What Happens When You Call a Bully’s Bluff

As we all know, bullies are convincing liars. But what happens when they finally get called out on their lies and evil deeds. Let’s use scenarios to find out.

For example, you’re a target of bullying. You find out that the one friend you thought you could trust has been spreading your deepest secrets and spreading lies behind your back while only pretending to be your best buddy (This can apply to both school and workplace environments). When you confront her, here are her possible reactions.

1. She will deny it or, at the least, try to avoid the subject. How you’ll know she’s dishonest? She will change the subject by talking about a topic irrelevant to the issue while appearing to be busy doing a task. Girls are known for this.

2. She will become irate and go on a tirade. She may even yell and curse at you. She may turn it back on you and accuse you of being paranoid, crazy, a crybaby, etc. But understand that she only looks and sounds desperate when she does this. Know that this is just another dead giveaway, and most bullies get highly defensive when they’re afraid they’re busted.

Understand that most bullies will get loud. They scream, yell, and pound their fists, curse, and swear when they fear exposure. However, don’t let this scare you because the dramatics and theatrics they display only mean that the bullies are desperate!

3. She will lay guilt trips on you.

“Well, if you were my friend, you wouldn’t believe…”

“If you were a true friend to me, you wouldn’t even question my loyalty.”

Don’t buy that garbage. The person is just trying to make you feel guilty or trying to intimidate you into silence. If your so-called friend was the only person you told any secrets to or knows about your life outside of the school, workplace, or organization, it’s a safe bet they’re guilty. And if enough people tell you that she is saying things behind your back, especially people you’ve never met or had any dealings with or people who aren’t a threat to you, she’s guilty!

Example 2: You have a bully on your back, and you’ve finally had enough. You call him/her out on his/her bad behavior and begin speaking out about the abuse she dishes out.

1. She will escalate the harassment to either punish you or intimidate you and shut you down. Understand that the bully is afraid of being exposed, facing accountability, and losing face and will stop at nothing to silence you.

2. He will justify himself with full conviction.

“If you didn’t always make trouble, I wouldn’t have had to hurt you!”

“If you weren’t so stupid, I wouldn’t give you such a hard time!”

“You made me do it because you always do this when you should do that!”

“If you would just do this, I wouldn’t have to do that!”

“You won’t shut up, so you deserve it!”

Again, don’t believe a word of it! Continue to report the harassment. You must protect yourself by speaking just as loud and with just as much conviction as the bully. Make plenty of noise because the wheel that squeaks loudest gets the grease!

3. She will slander you to everyone who will listen to her and try to turn others against you. Again, understand that this bully is afraid of being exposed. So she spreads rumors and lies to discredit you by distracting others from her appalling and embarrassing behavior by making you look like the guilty party.

If the bully can make you look bad and turn everyone else against you, she reaps several benefits.

a. She can intimidate you into silence and avoid any future risks of exposure.

b. She can discredit you, make herself look like the victim, and, therefore, gain attention and sympathy from other people.

c. She can successfully cut you off from any support you might otherwise receive.

d. She gets the green light to bully you again later and with impunity.

e. She gets to move up the social ladder and win more friends and allies.

f. She gets the satisfaction of maintaining power, domination, and control over another person.

As goes the old political quote from World War II, “Accuse the other side of that which you are guilty.”

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Understand that any smear campaign is designed to protect the guilty bullies from being exposed and shift blame onto innocent victims. It’s a tactic used since the beginning of time!

So, don’t shut up no matter what! Continue to call out the bullies’ behavior! And if they react like any of the above, tell them like it is.

Say this:

“The tirade isn’t going to work anymore” or “Go ahead and lie all you want. Everybody knows this is only retaliation because I had the gall to expose your deplorable behavior! Right,(the bully’s name)? Is that what this is, (Bully’s name)?”

Be sure to say the bully’s name at the end of the above questions because that really shakes a bully when you put his/her name on it!

If the bully says, “No!” Tell her in a fast and short tone, “Oh, yes it is, and you know it, (Bully’s name)!”

Counter. Everything. She. Comes. Back with!

The Survivor of Bullying

The survivor of bullying who escapes the abuse first comes out with shock, anger, and sadness. But once the healing is underway, they’re filled with renewed hope.

When school or workplace bullying experiences have exposed you to the darkest sides of human nature, you have a stronger sense of your own endurance and capability. This is all because of what you have endured and were able to overcome.

