Bully in the family

“A favorite tactic of the bully in the family is to set people against each other. The benefits to the bully are that: the bully gains a great deal of gratification from encouraging and provoking argument, quarrelling and hostility, and then from watching others engage in adversarial interaction and destructive conflict, and the ensuing conflict ensures that people’s attention is distracted and diverted away from the cause of the conflict.”

“Bullies within the family, especially female bullies are masters of manipulation and are fond of manipulating people through their emotions (e.g. guilt) and through their beliefs, attitudes and perceptions. Bullies see any form of vulnerability as an opportunity for manipulation, and are especially prone to exploiting those who are most emotionally needy.”
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The bully may try to establish an exclusive relationship (based on apparent trust and confidence) with one family member such that they (the bully) are seen as the sole reliable source of information; this may be achieved by portraying the target (and certain other family members) as irresponsible, unstable, undependable, uncaring, unreliable and untrustworthy, perhaps by the constant highlighting – using distortion and fabrication – of alleged failures, breaches of trust, lack of reliability, etc.

Tim Fields on bullying within the family, on “Thru the Looking Glass” blog, February 1, 2007

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Posted in: Caught Our Eye

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