Take the Bully by the Horns: Stop Unethical, Uncooperative, or Unpleasant People from Running and Ruining Your Life by Sam Horn | Paperback | Barnes & Noble
Take the Bully by the Horns: Stop Unethical, Uncooperative, or Unpleasant People from Running and Ruining Your Life

Take the Bully by the Horns: Stop Unethical, Uncooperative, or Unpleasant People from Running and Ruining Your Life

by Sam Horn

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How often have you wished you knew how to defuse the difficult people who wreak havoc on your life? Whether it's a neighbor who keeps disturbing your peace, an employer who manipulates you into unpaid overtime, a spouse who criticizes and controls your every move, a colleague who uses scare tactics to intimidate you, or a student who teases your child without mercy


How often have you wished you knew how to defuse the difficult people who wreak havoc on your life? Whether it's a neighbor who keeps disturbing your peace, an employer who manipulates you into unpaid overtime, a spouse who criticizes and controls your every move, a colleague who uses scare tactics to intimidate you, or a student who teases your child without mercy, Take the Bully by the Horns will give you real-life strategies stop people from taking advantage of you, including how to:

* Adopt a "don't you dare" attitude
* Refuse to play The Blame-Shame Game
* Beat em to the punch...line
* Stop paying the price of nice
* Put all kidding aside
* Act on your anger instead of suffering in silence
* Savior Self from martyrs and guilt-mongers
* Not be victimized by crazy-making Jekyll/Hyde personalities
* Adopt the Clarity Rules and Rights

With these tools, you can take back your peace of mind and your sanity. You'll be able to fight back constructively and prevent harrassment by bullies, from the workplace to the schoolyard. The bold suggestions in Take the Bully by the Horns will show you once and for all how to convince unfair or unkind relatives, co-workers, customers, or strangers to either behave cooperatively or leave you alone.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

“I believe this book is a valuable resource for anyone who has ever been victimized.” —Sal Severe, Ph.D, author of How to Behave So Your Children Will, Too
Publishers Weekly
The subtitle of Horn's treatise indicates just how much psychological ground he manages to cover in this encouraging how-to. Not just for kids on the playground anymore, bullying can have serious consequences for adults: violence, lawsuits, abuse and even death. Many of the "28 Ways to Lose Your Bully" strategies Horn (Tongue Fu) outlines are common sense, the same advice parents might give children after a rough recess: "Put Up a Brave Front," "Get Out of My Space," "Screw Up Your Courage." The number of mini-quizzes and aphoristic sayings make the book read like a large-scale PowerPoint presentation (not surprising, as Horn is a veteran of the corporate seminar circuit). Yet there's a realism here that is convincing: Horn's example situations include spouses who hit or cheat, spouses' bosses who grope, coaches who berate, false friends who cajole confidences, business partners who steal, neighbors who instill fear and people who chronically hit up family members for bail money (or "deja moo"). Role playing "Action Plans" for conversation help firm up psychic independence and avoid pointless, draining argument. (Sept.) Copyright 2003 Cahners Business Information.
Library Journal
"Bullies come in all shapes, sizes, genders, ages and professions," notes Horn (Tongue Fu!). True enough, but Horn's inconsistent writing and lack of useful tools drain this book of any worth. Confusingly titled chapters "Depend on the Kinkiness of Strangers," for example, concerns personal safety and self-defense render the table of contents useless. Good, albeit brief, chapters on school-yard bullies and using humor to defuse tension are outnumbered by those that mistake insensitivity for bullying or mismatch lessons and examples. This book covers much the same ground as Brandon Toropov's The Complete Idiot's Guide to Getting Along with Difficult People and Robert M. Bramson's recently reprinted Coping with Difficult People. Compared with those books, Horn's work feels undercooked. Not recommended. Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.

Product Details

St. Martin's Press
Publication date:
Edition description:
First Edition
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
5.56(w) x 8.53(h) x 0.78(d)

Read an Excerpt


At the age of four with paper hats and wooden swords

we are all generals—only some of us never grow out of it.


A WOMAN SAID, "WHEN I THINK OF BULLIES, I PICTURE SOMEONE like Bluto out of the Popeye cartoon. You know, a big brute with hairy arms and bulging biceps. Is that what you're talking about?"

Nope, that's not what we're talking about. Bullies don't necessarily wear black hats or have bulging biceps. They come in all shapes, sizes, genders, ages, and professions. Ninety-year-old grannies can be bullies. Ministers can be bullies. Coaches can be bullies.

A bully is someone who knowingly abuses the rights of others to gain control of the situation and the individual(s) involved. Bullies deliberately and persistently use intimidation and manipulation to get their way. The key words here are knowingly, deliberately, and persistently.

