Most seasoned bullies seek to intimidate others by nonverbal means. Why? Because nonverbal bullying is subtle and least likely to be detected.
This type of bullying can occur either at school or in the workplace. Here are a few such subtleties.
1. They lean against the victim’s desk, office doorway, car, etc. Anytime we lean against something, we stake a claim to or show ownership of that object.
How you handle it is to tell the bully point blank and in a stern voice,
“Get off my desk (car, etc.)”
2. The bully will sit in the other person’s chair. Again, any chair you sit in, you non-verbally lay claim to.
Address it by telling the person in no uncertain terms to unseat your chair.
3. The bully may also pick the victim’s notebook, purse off the victim’s desk, touch their property, etc. Understand that anything of yours the bully touches, he is laying claim to.
The unspoken message that the bully is sending is, “I own your desk, car, notebook, and anything that’s yours.”
Don’t ignore it, and don’t be quiet about it. Open your mouth and tell the creep to keep his hands off your stuff.
When I was in school, I saw a bully walk up to a table of freshman boys during lunch and pluck a French fry from one of the ninth grade boy’s plates before popping it into his mouth without even asking.
It was clear that the bully was challenging the boy. The message was,
“I just took a piece of your lunch. Now, what are you going to do about it?”
Female bullies will often go through their target’s purses or jacket pockets or flip through their notebooks, yearbooks, or diaries. I’ve also heard of bullies walking into their victim’s homes without knocking.
I remember going on a school trip and finding out that my bullies had gone through my luggage and stolen fifty dollars, a dress, and jewelry from me while I was out of the room. Because there were so many bullies, it was difficult for me to confront the thief. Though I had a pretty good idea who stole my belongings, I couldn’t prove she took them!
Understand that bullies will claim ownership of your space and your property, which only means that they believe they own YOU!
4. Bullies will violate your personal space. Bullies are notorious for getting too close.
Understand that when the bully gets in your face or looms you from behind, he is either trying to intimidate you, dominate you, challenging you, or attempting to provoke a fight. Do what you have to do. Tell this idiot to back the hell up!
Understand that these types of bullies have unlimited audacity, and they do not respect boundaries! With people who are bold and audacious, you must take a stand!
Never ignore them or allow yourself to be intimidated because these kinds of folks will only increase the behavior if you do.
With knowledge comes empowerment!