Richie Incognito harassed, bullied and abused Jonathan Martin inside and outside the Miami Dolphins’ locker room.  Incognito threatened to kill Martin’s mother and sister and even Martin himself.  He repeatedly called and texted Martin terrible names and insults.  Why didn’t Martin stop him?

  1. Martin was scared.  He was afraid that if he resisted, Incognito’s bullying would get worse.  Incognito might carry out his threats.  You never know.  Incognito is scary.
  2. Martin didn’t know how to stop a person who pretended that his abuse was only kidding.  Bullies often take advantage of your politeness.  And they put down any resistance with phrases like, “You’re just too sensitive.  I’m only kidding (or joking).  I was only having a little fun.”  Then you feel foolish and embarrassed for “over-reacting.”
  3. Martin tried to make friends.  Like most people, Martin had been taught that if you ignore bullies, they’ll stop.  Or, if you’re nice to bullies, you can make friends with them and then they’ll stop.  These beliefs are wrong.  Neither of those approaches stop relentless bullies.  If Martin had been raised in a war zone he would have known better.  Relentless bullies think that you ignore them or you’re being kind because you’re weak and easy prey.  It’s like limping or being isolated when you’re being observed by predators like hyenas.  Predators go after those who can’t or won’t resist.
  4. Martin didn’t know what to do when the peaceful, kindly approach didn’t stop the bullying.  People who are inexperienced in the ways of mean streets don’t know what to do next.  They’ve never been trained to push back verbally, to get help or to push back physically.

Jonathan Martin’s behavior is typical of most people when facing a relentless bully – especially one who pretends he’s being friendly and that he’s not doing anything wrong; that it’s just his way of relating to people.  Martin saw that no one stood up and defended him.

Does Mr. Martin’s lack of skill in defending himself excuse Incognito’s bullying?  No!  Richie Incognito is responsible for his behavior.  Bullies are one hundred percent at fault.

Bullies have no place in NFL locker rooms, companies, families or schools.

The best way to stop bullying at work, in your family or at schools is to hire Dr. Ben for personalized coaching and consulting so you can:

  1. Develop the strength, courage, will and determination to be and to act your best resolutely, diligently and effectively.
  2. Develop a plan and master the skills necessary to create the bully-free life your spirit has always hungered for.

Since all tactics depend on the situation, call me at 1-877-8Bullies for expert coaching by phone or Skype.

AuthorBen Leichtling