Nonverbal Language of Bullying From Head to Toe

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Eyes- That Creepy Piercing Glare. The eyebrows narrow and the eyes bore into you without blinking. The head does not move. The person stares you down as if they want to attack you. Bullies do this number to either challenge or intimidate their targets. Return the stare and the bully will likely go away.

Nose- The Nostril Flare. You’ve seen the nostrils of a bull flare when the animal is about to charge a matador. It’s the same with bullies. The nostrils flare to take in extra oxygen needed for a possible physical attack. When a bully does this, he’s hostile. When a person’s nostrils flare at you, look out! Because it is a sign the bully is about to physically attack you. Keep your eyes peeled and be prepared to defend yourself.

Jaw- The Jaw Clinch. The bully is gritting his teeth at the target and hiding it. When this happens, you’ll notice the jaws protruding. The bully either pulls this move to intimidate or in preparation for a fight. Again, this is a sign of a possible physical attack. Don’t ignore. Stay vigilant.

Mouth- There are many expressions bullies use with their mouths. One of which is, The One-Sided Upper-Lip Raise. Coupled with a glare, people raise one side of their upper lip to convey contempt or disgust. Return the sentiment and the bully will likely move away. Thinned or Pursed Lips are a sign of hostility as are baring of the teeth or snarling. Again, return the expression but be prepared.

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Chin- The Jutted Chin. The bully tilts the head back and juts his chin forward all for the purpose of looking down his nose at you. When the bully does this, he is either challenging you, trying to intimidate you, or he truly thinks he’s superior. Again, return the sentiment and the bully will back down.

Neck- The Exposed Neck. The bully will expose and lengthen the neck to challenge you. People do this to show that they aren’t afraid of the person in front of them and can hold their own if necessary. Bullies do it to make themselves appear taller and to intimidate anyone in their way. Again, reflect the gesture back to the bully and he’ll likely leave you alone.

Shoulders- The Shoulder Throw. Bullies will often throw their shoulders back to convey confidence and power. If you want to appear confident, never slouch the shoulders, always stand up straight, tall and with your shoulders back.

Chest- The Puffed-Out Chest. The bully’s chest puffs outward toward the target. The chest fills with extra air in preparation for a possible fight. Again, this is not only done to make the bully look bigger and to intimate his opponent but also a sign of a coming physical attack. Be aware.

(To be continued in Part 2)

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How to Spot Bullies Before They Spot You (Part 2)

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As I said in the first part of this post, bullies are too easy to spot if you know what to look for. You can spy a bully before you even meet the person. All it takes is observing! Here are a few more red flags to be aware of:

Red Flag 5. Disrespect Toward Authority and Doesn’t Take Advice Well – this person thinks that rules don’t apply to them. He/She is also a big know-it-all and thinks they’re smarter than anyone else. You can’t tell them anything without them already knowing it or offending them. And if you don’t tell them what they want to hear or don’t agree with them (self-entitled bullies also exhibit this type of attitude), look out! You might have a bully on your hands!

Red Flag 6. They have an Entourage/Lots of Followers – This goes back to charming and too good to be true. Again, this charm and seduction is a farce used to seduce people and lure them to follow them. Because anyone with a drove of followers is always seen as socially superior, I want you to understand that these followers may not necessarily “like” the person they follow, but only want to be seen with the individual so they can also be seen as one of the in-crowd.

Red Flag 7. They are always Impeccably Dressed/Groomed – This doesn’t apply to all bullies, only the narcissistic types. You will never see these people with one hair out of place or wearing anything other than name-brand attire. This is because the person must always put on the act of having lots of money, class, and perfection. Again, know that this is a farce and hides insecurities the bully may have. Also, the bully may use this to compensate for any shortcomings he may have. These people also put on the act of being better than most other people and will often treat them as inferior.

Red Flag 8. They are HUGE Gossips – This is a biggie! These types can’t go five minutes without gossiping about someone else. Understand that these people don’t have ideas or lives of their own. So, they consistently put others down to feel better about themselves and like they are better than. They are always striving to look more significant than what they are. Always remember. If they talk about someone else, they will talk about you too! Just give them time!

