Exposing Bullies And Protecting Yourself From Future Attacks

Devil hiding in the businessman - alter ego concept

Here’s a list of several things you can do to rip the mask off and keep yourself safe.

1. Know your enemy. How you do this is to stand back and always OBSERVE the people around you, but without looking like you are watching them. Pay close attention to body language, facial expressions and tone of voice. I can’t stress enough the importance of this. This is how you find out who the trouble makers are.

If you see another student gossip and make trouble for others, you can be sure that in time, they will do the same to you. This is how I now know who to avoid at all costs. However, be advised that avoidance will not work if you have a determined bully after you. If a person wants to get to you badly enough, they will seek you out until they find you.

2. Document everything! As it has been said, “if it isn’t documented, it never happened”. Keep a journal and write down everything. I did this in junior high and high school just in case one of my bullies either hurt me bad enough to hospitalize me, or worse…killed me.

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You must write down the names of your bullies, the names of any bystanders or authority (teachers, principal, or any member of authority) present at the time the altercation took place, the date, time, place it happened, what happened and if possible, why it happened. Also, record what is said and by whom. Document every… single… detail!!

3. Do not reveal any information about yourself that you would not want to be told to anyone. Including your friends! If you do, you’re asking for trouble because if you are the target of a bully, you can be sure that your bullies will, at some point, either try to pry information about you out of your friends or they will turn your friends against you altogether.

4. Keep a low profile. Don’t do anything that may draw attention to yourself. And stay away from places the bullies may gather. Think, “Out of sight, out of mind.” Just don’t make it obvious to your bullies that you are ducking and dodging them. I avoided several confrontations by simply laying low.

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5. Save any threatening texts, emails, and/or voice mails for evidence. And if possible, set your cellphone to record during any altercation brought on by a bully, provided it is hidden in your pocket. You certainly do not want the bully to know what you are doing. keep your composure and be sure not to tarnish the recording by yelling or using foul language.

Schools are now becoming more aware of the issue of bullying. If you happen not to have a cellphone, keep a digital recorder handy (if possible) and be ready to record as soon as the torment starts.

6. NEVER brag about any evidence you have against a bully. Not even to your best friend…PERIOD! Again, bullies have a knack for prying information out of people, even your friends. They can also turn your friends against you, making them more than happy to volunteer the information. Don’t do it! Anytime you are a target of bullies, you are in no position to trust anyone!

Displeased woman looking at her growing nose

7. Call the bully out in front of an audience. This is risky and could bring retaliation. However, the bully will also know that you are on to him/her and you just might intimidate them enough that they will leave you alone. It happened for me on a few occasions.

But keep in mind that this doesn’t happen for everyone. Calling the bully out in front of people can also humiliate the bully and make that person more determined to get you. So access the bully’s personality and the situation carefully before you decide to do this.

Ripping the mask off the bully…layer by layer.

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Common Responses Targets Get When They Speak Out

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If you’re a target of bullying, people will naturally expect you not to open your mouth about the harassment. Not only your bullies themselves but often bystanders and authority will automatically side with the bullies.

But, it still doesn’t mean that you stay silent because standing up for yourself shows bravery and strength and you’re well within your rights to do so.

However, I want you to be prepared for the following hurtful responses you’re likely to get when you finally do begin speaking against the mistreatment.

Here they are:

1. “You’re being too sensitive.” Understand that when people respond this way, they’re only shifting the blame to you and trying to shame you into keeping quiet about it. People who tell you this might be friends or followers of the bullies or have a personal interest in keeping you quiet, such as the reputation of the school or company, the bullies may be kin to them somehow, or the bullies may be perceived as “good for the school’s or company’s reputation.” But don’t be ashamed to speak out. You must keep the pressure on even if the bullying gets worse. Understand that things usually get worse before they get better. But they will get better.

2. “Just Ignore Them.” This never works, as bullies only become angry at being ignored and escalate the bullying. Or, they may mistake ignoring for fear. And if a bully gets in your face, how do you ignore that? It’s impossible. The best way to handle it is to put your hand up and walk around the bully. But how do you know the bully won’t come after you and attack you from behind once you’ve walked past them?

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Understand that when people tell you to ignore the bully, what this means is that they either don’t want to hear about it, don’t want to have to deal with it, or don’t have any answers themselves.

3. “Toughen up.” Again. The people who could help you don’t want to get involved. So they put it all on you. By telling you to toughen up, they’re shifting the blame onto you and trying to shame you into staying silent. Also, when you tell a target to toughen up, you’re only asking for things between the target and bully to escalate because the target will take it as a green light to tell the bully to shove it up his you-know-where or haul off and knock the idiot’s block off. Not that it’s a bad thing because, in my opinion, bullies deserve a good whack in the nose.

