“Guard your heart above all else, for it determines
the course of your life.” ~ Proverbs 4:23
What is an emotional bully? An emotional bully is a person who abuses another person through his emotional responses toward that person. For example, an emotional bully gets upset about something but then makes his target person feel as if she is the one who is wrong and has the problem.
Emotional bullying is a form of psychological abuse that is just as bad, if not worse, than physical abuse. Unfortunately, it is seen all too often in Christian circles as well as secular ones.
How can you recognize an emotional bully? Here are some clues:
1) An emotional bully will twist words to demean you. For example, he will make himself look as though he is right and generous and you are wrong and selfish. If he is a Christian, he may even imply that you are acting contrary to the Word of God if you don’t agree with him.
2) An emotional bully will use sarcasm to humiliate you either privately or publicly. He will make jokes at your expense, not caring that those jokes cut you deeply.
3) An emotional bully will insist that you should act in a certain way–his way–and if you don’t, something is wrong with you. An emotional bully will try to make you feel inferior or ignorant if you don’t see things his way.
Emotional bullies are everywhere. So, how do you deal with one?
1) First of all, stay calm and think through what is really going on. The emotional bully would love nothing more than to get a reaction from you. Do not automatically assume that what the bully is saying is true. Check the facts. Submit them to someone you trust for input.
2) Second, respond to the bully gently but firmly. Point out the flaws in his argument and tell him you disagree with his assessments.
3) Third, confront an emotional bully. An emotional bully needs to be confronted so he won’t continue his evil behavior against you. Always confront in love–but confront!
4) Set boundaries for yourself as to what you will accept and not accept in your life. Remember that you alone, under Holy Spirit’s guidance, have the responsibility to manage your life. Part of healthful life management is to set boundaries for who and what you will allow into your life. Respect yourself enough not to allow an emotional bully to take control of the life that is yours alone to manage.
To help you learn more about who you are in Christ, you may wish to obtain a copy of my ebook, You Were Made for Greatness!
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