How to Know When a Bully is Sizing You Up

Full Length of Two Adult Woman Standing Side by Side with Hands-on Hips in Separate Lanes of Outdoor Running Track – Two Friends Sizing Up Competition

Bullies never select targets at random. They always pick a possible target and size them up before they choose them. Just as bank robbers will case a potential bank before they rob the place, bullies case (size up) any potential targets.

During the sizing up phase, bullies study their objects carefully to ferret out any weaknesses and imperfections, look for incongruencies between verbal and nonverbal communication (mismatches in words and gestures), and scan for any traces of fear.

You’ll know you’re being sized up for bullying when the person watches you closely while looking you up and down. Their eyes will go from your head to your feet, then back up to your head, and you’ll get an uncomfortable feeling in the pit of your stomach. You’ll feel that something ‘just isn’t right’ about this person. Trust those feelings and get rid of them! Fast!

Another sure-fire sign is that the bully will test you by throwing out a subtle insult or use sarcasm to see whether you catch it and what your reaction will be. If you quickly pick up on it and take control of the situation by calling the bully out or countering him/her by coming back with a cute but scathing zinger of your own, you’ll stop the bully in their tracks, and they’ll likely decide you are worth the trouble, then move on to an easier target.

On the other hand, if their test remark goes over your head, you ignore the comment or react out of fear, you’ll likely become the bully’s new victim.

Always put a stop to it the first time it happens.

This can be as easy as saying, “I know what you’re doing, and I don’t like it! Now get lost!”

Never let the mistreatment become a habit or pattern! Because once a pattern is set, it’ll be too late, and any comebacks or means of defense will only bring retaliation and escalation of the bullying.

If you are being sized up by a bully, shut it down! Do or say something that will discourage the bully, then have no more to do with the creep.

With knowledge comes empowerment!

18 thoughts on “How to Know When a Bully is Sizing You Up

  1. Thank you for sharing!!.. and when confronting a potential bully, do so in such a manner that you are the better person and not like the bully… “For beautiful eyes, look for the good in others, for beautiful lips, speak only words of kindness, and for poise, walk with the knowledge that you are never alone.” (Audrey Hepburn).. 🙂

  2. mike george decided he hated me so he would hit me and belittle me. so i ratted his ass out and went out of my way to let him know if you persist you will only find me a bitter pill ha ha ha. so he stopped after mr deane roughed his ass up. that s how it was in middle school in 1975. fight back or suck ass.

  3. Another factor is also physical sizing up. Usually a bully is going to pick on someone they perceive as physically weaker than them. Maybe that small skinny guy or girl in class or someone unathletic or someone very overweight. They seldom will ever try to intimidate someone they think can whip their butt. That is why and I hate fighting don’t get me wrong but I am a believer you have to be willing to defend yourself. The bully does not want to take a loss in a physical battle because his or her dominance is over. Another person who can be a victim is the bookworm or intellectual that has the “audacity” to actually care about school. If they are a straight A type student, they often get attacked by bullies. I know this may be a stereotype of sorts but I have rarely met a serious about school straight A bully. Many of which are a year or two older than the rest of the class because they may have failed a great or they hit puberty a year or two earlier than most others so they look more like a man or woman than some of their classmates. I was physically kind of a late bloomer. I got there but a lot of kids were ahead of me in the growth department.

    • That’s so true! A bully will never bully someone of their equal! And bullies are jealous of straight A students because they know they will one day be successful one day and possibly rich. Bullies hate being outdone.

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