All of us are difficult on occasion. Bullies are difficult on purpose. We may be uncooperative or unpleasant in particular situations. Bullies are uncooperative and unpleasant as part of their strategy. Most of us respond to reasonable efforts to get along. Bullies reject reasonable efforts to get along because they don't want a win-win—they want to win.

Bullies Aim Below the Belt

He couldn't see a belt without hitting below it.


The following questionnaire can help you determine whether a challenging individual in your life qualifies as a bona fide bully. The question is, does s/he hit below the ethical belt accidentally or aim below the ethical belt intentionally? If you are dealing with several difficult individuals, take the time to fill this out separately for each one. Answer the questions, rating the frequency of these behaviors from 1 (Rarely) to 3 (Occasionally) to 5 (Often). Go with your instinct. Your first answer is usually the most honest because it comes from the gut, not the intellect.

35 or below: This individual is not a bully. He/she may be unpleasant to deal with once in a while; however, win-win communication on your part will enable the two of you to coexist cooperatively most of the time.

36-55: This person may occasionally exhibit bully behavior. You may need to escalate your response in those situations so s/he understands that that particular behavior is inappropriate. If you keep your cool and communicate constructively, you'll usually be able to resolve what's wrong, repair the relationship, and move forward, not much worse for wear.

56-75: Uh-oh. It looks like you've got a full-blown bully on your hands. Do not pass Go. Do not collect $200. Get your pen out, sit down, and start taking notes so you can begin planning how to stop this individual from running and ruining your life.

No One Deserves to Be Bullied

Chaos, panic, and disorder—my work here is done.


Do you have someone in your life who scores higher than 35 on this test? You're in the right place because we're going to address how to handle every single one of the behaviors mentioned above. We're not going to dwell on how to deal with ordinary difficult people. There are plenty of books that already do a good job of covering that topic. We're going to focus on how to deal with egregiously difficult people whose goal is to spread chaos, panic, and disorder.

A woman in a seminar asked, "Why do bullies act the way they do? It's hard for me to understand why anyone would deliberately harm another person." Good question. The next chapter explains what's behind bully behavior. Knowing why they do what they do can keep us from being knocked off balance when they try to pull one of their dirty tricks.

Action Plan and Discussion Questions

Think of the most challenging individual in your life. Does s/he qualify as a bully? Why or why not?_____________________________________________



Does this individual exhibit other destructive behaviors that weren't on this questionnaire? What are they?_____________________________________________



Which of these behaviors does s/he indulge in most? Give an example of how s/he does this to you_____________________________________________



Now, take the test for yourself. Do you exhibit some of these characteristics? Which ones?_____________________________________________



If you discovered that you sometimes behave like a bully, are you willing to read this book and look for ways you can treat people more compassionately? Explain._____________________________________________






Intentionally hurts others

Occasionally hurts others

"I'm going to make him sorry he ever met me."

"I didn't mean to say that. I'm sorry."

Rejects reasonable efforts

Responds to reasonable efforts

"It's my way or the highway."

"Let's figure out what's fair."

Wants only to win

Will accept a win-win

"If you don't like it, too bad. Take it or leave it."

"Okay, I'll give a little on this if you agree to that."

Refuses to admit fault

Recognizes when at fault

"You're dead wrong, and I'm not going to listen to you."

"I wish that hadn't happened, and I won't do it anymore."

Runs over others' rights

Respects others' rights

"I don't give a darn whether your family's upset. This is the way it's going to be."

"I don't agree with them on this. However, we'll do it their way when we're in their home."

Aggravates violent individuals

Advances in the opposite direction of violent individuals

"Hey, you fat jerk, sit down. I can't see the game."

"Usher, could you please talk to the man in seat 45B? He's spilling his beer all over everyone."

Meet the Author

Sam Horn, president of Action Seminars, has presented her real-life workshops to more than 400,000 people since 1981. Her impressive client list includes Young Presidents Organization, National Governors Association, Hewlett-Packard, Four Seasons Resort, the Fortune 500 Forum, the US Navy, and the IRS. She was the top rated speaker at both the 1996 and 1998 International Platform Association conventions in Washington DC, and is the emcee of the world-renowned Maui Writers Conference. She is also the author of Tongue Fu!, What's Holding You Back?, and ConZentrate, which have been featured in Readers Digest, The Washington Post, Chicago Tribune, Cosmopolitan, Entertainment Weekly, Family Circle, Bottom Line Personal, and Executive Female, to name a few. She is a frequent media guest who has appeared on numerous TV and radio shows, including "To Tell the Truth" and NPR's popular "Diane Rehm Show." She lives with her sons Tom and Andrew in Virginia.

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