Reach For The Bully

570. Join me in inspiring truly powerful people. Each day I will add a new thought, story or idea to support your quest and mine.

There is a theme emerging this week in my conversations with clients and friends: bullies. Bosses that bully, kids that bully, spouses that bully and the culture of distrust that naturally evolves when there is a bully in the crowd.

Here’s a secret to keep in mind if you find a bully snorting in your path: bullies are actually the weakest people in the herd; they need to get their power from other people because they have yet to experience what it is to actually BE powerful. In other words they get power from others because they do not yet know how to bring it; they do not know that they are powerful. Diminishing others is the only way a bully knows to elevate their esteem. It is the drowning man strategy: push the others under so you can keep your head above the water. Bullies, by definition, are drowning.

Drowning people do not think clearly. They are in survival mode. They will do anything; they will sacrifice anything to keep their head above the water. Engaging in a power struggle with the bully only serves to feed the bully. People cowering are like delicious gulps of air to someone who has mistaken control for power – and this is the tragedy of the bully: they’ve mistaken control for power. And once this mistake is made, the road to true power feels like the choice to drown. True power is only available when we stop pushing others under. True power is created with others; no one is powerful alone.

Bullies fear their powerlessness – it is the truth they hide – the motor that drives their need to prove their might again and again every day. If you were drowning, what would you need to feel safe? What would you need to stop pushing others down to lift yourself up?

One Response

  1. What a clear insight: separate a bully and what happens? Interesting image. Thanks for another piece to the puzzle!

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