These are the bullies with the most social connections and friends in high places- the bullies well thought of (or well-feared) by a vast majority in a school, workplace, neighborhood, or community. They can be the “cool kids” at school or the “Good Ol’ Boy” clique at work or in town. These bullies can also be local politicians and businessmen or members of certain well-known families in a particular area.
Although money does help, these people don’t necessarily have to be rich to have these connections. I’ve known people who were quite poor who had these types of relationships as well. What gives them the power they have is their connections with the right people, which is why bullies in these select groups are especially dangerous and can do the most damage to a target.
These types of bullies proactively build a network of social relationships to re-enforce their power and get protections from any accountability for wrongdoing. In many cases, they already have close and well-established ties, which go back several years.
These relationships ensure that the bullies are well-protected and above reproach. Worst of all, they give them the liberty to ride roughshod over anyone freely and with impunity. These are the types who will watch you closely.
These bullies know they have good name recognition and they take advantage of it. Any time a bully has a ton of social capital, others will not risk alienating them for fear of being the next target. And chances are that if they target you, their followers, who are secondary bullies, will only follow their lead.
In short, bullies can weaponize their connections and popularity!
This is why the most popular and well-connected bullies get away with deplorable behavior and can do anything they want to anyone. And they will take full advantage. If you become a target of one of these people, they will use their connections and influence to destroy every aspect of your life. Also, they’ll never stop coming after you.
Understand that these bullies are very influential, persuasive, and, most of all, convincing. Their names alone carry much weight behind them. They have trust, mutual understanding, and shared values and behaviors which promote unity and strengthen their group. When one of these people says something, others, even those outside their circle of connections, are more likely to listen attentively and take their word as fact!
I call these people “sacred cows” because they have such power and influence in a school, corporation, or community that they’re perceived as not to be questioned nor spoken against, even if they’re in the wrong.
With sacred cows, people may not necessarily like them, they may even hate them, but you can be sure that they fear them. So, even haters are careful not to speak against them publicly or within earshot of the wrong people.
With that said, if you’re a target of bullies who have social capital, know that they can make your life hell. They can tarnish your name with smear campaigns, and others will believe it simply because of who the rumors and lies come from. They can also cause the loss of your job and blacklist you, robbing you of any opportunity to find other means of employment.
These people can destroy your ability to make new friends because others will be too afraid to associate with you. If you own a business, they can either discourage customers from giving you their business or have their worker bees to set fire to and burn down your business altogether. And don’t put it past these bullies to trump up false criminal charges against you, set you up to be arrested, or send henchmen to either visit you or meet you on the street somewhere.
Your self-esteem can also take a harder hit because of the popularity of these bullies, and you’re likely to be paralyzed with fear, especially if you’re a kid in school.
But here are a few things you can do to lessen the trauma these powerful bullies can cause and to build your own social capital.
1. Befriend and align yourself with other targets because you can be sure that you aren’t the only one these bullies torment.
2. If you can find people who were once a part of the bullies’ circle but whom the bullies ousted for whatever reason, that’s even better! These people would be the ones who have private and sensitive info about each of the bullies and their sycophants. They’ll more than likely be looking for a little payback and only too happy to give you the deets!
3. Establish tight connections with your fellow targets, and with the former members whom the bullies booted out of the “social club” or double-crossed. Band together with them because nothing unites people like the shared anger and hatred toward an enemy.
4. Pal around with, eat lunch with or eat out with them. Be sure you’re seen with these targets and outcasts and with as many of them as possible. This will provide you with a little protection!
5. The more targets and outcasts you connect and bond with, the better!
6. Important!!! Always have their backs and make sure they have yours!
7. Make friends, take jobs, and seize opportunities that are outside the bullies’ element. If need be and all else fails, move to a new area.
8. Tell no one of your plans, where your new job is, your address, or where you’re moving to. Sometimes, it’s just best to vanish!
Do these things and you’ll be much safer!