...they lose all power over you.
Once upon a time, I had a boss who loved to intimidate everyone around him. He was on a horrible ego trip - even threatening in a meeting to fire anyone who didn’t smile in his presence. Of course, the reason no one smiled around him was because he wasn’t a nice person to be around.
One day, I was sitting at my computer at work minding my own business when he stepped into my office. He was on one of his power trips again. He looked me square in the eyes and announced I must think I’m pretty tough because I’m a black belt and teach aikido, but I shouldn’t think that because he took karate when he was younger.
It was one of the most ridiculous statements I’d ever heard. There were so many assumptions and fallacies in what he was saying. I thought to myself, “Ok. Fine. Whatever. I’m trying to do my job and I have no idea what you’re on about, but I’m going to get back to work,” and proceeded to ignore him.
Evidently, this was not the reaction he was expecting.
Next thing I knew, he said, “What would you say if I did this?” and proceeded to punch the metal filing cabinet next to him.
I nonchalantly answered, “I would say it looked like it hurt,” and went back to my work as he went off in a huff. It was hard to not bust up laughing at his antics while wondering if he broke any bones.
I was reminded that being calm and indifferent to his attempts to control me took all the power away from his intended intimidations. When you don’t care about the bullies, they can’t control your emotions or your life and they go on to find other targets and leave you alone.
Being a martial artist has taught me the self-confidence, inner calmness, and patience to not allow others to get under my skin the way they were able to before I started. It has been incredibly powerful and brought me peace and tranquility within myself in a way I didn’t know was possible. As a result, I encounter fewer bullies in the first place. I hope the same is true for you.
Heather and Roy Gawlick love Aikido and have a passion for sharing it with others. They hope you'll catch the Aikido bug, too!
Shinju Dojo Aikido Martial Arts School in Longview / Kelso, Washington