How a Bully Got His Comeuppance

A strategy for dealing with intimidating people

Malky McEwan
5 min readOct 20, 2020

On the first impression, Frank was a nice guy.

He extended his hand the moment he walked in my door, “How the devil are you?” he said, all bright and cheery.

Frank spoke and acted like he was my new best friend.

I’d asked for a move back to street duties — a year of pandering to our self-aggrandising chief constable had been enough. I’d got my wish and Frank was taking over my job working directly for the chief. It was a political role. Allegedly, its remit was to make our streets safer — in reality, it was to make our chief look good.

I handed the reins over to Frank.

Within a day, he was badmouthing me. It doesn’t matter if you are old and wise, young and reckless, or as thick-skinned as a crocodile — people are tender inside. We all feel.

It offended me. He’d insulted me, and I wasn’t there to defend myself. I didn’t get the opportunity to challenge him. I worried about what the people who listened to him might think of me. Badmouthing is bullying.

As a police officer, you learn to deal with insults. If you don’t have the emotional intelligence to deal with the constant verbal abuse, it’s probably not the job for you. The people we…