Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Does this remind you of anyone you know.....

This is basically a rip off from Dean Dad, a very good blog on deaning. As the Dean says:

I just finished reading The College Administrator's Survival Guide, by C.K. Gunsalus (Harvard U Press, 2006), and I'm utterly taken with it. Gunsalus gets so many of the details right, and in such an unpretentious way, that I expect to keep it around as a reference.

In the meantime, though, a few of her neologisms deserve posts of their own. One of these is the notion of 'victim bullies.' Gunsalus distinguishes between traditional, assertive bullies, who throw their weight around with bluster and force, and 'victim bullies,' who use claims of having been wronged to gain leverage over others.(pp. 123-4) Unlike simple passive-aggression, victim bullies use accusations as weapons, and ramp up the accusations over time. Unlike a normal person, who would slink away in shame as the initial accusations are discredited, a victim bully lacks either guilt or shame, honestly believing that s/he has been so egregiously wronged in some cosmic way that anything s/he does or says is justified in the larger scheme of things. So when the initial accusations are dismissed, the victim bully's first move is a sort of double-or-nothing, raising the absurdity and the stakes even more......

Victim bullies thrive in the no-man's-land created by the deadly combination of slow and cumbersome processes, and failure of managerial nerve. Because defeating a victim bully takes tremendous endurance, most people don't try. Victim bullies know this, and are able to intimidate others into leaving them alone to do pretty much as they please.
Go read the whole thing and then buy the book. I will


Ken said...

The only thing I disagree with is "Victim bullies know this, and are able to intimidate others into leaving them alone to do pretty much as they please.". I don't see any self awareness. Victim bullies believe they are justified: they don't receive enough support and attention, and that all negative comments are directed against them. It is just a total delusion about how the world works. Problem is that they either win and their expectations get higher, or they get mistreated as everyone attempts to avoid them. "You Can't Argue with a Sick Mind" - Joe Walsh and you really can't.

Anonymous said...

An interesting article in a similar vain: "Coveting the Holocaust" is at truthdig.com. It was written by Chris Hedges, former NY times Mid East bureau chief and author of "War Is a Force That Gives Us Meaning".

As you can immagine it is very loaded and has some serious flaws which are addressed in some of the comments. It is well worth a read as are a good number of the comments