Written by Eric C., MA., PhD Candidate
“Sticks and stones will break my bones but words will never hurt me.” ~Anonymous
I wish the above quote was true. Unless we are machine or lack human emotions, words and actions have a profound effect on the way we feel about ourselves and the world around us. In our current society we have become hyper-aware and sensitive to bullying. We are quick to notice this taboo behavior in others and readily condemn it. It is possible that some of us fail to see the same behavior in ourselves. It’s time to take off our blinders and become more self-aware that we may be exhibiting the same behaviors towards others even though we will not tolerate this behavior from others. Self-awareness leads to personal growth. Through positive evolution we become happier and tend to have healthier relationships in general.
Here are some signs of an emotional bully:
1. Constantly interrupting and forcing opinions on others
In a conversation or discussion they need to be the one talking. They believe their opinions must be the most accepted opinions in the dialogue. They do not listen when others are talking but instead wait for an opportunity to jump in to declare their own thoughts
2. Throw fits in order to control an argument
If an argument is not going their way they will act out childishly by throwing tantrums. They may storm off to another room in order to end a discussion or even resort to jumping up and down in an attempt to physically get the attention back to their point.
3. Accuse and blame
When events in their life are not going as planned they tend to blame others for their discourse. They may even accuse others of wrongdoing that led to their shortcomings. They may go as far as telling loved ones that they are to blame for their misfortune. They fail to see that perhaps things are going wrong because of something they did.
4. Cry as a way to manipulate
They use emotion as a weapon. When words fail them they will resort to crying in order to get what they want. Crying may elicit benevolent emotions from the other person. An emotional bully will use this to sway the other towards their goal.
5. Yell and scream
Instead of speaking in a calm manner they will yell and scream at others in order to intimidate them to do as they wish.
6. Use profanity
They use profanity in an aggressive way to intimidate others.
7. Throw objects when upset
When upset, they will resort to throwing things so that those around them know they are in a negative mood.
8. Emotional hostage
When upset, they make everyone around them aware. Others then feel the need to tip toe around the person in order to avoid further drama. In a sense, they are a hostage to the other person’s emotions.
9. Exhibits passive aggressive behavior
If they don’t get their way they will act out their hostilities in a way that you may not notice. For example, if you choose where to have dinner over the place they suggested then they may become ill after they eat.
They will threaten certain negative outcomes or negative behaviors in the future if they do not get their way.
11. Seeks revenge
If they feel slighted they will make it a mission to get back at you over the perceived slight.
12. Evokes the past
When arguing, they bring up past transgressions and refuse to let them go.
12. Always needs to have the last word
In an argument or discussion they always need to have the last word. Even if someone is trying to disengage they will continue to argue until their point is made. It is necessary for them to have the last say in any matter.
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