Living with a tyrant or bully is anxiety-provoking, exhausting and incredibly stressful. People who bully and often blow up or rage have a problem with anger and need to get help. Their anger will push everyone in their life away from them until the anger stops. Your pretending the anger isn’t a problem doesn’t help you or them. If you live with a tyrant or bully, realize that behavior is abusive and NOT okay. Know that another person’s rage and bullying has nothing to do with you and everything to do with their own lack of self-control. Also know that if you do nothing to stop the bullying, it will escalate, not go away.
1. Don’t walk on eggshells. When you walk on eggshells, you create more eggshells. If you do this long enough, soon there will be no place to walk without setting him/her off.
2. Don’t grow silent to another person’s abuse. Inherent in your silence is acceptance. If the bully is raging and being unsafe in the moment, know that you will have to have a serious conversation with him/her about their anger later, when they are calm..
3. Don’t make empty threats. Do not throw out an empty threat to try to scare the person into changing if you know that if they don’t change, you’re not going to follow through with what you threatened. If you won’t do it, don’t say it.
4. Do set limits. You absolutely have to set limits on abuse or the abuse will escalate, while your courage and self-esteem will deflate. If you need help on how to do this—seek it out.
5. Don’t take responsibility for another person’s bullying. It is never your fault that another person rages, intimidates, threatens or bullies. Their bullying is NOT about you — it’s about their problems with anger and intimidation.
6. Be willing to put the relationship on the line if the bullying doesn’t stop. Living with a bully is not healthy. Don’t put your emotional and physical well-being on the line for someone who refuses to treat you well. If they refuse to change or get help, then take care of yourself and move on.
7. Don’t become over-accommodating to their bullying. The more they bully you, the more you are teaching them to bully. You will never be able to please them enough, accommodate them enough or be perfect enough to not set them off.
8. Don’t apologize if you didn’t do anything. Do not apologize for something just to calm a bully down. If you have nothing to apologize for then don’t. Often bullies like to turn the blame around on to others for things that the bully did. Don’t take the blame if it’s not yours to take (their rage is NEVER your fault).
9. Do get help or leave if it ever gets physical. Physical abuse brings relationships to a whole different level of unhealthy and unsafe. Refuse to stay with someone who becomes physically abusive and won’t seek help. If you don’t, you will lose yourself.
10. Do ask the person to get help and stop the bullying. It’s peculiar how often people who are around bullies don’t ever ask them to stop the bullying. Of course they’re too afraid of setting the bully off to ask them to stop. Find the courage to have the hard conversation and ask them to stop the bullying and blowups.
If you are living with someone who often blows up, yells, calls you names, gets intense, etc., then you are in a toxic relationship. If you are the one yelling, then clean it up—there’s no excuse for abuse…and raging is abusive. If you’re living with someone who rages, then have your back and insist on change or leave.
Challenge: Pay attention to the do’s and don’ts above and begin to incorporate them into your life. Seek help if you need it.
NOTE: This post is not speaking about domestic violence. It is addressing people who blow up without becoming physically abuse. They may yell, scream, intimidate, become harsh, etc., however they do not physically hit their loved ones.