Many bullies bully their targets by using physical violence and force, or the threat of it. Nobody wants bodily harm, and there’s no shame or blame in that. So, instead of just standing there and letting the bully pound on you or continue to threaten you, you must defend yourself. But if you aren’t the kind who believes in throwing punches, how do you protect yourself without resorting to violence?
Here are a few ways:
1. Talk your way out of the altercation. You do this by giving the bully a small dose of (false) empathy and sympathy. Pretend like you feel bad for “the poor guy” and use the appropriate tone of voice and body language to make it sound convincing. And your body language and tone should match your words and convey empathy.
For example, you can begin with, “I understand why your upset about XYZ…” then state your case.
But don’t overdo it! Don’t say any more than what needs to be said, don’t talk too fast or look nervous. The last you want to do is to come off like you’re trying too hard because the bully will only think you’re scared or fake.
2. If talking doesn’t work, leave the situation (if possible). Find a way to get way away from the person. If you can’t get away because the bully has you cornered or trapped, then, by all means, fight your way free if you have to.
Although you may not want to resort to hitting back, sometimes there’s no other choice. It’s either fight or get your butt handed to you.
3. Call for help. Call 911 and get the police involved. The bully may get away with it, but at least there will be a record of the call, and a police report on file should the bully come after you again.
You can’t go wrong with establishing a recorded history of bad behavior. A trail of records will go a long way in keeping you protected.