When a person is a target of bullies, everyone- and I mean EVERYONE is watching them. Classmates (bullies and bystanders) and sometimes, even teachers and staff constantly have that person under surveillance and it isn’t because they are watching out for them. No. They are all waiting for the victim to screw up.
Why? Here are the answers:
- Bullies are very skilled and convincing liars. Also, they are full of deceptive charm, all designed to impress bystanders and authority. This wins the bullies lots of influence. Over time, influential bullies have spread numerous rumors and lies about the target to others and people have a tendency to believe the worst, especially those in small towns and communities. As a result, the victim, who has done absolutely nothing wrong, is labeled “trouble”. In most cases, the rumors have circulated for so long that the target’s already undeserved negative reputation has become iron clad. Others actually want the lies to be true and refuse to believe otherwise, even if there is glaring evidence to the contrary. Once the victim’s reputation is iron clad, it’s almost impossible to change it. This is why people who are selected to be victims usually stay victims until they are finally able to escape the environment through transfer to another school or home school.
- People do not question the lies because they do not want to anger the bullies. Also, to question a rumor would mean having to dig for the truth and no one wants to put in that kind of effort.
- Bullies constantly stalk their victim online and offline. They search for information about the target, finding their physical address, phone number, email and social media profiles all for the purpose of inflicting future harassment. They may dig for information about the victim’s family, romantic partner (if they have one), friends and associates so that they can wreak havoc on his/her relationships later. Moreover, they may try to find out places the target may frequent (clubs, parks, where they go on the weekend, etc.) so they can accidently (on purpose) run into him/her and create opportunities for further harassment, or worse…commit a physical assault.
It is nothing less than petrifying, even paralyzing when it seems that everyone is clocking your every move because you don’t know what they will do next. I have been there and let me tell you! It was downright creepy!
If you are a victim of bullying, I understand how frustrating and heartbreaking this can be. I know all too well the intense fear of being hurt and this fear can be paralyzing! I also know how it feels to be falsely labeled. Know that you aren’t alone and that there are millions of others who suffer the same fate. You aren’t the first and sadly, you won’t be the last. You can overcome your bullies and you can move on to better things! I did! And I did not just survive, I triumphed and you can too! Don’t give up! You’re worth fighting for!