Vacillating between ‘What would Jesus do?’ and ‘What would Machiavelli do?’ — it’s exhausting! I guess I’m not that crazy. Trying to summon my inner-psychotic wasn’t easy.
Do I stay friendly with the office bully because I need him in my pocket to scare lesser menaces? Should I have agape love, dredging up the understanding that this is a poor soul, who needs compassion for the pain causing them to be like this? What do y’all think? What would you do? What would the devil do? Something really awful probably right? But I don’t want to go to jail.
Ecch, this is a toughie, Sandee! I suppose I *should* adopt the Jesus model of compassion for someone who is obviously in pain. But that probably wouldn’t happen. So I like to think I’d choose the Machiavellian option instead of the Satan option.
Thanks Mme. W. — score one for Machiavelli.
Sandee, I can’t look at pictures of Satan. He’s too scary. I’m not kidding. If I have bad dreams tonight, well, I hope and pray I don’t have them.
Oh Annie! I pray you don’t either! Sweet dreams to us both…incubus free of course…
Ah, it seems the Devil has already done something, so he is probably sitting back right now watching what is going on. Most bullies are that way because they don’t understand the things and people who are different than they are. There is usually a bigger bully somewhere down the road too, that is causing them grief. I think you can combine the two suggestions from above. If you are nice to them, and show that maybe you aren’t as different as they think you are, they will soften. But, you don’t have to tell everybody else this. People who are friends with the “big” guy usually receive the same respect as the “big” guy, or at least people act like they do. You know, kill them with kindness is a cliche, but I think it is one for a reason. It actually works.
Score one for Jon! That’s a really good reflection on the dynamics of bullying. I never thought of like that — that they are this way because they don’t understand things and people who are different — this is so true I think. Thanks Jon!
I totally agree. As a former bully myself…. and a former person being bullied…. bullied by my mother and step-father…. bullied by my classmates… so I bullied my siblings and those I deemed weaker than me…
Not the most proud moment in my existence…. but not the lowest either….
I think bullying is something a lot of us test out in our lives. I never thought of myself as being bullied except for maybe some psychological bullying by girls that I ran around with — as an adult I see it as a rite of passage that most of us get over.
I vote for the Machiavellian scheme of applying the agape principal for maximum effect…
Heheheeeeee! What an amalgam — it works for me.
Perhaps a big piece of cake will help you decide, especially if it’s angel food cake.
I love this — Devils food cake, Angel Food cake — all these choices — the devil, Machiavelli, Jesus — dizzying choices 🙂
this is quite the conundrum! I am with brother jon with a side of Machiavelli — just in case. and I agree with Carrie but it should be Devils Food Cake.. (smirk)
Yeah, this is where eeny meeny mynie mo comes in handy!
What I think and what I would do may be two different things lol
Yeah, that’s real Carla!
I think you should try a nice combo platter. I suggest treating said bully as if they are what you want them to be. In fact you should TELL them how (pick a word: nice, compassionate, sensitive, kind, patient, etc.) they are. Most people want to see themselves in this light and will rise to the occasion. All of a sudden you’ll see the bully become much more aware of their own actions and start to behave in the exact way you indicated. Psychology 101. You just have to be damn convincing to pull it off, and timing is everything.
Okay, so you have to temporarily be false, but it’s for the good of the whole work environment. And what you’re telling them is probably who they want to be anyway. The fact that you “see” goodness in them gives them the green light to see it in themselves. When the bully finally sees the light and changes their attitude and behavior, you will have successfully extinguished the bully’s bad behavior.
Grippy thank you so much! I appreciate this advice. I was being a little humorous or trying to be so I didn’t make this really literal but the bully part is true — this is helpful indeed. Yeah, I wanted to make this colorful so I changed around some of the details. I have in fact tried a little of what you said but had a lapse of resentment where I wanted to act out. This person is infantile. We had a disagreement and they were a bit cool afterward but I continued to say hello, goodbye and small talk but after realizing that I was initiating it, yesterday I decided I really dislike this person — they’re rude and obnoxious — and that I’m not speaking to them anymore. They’re from the shelter system, one parent household, etc., so I tried factoring that in to have compassion but really after boiling it down I decided that their behavior is unacceptable.
hahah! I figured there were some deets missing. You have good instincts, Sandee, and when they’re not good, they’re funny, so either way your readers win!! I happen to love your humor. It’s a little scary, but that’s what makes it fun.
I didn’t want to tell the story too bluntly because it’s too close to home now — plus who knows who from work will read this. It’s a good thing that I still find the comments very very useful in this situation. I want to thank you again for your feed back. It really helps.
