"Calling someone ugly won’t make you pretty. Calling someone stupid won’t make you smart. Making someone’s life miserable won’t make yours happy. So why do it?”
In Part One, we discussed some characteristics of the serial female family bully, the way she bullies, her targets and her end game. We looked at some interesting characteristics also seen with the codependent; poor self-esteem and inability to speak her truth or express her anger.
In Part Two we are going to give you lots of examples, so you can identify if you are bullying or being bullied.
The female family serial bully (FSB) may try to set people up against her victim. This can be accomplished in many ways.
The FSB tells you gossip about the victim as it relates to you: “She/the victim said this about you. She thinks you are stupid. She didn’t like the way you chewed your food, drove etc.” And if you don’t check out the truth of those statements, you are going to be angry with the victim. The victim doesn’t know what you have been told and will feel your anger.
Indirectly, the FSB will turn people against her victim by subtly putting down who the victim is and how the victim lives her life: “You know how she is, she always thinks she is better than us because she went to college (and we didn’t)” – “She exercises (and we don’t)” – “She goes to those stupid dance competitions (and we don’t).” And to you, “Oh here comes smarty pants.” “When you trip and almost fall…” “Is that one of your fancy dance moves?” When you go for a run, she might say “You don’t look any different since you have been doing all that stupid stuff, so why do you bother?” These needling comments are a clear sign of the FSB’s lack of self-esteem and are nothing about you the victim. When people make negative/sarcastic/needling comments about how you are living your life, it is not about you; it is everything about their insecurity.
When the FSB (Mom in this case) wants to single out one of her children to shame, she may use something that happened in school or on the athletic field that day. At dinner she will make a sarcastic comment about the goal the child missed, or the ball dropped or a bad grade in front of the entire family. When the child, who is already feeling down about his/her mistake, may shed some tears, the FSB will attack like a red-bellied piranha and shame the child for what we would say is an appropriate emotional reaction. Remember, if anything like this has happened to you or is happening to you, it shows the FSB’s insecurity/jealousy. I repeat: it is nothing about you and everything about the FSB.
Dr. Anne Brown PhD, RN of Sausalito, California, formerly from Aspen, Colorado is a psychotherapist, speaker, coach, and the author of Backbone Power: The Science of Saying No. For over twenty years she served as the trusted advocate and advisor to Influential Corporate leaders, Trial Attorneys, Athletes, Leaders, Physicians and their families whose connections extended far beyond Aspen, Colorado.
Brown is a graduate of the University of Virginia, BS in Nursing; Boston University, MS in Psychiatric-Mental Health in Nursing; and International University, PhD in Addiction Studies. In 1997 Brown also reached a personal goal of obtaining her Black Belt in Soo Bahk Do.