Bullied Enthusiasm: When Does Heartfelt Enthusiasm Become Bullying? | #PeopleSkills

When does heartfelt enthusiasm become bullied enthusiasm? Not all bullying fits the picture of an angry person or group bearing down on others. Sometimes heartfelt enthusiasm becomes bullying. We don’t always think of it that way. Yet for leaders and teams, it’s important to think about it. So let’s look at when and why it happens.

Bullied Enthusiasm: Image is a light burst.

When Does Enthusiasm Become Bulling — aka Bullied Enthusiasm? Image by Liz West via Flickr Creative Commons License.

Image by Liz West via Flickr Creative Commons License.

Enthusiasm Becomes Bullied Enthusiasm When …

  • You tell someone to “buck up” when they are sad.

  • An enthusiastic group tells someone more reflective that s/he is a “killjoy.”

  • Extroverts tell introverts to be more upbeat.

  • The driver type sales manager tells the successful non-driver type sales rep to be “more outgoing.”

  • Enthusiastic team members all thinking one way tell a teammate with a different view to “get with the program.”

  • Leaders tell employees with personal struggles that “everyone has struggles — some worse than you.”

  • Very optimistic teammates tell skeptics on the team that they are not team players.

  • You ignore team members who are not as enthusiastic as everyone else.

The common cause that leads to these bullied moments is the desire to want everyone to be like you — to be or think all the same. Enthusiasm can make you think you are not bullying. Yet when you don’t accept others for who they are, it’s part of bullying.

Kate Nasser, The People Skills Coach™


To keep your enthusiasm positive and prevent it from turning into bullied enthusiasm, follow these steps.

  1. Observe people’s reaction to your enthusiasm. If it is different from what you would expect, take a moment and find out why.

  2. Listen to other’s views. Converse about the differences. Find any common ground. Discussion can breed shared enthusiasm — far better than the bullied kind.

  3. Accept differences as just that — differences. Don’t judge them. Try instead to resolve them if they are standing in the way of team success.

Impact of Bullied Enthusiasm on Leading Morale

When I teach and coach on how to lead morale, my message is all about respect and dignity. People want to know that they matter as individuals and then they give more to the team. As leaders, be careful of letting time pressures and your enthusiasm bully those you lead. Show the entire team how to honor different views, styles, and talents. It’s so much more successful than bullied enthusiasm.

Winston Churchill said: “Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.” I add to that, “Inspire enthusiasm — don’t bully others into it.”

Final Thought

You do not have to curb your enthusiasm. Just make room for other’s views and find a shared enthusiasm instead!

What other examples of bullied enthusiasm have you see or experienced?

From my professional experience to your success,
Kate Nasser, The People Skills Coach™

Related Posts:
Leaders: Do You Stop Team Bullies?
Team Voice: Power to Build a Positive Teamwork Culture w/ No Bullying
Fears & Needs That Keep Bullying Alive

©2020 Kate Nasser, CAS, Inc. Somerville, NJ. I appreciate your sharing the link to this post on your social streams. However, if you want to re-post or republish the content of this post, please email info@katenasser.com for permission and guidelines. Thank you for respecting intellectual capital.

Kate Nasser, The People Skills Coach™, delivers coaching, consulting, training, and keynotes on leading morale, leading change, employee engagement, teamwork, and delivering the ultimate customer service. She turns interaction obstacles into interpersonal success. See this site for workshop outlines, keynote footage, and customer results.

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4 Responses to “Bullied Enthusiasm: When Does Heartfelt Enthusiasm Become Bullying? | #PeopleSkills”

  1. Alli Polin says:

    A clear example of bullied enthusiasm is parents with their teens when only the parents know what’s best. We stifle growth, self-reliance, and their ability to tune into their inner-knower when we are so busy telling them what they need to do instead of letting them tune into what’s right for them.

    At work and at home, it’s an issue!

    Good insights, Kate!


    • Kate Nasser says:

      You speak from experience Alli and it here it shows the everyday ways we may bully and must avoid it. There are so many examples in everyday life where we run over people and it is important to increase our awareness and reduce the instances.

      Many thanks,

  2. Amanda Mzini says:

    Good insight indeed!
    Raised valid points. I will definitely get myself a copy. Thanks Kate

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