How to Beat Your Bullies

[Note: In case you’re wondering, this post is a follow up to Stop Getting Pushed Around! (which received some amazing comments, thanks for the insight!).  I try my best to respond to each and every comment BTW].

The Morning After…

I was the last pickup in my neighborhood and that Tuesday morning after standing up to Hank I had to walk the gauntlet all the way to the empty seat at the back of the bus.  Right past bully Hank and his cronies, directly into the belly of the bully beast.

When I climbed up the steps Hank was busy tormenting a kid named Andy from the stop before me. I was certain once I was in his sights that the merciless bullying would begin … so I couldn’t believe my luck when I squeezed right past Hank and he didn’t even blink an eye.

I dreaded the ride home that afternoon and got on the bus ready for the worst.  When Hank ignored me again I sat wondering the whole ride home what was up his sleeve.  “He’s going to get me on my way out”, I thought.  But as I watched the bus pull away after dropping me off I couldn’t believe I’d made it a whole day without a single encounter with Hank!

What Bullies Really Want

It was then that I realized that Hank had moved on to easier targets.  Bullies thrive on people who won’t stand up for themselves.  Bullies want an easy target, if you fight back they’ll leave you alone.  Although the fight had freaked me out and hurt a little it taught me a lesson I’ll never forget.  It’s better to stand up for yourself and get a bloody lip than to sit quietly and endure a bully forever.

I’ve seen and heard about a lot of bad money habits over the years but I’ve always tried to bite my tounge.  I’m no Suze Orman who’s going to yell at you and tell you you’re doing it all wrong.  Everyone’s life is unique and people handle their money in the best way they see fit.  However, there is something that everyone should consider that can make a huge difference.

What Makes The Difference

The one thing I’ve seen make the biggest difference in people’s financial situations is courage.  The courage to stand up for themselves, even when it feels like they’re David up against Goliath.  It may sound a little hokey at first but when you think about the capitalist economy we live in, it starts to make more sense. 

The beauty of our country is that you’re free to live your life how you choose, to earn and spend money however you’d like.  That freedom also gives companies the chance to sell you whatever you’ll buy as often as you’ll buy (within legal limits of course). 

Think about a sample experiment. If you said yes to everything you were offered you’d go broke pretty quickly.  Actually, it’d be worse than that, you wouldn’t go broke right away. You’d be able to live off credit for a while and then you’d be beyond broke – no money and thousands of dollars in debt.

What’s Best For Them, Not For You

At first glance it sounds pretty easy to just say no to everything, but you and I know that life is never that simple. What I found while combing through my notes is that there are a number of common areas in which you’re regularly pressured to give in. 

You’re badgered into doing things with your money regardless if it’s good for you or not.  These people and companies in your life are asking or demanding you do what’s best for them, not what’s best for you.

This group that’s pushing you around financially is lowering your income and increasing your expenses when you cave into their demands.  I’ve found that the people who have the courage to consistently stand up to these money bullies are far better off financially.

I know it can be kind of depressing to hear this, if you get pushed down by a bully the last thing you want is someone standing over you and shoving the painful experience in your face. On the other hand, it is encouraging to know that some people have figured out ways to consistently beat their money bullies.

Time To Fight Back

Their ability to fight back and win against money bullies is actually so encouraging that its inspired me to “join the resistance” and stand with you to fight back.  What I want to do is launch a huge bully buster out into the world!

I’m seriously considering putting together an arsenal of weapons you can use to take out your bullies – (not actual weapons, of course) – basically a toolkit that others have already used to take hundreds of dollars back from bullies and keep it in their own pockets.

How to Fight Back

For years, my wife was a school teacher and she found the best way for people to get up the confidence and courage to stand up for themselves was to teach them the words to use when confronted by a bully.

Preparing people for what the it will be like and how to handle it made them multiple times more likely to fight back and win.

So that’s what I want to do for you. To give you an edge against the financial bullies who are slowly draining you of money.  To help you fight back and “open a can of whoop-ass”….

  • For taking it to the insurance company that continues to ignore or deny your claim
  • Giving you an edge over your boss who keeps on demanding more without a pay raise
  • Fighting cell phone companies who keep raising their rates while sending you through phone menu mazes ending in angry phone reps
  • Stand up to your spouse, girlfriend, or boyfriend who’s blowing your hard earned money
  • Kick out the banks who are attacking your account balance with excess fees & charges

Will You Fight Back?

So many people I hear from are frustrated –  they’re feeling worried, hopeless, and beat down and they don’t know how to fix it.  Because of all the emails and feedback I’ve actually been considering doing this for quite some time but I do have a concern.  I don’t know if people are really ready to stand up for themselves.

It’s one thing to talk about fighting back but its something else to actually make the time and get up the nerve to do it.  There’s a reason why these companies not only stay in business but are making fist fulls of cash… because most people put up with their tactics.

So, the behind the scenes kind of stuff I’d be sharing is really only for a certain type of person.  Simply being fed up isn’t enough, you have to be willing to make a stand – are there enough people out there ready for something like that?

Despite my concerns…

I’m seriously considering doing this because I know it could really empower you. But if I do it will be A LOT of work. I’ve been around long enough to know that my small projects quickly get out of hand and turn into big ones. So I only want to do this if there’s enough interest.

So I want to know.

  • What do you think?
  • Should I do this?
  • Would you be interested?

Your feedback and thoughts are absolutely the fuel that keeps me going. And I don’t want to even think about doing this unless there’s enough potential interest.

