We’ve been discussing various types of bullying. Today we’re discussing a very serious tactic: Threats.
This overt type of bullying is one of the scariest for the target to endure.
The bully usually threatens to use one of the other tactics we’ve already talked about.
This makes threats a unique type of bullying. The bully doesn’t have to actually use the other tactics. They control their targets with the possibility.
A bully may get in trouble for punching someone in the face or engaging in overt psychological intimidation.
… But if they can make a threat without getting caught, they can leverege all the power of these tactics without the potential consequences.
In addition to being less conspicuous, a bully can also use threats to manipulate their targets into doing their bidding.
With other types of bullying the focus is just on hurting or scaring the target to satisfy the bully’s own ego. By using well placed threats a bully can manipulate their target like a puppet.
Another way bullies use threats is to keep their other types of bullying a secret. This is a tactic used against bystanders who work up the courage to take a stand.
“If you tell anyone about this, you’ll be next!”
This is why we don’t encourage direct confrontation with the bully. Typically bullies are good at not getting caught. A direct confrontation only feeds the bully and encourages them to continue their behavior.
Types of threats include:
- Physical Violence (Don’t tell or I’ll punch you!)
- Emotional Attacks (Do it or I’ll tell everyone you’re a sissy!)
- Vague Threats (If you do that you’ll be sorry!)
- Indirect Threats (I’ll make your sister pay!)
…And there are many more. Threats are limited only by the bully’s imagination.
We’re drawing to a close with this series. We’ve got one more topic to cover before we move to the next series about how to take a stand.