What to do about the bully in your life

The intimidator

Intimidation – cowing/bullying – explained by WordWeb is: “To subdue, restrain, or overcome by affecting with a feeling of awe or frighten (as with threats)”

What motivates a person to intimidate others?

The urge to accomplish personal goals, inter alia to be in power, to be treated with respect, to be obeyed, to be loved, to be worshipped, to be feared.

Who is the intimidator?

He is an insecure, emotional-immature person, trying to get what he wants. His subconscious mind believes he does not really deserve what he wants. Nevertheless, he wants it, because he desperately needs to prove himself to himself, or perhaps to a parent who failed to give him the recognition he needed since the day he was born.

What does he actually do when he intimidates?

Aggressively or subtlety he inspires fear. While he speaks to you and thereafter, you will find yourself fearing for your safety, for loneliness and solitude, for not being able to cope emotionally or financially, for losing something or someone precious, for the unknown, for death, for eternal hell, for some kind of punishment you may expect any moment or sooner or later in the future.

When you observe the intimidator objectively, you will notice that he is either at people’s throats, or at their feet. In the foyer he impresses his superiors by bluffing humbleness and willingness to dance to their pipes; they will find it difficult to believe that he is, in fact, a smooth operator, cowing his way to a spesific goal.

What kind of threats can you expect from the intimidator?

Most of the times he is a con-artist, in other words a swindler who exploits the confidence of his victim. He often threatens on behalf of somebody else –

  • “Your mother will sort you out... if you don’t listen to me.”
  • “Your marks will be submitted to the headmaster.”
  • “Father Christmas will not bring you any presents this year.”
  • “I have spies, you know…”
  • “God says: ‘Scripture referring to eternal hell.’”

Some intimidators will threaten you with their own power –

  • “I will leave you, and you’ll never see me again.”
  • “I can easily fire you….”
  • “I’ll kill you if I ever see you with somebody else.”
  • “Dare that, and see what I’m going to do.”
  • “Do whatever you want to do.” (In the silence after this you’ll hear the threat.)
  • “I guess suicide is a better option.”

By being mysterious and pretending that he is untouchable, he confuses you and fills you with doubt, which provokes fear. By humiliating you, mostly in front of others, he emphasises his power over you.

Tom Flynn regarded the Santa myth as one of the most effective means ever devised for intimidating children, eroding their self- esteem, twisting their behaviour, warping their values, and slowing their development of critical thinking skills.” The same can be said about religion exercised by intimidators.

 

How to conquer the intimidator

  • Don’t confront him, for he will wash the floor with you and hang you out for all to see how dirty you are. Play his game. Let him feel good about himself while you -
  • Identify your fears and
  • Overcome them all.

Knowledge kills fear. Once you understand what you fear, and you know all the available options you may choose to tower above it, fear will disappear, and you will be able to construct your plan of action. If you fear loneliness and solitude, get in touch with people who are in your opinion alone and lonely. They will surprise you by telling you that they are not at all miserable, but happy and peaceful. If you are not sure about your ability to cope emotionally without the intimidator, start to rely on yourself. Trust yourself! Your basic instinct to survive will kick in the moment you realise you are on your own. If you fear financial drought and poverty, start looking for a job, or a better job, or increase your qualifications in order to qualify for a senior position. Trust yourself! Without the intimidator in your life you WILL make ends meet. Those somethings and someones you don’t want to loose, are they really worth the price (constant fear) you are paying for them? And who says you will lose them?

Share you thoughts and feelings with trustworthy friends. While listening to them as well as to your own reasoning, you will see the intimidator and yourself objectively and no longer subjectively. You may even be in the position to safe others by reporting the intimidator to his superiors.

If you are a Christian, remember 2 Timothy 1:7 – “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.”

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Comments 47 comments

katiem2 profile image

katiem2 6 years ago from I'm outta here

Very interesting bit about the cow in your life, I found this refreshing and inspiring. :)


jambo87 profile image

jambo87 6 years ago from Outer Space / Inner Space

This sheds light on the nature of the intimidator. Very interesting. Rated up!


Storytellersrus profile image

Storytellersrus 6 years ago from Stepping past clutter

hahahaha, I LOVE the way you turned cow into cow! This is an awesome hub. I had an intimidating husband until I realized his problems were NOT my problems and started to walk away when he would rant. Slowly over lots of time, he took responsibility for his own stuff and left me alone. I was an enabler. I am not sure bullies like to be bullies, but have simply adopted this habitual behavior. My meandering thoughts on the subject anyway, haha. Hugs. Great job.


