1.Twisting and distorting the victim’s words
A victim is accosted by two bullies. The first bully wittily insults the victim. The second bully laughs at and jeers her.
Sencond bully: “Haha! She really told you a thing or two!
Victim: “Really? Ah! It’s no big deal!”
Second bully: “No big deal, huh?”
(Calls out to first bully)
Second bully: “Hey, (first bully’s name)! (Victim’s name) just said that you were no big deal!”
First bully: “So, I’m no big deal, huh? Really? I’m no big deal? How’s this for ‘no big deal'”?
And the first bully physically attacks the victim while the second bully watches with satisfaction.
The bully shoves the victim into a locker and the victim mumbles under his breath without thinking about it.
Victim: “(Under his breath) God! This is so stupid!”
The bully hears the statement and twists it to suit his agenda.
Bully: “Did you just call me stupid?”
Bully: “Yes, you did because I heard you!”
Victim: “No, I didn’t!”
Bully: “Are you calling me a liar?”
Bully: “Yes you are because I heard you call me stupid under your breath and you’re denying it! So, you’re calling me a liar!”
In both scenarios, the bullies twisted and distorted the victim’s words to suit their agenda’s. In the first example, the bullies distorted what the victim was saying by replacing one pronoun with another. In the second, bullies not only replaced one pronoun with another but also deliberately distorted what was implied. As we know, one spoken sentence can have several possible implications. The bully picked out the possible implication which would best suit his objective, which was to bait the victim into an altercation and provide himself justification for it.
Remember that one statement can have several possible implications. However, a possible implication does not make it the correct one.
You must understand that bullies are not the dumb clods they are often portrayed as. Most bullies are slick and silver-tongued. They are experts at finding ways to covertly misconstrue and mislead. Bullies also have high social intelligence and superior theory of mind and have a flair for sussing out low self-esteem in others.
Always find ways of communicating which convey confidence, self-assuredness, and lack of fear. Anytime a bully attempts to twist your word, you can do something as simple as telling the bully to shut up and dismiss him/her as a cowardly and petty drama-baiter. When you tell the bully to shut up, then walk away, you automatically reclaim your power and chances are that they’ll leave you alone.
Deliberately running into the victim in a crowded hallway
Example: (This is a classic)
The bully is walking through the crowded school hall between classes and sees the oncoming victim. He covertly but deliberately runs into the victim.
Bully: “Watch where the #&*% you’re going, jackass!”
If you are a target, know that bullies are looking for an excuse to confront you…any excuse! And they will find one even if they have to create one. The more you know, the better you’ll be able to protect yourself.
Peeling the mask off the bully, one layer at a time!