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5 Ways to Handle Verbal Bullying and Putdowns

Bullying is about domination and power. Although bullies may appear confident, ironically, they are anything but.



Bullies have a need to feel powerful, precisely because they DON’T feel good about themselves.


The negative, emotional reactions bullies get from verbally assaulting others, gives them an addicting sense of power. They need to bully more and more, because it is the ONLY way they feel momentarily good about themselves. As soon as the feeling of power fades, the bully needs to find another source. The more upset and angry the victim is, the better for the bully.


There will always be bullies, because there will always be wounded people, who have no other way to feel powerful.


We can, however, defeat them. When they don’t get a reaction, bullies do not get their need for power met. They move on to seek their power elsewhere.

Opting out of reacting or retaliating to teasing, taunting or verbal bullying, robs the bullies of their power.


Instead of responding with anger, sadness or other emotions, we can show bullies that they have NO POWER or effect on our self-esteem and happiness.


𝐇𝐞𝐫𝐞 𝐀𝐫𝐞 𝐅𝐢𝐯𝐞 𝐖𝐚𝐲𝐬 𝐭𝐨 𝐇𝐚𝐧𝐝𝐥𝐞 𝐕𝐞𝐫𝐛𝐚𝐥 𝐁𝐮𝐥𝐥𝐲𝐢𝐧𝐠, 𝐓𝐚𝐮𝐧𝐭𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐏𝐮𝐭𝐝𝐨𝐰𝐧𝐬

1. Install unshakeable self esteem and confidence. When one has that, the opinion of the bully and their comments are always powerless and irrelevant.

2. Taunting, teasing, and putdowns have no power, unless we LET them. WE have the power to decide, “Am I going to let that IN?” Do not let taunts, teasing and putdowns in. Literally say out loud or internally “I am not letting that in.”

3. Remind yourself “it’s NOT ME.” REMEMBER, critical people feel the most critical about themselves. They only APPEAR confident. If they were actually confident, they would have no need to put others down. Their comments have nothing to do with you, and everything to do with their view of themselves.

4. Respond to putdowns with “Thanks for Sharing.”

5. Ask them to repeat the comment by saying “I didn’t hear what you said. Can you repeat that?” They will often retreat, because they feel challenged, and bullies prefer an easy mark, over a challenge. If they repeat the insult, no problem. Just respond with, “Got it. It’s too bad you don’t feel good about yourself. but that has nothing to do with me.”


Unshakeable self esteem and confidence is THE ULTIMATE antidote to verbal bullying. Your children, and you, CAN be free to have unshakeable self confidence and self esteem, EVEN in the presence of verbal bullies.

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Melissa Boher Jacobson, Confident Life Coaching & Hypnotherapy
Jupiter, FL  and the World 561-270-5808 melisssa@melissaboherjacobson.com
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