Red Flag 9. They are Drama Kings and Queens – Have you ever met people who seem to be immersed inconsistent and never-ending drama? I have, and they’re exhausting to be around. These people take offense to everything, and they will misinterpret you too if you aren’t careful! And when they do, they’ll never stop coming for you! These people are habitual and chronic bitchers, moaners and complainers, and are never satisfied with anything. They will suck you into their little drama-filled world if you aren’t careful! If you spy a person of this character, don’t engage! Stay away!

Anytime you see one or more of these signs in a person, he/she is almost always a bully! Steer clear!

If Those Walls Could Talk

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Sometimes, I drive by our old family home, slow down and gaze at the old house wistfully. It holds so many memories, mostly great memories, a few not so good, but the great memories vastly outnumber the not so good. If those walls could talk, they would have so many amazing stories to tell.

Those walls would tell you that the house was big enough that we’d often play hide and seek inside it, running up and down the stairs, hidings in the closets, under the beds, and in the attic. As a small child, I would often try to straddle the stair railing and slide down it, only to be reprimanded by an adult. It was fun though!

This house holds precious recollections. Those walls would tell a story of a world that we no longer live in, a pre-9/11, pre-Digital Age, freer and more carefree world. Of a world that was wholesome, fresh and filled with wonder! We lived there with my grandmother for years. After we grew up and moved away, she continued to live there until about twelve years before she died.

It was the home we lived in when I was born, the home we would always return to after my Daddy went off to the military and during our time living out of state.

We celebrated many wonderful Christmases and Thanksgivings in that house. New Year’s Eve parties were a blast, with lots of music, food, fun, and togetherness. We also had many cookouts, barbecues, picnics in the huge backyard behind the house.

My dad and several uncles who were the family musicians, would often get a band together and play music in that backyard, attracting neighbors from all over the neighborhood who wanted to hear good music and have good, clean and drama-free fun. Sadly, you couldn’t do this today without booze, drugs or disturbing the peace.

During these celebrations, the whole family would get together, sometimes up to twenty of us and it was the love which made that house a home. The tiny town and neighborhood itself was thriving and bursting with life! We held parades every Memorial Day and Fourth of July.

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During Halloween, the community would be swarming with trick-or-treaters (I was one of them) and every house had its porch light on with residents sitting outside, in full Halloween dress, a huge bowl of candy and goodies in laps, waiting to greet the little kiddies! Some even had scary music playing and spooky props in the front yards or porches! In those days, it never even occurred to us to be on the lookout for muggers, rapists, and sex traffickers. The worse we had to worry about was some bigger kid swiping our trick-or-treat bag and running off with it.

Kids could play in the street and people could sit outside or work in the yard without fear. Elderly couples walked hand-in-hand down the street during the Spring and Fall months for exercise. Teenagers and young adults could drive by with the window or drop-top down and good music blaring from the car speakers.

Even better, my mother and I could walk around the block at night and never worry about being mugged and we could sleep with the bedroom windows up and the cool night breeze blowing on us through the screen. My generation lived in a totally different world than the generations that followed us. I truly feel sorry for the kids and young adults today! I wish they could have grown up in the carefree and kid-friendly world my brother, sister and I grew up in.

I now mourn the home we once knew. It is now abandoned, unkempt and overgrown. The neighborhood in which it sits is much different now, disheveled and plagued with crime. Sadly, most of our once-thriving small-towns and neighborhoods are only a shell of their formers selves. If those walls could talk, if they could feel things, they would mourn with me.

How I grieve for small-town America!

How to Spot Bullies Before They Spot You

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To protect yourself from becoming a target of bullying, you must be able to identify a potential bully before you ever interact with the person. Fortunately, this is easier than you think. How you find out who the bullies are is by watching and listening to what is going on around you.

How I wish I knew this when I was in school!

Here are some sure-fire red flags that a person is a bully:

Red Flag 1. Arrogance and a Superior Attitude – the person has their nose in the air and thinks his bowel movements smell sweeter than anyone else’s. This person never walks, they strut like a banty rooster. They have their head back, and chin jutted outward, appearing to look down their noses at others. These stuck up bullies often take up space, either standing with feet apart and hands on their hips or they sit their feet propped on their desks or a table with hands and fingers laced behind their hands and elbows out. The arrogant person will also sit with one leg draped over a chair arm.

