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Five Tips for Dealing with an Adult Bully


Bullies portrayed in movies, and television often gets their comeuppance, with a happy ending and maybe even a lesson learnt. However, in real life, it is rarely straightforward.

You are not alone, dealing with a bully as an adult. Dealing with such a person as an adult is not the same as dealing with them as children. The solution begins and ends with you and how you approach this difficult situation

Following are five tips for dealing with the adult bully.

Don’t try to fix them

You may find yourself tempted to try and understand the bullying behaviour. Adults who bully often have experienced trauma and their inappropriate behaviour can only be healed by deep self-reflection. The odds are excellent that any attempt on your part to help the bully will be unproductive. The time is better spent focused on yourself.

Don’t sink to their level

It is an entirely natural human response to want to retaliate. But if you do this, it could backfire by either the bully turning it on you or others experiencing you as the source of the problem. Additionally, you are satisfying the bully with your response. Try to take the high road so the bully does not get a payoff.

Refuse to be the victim

Changing your behaviour and responses to the bully will change the dynamic. Try to keep your cool, be confident in your abilities, and laugh along with them. If you don’t respond negatively, which is what they want, they will lose interest.

Limit your exposure

Please do what you can to avoid being in their presence. Take a different lunch hour if possible, change your schedule. Block the bully on social media.

Talk to someone

If you are being bullied at your workplace, it may behove you to talk to your manager or HR department. Talk to friends or loved ones to vent and get support.

If you’re having difficulty dealing with a bully in your life and need strategies and support, please reach out. Call me today, and we will set up an appointment to talk more. I offer a free 20-minute initial consultation online.

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