I once read in Robert Greene’s book entitled, “The Laws of Human Nature,” that everyone needs a hated enemy and that there’s a positive side to having one. I’ve found that with packs of bullies, this is true.
Bullies in groups need an enemy, whether real or imagined, that they can band together and fight against- an “us-versus-him/her” object. Why? Because the presence of an enemy has always served to strengthen group cohesion and to unite and tighten members to one another. Groups reflexively focus on their hated target as a means of bringing it together as one and for further solidarity.
And if they can get any member of authority and with a little power (teacher, principal, supervisor, manager or HR) to join in the hatred, all the better to ensure that the group align themselves to one another and oust the “enemy”.
Not even love, respect, or friendship unite people as much as the shared hatred of something or someone. Remember that there’s strength in numbers, and bullies must always have an entourage around them. You will never see a bully alone because the thought of being on their own scares them to death. And the stronger the solidarity, the less likely it is of the group disbanding.
The victim provides the bullies that assurance that their group always stays together as one. Without the victim, the group is weak; things get boring real fast, and it won’t be long before they split up and go their separate ways.
Bullies also need victims for entertainment and as victory trophies to collect and display. They need victims as guinea pigs to test their (perceived) strength and power on, then show as proof thereof to bystanders and witnesses.
Therefore, the target serves many purposes. And once they’ve served their purpose, they’re neatly and quietly disposed of and a new victim is selected.
Always remember this. The more we know about the inner workings of bullies, the better we can defend ourselves against them.