bullying stops here written in plastic beads on a black slab surface

HOW TO HANDLE A BULLY? To be honest, I hate that I even have to ask that question. Somehow, I foolishly thought there would be an age where people transformed into fully functioning adults and put the playground antics to rest. How naïve of me…

No area of adult life is completely free from despicable human beings, but I’m sad to say I believe they are over-represented in the Spoonieverse.  I don’t think there’s a spoonie alive who has been allowed to live their life without being subjected to verbal or physical abuse or general meanness. And not only from complete strangers I might add.

Is it possible to learn how to identify a bully? And if so, how can we use that information to protect ourselves? I think the answer to both those questions is yes.


Many of us have learned that the safest way to handle a bully is to leave them be. We know that sooner or later they tire of taunting or terrorising us, and we find ways to cope with the pain and indignity. Maybe, just maybe, we should start looking for common signs that may tell us what kind of person they are before they get too close too us.

The “professional” bully normally has a tendency to:

      • IGNORE YOU: The bully wants you to be insecure. They want to keep you on your toes, guessing, wondering and doubting yourself. If you ask for something, or tell them what you need, they ignore you. And if you call them out on their bullshit, they will probably gaslight you.  
        BE LATE: Disrespect in general is the bully’s game. Being late, or not showing up at all, is a way of messing with your life. Of controlling you. Very often this leads to missed appointments, complications with travel arrangements etc. Or it may cause you to miss the window of opportunity between medication, carers visits, physical needs etc. 
        SPREAD LIES: Saying things that are not true is an effective way of driving a wedge between you and other people. The bully may want to isolate you, sabotage you, or “just” see your emotional distress when the lies get back to you. Some bullies will try to cause you harm and convince you they are the only one you can trust. The only one who can care for you and protect you.
        BE PASSIVE-AGGRESSIVE: Bullies very often need to have the last word in a discussion or argument. They give you backhanded compliments, and they may procrastinate, or give you the cold shoulder/silent treatment, as a form of revenge for real or imagined incidents. 

Learning how to react and respond to these types of situations can be the key to disarming the bully and take back control. Now, I realise that may sound like victim blaming, but it really isn’t your fault that someone else is behaving badly and trying to control you. However, if you are aware of what they are doing, there are a few steps you can take to put an end to their behaviour around you.


Please note, this is not a handbook on how to deal with domesticabuse. If someone is a danger to you, please call the police, the Samaritans or the national helpline in your country.

The first thing you need to do is to take a good, and honest, look at yourself. Is it possible that you are sliding into a victim, or submissive*, role around this person? Some of us have been taught this behaviour since childhood and we don’t even realise that we’re doing it.

Bullies have an uncanny ability to spot and single out people who show signs of having a victim mentality. It makes their job of controlling and confusing you so much easier. If you realise that this is true for you there is one thing you really have to do: You need to practise standing up for yourself. Trying to become more assertive around a bully may not be the easiest thing to do, but practice makes perfect. And you can always reach out to someone who may be able to help you. 

You may have to draw the proverbial line in the sand and say enough is enough. Easier said then done if the bully is a family member or someone you have to stay in contact with, but with a bit of creative – or cooperative – thinking most things are possible. Do whatever you can to create as much of a gap between you and this person as you possibly can. It is very hard to bully someone you have no access to. 

Don’t forget that most bullies are as mean as they are becuase they are hurting. It doesn’t excuse their behaviour, but it may help you remember that it’s not you. You didn’t cause it and you most certainly do not deserve to be treated like this. This does not mean that you should try to fix them!

Most of us have enough on our plates without having to deal with someone else’s toxic personality or fragile sense of self-worth. By asserting ourselves, without falling into the trap of becoming bullies, maybe – just maybe – we can model a different behaviour. We can show them that you really don’t need to treat other people like dirt to make yourself feel better. 

Much love and many blessings,

//Evalena 💜🖤


Evalena Styf

The Resilience

After 25+ years of anonymous blogging on a number of free platforms, I decided to go pro and put all of my writings on a private wall in the imaginary pirate ship I have named after one of my most prominent character traits: Resilience.

In my personal blogs, I primarily write about living the dream and how to keep on living and loving when everything around you seems to be falling apart. Professionally, I write about writing, personal and professional development, business studies, communication and writing.

My ambition was for the Resilience to become a source of inspiration, but I also hoped this old ship of mine would provide a space where we could talk, teach each other our tricks, and learn new things together. So far, it has worked better than anything I’ve ever dreamed of. Wanna tag along?


read my books?

read my blogs?

my linktree

subscribe to my news

tips and donations

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *