How to Stop Bullying In-Laws

A bullying individual is very difficult to deal with and often engages in continuous unwanted behaviour, such as nit-picking, humiliation, unfounded criticism and controlling tactics. If you are married, you most likely have in-laws such as a mother-in-law or a brother-in-law. A bullying in-law may try to meddle in your marriage and to control it using either subtle manipulation or more overt methods. Regardless of the tactic, it is a frustrating and emotionally draining experience. You can apply a series of strategies to stop your bullying in-law.

Realise why your in-law is bullying you. People who bully others do so to mask their own inadequate feelings about themselves. They refuse to accept responsibility for their actions and the impact they have on others. They bully you because they fear you seeing their weaknesses. Bullies are often insecure individuals. Realise that your bullying in-law's behaviour most likely has nothing to do with you. He may simply be threatened and jealous because you are married to his close relative.

Speak with your spouse about the bullying in-law. Let him know precisely what the bullying individual has been doing to you. Do not wait for the bullying behaviour to worsen before telling your spouse. Tell him the moment you notice you are being bullied. After explaining the treatment you have undergone, task him to schedule a meeting with all involved parties, including him.

State your feelings during the meeting. Do not be confrontational and mean what you say. Calmly let the bullying in-law know how his actions have affected you, without imitating his bullying behaviour (e.g., shouting or screaming). Try to reason with him and explain how his words and/or actions have demeaned you. Explain that you would like to have a healthy relationship with him but it is difficult with so much tension between you. Allow him to state his side--if he has one. If so, listen objectively.

Let the bullying in-law know that you will take legal action against him if his behaviour continues or worsens. A bullied person may be subjected to psychological and physical assaults from the perpetrator. If your mental or physical state is threatened or deteriorating as a result, and if your spouse is being uncooperative or unassertive, protect yourself by contacting law enforcement if the situation calls for it. Some bullies are relentless in their pursuit to harm others. They will use any method possible to inflict pain.

Avoid the bully. If the bully refuses to change his bullying ways, realise that you cannot change him. Therefore, if his behaviour is not enough to warrant taking legal action, simply avoid him. Let your spouse know that you will not tolerate being around an individual who is fixated on degrading and destroying you.

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About the Author

Grace Ferguson has been writing professionally since 2009. With 10 years of experience in employee benefits and payroll administration, Ferguson has written extensively on topics relating to employment and finance. A research writer as well, she has been published in The Sage Encyclopedia and Mission Bell Media.