MartieCoetser profile image

MartieCoetser 6 years ago from South Africa Author

Katiem2 – I will never-ever allow one in my personal space again. They are nothing but soul-crushers. I truly appreciate your description, for it was my intention to inspire and refresh some perceptions of intimidators.

Jambo – Beware of them, you’ll find them everywhere.

Story – While I was doing this one, I thought: “If Story doesn’t LOL, I have missed my goal.” I agree, they adopt the behaviour while they are still too small for the shoes they have to wear. Once comfortable in them, they quit cowing.


De Greek profile image

De Greek 6 years ago from UK

This is simply brilliant and should be read by the cowed but also by the intimidator, in the hope that he will recognise himself in the mirror. Simply wonderful. Well done


MartieCoetser profile image

MartieCoetser 6 years ago from South Africa Author

De Greek – I’ve noticed that real intimidators seldom/never read, except, perhaps, newspapers. But I guess we are all able to cow others, especially in peculiar situations when we have to protect our belongings, loved-ones, or dignity. Thanks for your much appreciated comment.


lorlie6 profile image

lorlie6 6 years ago from Bishop, Ca

Martie-this is beautifully inspirational and should be taken to heart! Fear is used quite handily by these cows, and I certainly won't look at one quite the same way again!


dallas93444 profile image

dallas93444 6 years ago from Bakersfield, CA

Insightful. Thought provoking and appreciated.


MartieCoetser profile image

MartieCoetser 6 years ago from South Africa Author

lorlie6 – Writing this has also changed my view on this issue. Although cowing doesn’t provoke fear in me anymore - for quite a long time now – it provokes anger, which is, after all, still rooted in fear. From now on, whenever I see/hear an intimidator, I will remember the pictures of the cows and smile. Thanks for your visit.

dallas93444 – Thanks! Appreciation is like an award – always an encouragement to win it again.


sarmack profile image

sarmack 6 years ago from Washington

Very thoughtful and enlightening hub, Martie! I'm wondering what an intimidator would have to say if he read it?! Does this type of person know that they are intimidating? Do we train our children to be intimidators by pushing them? Very though provoking!


MartieCoetser profile image

MartieCoetser 6 years ago from South Africa Author

Sarmack – To be honest, the intimidators I knew, and still know, do not realise they are intimidators. Ref: Proverbs 16:2 – “All the ways of a man are clean in his own eyes; but the LORD weights the spirits.” When you tell them they are, they deny it AND cow you there and then without even realising it. Perhaps when they become the victims of intimidators, the scales might fall from their eyes. I have also noticed that they were/are intimidated by one or both parents. So it runs in the family, where it is accepted as normal behaviour. Thank you for your support, ma’am!


Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 6 years ago from TEXAS

Mine used a very effective threat - loss of my children for any slight failure to remain in submission - and also to appear to be happy! (And I knew that to be essential anyway since any thing else would have alerted "help" which would have brought about the thing he threatened, no matter what. I knew him to be THAT emphatic and determined.)

Actually he was hopelessly spoiled in his family so that there could never be enough attention and/or love to fill his need, but it was an example which skewed him. His mother intimidated his father with such force that he knew he didn't want to be like his dad and so he chose his mother as a role model. I was not a threat to him. My primary mission in life WAS to be a great wife and mother and, though I expected fairness, love and reasonable equality, when I found it to be otherwise, I was still determined to make it work - and especially when the fear of losing my children was introduced early-on.

Thanks for a powerful hub, martie.


MartieCoetser profile image

MartieCoetser 6 years ago from South Africa Author

Nellieanna – It is so nice to see you, ma’am! Thank you so much for your interesting and informative comment. In essense maleness intimidates a woman, and if a man is on top of that an intimidator, she is/feels totally powerless. My hat off and a bow to you, Nellieanne! I am sure you are reaping the fruit of your insight in your husband’s behavior and your determination to make it work.


habee profile image

habee 6 years ago from Georgia

Excellent hub about intimidation - from both vantage points! Thumbs up!


MartieCoetser profile image

MartieCoetser 6 years ago from South Africa Author

habee – Thank you! I truly appreciate your approval.


tom hellert profile image

tom hellert 6 years ago from home

MC,

I get your "Beef" with intimidators you made a "veal" great hub here, a real stick to youe "ribs" hub. Intimidatord will "ground you into chuck" if they get "calf" a chance. Ya really but the "brisket" in the basket on this one I HAD BETTER STOP BEFORE I MAKE A "RUMP TOAST " OUT OF MYSELF...By now I am sure you wwant to ground me into "sausage"

But none the less your hub was grade A "Top sirloin" material.i'll keep a "ribeye" out for more "meaterial" from you.

