Neutralising the bully

BullyThere is a phenomenon which is stealthily and steadily making inroads into Ghanaian society and workplaces, and tearing families, relatives apart, breaking esprit de corps, and killing morale, all over.

It works on a very low profile, and one hardly pays attention to it, until it cat-ches one in its web. This is what we shall call bullying.

In the book, The Bully at Work, bullying is defined as a repeated, health-harming mistreatment of a person by one or more people. These people could be family members, friends, or at the workplace, co-staff members.

Their modus operandi are verbal abuses, conduct or behaviours that are threatening, intimidating, and humiliating. In the workplace setting, it could be blackmailing, anonymous letters, sheer bragging, use of brutal force and bravado, as well as sabotage to prevent work from getting done, or a combination of all.

Indeed, bullying could be said to be psychological violence, in most cases sub-lethal and non-physical, a mixture of verbal and strategic assaults to prevent the victim from doing or undertaking his assignments well.

The perpetrator is called the Bully, and the victim, or the one at the receiving end, the Target.

The Bully’s personal agenda is to control the Target, and humiliate him/her, and frustrate or scuttle his/her success. If target does not stand firm, he/she stands being torn into shreds by the prolonged stress he/she may suffer. He/she may be frozen by trauma, his speech or demeanour may not be coherent, and his reasoning, insequential and difficult.

Let’s look at how a Bully works. This writer was offered a parcel of land-gratis by his sibling. He put up his residence on it. And another brother also, on another portion.

So on that vast parcel, three brothers are living, each in his premises. Then Writer added an economic venture onto his premises.

The aftermath? Hell broke loose! The two brothers’ wives and their daughters consequently teamed up, and started subjecting Writer and his family to insults, abuse, vituperations and open attacks. Again and again, they provoked, and whined – made high-pitched and unpleasant noises at them. Family members and friends joined the fray, and continually urged them on, to do more.

Wondering about their supporters? Don’t, because the allies and patrons of bullies are their bosses and persons who love them most, in Writer’s case, he was the sibling-husband of bully, their children, other wives and writer’s own sisters. Still wondering?

And whenever Writer and family complained, we were called liars; that we were annoying people with our incessant, frivolous and unimportant complaints.

Some even went to the extent of saying we deserved our fate, which fitted into the bullies’ grand scheme and strategies.

The relationship with writer’s sibling became sour and adversarial, with the lady landguard wife and her terrorist daughter growing bolder, by the day. Psychological humiliation at work?

Fight back; neutralize the bully with his/her diabolical motives and plans. Remember you are being assaulted and humiliated systematically and continually. And this must stop!

But then, be forewarned that the fight could be uphill, because powerful, vast forces are mobilized against you. Don’t allow yourself to be shattered; stand firm, do not be defeated, for defeat could be suicidal.

Waiting can be used against you, indeed, as evidence that bully’s conduct was not as outrageous as you claim, and the impact not severe, to warrant sympathy by anybody, relatives no exception.

Strike immediately when the opportunity comes! Remember, the bully is aggressive and destructive, so do not forgive, neither should you prevaricate, at all.

With writer, when the lady bully and daughter got to their apogee, and vandalized my property, the police was called in there and then, and they were arrested and put behind bars.

But then, be warned that the bully would not take this, lying low. The collaborators, friends and supporters would be up in arms, and plead for forgiveness and sympathy.

Unremitting pressure could be put on you, because bullies cannot stand being exposed, but do not yield; do not give in; not at all. Let the law take its course.

Never accept things, gifts, land, from siblings and family members. Even when my brother had given up claims to my land, the wife and daughter were pressurizing him to seize my building for them. Shameful, isn’t it?

Never build and stay near a sibling, family member or friend. At a certain stage, they may feel jealous of, and start hating you. If you are not steadfast, you may not be able to stand the consequences.

Your health may be affected, and you could suffer such stress-related diseases like hypertension and insomnia, and die. Your wife and children would be the poorer for it, and bully would be happy.

Reader, the bully is not a phantom; he/she is real. His/her baggage is subterfuge. So beware; be warned; be wary of him/her.

Don’t indulge in self-blame, rather, “put yourself back together”, and deal decisively with him/her, relative or no relative!

By Sampson W. Yenu

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