Athol Kay has some advice for dealing with bullies: Violence Never Gets Better Until You Bump Back
Now, it is interesting to note that the example he gives, as well as the examples currently on offer from the comments, are all of someone in a subservient position responding to the abusive behavior of someone in authority over them: not spousal abuse. Very interesting, especially given the studies that show that the majority of spousal abuse is a two-way street, not the 50s-era stereotype of abusive dad/passive mom. (I don’t know why someone who’s ‘doing the right thing’ aka being submissive wouldn’t run from an abusive partner. I can see why mutually abusive people stay in relationships; they must enjoy dishing sh!t out on each other, and damn the collateral damage. Drama queens to the max.)
But this is a true thing – the answer to violence is more violence. If someone has decided to use force against you unprovoked, no amount of “talking them down” is ever going to work. Either fight back, or run like hell and never come back. For kids stuck in school with bullies, running away isn’t an option – and fighting back will get them in trouble with the administrators – but fighting back is still a healthier option than just rolling over and taking the abuse.
One of the comments asks about verbal abuse – as of this post the conversation hasn’t really dealt with that – but as far as verbal “abuse” goes, that’s not violence so literally punching back twice as hard isn’t an option. For the most part, if someone is saying nasty hurtful things to you, the appropriate response would be (a) ignore them and avoid them, and (b) grow a thicker skin. (If someone is threatening violence to you, that’s something different. As Athol says, report it or it didn’t happen. Get a recording device so you have evidence.)
Of course, not all words that hurt are abuse. If someone is attempting to offer gentle correction or constructive criticism, and you get your panties in a bunch – grow the h*ll up, little girl. (
MarriageDivorce counselors are notorious for telling women that a husband trying to talk budgeting with them is ABUSE! and ground for divorce. STFU, bitches. If he earns the money, he has the right to set the budget, and if there’s not enough money for designer shoes every three months, that’s not abuse to expect a wife not to buy them. Incredible but true: discussing a budget like an adult can get a guy branded a controlling abusive spouse.)