What you say to a bully – depends entirely on what exactly the bully is doing. But, there are some general rules you can use to guide you.
First – figure out what you are going to say – then practice saying it. Out loud. If you do not practice what you want to say out loud, then when you are challenged by a bully, the words won’t come. Once you decide what you want to say – practice saying it out loud.
Second – be polite. No – they are not being polite and you don’t owe them your politeness. The reason to be polite is so that what you say is heard the way you want it heard – not just by the bully, but also by the witnesses. Also – emotionally – polite is controlled and calm and this will help make sure the bully knows – their bullying did not work on you. And you really really really want them to learn that their bullying, doesn’t work on you.
Third, repeat and report. I always give bullies a chance to go away. If they don’t – don’t argue with them – just report them. Do this as much as you need to – until they learn – it doesn’t matter how much they harass you – you a) aren’t going to be bothered by them and b) they are going to get in trouble if they continue.
Fourth – and Finally – never debate a bully. Don’t legitimize their attacks by arguing with them about whether or not you are what they say you are. You aren’t. You don’t need to defend yourself. When you defend yourself – the focus is on you. It’s better – to politely point the focus on them and their behavior. And you can do this politely and calmly.
What should you actually say?
I am including a link to a cheat sheet here for you to use – http://bullyvaccineproject.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/Tip-Sheet-for-Coping-with-Any-Sort-of-Bully.pdf
I’m going to let you in on a little secret. It doesn’t really matter what the exact words are you use – only that you say it as a declarative statement – not a question. Meaning – you are telling them a fact, not asking them to stop.
For instance – if they call you names. Tell them – don’t call me names. This is a statement that they should stop. Not a request that they stop. What’s the difference? It’s mostly how you think about what you are doing.
If you request that they stop – and they don’t – now what? Well – now you try to bargain.
If you tell them to stop and they don’t – what comes next is consequences to them.
If they are just being stupid – you can say – thank you. And smile and stare at them. If they are threatening you – tell them – if they do whatever – you will report them – and if they do – report them. You can actually say – if you continue to bully me – I’m going to report you. Name what they are doing. Stigmatize them – and then – if they continue – report them. Again – this is a statement of fact of what you plan to do. How they decide to act is on them and about them. Not you.
Another thing you can do is agree with them. If they think something is an insult – and it isn’t to you – then their attack on your won’t work. If you wear glasses – and they call you four eyes – yes – you do. How funny is that. A bully has no clue how to respond when people don’t respond to them in fear or anger. So – don’t give them that. Be calm, polite and confront them nicely.
Good luck – and if you want to learn more about how exactly to train a bully to stop using just your words – get my book, join the website or take one of my online courses. My why bullies bully course is free over at youtube – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_2Z2gtEtbpA&t=14s