Bullies and Constructive Criticism

Bullies don’t take constructive criticism very well. They only react to it as if it is a personal attack. Remember that bullies are highly egocentric. They must always be right about everything or, more appropriately, look as if they’re right about everything. Bullies have a knack for hiding beneath a veneer of total perfection.

They do this for several reasons:

1.It makes them look better than they really are.

2. The veneer of perfection can be used as protection from accountability and shield them from reproach.

3. It can be used to draw others to them and fool them.

4. It can be used as a weapon against their targets.

5. It gives them status and social capital.

6. It gives them the attention and admiration they seek.

However, bullies will use the guise of constructive criticism to disparage others they deem inferior and unworthy. They may tell the target that they’re only giving him/her this criticism to help them when, in fact, they’re doing it to show them they’re smarter or imply that the target is stupid.

A bully’s hypocrisy knows no bounds.

If you ever find yourself being unfairly criticized by someone you know is a bully. It’s important that you tell them in no uncertain terms to keep their noses out of your business.

And if they insist on keeping it up, hit them with their own book of standards. You can always say something similar to:

“That sounds real good coming from someone who doesn’t practice what they preach. Now, get out of here and go on about your business.”

This is one comeback you can use. Nothing fancy- you don’t have to get cute or witty with it. Just say what you mean and mean what you say, and say it in as few words as possible.

With knowledge comes empowerment.

10 thoughts on “Bullies and Constructive Criticism

  1. Totally agree here, but it’s difficult for some people when they are being bullied by their superior. Then it becomes a bit more challenging.

      • Yeah, there is always HR (Human Resources) every business/company should have one. I always protect people who get bullied, my supervisor was a bit of a bully when I 1st started but I pulled him aside and had my say now he acts like my best friend lol. I know thats hard for some people so when he’s that way with my collegues I always step in.

  2. During a performance review I was told that I was not a team player because I didn’t like “helping out”. I was being marked as low as possible to prevent a pay bonus. I was able to respond that I always helped out whenever asked and often when I wasn’t asked. I added that not liking a task was not the same as not doing a task. The performance review had to be amended because that was the truth and I had documentation and she knew it. There were other times but that one was a resounding victory and my coworkers were amazed that I exited the office smiling (since the “rumor” she started was that I was near termination)!

  3. I had to deal with this one manager who loved bombarding me about how I did my job and tried to dupe me into cancelling requests for time off. My way to put her in her place was to avoid her at all costs — and boy did it teach her a hard lesson about boundaries.

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