You never know your own strength until you’ve overcome bullying, especially severe and chronic bullying.

Another takeaway is that the survivor has a stronger sense of people. She can smell fakery and BS from a mile away and can spot bullies before even talking to them. The survivor pays closer attention to how people carry themselves, body language, and the vibes and energy others put out.

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He is better able to avoid people who might want to harm him because he’s learned, the hard way, the importance of listening to his gut instinct and heeding it anytime something is even the slightest bit “off” about a person. In short, the survivor of bullying has learned that it’s okay, even paramount, that he trusts himself, and in that, his feelings and judgement.

On the other side of bullying, a survivor learns and develops the determination never to conform to the standards and criteria of others, but to live life on her terms because she knows what it’s like to be a slave to the approval of others. She knows what it’s like to be a prisoner to outside influences. She knows the powerlessness of having one’s pleasure depend of the permission of others. She knows what it’s like to be forced to apologize for simply being who she is and she’s not having any of it!

Overcoming past abuse gives the survivor a restored and refined sense of his worth and knowledge of the immense value he brings to this world. He awakens to his goodness and realizes that yes! He is worthy of love, friendship, affection, and of all the best things in life. He also realizes that he is loved and always was no matter what all those vile people told him!

The survivor of bullying ends up with a much clearer vision of what she will not tolerate nor settle for. She is unmovable in her refusal to kiss arse or bow down to anyone no matter what the cost may be. She’s spent enough years living on her knees and if she’s going to be punished for her unwillingness to kowtow, she’ll suffer those consequences standing up.

The survivor of bullying is also a fierce warrior for other victims. If he sees another person being bullied, he’s will stand up for that person and go toe to toe with the bullies to protect the target.

The survivor who has overcome bullying isn’t afraid to say no, nor to walk away from any relationship that doesn’t fulfill and nourish him. He refuses to be stuck in any environment that doesn’t allow him to grow and flourish.

The survivor is more aware than ever of what she deserves and goes after it with resilience and tenacity. Life’s given her enough of what she doesn’t want and now it’s time for her to go get what she knows is due her.

The survivor realizes, probably more than anyone, that life is short, and you only get one shot in this world. And she works diligently to create the life she knows she deserves, and she does it without guilt. She knows that she’s not entitled nor privileged. She realizes that the big bad world owes her nothing. And that’s okay.

The survivor realizes that there’s no such thing as a free ride because, heck, no one ever gave him anything but hell. What he understands more than anything as that all you have is you and the only person you can depend on is you. So, he knows that reaching his goals and dreams is up to him and him alone. And he works toward what he wants with a fervor.

The survivor of bullying makes it a point never to take anyone for granted but lets her family and friends know that she loves and values them. Why? Because she knows what is like to be alone, unwanted, and abused and she would never want anyone- especially the people she cares about feel that way or endure it.

The survivor of bullying savors every wonderful moment, every positive encounter, and every happy event because he has seen enough negativity.

What the survivor enjoys more than anything else is wonderful relationships and happy moments, and most of all, she’s grateful for them. She also enjoys helping others who go through what she once endured. And she uses her experiences to encourage them and give them hope.

Sometimes, you must be torn down to be built up again. Sometimes you must first be dejected and left lonely before you can truly appreciate the family and friendships you have later. And sometimes, it takes being forced into the chains of others’ approval and validation before you can enjoy the freedom of self-love and the indifference to the opinions of those who don’t matter and, perhaps, never should have mattered.

The Conformity Trap

Some rules, standards and laws exist for good reasons. Those that are sensible help keep society safe and without them, we’d live in a state of constant anarchy. However, if the rules, standards, or laws are blatantly ridiculous or downright dangerous, than we have a duty not to obey them, or at the very least, question them.

Most bullies wield power by making up rules and standards that are either laughable or unhealthy for the rest of us. And many targets try so hard to conform to their bullies’ rules and standards to fit in and because they think that their conformity will make the bullying stop. Sadly, this usually doesn’t work for targets. The hard truth is, conformity works for everyone else, yes, but rarely works for targets.

Why? Because they are targets and nothing else.

When others conform, they will be rewarded, but when a target conforms, they’ll only be bullied worse because the people around them will automatically presume that the target is conforming solely to keep out of trouble and get on everyone’s good side.

