Dear Bully

My friend, Kate Nasser is doing a beautiful job of leveraging her #PeopleSkills platform to shine a light on workplace bullying.

Dear Bully

She recently challenged my friend and co-author Susan Mazza to share her Letter To A Bully on her blog.

In Susan’s post she asked,

It did not take me long to craft my response to Susan because I’ve spent so much time pondering this issue – long before I called it what it is.  (Anyone that tears down others so that they will feel better about themselves is a bully.)  Below are links to three of my previous posts.

1. I was a bully, and it changed my life.

2.  Like you, I’ve seen great leaders and I’ve seen workplace bullying that reminds me of the playground.   It makes my stomach churn and my heart ache.

3. Bullies on the playground and in the workplace reflect the hearts and minds of racists, drug lords, human traffickers and unfortunately many world leaders.

This was my answer to Susan…

Dear Bully,

I watched you in action today.

I saw you puffing up, raising your voice, and using your power and position to stand over someone, look down at them, make fun of them and intimidate them.

I saw you intentionally antagonizing those around you.

I saw you planting seeds of doubt, lies and fear, and doing everything you could to divide people so you could continue the illusion that you are in control.

When I held up the mirror so you could get a glimpse of what you are bringing to others you smashed it to the ground.

…And I wondered:

  • Why you do what you do?
  • Who hurt you and turned your heart to stone?  
  • Did you made a conscious choice to become a bully?

I know you want to protect yourself and come across as invincible.

I know you think power is the answer.  

The fear-filled child inside of the bullyBut when I look past your exterior, I see a small child filled with pain and fear.  

It must be so frustrating to realize that no matter how much power you appear to have, you still live in fear and your masquerade is not repairing what is broken inside of you.

I bet you would give anything to experience real peace and real joy.

I wonder if you know that your gifts and your potential are buried in the muck of your behavior….

Although I don’t trust you, I pray for you.

I hope that one day:

  • You find healing, and peace.
  • Your gifts will be magnified.
  • Instead of tearing down you build up – pouring confidence, expectation and hope into the lives you touch.

~ I wish you joy and peace.  

 How about you?  If you wrote a letter to a bully, what would you say?  Please comment and pass it on!  

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7 thoughts on “Dear Bully

      • Susan,

        I agree! Spontaneous Collaboration made possible by Social Media!

        I love Kate’s focus, and know that bullying struck a note with you when I wrote my bullying story when we were launching The Character-Based Leader. Your letter stuck a note with me, and once I responded to your post I just had to share it here too!

        Sending you a big hug!

        Chery

  1. Hi. As a survivor of the physical and emotional violence of childhood bullying, and of an instance of workplace bullying that would have been considered illegal in other countries, I took liberty with your original letter. I simply do not see bullies as people with souls, and thus cannot wish for them what you do. It’s just a different perspective, I hope you don’t mind. My letter below:

    Dear Bully,

    I watched you in action today.

    I saw you puffing up, raising your voice, and using your power and position to stand over someone, look down at them, threaten them and intimidate them.

    I saw you intentionally antagonizing those around you.

    I saw you planting seeds of doubt, lies and fear, and doing everything you could to divide people so you could continue the illusion that you are in control.

    When I held up the mirror so you could get a glimpse of what you are bringing to others you smashed it to the ground.

    …And I wondered:

    How did you carry this out as a child?
    Have you ever had to face any consequences due to your behavior?
    Have you been formally diagnosed with any pathology?

    I know you think you come across as invincible.

    I know you think power is the answer.

    But when I once looked inside your eyes, I saw evil. I felt evil. And it gave me the chills.

    Can you feel fear? Can you feel joy? Can you feel love? Does those emotions even register?

    I hope that one day:

    There is a cure for sociopathy.

    Until that day, I hope:

    Society will recognize the damage that you and your kind inflict on children, adults, and society.

    That the damage that you inflict on the greater good is stopped before it ever starts.

    That those who are damaged by you are listened to, and that they all will heal.

    That others can look past your exterior and into the gaping hole where your soul would be, so that they, like the bullied, will understand the depths of your depravity.

    Instead of allowing you to grow into playground menace, stalker, date rapist, serial killer, abuser, or malfeasant – may you be removed from the general population.

    ~ I wish a world of joy and peace, free from sociopaths and the world they create.

    • Traci – Thank you for sharing your thoughts.

      I’ve spent years thinking about when to offer grace to a bully and when not to.

      I agree with you that some people are filled with such darkness, and such evil that there isn’t much hope for them. (In those cases staying away from them and praying for them is the best advice I have.)

      I also believe there are others that are full of fear and heartache and coping by making choices that tear others down in an attempt to feel good about themselves.

      There are several things that have helped me process the difference and work painful memories.

      1. I had to learn how to forgive. It was a huge struggle because I didn’t want to grant my approval of their horrific behavior. It took a lot of prayer and a lot of time, and a very powerful story before I found a reason to forgive. And then I was able to do so instantly.

      Max Lucado is spot on when he says, ‘Forgiveness is unlocking the door to set someone free and realizing you were the prisoner!’

      For the story that helped me learn to forgive: http://store.northpoint.org/life-rules-part-four-serve.html (This is not my resource, and there is a 1.00 fee for the download.)

      2. I had to learn to trust the truth that my gut just knows, not my historical pain. If my gut screams that someone is not trustworthy I’ve learned to listen.

      For more about learning to listen to your gut click here: http://consultgiana.com/did-you-listen-to-your-gut-or-to-your-logic-which-one-is-right/ (Free article.)

      3. I needed a clear vision of what grace looks like. It is not blind trust. It’s not fear. It is wisdom. It offers people a balance of compassion and accountability.

      For more about compassionate/accountability: http://smartblogs.com/leadership/2011/12/15/why-leaders-need-to-practice-compassionate-accountability/ (Free article.)

      For more about keeping boundaries in place, even when you want to offer grace to someone click here: http://consultgiana.com/i-wanted-to-say-yes-but-i-dont-trust-you/ (Free article.)