But those in authority have no right to tell the target to toughen up, then turn around and punish him when he finally does.

Respond to this by saying, “No. It’s not about toughing up. It’s about asserting my right to be treated with decency and I don’t have to take that mess.” And when you say it, say it with conviction.

4. “Get over it.”

5. “Don’t be a crybaby.”

6. “Stop whining.”

7. “Don’t be a tattletale.”

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All of the above nuggets of advice are only meant to shame and silence you. Bullying is no different from any other form of abuse. It thrives on secrecy. If you don’t speak out about it, the bullying and abuse will only continue, even escalate.

I realize that getting these kinds of responses makes you feel even worse and there’s a temptation to clam up and burrow back into your hole. But don’t! You must refuse to keep quiet about it!

Keep speaking out about it. When people give you any of the above responses, that’s when you should only double down, dig your heels in and speak louder! Because only when a problem is addressed does it have the potential to be solved.

It may get worse before it gets better, but there’s always a chance that it will get better when you verbally protest the bullying. And no matter the outcome, you’ll feel so much better about yourself knowing you took a stand.

The man in the mirror — Superman can’t find a phone booth

I loved this post by Billy Mac. And I think you’ll find it very insightful and uplifting!

We live in a vain, narcissistic and selfie-obsessed world. We have all had to step around people blocking sidewalks and paths taking pictures of themselves. We all have that FB friend who posts pictures of every meal and of every stop they make. I know a woman who has no less than thousands of selfies […]

via The man in the mirror — Superman can’t find a phone booth

What Truly Shapes Us — 🐠Lighthouse Survivors 🐠

A beautiful and true post from “Lighthouse Survivors”!

We have to stop running from our mistakes, from our decisions that didn’t pan out, running from our pasts, and running from our failures in life. In order for someone to truly love us we have to show the true us, the part’s we hide from others. The pureness of it all is that despite […]

via What Truly Shapes Us — 🐠Lighthouse Survivors 🐠

You’re (not) too much — candidkay

You’re awesome just the way you are!

I have a wish for you this year, as we begin a shiny new decade. May you embrace whatever is true for you. May you embrace your “too.” “Too” as in when friends or family tell you that you are “too fill-in-the blank.” Too smart. Too sassy. Too independent. Too sensitive. Too brash. Too bookish. […]

via You’re (not) too much — candidkay

Learn to Bait and Trigger Your Bullies

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This may be scary to do but trust me. Get your bullies angry enough at you and they will come to you. Play on the natural human tendency to react out of anger when pushed or baited. Get your bullies to reach to your moves. Make them pursue you because they only expend their own energy by chasing you. An added benefit to this is that it forces the bullies to act on your terms.

Also, when you trick them into pursuing you, you automatically fool them into thinking that they’re controlling the situation.

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However, there’s one requirement for this to work:

You must remain calm. Calmness always equals the ability to think more clearly. Emotions, on the other hand, block your ability to think and strategize effectively.

When you do get your bullies to come for you, always get them either on your territory. If you cannot get them into your element, then choose neutral ground. Never meet bullies on their turf! It’s much too dangerous.

If you can get your bullies on your territory, you’ll keep your bearings while the bullies will be on the defensive because they’ll be on unfamiliar ground. They won’t feel you pulling their invisible strings.

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Make your bait so sweet that your bullies can’t refuse. Use yourself as bait if necessary, especially if they’re so POed at you that they can’t see past their desire to “get you.” Their intense rage will blind them to reality and they’ll be more than happy to come to where you are.

The angrier they are, the more desperate they’ll be to get back at you and the easier they’ll be for you to lead them by the nose right into the trap that you’ve prepared for them.

And if you can get your bullies to dig their own graves, why worry?

Like Versus Respect

Judgemental girls

There can be respect without like. However, there can never be like without respect. Put simpler, a person doesn’t have to like you to respect you, but they do have to respect you to like you.

Respect and like are different in that like is simply based on commonalities and good feelings shared between people. When someone likes you, they enjoy your company and the positivity you bring to their life.

Respect, on the other hand, is regard for another person’s safety, space, freedom, privacy, property and individuality. When someone respects you, they may not necessarily like you, but see you as having the same rights and considerations as they and everyone else. That’s perfectly okay because not everybody is alike and shares the same beliefs, feelings, ideas or backgrounds. Like is subjective.

Bully boy teasing into camera, expressing aggression, POV victim of bullying

Bully boy teasing into camera, expressing aggression, POV victim of bullying

Put another way, someone may dislike you, but if you were lying badly injured on the sidewalk, they would more than likely stop and help you, even stay beside you and hold your hand until the ambulance arrived.

