Just when you think you’ve left school bullies somewhere in the past, they can pop up again where you’d least expect it, when your child starts school. Yes, moms who bully other moms are real, and you might have already met one if your child is in school.
According to the 2021 WBI U.S. Workplace Bullying Survey, 49% of American adults are still affected by bullies, directly or indirectly. This data shows that bullying can happen regardless of age and setting.
If you happen to wind up face-to-face with a bullying mom, remember that it’s not about who you are—you just happen to have crossed paths with one of the many bullies who plague the world.
No matter how inevitable bullies are wherever you go, dealing with them never stops being troublesome and emotionally draining. So, how can you deal with bullying moms who’ve decided to put extra hurdles in your life?
Keep reading to find out the answers to your questions, along with effective tips you can use to deal with bullying moms.
Dealing with a bullying mom is like walking through a minefield. The longer you stay in the danger zone, the more likely you’ll set her off.-Balance in Wonderland-
1. Bullying moms bully everyone
It might help to remember, moms who bully aren’t targeting only you. They bully anyone who threatens their ego.
Even though it may be obvious that their animosity has nothing to do with who you are or what you’ve done, bullying moms are often good at sneakily undermining your self-belief with their toxic influence.
When you start to doubt yourself, and you feel your emotional and mental health deteriorating under the harmful effects of a bullying mom, remember that you are not responsible for her fragile ego. If she can’t work with others like an adult and see past differences in background and opinion, it is her responsibility to grow up.
2. Why bullying moms bully
She is going through her own inner conflicts. Whether she is insecure or narcissistic, she is securing her boundaries by pushing you away. She might be fighting to secure her friendship within the circle of moms by not letting you in, or she actually believes that her accomplishments as a mother are superior to anything you can offer, so she views you as more of a threat than an ally.
Dealing with a bullying mom is like walking through a minefield. The longer you stay in the danger zone, the more likely you’ll set her off. Sadly, it’s usually in your best interest to find the quickest way out of her proximity.
Even though bullying moms are supposed to be grownups, dealing with one can be like trying to placate a tantrummy toddler. They won’t want to accept your way of doing things because that would wound their fragile ego. There can be no mutual understanding or negotiation. If you won’t grovel at her feet, she feels compelled to push you down or eliminate you from the group.
3. How bullying mom bully other moms
It can be direct or indirect, but you’ll know it without a doubt, once a bullying mom has targeted you.
She might disagree with your every idea to your face, or she’ll be busy behind the scenes, preventing you from connecting with other moms through subtle manipulation of the group.
She might create rumors about you, whether based on truth or not. She might even attack your child through hers, having her child alienate yours from their circle through bullying. She will not shy away from defaming you and your family by whatever means necessary.
Bullies will try to size you up and find a weak spot to penetrate. Never let your doubts or weaknesses show in front of a bully.– Balance in Wonderland –
4. How to deal with a bullying mom if she’s already in your life
Step one, look beyond their title.
The bullying mom can be the mother of your child’s friend, your neighbor, or your coworker. When a bully bares their claws at you, look at who they are as a human and what vulnerabilities you might have tapped to set them off.
Step two, take the high ground and let the bully crawl up.
Bullies will try to size you up and find a weak spot to penetrate. Never let your doubts or weaknesses show in front of a bully.
No matter what ugly tactics bullies use against you, don’t lower yourself to their level. Unlike when you were in school, the grownups around you will, for the most part, have the maturity to see you taking the high road. As long as you can keep your cool, the bully will lose face to the people around her if she continues to attack you.
Step three, detour around the bullying mom, or let her know you refuse to be a victim.
If the bully doesn’t hold an important role in your life, try to swerve around her. If there is nothing to gain from the conflict, it doesn’t deserve your time and energy—so why even bother engaging in the toxic drama? If you can avoid a bully’s territory altogether, it’s always better to eliminate them from your life as quickly as possible.
But if a bullying mom stands between you and your priorities and she’s hard to avoid, you need to respond to her first signs of aggression by clearly showing her that you’re not a person to be messed with. Set clear boundaries, demand the respect you deserve, and be prepared to apply consequences if she crosses the line.
You might find a way to make this work if the bully understands the negative consequences of sabotaging you and finds cooperation less problematic.
But unfortunately, some people just love drama so much that it really doesn’t matter to them what role they play in it, as long as they get to see it unfold as far as it can go.
Step four, thrive beyond the bully’s reach.
Adult bullies, with the added privileges and resources of adulthood at their disposal, can be even more toxic than school bullies. Unlike a school-aged bully, an adult bully can use their position, financial status, and network to affect you negatively. Sometimes it can be hard to keep fighting them off as long as you are in their circle of influence.
Weigh the pros and cons. How high is your tolerance for their toxic influence? How much distance can you put between yourself and them without compromising your own goals? If the costs of the conflict outweigh whatever benefits you are getting out of putting up with a bullying mom, find a way to put as much distance between you as possible.
No matter how frustrating this might be, don’t think of it as running away from a bully. Time is too precious and we seldom have enough of it to share with our loved ones, let alone waste energy on someone with malicious intentions.
It is not your responsibility to rehabilitate a bully’s mindset. If their toxicity is affecting your life negatively, avoid them like the plague.
Thriving beyond a bullying mom’s reach is the best payback for her attempts to pull you down to her level of misery.
We all face bullies at one time or another, although the effect they have on our lives can vary. When you confront a bully who has set their sights on you, searching for vulnerabilities, never let them get the advantage. Before they have the chance to flip your boat, stay flexible and steer clear. Keeping your cool is the best way to show a bully the futility of her ways.
You might also be interested in reading the posts below:
- 7 secrets of moms that keep it all together while holding a job
- 10 best ways to stop being an angry mom
- 10 ways to forget hurtful words and self-heal