Red Flag 2. They treat lunch ladies, janitors, waiters and clerks with inferiority – if the person or group treats anyone who does menial work like garbage and acts as if they are above/better than “such” people, they are more than likely bullies! Also, watch how they treat kids in special education or Sped teachers.

Red Flag 3. Self-Entitlement – These people are incredibly pushy and don’t know when to shut up or take ‘no’ for an answer. They think the world and everyone in it owe them and that everyone should grant them anything they desire without expecting anything in return. People such as these believe that they shouldn’t have to work for anything because work is ‘beneath them.’ If they do not get what they want, they can be downright vindictive and bitter. Rules don’t apply to them and neither does the word ‘no’. If anyone tells them ‘no,’ or what to do, they will surely take it as an insult. Then, God help you!

Red Flag 4. They are Suck-ups and Charming to people who can benefit them somehow, or they are too good to be true – If a person seems too good to be true, they probably are! Bullies are notorious for putting on the perfect act, but no one can be completely perfect 100% of the time. The overwhelming charm these people exude is probably a front either to get something from you or to lull you into bringing down your defenses and win your trust before they attack you later. Usually, if someone is using charm and charisma for self-serving purposes, you will feel it in your gut. You’ll feel that something is “off” about the person but won’t be able to put your finger on it. But listen to your instincts and put some distance between yourself and that person. Pronto! Better to be safe than sorry.

I will reveal more red flags in the next post! Stay tuned!

(To be continued in Part 2…)

The “Tiny Grain of Truth”-Another Powerful Weapon Bullies Use

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The “Tiny Grain of Truth Technique” is one of the bully’s most powerful and used tactics.

As I have said a million times before, bullies are very practiced and convincing liars. Bullies have been lying and telling half-truths for so long that they have it down to an art. Most bullies rarely tell blatant falsehoods. If they did, they would be much easier to expose and punish. Instead, bullies deceive by telling half-truths and adding their own spin.

The grain of truth is used as a starting point for a bully when he/she decides to defame you to others. If you are a bully, the beauty of the “grain of truth” is that it is often mistaken for the “whole truth”.

Anytime there is even the smallest grain of truth to a rumor, the rumor can be spun, twisted, and completely taken out of context not only to benefit the bully but to cause more damage to the victim. And no matter how much a story has been changed and rearranged, that grain of truth is usually all that’s needed to make the story more believable to others and damaging to the victim.

The more you know, the better!

9/11/01- When Life as We Knew it Changed

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With the 18th anniversary of 9/11 upon us, I can’t help but look back on the past eighteen years since. My heart has ached not only for the lives lost on that fateful day but also for the loved ones left behind.

I also mourn the loss of the America that I grew up in, the America that my Daddy served and took great pride in, an America whose people once felt secure and free in, an America whose schools always began the day with the Pledge of Allegiance and The Lord’s Prayer, an America without some of the ridiculous laws of today…an America whose people were never afraid to tell it like it is or call it what it is, an America that was not afraid to profess its faith in God.

I also grieve for a once-great nation who’s people were proud to be Americans instead of being ashamed of it. We were proud to fly Old Glory on our lawns and it never occurred to us that there would one day be those who would try to force us to take it down. I grew up during a time when standing on the flag was unheard of. In those days, great care was taken so that it never even touched the ground.

When I watched the Twin Towers burning on my television screen that morning, I knew that this country would never again be the same and that life as we knew it was forever changed.

I remember well the images on the news as does everyone else. I recall the towers burning and falling, I remember the streets being covered with ash, plane parts, concrete, and papers.

But the image that haunts me the most is of people plummeting 100 stories to their deaths to escape the intense heat of burning jet fuel.

For the life of me, I cannot comprehend the terror that went through their minds as they plunged to the hard asphalt below. I cannot imagine the gut-wrenching feeling of knowing that I am inevitably about to die and having to choose which way to go, with the alternative being so horrible that I would have to jump from so high up.

I hope and pray that no one will ever again be put in a situation to where they would have to make a horrible and soul-shaking decision such as that. Ever! I also hope and pray that one day, we the people can rise up and take back not only the values and morals of yesterday but also the freer, happier and more care-free country we once knew.

