I’m sure everyone of you has, at some point in your life, encountered one or more bullies. That is unless you yourself are a bully and even then you probably learned your behavior by being bullied early on. It isn’t necessary that you be a physical bully for we also have psychological bullies, crowd based bullies, and even cyber space bullies. Anyone who attempts to unjustly coerce another person or group of people to kowtow to them is a bully, the medium is unimportant.
Ever tried to reason with a bully? Ever heard the old saw about bullies being insecure, misunderstood people just acting out? How about the one where the bullies are victims of their environment and are only trying to control that environment? These explanations might be good for an academic discussion of from whence bullies originate but they don’t help with the immediate problem of having to live with a bully.
So, in answer to the questions above yes, I have tried to reason with a bully and, as you might guess, that was to no avail. Yes, I explored the reasons behind bullies and came to the conclusion that to have any type of conversation exploring why the person might be into bullying you first needed to have the person’s attention such that they understood they held no power over you. Sometimes that can be done by peripheral means by exerting control over portions of their environment and making them uncomfortable. This will result in one of two actions; they will lash out at you or they will treat for terms. With true bullies seldom is the latter their choice. Thus, you once again are confronted with the issue of what to do about the bully who is, figuratively or literally, in your face,
If you have tried reasoning, understanding and peripheral actions and are still being bullied then you must meet force with force. If possible, I suggest you do not hire outside muscle for the job because you’ll wind up with the bully seeking you out when the muscle is at rest. (a little joke). No, you’ll have to do it yourself and that might take some preparation, but as you prepare you’ll notice that other tensions and stresses in your life seem less. You may also enlist some of the bully’s other targets in your response and make a group effort.
In the final confrontation remember this: Marquis of Queensbury rules do not apply. Strike first, strike hard and use all means available. Bullies are not used to being hurt, nor are they used to being humiliated in front of their henchmen. So, whether your choice of weapons is shillelaghs, fists or just a good old tongue lashing, do not stop until your opponent falls to the ground crying “Uncle!” or “Zio” if he is Italian. If he is literary perhaps the beseeching will be “Hold Enough! Whatever, do not let up until you have established dominance for a bully never understands pity or proportional response.
Bullying has always been with us and is scribed in stone as, “Might makes Right.” You will find it in every corner of the world and its victims advance from individual to community to political and religious institutions and onward to nation state. All can become the victims of bullies and there is really only one way to handle a bully, and that is to meet force with force for all else is simply appeasement, which for all bullies is never enough. (See History for multiple examples.)