My wise husband always says, the first person who talks, looses. Other than on "Talk TV News," where one has to yell over the other person or you "loose" the interview, this is so true. Remember, it is harder to be the bully than to be yourself.
So, my best advise is:
- Stick to the facts if you must talk, answer politely only in monosyllables, and just do your best to stay away from the bully.
- Remove yourself from the situation figuratively or literally. Be aways busy. Be self-directed and find projects to work on. Be engrossed in a book or newspaper, rather than fiddling with your cell phone if in the same lunch room or social situation, because people feel less intimidated to interrupt someone fiddling with e-mail or twittering on computers or phones. Or, if you can, leave the room. Be busy somewhere else.
- If in a restaurant on a bad date, go to the restroom, go outside to make an "important" phone call, go outside for a smoke even if you don't smoke. Excuse yourself to the restroom and leave the restaurant/club. Call for a cab home. Say you have a headache, or don't feel well. Anything to get away from the bad situation and bully.
- If the bully is your boss at work, may as well just start looking for a department transfer or a new job. Nothing worse than a bully for a boss, and it will never get any better, because the bully is, after all, your boss. In this case, the boss will always have the last word. Nothing to do about it. Be always polite, keep your nose to the grindstone, look for a new job and tell NO ONE, then leave your current job with the bully boss for your new job. Too much of your life is spent at work to allow your bully boss to tear you up, the spit you out anyway.
- If the bully is a co-worker, do your best to stay away from the bully and the main rule applies. Do not let them draw you into a conversation. Be busy around them. Try never to be alone with the bully.
- Always be polite to the bully. If they say something mean, do not reply. Let the mean comment hang out there in the air, especially if in a room with others. Just let the mean comment lay.
- If the bully is a social bully, say on a committee or in a book club with you, sit far away from the bully. Look for another book club. Get on another committee. No sense spending your valuable leisure time miserable.
- There is no sense fighting with a bully because it is what they want. If you engage wit them, they will drag you down into their world with them. Not where you want to be.
Do not be a victim. Stand up for yourself and empower yourself by removing yourself from the situation.