Manipulators and other disturbed characters sometimes like to openly threaten or brow-beat someone else into giving-up or giving-in to their demands.   They like to terrorize others into submission.  They use fear as a weapon, whether it’s fear of the known or unknown.  People in relationships with disturbed characters are generally familiar with their track record of behavior, thus they know what the disturbed character is not only capable of but also what they have been willing to do to get their way in the past.  

Disturbed characters who bully manipulate others by keeping them on the defensive and making them so afraid of possible negative repercussions that they don’t dare go against their wishes.  Sometimes, manipultors will brandish intense anger and rage, not so much because they’re really that angry, but because they want their victims to be so terrorized that they dare not do anything but cave in to their demands.  That doen’t mean that victims should take the rageful behavior of their tormentors lightly, it simply means that they have to recognize that their probably in a relationship with a person who will stop at nothing to get his or her way.  

Individuals who frequently use bullying as a manipulation tactic are among the least likely to change their modus operandi.  That’s because in addition to being an effective tactic of manipulation, such hard-headed combativeness is also a primary way the disturbed character avoids any kind of submission to a higher authority or standard of conduct.  Those who refuse to subjugate themselves to anything wage a constant war against the internalization of standards and controls that make most of us civilized.  Suffice it to say that the best idea is to not remain in any kind of relationship with a person willing to engage in such behavior.  

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3 Responses to Bullying (Overt Intimidation) – Manipulation Tactic 7

  1. Lisa
    Dec 28, 2011

    Dr. Simon,

    Thanks for all your great posts, this describes my now ex husband that I still can’t seem to get over. I always thought, the kids and I made him that mad, he had to rage and scream and try to beat us into submission. The divorce hurt, but I wanted my kids out of there. It has been almost a year, and I still fool myself. I have been in counseling for 1.5 years trying to get past this. Again, Thanks!!

    • Dr. Simon
      Dec 28, 2011

      You’re so welcome, Lisa. We all need to take ownership of our emotions, reactions, impulses, and inclinations. Nobody really “makes us” do anything. And when we decide to take responsible charge of our lives, it’s never easy. All the best to you on your road to recovery and empowerment!

  2. Rei
    Jul 28, 2013

    First of all, many thanks to Dr. Simon who has taken time to share this. I experienced this bullying tactic around 7 years ago. When I was in college years, my aunt suddenly sent a letter to inform that she would support me by sending money each month. I was surprised because I had never asked for her support (although my family was poor, I could still survive without her financial help). That’s why initially I rejected that offer and told my cousin (who delivered the letter) that I didn’t need her support. However, my mother and cousin insisted that I shouldn’t reject her goodwill so that I hesitantly accepted it. Actually I had already had uneasy feeling at that time (not sure know why – perhaps because some parts of her letter sounds too demanding).

    Some months later my aunt came to my house and suddenly bullied and insulted me in front of other family members (she commanded me to do things that she wanted). I’m very confused at that time. Why did she launch this tirade after deciding to support me? Was she in a very bad mood? Did I do something wrong? I was sure I didn’t. From that point, she demanded me to do many things and treated me without respect (although she still sent money to me each month).

    I ever confronted her about her inappropriate behavior. What surprised me is that she kept denying, making excuses, and minimizing her own behavior. Many times she said,
    - “I didn’t intend to hurt/insult/intimidate you, I only …”.
    - “I did that for your own good”.

    From her facial expressions, I got a feeling that she knew her behavior was inappropriate but she kept trying to convince me that it was I that was too sensitive/selfish and her actions were actually not hurtful.

    Sorry for the long post, but I hope people can learn from my experience. If someone hurts you in some ways (like bullying), take action immediately to protect yourself. Don’t be tricked by his kindness (sending money/gifts, giving supports, etc.) so you think that he is a good person and he may have good reasons to do harmful things. That’s how I got manipulated for more than 5 years. Judge actions, not intentions, like Dr. Simon advised.

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