How to Address Physically Violent Bullies

Close-up of woman is cracking her knuckles.

Close-up of woman in black T-shirt is cracking her knuckles gesturing willful and ready for doing something; or in another side; the bad behavior when in tension; concept of health care and medical.

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.

4 thoughts on “How to Address Physically Violent Bullies

  1. During my school years I felt trapped. 911 was still in the future. Cell phones also was in the future.
    Talking my way out was not an option either. Trying would just end up with a worse beating.
    So, I would do my best to run when school let out hoping I would get ahead of the crowd.
    Today, things are so much different for kids. All I know is that I sometimes worry about my grandchildren.

    • I get that. Some bullies only take it as you’re trying to weasel. There were incidences where I too would slyly smooth talk and the bullies only got angrier and said I was only trying to con my way out of it. The bullying would then get worse. That’s when I started fighting back.

      And yes, things are much worse and we should be very afraid for our grandchildren. Kids and people in general are much more brutal now, even people of our generation are more brutal and it’s scary.

      The only thing we can do is bring attention to that and pray for the best.

      I hope you’re doing well this morning.

      • Cherie, prayer is about the only tool most of us have.
        I know that if one of my grandchildren came to me that they were being bullied I think I would tell them to pick out the biggest one and slam their head into the lockers. That’s terrible, but it may be the only way. I would hope they know I have their back.
        My morning is doing fine.
        Hope you are having one also.
        Have a great day Cherie!

        • I don’t blame you. It’s what I would advise my grandson to do. Sometimes there’s no other alternative but to meet fists with fists.

          A wonderful day to you as well!

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.