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Women's Safety Tip - Real Life Story - The Anatomy of a Bully

Kelly Rudolph

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We all know a person who tries to control others, forces their opinions on everyone and gets their way because people are afraid to stand up to them for fear of getting on their bad side. But do we realize how destructive this bullying behavior really is to those involved or what makes a bully in the first place? After all, we experience it in families, school, the workplace, neighborhoods and public places. Come with me as I dissect one real-life story (out of millions) to illustrate the impact bullying makes.

Real-Life Story - Bully In the Neighborhood

A nearby condominium association has always been a little strict but that's what reminded homeowners to keep track of things so the neighborhood always looks and feels great. It was a peaceful, friendly place where neighbors knew each other by name and were always available to help one another.

Recently, a new board member took over the association by appointing herself to the position without a vote or anyone standing in her way. She walks the neighborhood day and night finding (or creating) violations to exhibit her power over others. Association meetings that used to be one hour are several hours long with all of the residents who have gotten reprimanded for ridiculous violations of vague guidelines scheduled to appear in front of the board.

There are so many absurd violation letters being handed out, the general feel of a recently friendly, warm and fuzzy neighborhood is rampant with negative discussions of the association and unreasonable violation notices. Numerous homeowner have gotten letters scolding them for something, requiring them to fit a 3-4 hour association meeting into their busy schedule to explain themselves as if they are children.

One violation was about neighbor's Rottweiler barking as the president and her husband jogged by looking for more violations. Obviously, the bully doesn't realize a watchdog's job is to deliver a bark-alert about someone who is not normally in the area.

Several of the former association board members have resigned because of the new president feeling helpless, frustrated and fearful of her wrath.

Anatomy of a Bully: Attacker mindset

  • Low self-esteem
  • Insecure
  • Feels out of control of own life
  • Chooses to control someone else (or everyone else in this case) to feel powerful again

This Bully's Impact on a Once Warm and Fuzzy Neighborhood

  • Fear of being written up for
  • Unnecessary stress when home is suppose to be a haven
  • Frustration than no one is standing up to the bully
  • A feeling of helplessness
  • Invasion of privacy
  • Anger
  • Negative cloud over neighborhood
  • Time away from life and family to address ridiculous claims at meetings
  • Confusion as to how this person became a board member
  • Disappointment in other board members, neighbors who won't stand up to bully
  • Memory trigger from past bullying experiences (we've all had them)

A bully is an attacker and bullying is attacking, in this case, mentally and emotionally. You may wonder why I call such a typical behavior “attacking. " That is because it is seriously negative, destructive, bad behavior and should be treated as such.

Remember that attackers are weak and usually back down if someone stands up to them who appears stronger mentally or emotionally. They are using their victims to get a power fix since they feel out of control of some part of their own life.

If we knew more about this new president's life, I'm sure we would quickly see where she feels out of control which would explain but not justify why she attacks. There are plans to have an election for new board members!

Bullying can get you what you want, where you want to go and speed up your journey, but on the way back down, which happens eventually, you have to pass by the people you stepped on, on your way up.

Bonus Safety Tip: Standing up to attackers (insecure people) often breaks them down but beware of the ones who have nothing to lose and attack further; trust your gut feelings. And now I would like to offer you free access to printed and audio versions of the “Seven Deadly Personal Safety Mistakes" plus 2 additional safety bonuses when you subscribe to a free weekly Safety Quick Tip. You can get your instant access (and a sample Safety Quick Tip) at


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