People will only see the target’s conformity and positive behavior as a form of manipulation and feel that the target only has ulterior motives behind it. And they will respond with deep anger and repugnance. The target will be branded a con artist. A grifter! A fake!

Bullies see anyone’s attempts to manipulate them as an unspoken message that the person doing the manipulating think they’re stupid. And bullies won’t stand for being thought of as dumb, especially by those they deem inferior. To bullies, that’s slap in the face!

This is one reason targets shouldn’t conform to their bullies, but here’s another reason:

Anytime you conform to the rules, standards or wishes of someone else- that is, someone who isn’t your boss, your teacher, your parents, etc., you deny your own wants and needs. You give up your autonomy and dignity, and ultimately, surrender to the bullies. This can take a huge toll on your self-esteem and after so many times, you’ll begin to feel terrible about yourself and regret that you ever conformed to those creeps.

Anytime you conform to bullies, you allow yourself to be subjugated and, in essence, become their subject, their slave, and their prisoner. And that doesn’t feel good at all.

You end up looking (and feeling) weak- like a wimp, a wuss, a pansy! You’ll only be ridiculed by everyone because you’ll look pathetic to them. They’ll see you as a bootlicker, a brownnoser, a stooge!

It doesn’t matter how good or bad you are, bullies and everyone who sees you getting bullied only see you as a target and nothing else. And chances are, they will always see you that way. Therefore, if you can’t satisfy anyone else, then satisfy yourself by holding on to your dignity. And how you hold on to your dignity is to never conform to anything the bullies tell you.

Be strong and say no. Refuse to kowtow and bow down to them. They might retaliate and bully you worse for your refusal to give them what they want but trust me. They are going to bully you anyway whether you do or don’t, so why not make it count?

Bullies Intentionally Select Targets

Anyone, who is a victim of bullying knows all too well, the feeling of bewilderment, the confusion…. the questions- The “What did I do wrong?”, “What is it about me?” or “What do they treat me so horrible?” If you are a target, allow me to answer these questions for you.

First, you did nothing wrong!

Second, there is NOTHING wrong with you!

And third, they treat you wrong because of something that is within THEM! Not YOU!

I want you to understand that bullies purposely select their victims. They know exactly what they’re doing and why they’re doing it. Remember that bullies are nothing but sniveling little cowards. And they select anyone they don’t believe will fight back. Or these who achieve great things.

School bullies feel weak. They always pick those they think are slow, kids with hearts of gold, who would never hurt a fly, children who are disabled, mentally handicapped or mentally ill, youngsters who are quiet and reserved and children who have what is perceived to be a physical flaw (overweight, underweight, eyeglasses, braces, or disfigured from accidents).

In school, bullies may select other classmates at random to see how they react. If a potential victim stands up to the bully and tells them off, the bully will then slink away with their tail between their legs. They will then search for someone else until they find the victim who responds how they want them to (cries, ignores them, walks away, runs, tattles, etc.)

Workplace bullies feel threatened. They pick coworkers who are intelligent, competent, and well-liked by others. They pick them because the exceptional workers are the people who make them look bad.

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Through their excellent work, the victims hold a mirror up to the bullies (and everyone else) at work, forcing them to see their own pathetic reflections. They unwittingly expose their weaknesses and their incompetency by their successes, accomplishments, and impeccable work ethic. They also make bullies feel overshadowed.

The only way a bully can feel powerful and that they measure up is to bring the victim down or have a victim to use as a punching bag. If they don’t have that target, they feel less than and will go to the ends of the earth to find one. Realize that bullies can’t get power through a meritocracy because they have zero redeeming qualities. So, they bully others and that’s what gives them power.

At work, bullies will often select the brightest high performers and achievers.

School boy angel with wings and halo concept for being clever, good, success in education or smug

Once the bully finds his/her chosen victim, they target that person, sometimes for years until that person either changes schools or workplaces, moves, or dies. Then, once again, the bully will be on the hunt for a replacement victim.

I want you to understand that bullying at any age is born out of cowardice, jealousy, and insecurity. A bully is a pitiful person. Only a lowdown, uneducated, sad, and pathetic person has to have another person to harm. Think about it! School bullies pick on kids they perceive as weak! They stoop so low as to pick on disabled kids! And they do it to feel better about themselves.