In God We Trust
God bless the USA

7 Common Tricks of the Cyberbully

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Cyberbullying can be bullying of the most devastating kind and for anyone- children, teens and adults alike. This is because attacks are seen by a much wider audience and there’s a high degree of anonymity as cyberbullies are cowards and hide behind fake screen names and profiles to avoid exposure. Here are 7 common tricks they use to cover their own behinds and make you look like the perpetrator.

1. They inbox you with a barrage of insidious messages.
Again, cyberbullies are cowards and fear being detected for the sick creeps they are. So, they use the inbox to unleash their vile attitude onto their victims. Even if you delete the person from your friends’ list, they can still send messages through the inbox.

2. They will tag you in a post, then claim you’re stalking their page.
This happened to me once. Although this is rather obvious (or should be) to others and used by dumber and maybe drunk cyberbullies, it does happen.

3. They rally their friends to troll your page.
Once you hit the “Block” button, watch for an influx of friend requests from people you don’t know or who would otherwise never in a million years “friend” you. This almost always happens just after you’ve blocked a cyberbully.

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4. They troll the pages of your spouse, family, and friends.
Cyberbullies do this to seek and gather information about you and those you’re closest to, which is then used as either ammunition to defame you, make fun of you, or to attack those you love.

5. They create hurtful, degrading and humiliating memes of you.
Cyberbullies do this to intimidate and embarrass you and to bait others to harass you.

6. They have others (or they do it themselves) to insert images of porn and other disgusting materials onto your timeline.
All designed to cause embarrassment.

7. They copy your profile photo and create duplicate and fake profiles in your name, claiming to be you.
They then send requests to all your family, friends and associates, baiting them to accept. Once the requests have been accepted, the cyberbully then sends your associates deplorable messages or tags them and posts flaming or lewd posts to their timelines in hopes of causing friction between you and the people you care about.

And sadly, there isn’t much anyone can do until better technology is introduced to track down these vile bullies and more robust laws are passed against this practice. What worked for me was staying on top of it, blocking many cyberbullies and deleting any incendiary posts as soon as they appeared. By being vigilant, I was able to preserve my good online reputation.

If they are other tricks which have been used against you and that I have left out, please feel free to comment.

It Can Be Difficult to Feel Empathy for Others When Bullied.

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Indifferent.

Targets of bullying often get accused of being selfish and out for their own interests. However, anytime we are hurting so badly, the pain only blunts our capacity to feel for others. Anytime a person suffers severe and relentless bullying for so long; their pain overrides any ability to empathize with those around them, who may also be hurting.

It’s like lying in the emergency room after a car accident with both legs broken. The pain is so intense that you could care less about the patient in the next room. All you’re thinking of is how soon a doctor will see you and order a pain reliever.

I tell you this because it happened to me. When I was a target of bullying in school, two girls in my class died in a horrific car crash during the eleventh grade and as much as I hate admitting it today, I could not have cared less. Naturally, I don’t feel the same today. Now, thirty years later, I’m sorry that happened to them, but at the time it happened, I had absolutely no feeling for the girls and even had the attitude that it had served them right and that maybe I’d get lucky and a few more bullies would drop dead soon. I had been a target of the class for so long I just did not have it in me to care.

After a person endures bullying for so long, he/she becomes cold and unfeeling toward other people if they aren’t careful, and it will only bring about resentment from people who might otherwise offer love and support.

If you are a target of bullying in school or at work, never let it take away your empathy, your kindness, and your humanity. It won’t be easy, but there are ways to buffer your self-esteem from the effects of bullying and hold on to your sweetness.

Your Gut Instinct: Why You Should Listen to It

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At different times in my life, I have either met or been around certain people whom my inner alarm tried to warn me about. I cannot explain the feeling I got. The only way I can describe this gut feeling is to say that something seemed to be “off” about these people and I would get a sinking, creepy feeling in the pit of my stomach. I could literally feel the bad vibes that seemed to pour forth from these people.

When I was young, I would often mistake this feeling for “just being paranoid” and ignore the feeling, which is something that a whopping majority of victims do. And it proved to be to my disappointment…every time! I have since learned that had I listened to my gut and avoided these people, I could have saved myself a truckload of heartache.

God gave us all that “sixth sense” or as it is more commonly called, the “gut feeling” or “instinct”, for a reason. Anytime you get a bad feeling in your gut about someone, you are not being paranoid, you are not over-reacting. It is only your inner alarm trying to warn you about a person or situation and keep you safe.