Have a good day

great "beffy hub" can'y wait to read "mooooore"

TH


MartieCoetser profile image

MartieCoetser 6 years ago from South Africa Author

@ Tom Hellert – Wow! This comment of yours is truly ‘amoooozing’! Seems to me you are a master analogist. Thanks for giving me a super, shin(y) chuck(le)! Medium-to-Well done? No! Well done!


tonymac04 profile image

tonymac04 6 years ago from South Africa

Het dit iets met die "ysterkoei" te doene? LOL!

I'm busy writing about Breyten and of course the "ysterkoei" features prominently in his poetry.

That was an aside! Loved this piece very much indeed. A great write about intimidation and the psychology behind it. I've known a few! Loved the link about Santa!

Love and peace

Tony


MartieCoetser profile image

MartieCoetser 6 years ago from South Africa Author

@ tonymac – I’m looking forward to read your hub about Breyten – I happen to read his novel ‘Woordwerk’ at the moment. You put me in the mood for him when you mentioned his name the other day. Yes, the ‘ysterkoei’ :–) I see we have a rock-band with this name as well now. LOL! Thanks for reading and leaving me such a grin-invoking comment.


Wayne Brown profile image

Wayne Brown 6 years ago from Texas

This is the second article on cows that I have read today...it's a popular subject! LOL! Actually, there are many people living with intimidators who will find this information quite helpful. Thanks for sharing it! WB


MartieCoetser profile image

MartieCoetser 6 years ago from South Africa Author

Wayne Brown – Thanks for reading and making me smile with your comment. I hope the other article was about good cows providing lots of meat and milk and not about those who cow others to ad nauseam. :-)


BobbiRant profile image

BobbiRant 6 years ago from New York

So many times people feel intimidated by their bosses, this is a very good write and helps us understand why intimidation strikes fear into our hearts. Thanks.


MartieCoetser profile image

MartieCoetser 6 years ago from South Africa Author

BobbiRant – Between you and me: We call intimidating bosses ‘Once dog s@&t now lion s@&t.’ One should rather not work for them, unless one has hair on his teeth and a skin as thick as a rhino’s.


JY3502 profile image

JY3502 6 years ago from Florence, South Carolina

Interesting take an a very unique writing style Martie. I like it. I'm sure I'll learn a few things following your hubs


skye2day profile image

skye2day 6 years ago from Rocky Mountains

Martie Wowzer The intimidator can take a hike off of the hill to his permanent home soon lake of fire. AMEN!

I loved this Martie. You really can get the truth out there AND keep the reader this one, glued to the seat of the chair. I so relate to this. I hope and pray this encourages many to get over it. Fear is not from God. May God contiue to 'shine on' in you and use you on these pages.

love ya sista, All Glory to God

PS martie I could not help myself I went and slipped you in my most recent hub 'celebrating hubs'. I wanted to all along but my brain cells were needing a charge up. Hugs


Storytellersrus profile image

Storytellersrus 6 years ago from Stepping past clutter

Fun comments! I have discovered some new hubbers- thanks for a great and motivating hub!


MartieCoetser profile image

MartieCoetser 6 years ago from South Africa Author

JY3502 – Welcome to my hubs. I’m so glad you liked this one. I’m looking forward to read yours.

skye2day – Hi ‘sista’ :-), always nice to see your comments on my hubs. Nooo, don’t feel bad about the slip. I don’t at all regard it as such, for I am still a newbee – a student in training - and I do know I have my own special place in your beautiful heart. So take a big hug and keep on shining. Remember I’ve got you and David firmly in my prayers.

Storytellersrus – Thanks for popping in to enjoy the comments. I too find them quite rewarding and great fun, and, of course, it motivates me to write another hub. Take care of yourself and beware of the cows.


vocalcoach profile image

vocalcoach 6 years ago from Nashville Tn.

Martie - this is such a great hub. I was married to someone once who fits this to a T.

If only I had this information back then..I love your hubs. I always know that I will learn something that I need when I read them. Keep writing these kinds of articles. You have such a talent. Have yourself a good weekend.


MartieCoetser profile image

MartieCoetser 6 years ago from South Africa Author

vocalcoach – Yes, if only we were born with the knowledge we now have. Who said ‘wisdom is wasted on the aged’? Not that I agree, I merely understand what he meant. Wisdom is the light at the back of a ship, the future always remains dark. Anyway, we are now qualified to cope with the cows still waiting in our features. Thanks for the visit!


Whikat 6 years ago

Hello MartieCoetser,

I really enjoyed this hub and found that you have identified and described the cow extremely efficient. At times I have had a cow in my life, other times I have been the cow in other's life. I am grateful that I have been able to recognize and release :)


MartieCoetser profile image

MartieCoetser 6 years ago from South Africa Author

Whikat – Welcome in my corner! I am glad you’ve enjoyed this hub, and my hat off for you for being able to recognize yourself in the shoes of a cow. When the right opportunity presents itself, we all tend to cow. We do not learn how to be a cow; it is part of our basic qualities.


