. (and nobody feels sorry for the Tea Party.. they are just too transparent and dumb about their motives.)

  8. Regardless of how we the citizens are being bullied, there is definitely bullying going on with the GOP and POTUS. They will continue and get more and more brazen until he swings hard and keeps swinging. There is no other way out of this for him.

  9. Naw.. Obama is being bullied by the GOP and Tea Party.

    I’m going to derail this even further by saying that President Bush was bullied by Dick Cheney and the GOP. Most people think the Tea Party is a result of opposition to Obama, but it was actually in response to GW Bush. He was not as conservative as the extreme right wing wanted him to be and he turned out — in his last term — to be less controllable than Cheney led them to believe. The real target of the Tea Party isn’t Obama; it is Boehner and the reasonable conservatives.

  10. I was getting mad and getting even, right there with your younger self. I was there. I did running away and some fighting back but neither in great measure – it was a small town. As a dad, I felt obliged to offer pearls of wisdom when my son was on the receiving end of bullying. First I told him what he should do, and what his mother and teachers would want him to do, and then I told him what would work and remember who the victim in the ‘relationship’ is. PS: Like the blog.

  11. Thanks! I cringe for the day when some mommyblogger or bullying “expert” find this post and lets me have it. Of course, I live for irony 🙂

    We’ve become too tolerant of people who choose to bully us. For whatever reason, our culture has morphed into a “don’t tread on me” to a “use your words” and the real bullies know it. They use that desire to “evolve” against us.

    The key thing most victims fail to do, however, is keep hitting (whether that be physically, emotionally, whatever) until the bully can no longer get back up. Most victims quit too soon.

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