I wonder if I’m too off the charts with the ‘scary’ thing sometimes. I’m glad you see the fun in it. I’m so damn dark though — I tried different angles when I was younger but as you know at this age you just say aw hell this is me and that’s all there is…
Hey, I think dark, when done well, can be incredibly funny. I TOTALLY get you so don’t go changin’ a thing. I wish more people had your guts to go off the charts. For some reason I always read your stuff, I think, as it’s intended. I know I have lines but you haven’t gone near them yet. There’s a little piece of you that seems vulnerable and maybe the combination of that piece with your dark and honest take on the world is what cracks me up? Yeah, I think that’s it. 🙂
‘Vulnerable’ — whew! I hope I never harden to the point where I’m not vulnerable or humble.
Don’t know the specifics of your situation, but I’d say go with the love thing.
Aw thanks Mike… I did try that. It’s hard. But I guess overall it’s the best defense.
hmm…personally I would just keep out of his way and certainly wouldn’t align myself with whatever he’s doing. But then I don’t know the situation either…
Yeah, staying out this person’s way I think is part of the solution. Though I tried to color the situation up to be ‘entertaining’ — it’s based on a real situation. I appreciate the feed back.
my pleasure – for what it was worth! Best of luck with it all 🙂
Be Machiavellian! With your way with words you could have so much fun spinning them around, they end up wondering what, why and how their own life is! Someone once said to me that life is all a game… Enjoy the game and each time you win you get cake rewards! lol 🙂
This made me laugh Claire — and I appreciate it — I tell you like I said, it’s something to vacillate between the two. Believe me, I like the game part of it too — I’m tired of being a damn saint all the friggin’ time 😉
There’s one problem as I see it to being a ‘Saint:… you have to be dead…That for me, being alive poses a problem 😉
Better yet, what would a Trickster god do? Something funny that puts the bully in his place.
But your safest bet is friendly distance. Be civil and maintain the working relationship, but don’t let him get too close.
Thanks Mary — again, more sage advice. Though I tried to be colorful and not literal, it’s based on truth — and I’m glad I put it out there because I’m getting good feedback.
It’s difficult, but I’d go with the compassion thing. The bullying back is not the answer. You’ll do the “right” thing. I just know it. ;).
I think ultimately like you suggest, I have a decent way of handling this whole thing.
You’re good people. You know what to do. ;).
Such a tough decision. Trying to understand a bully is great, but don’t let him or her know in any way that you are analyzing their psyche unless you want to be next on their hit list. Be diplomatic… be like Switzerland stay out of that business. And eat cheese!
I love it! Being like Switzerland and eating cheese!
Yeah, I think I have enough animal instinct and a bit of a wild streak to keep that analyzing thing under wraps. I love your comment VS!
Tough situation, Sandee. Because I’m human, I’d stop engaging – other than a greeting when face-to-face.Don’t have to be mean, nor go out of my way to be pleasant. In addition, internally, I’d do the love/compassion/we are all One work. I’ll do that along with you, anyway! xoxoM
Yes, that works, the love/compassion/we are all one idea — every once in a while my inner 3 yr. old pops up however…
You’re lucky it’s just every once in a while…mine won’t shut up! xoxoM
I encourage you to take the high road and whenever possible, keep a distance from this bad apple, or if you prefer, rancid fruit. Do you really need the aggravation this person apparently dishes out? I know I would feel even worse if I lowered myself to his level. Yet, I don’t have the capacity to access my inner Jesus and embrace him. I think that bullies feed on attention. I’d starve him. Maybe that would encourage him to take his sour personality elsewhere. From my personal experience with bullies they are not a very enlightened breed that have the capacity to recognize that they’re the problem and not the solution. They’re petty and they lay blame on everyone around them. That’s another reason why I’d steer clear. Life’s too short. Do you really need to be around someone like that? At the same time, I think if you tried to destroy him, that lowers you. So, hang onto your dignity and move on far away from this boor, if not physically, at least personally. I’d play the polite game when need be, but that’s it. Keep your distance.
This helps me so much — boy you don’t know! You’ve totally pinned that part where you say that they lay blame on everyone around them. I used to chat it up with this person, and they were always always always the victim. A nice distance from this poor soul is the right prescription LA! Thanks again. And thanks for encouraging me to take the high road — I’m so glad I put this out there — I was about to go to the dark side with this person…
No, I don’t think ANY advice from the devil is gonna work;)
Thanks Elena. Sometimes a girl just needs to be reminded of that!
Easy peasy – be saccharine sweet to his face, but if he’s a genuine ass, throw him under a bus as soon as you can without him finding out it was you. All the better to weed the malcontents out of an otherwise pleasant job, right?
This is a good one C&S! My only problem is that I’d want them to know it was me who threw them under the bus 😀
Ha! Somewhere between WWJD and WWMD lies the truth of life.
Yep, who says we have to be on either extreme when we encompass good evil and mediocre…
I know right?!
yeah, don’t want to be in your shoes for that one. Oh, and I meant tough, not though *facepalm*