Bullies, Bullshit and the Gift of Discernment
Excuse the forthcoming language, but we're all grown here, right? Right.
Bullies and Bullshit Artists (or "BSAs") are everywhere. You never know when you're going to encounter one. They show up at your job, at your kid's school, at church, on the PTA board, anchoring a news desk, as a friend of your friend and, sometimes, they're right in your own family.
I don't have time for these people.
Bullies and BSAs misuse whatever sort of power or leverage they have to get what they want or reinforce their beliefs at any cost. They manipulate people. They lie. They engage primarily in one-way conversations. They're the source of drama. They violate trust. And they're draining to be around.
Most of us avoid people like this at all costs, but there are certain scenarios where you have to deal with them. And I wish I could give you advice on how to deal with them, but I can't. Because, like I said, I don't have time for these people.
My bullshit radar is highly functional and when red flags go up, I pay attention and respond accordingly. My interactions with Bullies/BSAs are kept as brief and as to-the-point as I can possibly keep them. Praise Jesus for the gift of discernment.
For the most part, I have good people in my life. Good-vibe-giving, genuine, funny, honest, self-aware, empathetic, intelligent, beautiful, imperfect people. I know who to trust and who I should keep at arms length. I know who are my real friends v. family v. framily v. associates. And I'm grateful for the good people around me.
However, like most of us, I've come across my fair share of Bullies/BSAs. I see how they do things. Younger bullies are easier to spot, naturally, but as we get older, Bullies and BSAs get more savvy with their bullshit. They hide behind social norms, politics, social media, professionalism, racism, political correctness, or even religion to validate their bullshittery.
They might even believe their own bullshit. It's quite possible.
AS FOR ME...
Call a Bully out on their bullshit and see how fast they deny, cry and/or evade responsibility for it. I dare you.
Once upon a time, over the course of a few months, I had to deal with someone who was a bully. I was one of her targets. She insulted me. Like, she started a fight with somebody else and insulted ME during THEIR fight. She would be best friends with one person one week and then talk crap about them the next week behind their backs. She was completely see-through. And once I didn't have to deal with her as closely anymore - I DIDN'T. When she reached out looking to reconnect a few months later, I told her I didn't appreciate the way she treated me or the way she treated others. I essentially let her know that I saw her bullshit. To which she claimed to not know what I was talking about, then told me to have a nice life, blocked me on Facebook and I never heard from her again.
I know a religious guy who refuses to engage in any dialogue that addresses his bullshit in any regard.
John Doe: Hey, how's my favorite person!
Me: Hey, John, I'm good, but I did want to talk to you because I thought the way you spoke to my mama was inappropriate and--
John Doe: GOD KNOWS MY HEART AND THERE'S A DEMON IN YOUR SPIRIT AND YOU BETTER PRAY THE LORD REMOVES IT AND JESUS IS THE ANSWER AMEN!
I know somebody else who will curse you ALL OF THE SMOOTH ENTIRE WAY OUT if she feels like it. Like a grown toddler. But she never apologizes. Or recognizes any wrongdoing. Or would even say, "maybe I went too far." Nah. She'll let it all out and then be over it. And then she expects you to be over it too because she's over it. And she'll come skipping back expecting you to be best friends. And if you say, "Hey girl, I didn't appreciate the way you cursed me out two hours ago," she'll get mad at you like "WHY YOU BRINGING UP OLD STUFF?"
Kinda like these All Lives Matter people trolling the ever-necessary Black Lives Matter movement with their bullshit.
I. AIN'T. GOT. TIME.
I see you. I see your bullshit. And I AM NOT HERE FOR IT.
Keep watch on the people you allow into your life and your space. Pay attention to the vibes and energy you get from people. It doesn't lie! And, If you can help it, don't allow bullies and bullshitters in your circle. (They really should be quarantined somewhere so they only have one another to deal with.)
If you're in a situation where you have to interact regularly with bullies or BSAs (i.e. a coworker, a family member), how do you deal?