Anyway, if you have a second, please leave a comment below and let me know what you think.

It would mean a lot to me, and I’ll do my best to respond to each and every comment.

16 Responses to How to Beat Your Bullies

  • anastasia

    Bravo, Ben!
    I agree with what you said about better to have a bloody lip one day than be tortured by a. Bully forever. This Spring I made some changes and cut the family telephone, cell and internet bill in half! It took phonecalls, form filling etc but the result was worth it. I fight back because I figure I deserve it.

  • Julie M

    I like the point you made about “Stand up to your spouse, girlfriend, or boyfriend who’s blowing your hard earned money”

    I make most of the money but my boyfriend spends most of it, tell me how that’s fair!

    I would LOVE, love, love, love something on how to get my boyfriend to stop spending all my money. I try to talk to him about it but he does totally bully me on the topic and it never changes.


    • Ben

      Julie, dealing with a bully you’re close to, like a family or friend, can actually be more difficult than an outside money bully like a boss or company. I agree, it’s a definite need and I’ll definitely address it. Thanks for letting me know – another yes, woo hoo!

      • Anonymous

        Tell him to stop, tell him what the consequences will be if he doesn’t stop. If he does it again deliver the consequences. If he does it again have a more sever consequence. If he does it again break up with him. He is not the problem. The way you are dealing with him is the problem.

        • Ben

          This is why dealing with a family member or a spouse/boyfriend/girlfriend who’s a money bully is so tricky. The answer with a bank, insurance agent, company, etc is often to check out your options and make a switch. Using the right criteria and taking the time to compare and research is key but once you choose one, making the switch isn’t so tough.

          Of course if it’s someone you’ve chosen to live with, maybe even marry, then it’s a much tougher decision. Since you’re emotionally invested in the relationship, the answer often becomes – how can I “fix” this relationship rather than simply finding a new, better option. Although its much more complicated, its probably not something you can’t overcome. It just takes more work and patience. Of course it does take two, and if the other person is totally unwilling to change then you have a big decision to make.

  • Micheal Clifton

    I’m so angry with Comcast right now! They’ve jerked me around for so long, always messing up my bill – overcharging me and not giving me the promotions I’m supposed to get. I keep calling in to get it fixed, but like you said, it takes forever to wait on hold and then explain everything each time, and then get transferred to someone else. They just think they can get away with it because they’re such a big company!

    Problem is I signed a two year agreement and I don’t want to pay a bunch of money to break it.

    As you can tell, I could totally use your toolkit, my vote is for you to build it for us

    • Ben

      Micheal, that stinks, I think most of us have been in that situation before. So that’s another yes vote, cool!

      I’ll chalk one up on the topic of dealing with horrible customer service at large companies

  • Tiffany Barber

    I feel like what you wrote here totally sums it up:

    “demanding you do what’s best for them, not what’s best for you”

    I always feel like my insurance agent and bank are in it just for themselves, not to help me. I know they have to make money to stay in business but its always about them and how many fees or commissions they earn, not about what’s right for me!

    so yeah, please create the toolkit!

    • Ben

      Tiffany, to me the definition of a money bully is someone who encourages you to make a financial move that’s good for them – regardless of whether it’s good for you or not.

      Sometimes experts take advantage of their customers limited knowledge of the subject and use against them. We’re just people, we’re wary/fearful of the unknown. So if you don’t understand all the intricacies of insurance and they can plant a seed that makes you worry, then they can hit that panic button and talk you into spending money on something you don’t even need.

      Nice to see another positive response, sounds like people are digging this idea!

  • Rick Santor

    man, it does sound like it would be a lot of work but it would be awesome if you could take the time to put it together. i say Go For It!

  • Tim G

    I hear what you’re saying about deciding to do something about it. I had a bad experience with the person I hired to do our taxes. He kept asking for more money to finish our tax return. He finally finished our taxes and filed them but I know I paid him way more than I should have. It really makes me mad when I think about it but at the time I was a intimidated because I don’t know anything about taxes and I figured he knew what he was talking about and I didn’t.

    anyways, yeah I think you should make the toolkit so I can use it when I’m trying to hire someone to help with my taxes next year.

    • Ben

      tim, that’s a good point. Sometimes you’re uncertain if you’re getting ripped off because you don’t know a lot about how much things should cost. In your case it was tax prep, I know something similar happens to a lot of people at the auto shop. I’ll add taxes to the list, thanks for your feedback!

  • Harry Roman-Torres

    Hey ben – I read the comments from your last post and I feel the same way as the guys who are being taken advantage of by their boss, I think his name was steve. If you could give me something to help with that I’d love it!

    • Andrew M

      I think getting pushed around by your boss is something that everyone struggles with. It totally happens to me and most everyone I know.

      I guess it kind of comes with being a boss – they’re in charge of you so they get to order you around.

      but i agree with Harry, if they’re taking advantage of you, asking you to do more than you’re supposed to and never rewarding you for it, that’s messed up. Especially if it goes on for years and years. thing is people are scared to quit so they just put up with it.

      if you could give me something to help at work, not only would I use it, I’d send it to all my other friends who hate their jobs.

      • Ben

        Hey Andrew, thanks for the feedback! You’re right, many people do just put up with it since they don’t know what else to do. Although that’s the “safe” approach, it can make you miserable and it’s certainly worth your time to make a plan for change. – another Yes, cool

    • Ben

      Hey Harry, glad you’d be able to use it! Plus one for beating your bully boss.


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