Communication expert Tonya Reima says you can stop them by being vague. So, if the workplace bully says something snide, reply, “Interesting.” And walk away. Or give a short non-answer, like “I’ll get back to you…” Why do short, vague answers work? Because bullies want attention, including negative attention. And they’ll give up if you’re not giving it to them.
Another powerful tactic? Stay silent and look at them for a few seconds. Silence makes people nervous. And if you hold a steady gaze at the same time, you seem confident. They may even try to backtrack in those few seconds, because silence makes them uncomfortable and they may realize they’ve crossed the line. It’s actually a tactic that law enforcement uses to get people to confess.