On the other hand, when a person does not respect you, they have no regard for your safety, space, freedom, privacy, property or individuality. They don’t see you as having the same human rights and considerations as they and everyone else.

That person will think it’s perfectly okay to violate you because in their mind, you somehow deserve to be violated. They will also be much less likely to stop and help you if they see you lying injured on the sidewalk because they’d most likely wouldn’t care if you ever got to a hospital.

They would simply act like they didn’t see you lying there, or worse, step over you with a look of contempt and keep going.

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Someone can dislike you and at the same time, respect your right not to have your boundaries crossed. When they disrespect you, they won’t acknowledge your personal boundaries and are likely to trample your dignity and human rights. In their mind, you either don’t or shouldn’t have the same human rights or dignity as them and everyone else. The person will more than likely wish you harm or ill will and probably dread breathing the same air as you.

Signs of Disrespect

1. Lack of regard for the person’s freedom – this could include, belittling their opinions and ideas, taking away their freedom to speak by talking over them when they are speaking, getting angry with them if they would rather spend time with family than with you or the group.

2. Lack of regard for the person’s safety – you bully them or put them in danger of being physically hurt. You can’t stand the fact that the person even exists.

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women’s eyes with raised eyebrow haughty look down, sketch vector graphics monochrome illustration

Signs of Dislike

1. Nothing in common with the person. You wish them well, but you’d prefer not to be around them. You have no problem coexisting.

If you are a victim of bullying, you must be able to distinguish between the two and take the appropriate steps to take care of yourself.

Disrespect is mush worse than dislike. Dislike is a part of life and mush easier to deal with. Disrespect, on the other hand, is harmful. The people who dislike you won’t necessarily try to hurt you but will act neutral around you. They might even greet you and say a few words to you just to be polite, but won’t buddy up to you.

The people who disrespect you will have absolute nothing to say to you, or they will talk terrible to you, shame you, humiliate you, try to sabotage you or physically assault you.

The more you know.

Not Everyone is Going to Like You

Jealous Girls

Jealous Girls taking behind her back

Like is subjective.

Not everyone is going to like you. Some may even hate you. But remember this! It’s their problem, not yours.

No matter how good, talented, famous, great or small you are or who you are, it’s estimated that 10-35% of the people you know will not like you.

But always stay true to yourself, your beliefs, and your convictions. Use your God-given talents to the best of your ability. Be the best you can be and you will be happy.

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Realize that everyone- EVERYONE, has someone who doesn’t like them. And if you don’t have enemies, then you’re doing something wrong.

If those who are exceptional, like celebrities, politicians, and athletes have people who dislike them or hate them, it should be proof that there’s nothing wrong with you.

So, feel good about yourself. Embrace everything about yourself. Appreciate the people who love you. Let love in and let yourself shine!

Never Be Afraid to Be Alone

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I won’t kid you. Being alone can sometimes make a person vulnerable. However, being surrounded by negative people makes you just as vulnerable if not more so. Therefore, being alone can be much better than keeping company with spiteful people who only bring you down.

As difficult as it may be, sometimes you must weed out all these ungrateful souls who don’t see your worth to make room for more positive, caring and loving people to come in.

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Get rid of anyone who makes you feel bad about yourself and only keep company with those who love and respect you. Keep the people in your life who value your opinions, even when those opinions are strong.

If someone is not treating you like you deserve to be treated, never be afraid to let them go, even if it seems that they’re your only options at the moment.

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Remember that we must do things that don’t feel comfortable and that are downright scary for any positive change to happen.

Positive change requires that we take risks!

Stages of School Bullying

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Bullying is a process.

1. Bullies search for a target.

2. A target is selected.

3. Bullies signal to bystanders that the target is ripe for bullying.

4. Bystanders are encouraged to join in the torment and unite with the bullies against the selected target.

5. Bystanders then become bullies themselves.

6. The target is involved in many physical fights in trying to defend themselves and gets labeled by teachers and staff as the troublemaker.

7. Bullies and bystanders go home and tell their parents and family members what a terrible person the target is.

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8. The parents and family members of the bullies and bystanders go to work or the supermarket and relay the stories about the target to coworkers and friends- stories they were told by their children, grandchildren, younger siblings or cousins, nieces or nephews that this target is a terrible person.

9. The coworkers, friends and extended family members then pass what they’re told to their families and word of the target’s perceived evilness or craziness spreads throughout the entire community.

10. The target’s reputation is destroyed.

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11. The target’s opportunities for love, friendship, jobs, careers, etc. are either limited or lost.

12. The target either commits suicide or leaves town to pursue a better life.

13. The target who relocates finally gets a fresh start and reinvents himself.