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One Message, Two Vastly Different Responses

Yesterday, I wrote about a special kind of emotional bully that can present itself when you are a first-time parent and how to handle it.

As usual, my writing motivated, inspired and helped many people – and upset others.

I always find it amazing that the same message can polarize people one way or another, especially when the sole purpose of the message was to help others in similar situations.

On more than one occasion, I have been asked how to deal with people who send what I call "nastygrams" – messages where they sender is upset, possibly even "e-mail yelling" or being brave in print.

One of my readers sent in an e-mail where they disagreed and thought I was being hypocritical; this person wasn't disrespectful or mean, but I could tell she was hot under the collar.  As an example, I'm going to include her e-mail and my response so you can see how I deal with these situations:

"So let's see if I get your point.  You send out an email several times a week telling just about everybody what they should and shouldn't be doing, but you are utterly unwilling to listen to any experience, advice or concern offered to you as a new parent?  Wow.  Good luck —  you're going to need it.

Don't bother telling me to unsubscribe.  I already did."

(I'm withholding her name or initials)

Here was my response:


It sounds like there may have been what they call a "communication breakdown" between us over my last e-mail.

If you recall, I did say that people who were experts or professionals were welcomed with their input and their advice has been spot-on.

The main point of my e-mail was to show how overly aggressive people who try to "help" can come across as bullies and need to be dealt with accordingly.

Nowhere did I say that everyone was like that, nor did I say that no input would be listened to.

I'm comfortable with what I said, especially after seeing my wife in tears after someone who was a friend and trying to "help" lectured her about breastfeeding, making my wife feel as if she was "wrong" for doing what she thought was the right thing in a certain situation.

As far as me "telling almost everyone what to do" – I only share information with those who wanted help and asked for it first – like you.

If I remember right, you have even sent in nice comments before and were helped by what I do.

I hope you opt back in and stick around.


Sensei Huff"

That is a good example at how to handle an emotionally charged situation, particularly one where there is a miscommunication.  You'll notice I was polite, yet firm; I acknowledged that there was a problem, then took it one at a time to resolve the communication error.

At no time did I attack anyone or get emotional, and by pointing out that I have always acted as the one trying to help others, only did so when people voluntarily asked for the help, and that she was one of the people that has asked for help and commented positively, it sheds a new light on the situation.

Here is a note from someone else concerning the same message:

"This is a great piece of work.  This is great advice.  I wish that I knew
you when my son was just a little baby.  Congratulations on the new baby!

My son is 12 next month and thanks to your bully free seminar that we
attended, he is now taking martial arts lessons.  He is really enjoying the
lessons, and my husband and I have enjoyed watching him change and blossom all for the better.

He stands up for himself now, and has told the bully who he thought was his
friend, that he is no longer his friend.  He has encouraged other kids on
the yard to do the same, and so they are no longer in tears from his hurtful
words and fists.  He stands up for kids that are too afraid to do it for
themselves.  We are very proud of him.

My son's study habits have improved, and he has lost weight, and is pushing
himself every week with his sports and running.  He has his strength back,
both inside and out.

My son Anthony is attending his first  tournament on December
6th, and is so excited.

This is a wonderful program.  I thank you so much for taking the time to
care, and helping people take control of their life.



I am SO HAPPY for you and your family.  Tell Anthony that I said "way to go" and I am proud of him.

Miscommunication is GOING to happen from time to time.  It ruins business relationships, marriages, dating relationships, you name it.

The key is to take the emotion out of it; never attack the person but diffuse the emotion by acknowledging there is a problem, identify it, then go through it step at a time, making sure that it isn't about the other person, but about the message.

Almost always, you will find that you can end up in a place where the message gets across and you develop another level of understanding, trust and communication with the person that you had the disagreement with in the first place.

Whatever you do, always "Take Back Your Power" and address the situation.  If you ignore or run from it, like a predator in the wild, it WILL chase you.

Stay Strong,


P.S. – I cover principles like this – along with many others – in my groundbreaking work, "Bullies Suck" which you can find HERE.  It will NEVER be required reading in the school systems because it is too controversial and flies in the face of the conventional teachings that DO NOT work when it comes to bullying. Arm yourself and your child with the best information there is on how to be Bully Proof for life.

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