Granny's House profile image

Granny's House 6 years ago from Older and Hopefully Wiser Time

This is my first time reading one of your hubs. Great job. I am going to share this. I know there are people that need to read this. Thank you

Rated up!


MartieCoetser profile image

MartieCoetser 6 years ago from South Africa Author

Granny's House – You are so welcome in my corner. I’ll see you soon in yours.


masmasika 6 years ago

Your title intrigued me. I actually thought it was about animals then I was amazed at how you related cow to an intimidator. Great and interesting hub. Voted up.


MartieCoetser profile image

MartieCoetser 6 years ago from South Africa Author

masmasika – I always identify animals in the behavior of people – it helps me to understand people better. The cows, however, came naturally, because ‘cowing’ is a well-known synonym for ‘intimidating’. Thank you so much for reading and commenting. I really appreciate your visits.


skye2day profile image

skye2day 6 years ago from Rocky Mountains

Martie I came back to read. More stuck with me like glue. 'My oh my' sista. I am so grateful that I learned to love the little girl inside and take care of her. I do not need to be daunted by this behaivior any longer. We have come a long way baby All Glory to God. ( - ; Sending a warm hug.

On one of the comments/

I did not know that intimidators did not really 'read' I am not sure I understand is it because they believe to be superior and do not need to spend time with others nonsense??


MartieCoetser profile image

MartieCoetser 6 years ago from South Africa Author

skye2day – You are honoring me so much with all you visits, dear friend. And I really hope you will find some fruit for thought in my hubs that will increase your love for the Lord. Yes, nobody but you/I have the responsibility to protect the little girl in you/me. You/I may not allow others to break her. God said we must love ourselves and our fellow men just like we love ourselves - not more and not less.

Yes, intimidators believe they know everything and they don’t need any knew knowledge. They are completely filled with themselves and their own ideas. You see, if this was not the case, they would not have been able to be intimidators. But, and this is so wonderful, God has a way to empty them of themselves. There comes a day in their lives when they just loose all their self-complacency, and then they have to start all over again. God is so great, He gives us many-many chances to become a pure image of Him. Take care my friend. You are almost at the end of the chapter “Without David” and I believe the next chapter in your life is going to be filled with wonderful surprises. Please go read some of the hubs written by dawnM and get some tips about how to fall in love with your husband again.... :))))))) God bless!


Micky Dee profile image

Micky Dee 6 years ago

I'm with you Martie! God bless you again and again! Bless you Girl!


MartieCoetser profile image

MartieCoetser 6 years ago from South Africa Author

Micky Dee - So nice to see you cycling through my corner today! Bless you!


thougtforce profile image

thougtforce 6 years ago from Sweden

This hub is so good! I loved both the "cows" , the content and the message. Rated up!


MartieCoetser profile image

MartieCoetser 6 years ago from South Africa Author

thoughtforce - I'm so glad you liked this one. Thanks for the rating. Take care!


neeleshkulkarni profile image

neeleshkulkarni 6 years ago from new delhi

hey Martie- thought provoking hub. though i did come here thinking it was about how to handle ones wife.


MartieCoetser profile image

MartieCoetser 6 years ago from South Africa Author

neeleshkulkarni – LOL! Well some wives are cows, are they not? Thanks for reading and leaving such a smile-inspiring comment. Take care!


kelleyward 4 years ago

This is a fantastic hub Martie! I wrote about bullying in children and it seems bullies start very young and many continue throughout life. It's a fine line between teaching a child how to respond to a bully without allowing them to walk all over or overreacting. Voted Up and Shared! Take care, Kelley


MartieCoetser profile image

MartieCoetser 4 years ago from South Africa Author

Hi Kelley, thank you for the vote and share. Sadly bullies are always in our midst. We have to live with them without allowing them to intimidate us. Take care and expect me in your corner soon :)


tammyswallow profile image

tammyswallow 4 years ago from North Carolina

Bullying is terrible. I have been the victim of it at different times in my life. This hub is a great step in helping to empower those who are bullyied. I think it should be taught in schools. Well done!


MartieCoetser profile image

MartieCoetser 4 years ago from South Africa Author

Hi Tammy, I remember reading a heart-touching hub of yours about your experience of bullies. I believe the subject 'Human Behavior' should be incorporated as a compulsory subject in school. The more we know about this, the better we will understand ourselves and others. Thanks for clicking in for the read :)

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