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Monday, January 17, 2011

Dealing with Survivalist Bullies

If you haven't checked out Joseph's site yet, I strongly encourage you to do so. There is a veritable wealth of information to be found here.


By Joseph Parish
During any gathering of multiple members of a group you will likely encounter a bully or two. With survivalist groups this could present its own specific types of difficulties especially during a time when smooth operations are absolutely necessary. Such behavior could endanger every member of the group and ultimately result in group failure unless measures are taken to either avoid those situations or to correct them as quickly as they are discovered.

Initially, as you review your membership requests you should be able to “weed out” those individuals who display this manner of behavior. Unfortunately, one can not predicted the actions of all people after the balloon has gone up and built up stress amongst all the people of your group could bring out some unusual and negative traits. Arguments are likely to begin and the winners may be on the verge of becoming a bully.

Many of us have the mindset that we must do whatever is in the best interests of our group. Do not mistake this as an aggressive structure or bullying. These bullies will try to scrutinize every action that the members do and in addition attempt to revise any of the actions that the other members take in retaliation. 

Usually these bullies have a mistaken notion that they must create a vast impact upon the member’s lives and in a sense they do. Perhaps if we encounter such a person in our group we should deal with them accordingly. First, plan a firm heart to heart discussion with the person involved. In defense of the man or women, possibly he or she does not actually realize how they are coming across to the other members. This method of dealing with the issue just may evoke the behavior change needed.

There is usually safety in numbers and it may come down to not only you approaching this individual but collectively as a complete group. As a whole it is possible the bully will see the failure of his ways and modify his behavior to one of group acceptability. If necessary keep records to bring to his attention. Our memory often escapes us when we need specific details. Give particular examples of how the bully has responded to others. 

As a last resort the bully may be requested to leave the group. I mention this as a last resort because he must have possessed some redeeming traits or you would not have invited him into your organization to begin with. His dismissal could result in lose of a valuable skill but you must be prepared for this to happen.

This is a somewhat general list of suggestions but it is hoped that it will help to alleviate any potential bully issues as your group progresses in their preparations. Remember, it is best to discover those individuals now then at some critical time in the future.
Copyright @2010 Joseph Parish


  1. Except in those cases where the "bully" is right and is trying to convince those who either don't see the problem/risk or simply oppose him on political grounds. Was Gene Hackman the bully in Poseidon or was he the visionary?

  2. Bullies are never right, there are better ways to make or prove a point.

    For a good tool about groups or people, look into Issac Bonewitz danger evaluation frame.

    While originally intended for religious groups, it has real merit in any group setting.

  3. I disagree. You are obviously thinking a bully is punching people and picking on the weak. The article clearly stated that the context of a bully was someone who insisted their way was the right way. Sometimes that isn't true, sometimes it is. Who is more offensive to you; the person who is vocal, insistent and right or the calm collected leader who is so wrong he is going to get you killed. It is inevitable that every group of diverse people will when faced with a crisis become two or more groups of diverse people each following a leader. The only choices you will have is to choose a leader/group that meets your expectations or form your own group and do your own thing. I will not follow some wishy washy leader and far prefer someone who is right, strong and can make decisons under pressure. Given no other choice I would rather go it alone then follow someone who is clueless but politically correct.

    Don't rely on some mental image you might have of a "bully". Words have meaning and people have been killed because someone used the wrong word to describe someone/something. One persons "bully" is another person's dynamic leader. Weak and lazy people tend to see more bullies then strong people.