Here are a couple of excerpts from my book, “From Victim to Victor” that explains this even further:

“…My gut feeling warned me many times about my classmate’s personalities or that someone was about to harm me in some way, shape or form. I did not listen to my innate alarm because the faith in my own intuitive abilities had been shattered. As a result, I often mistook it for being overly suspicious.

Another example of poor decision making was that I became a very MEAN and VICIOUS person. As a result, I often repelled the people who had my best interests at heart, who were genuine and would have otherwise been true friends. I missed out on a lot of opportunities for friendship because I had very quickly come to a place where I did not trust anyone.

It was much safer to put up a barrier and keep everyone, including my own family out than it was to take risks and learn how to trust the right people.

Being bullied and being stuck with unnecessary labels can very easily do this to a person. It cannot only cause you not to believe in yourself and your own abilities, but it can also enable you to trust your own innate intuition if you let it. It blinds you to people who are true as it completely zaps your senses of who is for real and who is fake, thus causing the loss of your ability to avoid dangerous people.”

“…You are not stupid. It is not only in your imagination. You are not being overly sensitive. You are not being a wimp, wuss, crybaby, crazy or whatever else unsavory people call you. You always know when something does not feel good. You can see it in the way certain people cut their eyes at you and talk through their teeth. You can hear the short and cold tone in their voices. You can feel, deep down in your gut, the nasty vibes they exude. This is why you should always listen to your gut feeling because it is never wrong. Eighty-six those people pronto!”

Please don’t ignore this instinct. Never overlook that sinking feeling in your stomach because it could save you from so much trouble. It could even save your life!

Remembering Grandma’s Love

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I often think of my precious Grandma and the summers I spent with her while I was a kid when Daddy was in the Army. I think of the weekends spent with her when I was a teenager. I recall the big breakfasts of eggs, sausage, bacon and toast or pancakes (she always made the best pancakes) she would cook for me every Saturday and Sunday mornings I was at her house. I also think of the many deep conversations we would have while sitting at her table. I remember the Uno, Skip-bo and other card games we would play together…either just the two of us or with Aunt Becky or Aunt Geneva.

I think about the many Sundays she took me to church and of sitting in her kitchen for hours, helping her shuck corn and shell peas. I reminisce about the many times she would take me to the mall, back when malls were in their heyday, and of accompanying her at rummage sales, on trips to Memphis, and sometimes to Alabama and Mississippi.

Grandma and I would go almost everywhere when we would go places together on the weekends. And she was the only one who allowed me to eat as much ice cream as I wanted. I will never forget all the times she took me to the Sonic or the old ice cream parlor on the square before it closed.

She spoiled me rotten but at the same time, she helped teach me the manners and values which help me to navigate this world today. Being with her was never dull. It was an adventure!

However, what sticks in my mind the most is the day a bad tornado hit while I was at her house and how she fiercely protected me from possible flying debris. The loud, deafening roar! It didn’t sound like a freight train. It sounded like a thousand low-flying jets buzzing the house!

I remember feeling the house rock from the force of the wind. I recall the windows rattling and the walls bowing inward as if the house were breathing. Grandma threw me on the floor and shielded me with her body, getting on top of me and covering my head with both hands! I could feel my ears popping and for a moment, the pressure in my ears was so that I could hardly hear and I thought my head would explode.

“Hold on, baby!” She screamed. “Whatever you do, DON’T LET GO OF ME!”

Grandma and I came close to being picked up! We were both blessed that day. But I know that if the man upstairs had seen fit to take me out of this world that day, I would have died in Grandma’s arms or we would’ve died in each other’s arms. Either way, I would’ve been one blessed little girl I believe.

The day she passed away, which happened to be the eighth anniversary of Dad’s death, I remember climbing into bed with her and placing my arm around her as she lay there during her last moments and drawing her last breaths. At 42 years old, I was like a kid again. I wanted her to know that I was there and that I loved her. I still do.

I love you, Grandma! Wait for me at the pearly gates. Give Daddy, Uma and Aunt Bea a kiss for me! Until I see you again, I will sorely miss you!

Frances Bain White Tims
(1931-2013)