Workplace bullies select someone who outperforms them. Only a loser scumbag creep does that! A zero! A sick moron!

So have the courage to call the bully OUT on these things! I realize that there are risks but do it anyway. Your self-esteem is counting on you. Get it in your head right now! Bullies are gutless, pathetic pieces of crap! human filth! toilet scum!

Here’s another fact, most bullies are also narcissists, psychopaths, and sociopaths. Therefore, there is something dark within them that motivates them to bully others.

I’ll say again. It is not your fault. And there is nothing about you that would make anyone mistreat you. So believe that you are a smart, beautiful person! Believe that you are a better person than your tormentors because you are!

Never allow any bully to convince you that you are less than them. Hold on to your faith and your confidence. Counter every negative statement a bully makes.

Bullying Will Diminish the Target’s Ability to Trust Him/Herself

Why? Because the target’s judgement, decisions, and feelings are constantly attacked, negated, and condemned by others. When a target is bullied, they’re taught that, although the abuse they suffer is painful, they either shouldn’t feel, or they have no right to feel that pain because they’re to blame for the abuse they suffer.

Targets are conditioned by bullies, bystanders, even people in authority, friends, and family to just suck it up and negate their own painful feelings. In that, they’re trained either not to understand or to deny their own suffering and that bullies and others are abusing them.

Targets are trained to believe that other people’s vile behavior is their fault and that something is wrong with them, otherwise the bullying wouldn’t be happening to them. Targets are also taught that everything that goes wrong is because of them. In short, they’re taught that the abuse they’re getting is somehow justified.

As a result, targets often withdraw because they become afraid that they’ll only attract bullies and bullying behavior from the people around them. As a result, targets are left feeling confused and inadequate.

Targets are made to think that:

They take things wrong.

They’re too sensitive.

They asked for it or had it coming.

There’s something wrong with the way they are.

There’s something wrong with the way they express themselves.

There’s something wrong with the way they come across to people.

Therefore, targets stop believing in themselves. Even worse, they lose trust in themselves, their abilities, and their capabilities. And once this happens, they become perfect victims for bullies.

Understand that targets suffer many attacks to not only their physical body, but also their psyche and their emotional being.

Even worse, their very souls are tired, their spirits broken, and they don’t understand their own pain nor why they feel it inside.

Being a target of bullying is a hell that no one who hasn’t been there can possibly comprehend. When you’re bullied, you’re in the fight of your life, and for your life. And when I say fight for your life, this doesn’t only means fighting to stay alive, although it can.

“The fight for your life” can mean fighting for your self- esteem. It can mean fighting for your personal power and dignity. It can mean fighting to keep your confidence up and self-esteem from being broken so that the abuse doesn’t affect your grades, performance (at school or work), or worse, your ability to make smart decisions and life-choices. You’re fighting to keep the abuse from effecting your entire future. Most importantly, you’re fighting to maintain your health and your sanity.

Because you’re very much aware that if you allow these people to cause you to lose any of the above, then you unwittingly give them power over your entire life and every aspect of it. You may not end up dead, but you won’t really live, you’ll only exist. And that’s no way to live!

No matter what happens, stay strong. Hold on to everything mentioned above, or as much of it as possible. And most of all, know that there are people out there who care.

Why Bullies Need a Hated Enemy to Be Against

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In Robert Greene’s book entitled, “The Laws of Human Nature,” I once read 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-them” object. Why? Because the presence of an enemy has always served to strengthen group cohesion and unite and tighten members. 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 the 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. Hatred is the glue that binds the members together.

The victim provides the bullies the 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 and then show 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 bullies’ inner workings, the better we can defend ourselves against them.

When You Look into The Face of a Target of Bullying

You see the anguish- the desperately yearning to belong.

You see the hopelessness and despair- the wondering if things will ever get better.

You see the fear- the knowing he/she could be physically or psychologically attacked at any moment, or many even killed.

You see the sadness- the wanting to cry but not daring to for fear of looking weaker than they already look to others.

You see the determination- the determination to survive another day.

You see the silent pleas for help- help that is being denied and seems to never come.

You see the lack of trust in humanity- because the person has been let down too many times. How can that trust be restored?

You see the exhaustion- the weariness of the constant battle they face.

Lastly, you see the yearning for peace- the desperately wanting the war to stop so they can relax, breathe, and not have to fight anymore.