That’s what bullying is, a zero-sum game- where the bullies have all the power, and the target has their personal power stolen from them. Bullies believe that in order for them to attain happiness, their targets mustn’t have it- for them to have joy, their targets must suffer. It’s an unhealthy balance not only for the target, but for the bullies too.
To inflict pain on the target makes the bullies feel like kings and queens, like they’re superior to and better than another person. To rule over someone gives bullies a rush of power and control and to keep getting that rush- that power-high, bullies must keep up the torment and even worst, escalate it. In other words, they must continue to expend effort to keep the target from attaining happiness.
Bullies use the target as their scapegoat to blame all their troubles in life on and unleash all their pinned-up hostilities and aggressions on.
If the bully loses out on an award, the target is suddenly to blame.
If the bullies lose a ballgame, it’s the target’s fault.
If one of the bullies has a falling out with another family member, it’s because of the target.
If the bullies couldn’t get laid the night before, the target gets the blame.
If it rained when the bullies wanted sunshine, blame the target.
If the bully made an F on his report card, or didn’t finish a project in time, it’s the target’s fault because the target didn’t let the bully cheat off him or take credit for his work.
The bullies see the target as their sacrificial lamb. They force the target to take the rap for all their mistakes, screw-ups, flaws, and shortcomings. The target is a convenience to the bullies because he/she is a tool to help the bullies forget all about their insecurities, fears, inhibitions, flaws, and imperfections. In other words, the bullies get to unleash all their issues and feel light as a feather while the target must be weighed down with everyone else’s problems. Hence, the imbalance, or more appropriately, the zero-sum.
Even bullies find themselves in situations where they feel weak, indignant, wronged, and where they feel unimportant and unwanted. And the target is just the villain they need to place all their anger, bitterness, and frustrations on.
The target is forced to take all the blame, all the beatings of their soul and spirit, all the abuse while the bullies ride high on dominance and control.
When a target has their personal power taken from them, he then becomes powerless. The game then becomes zero-sum, because it’s the people with all the power against someone who is powerless.
If you’re that target, know that your true power resides within you and it’s something nobody can take away from you unless you unwillingly allow them to. And your power comes with the realization that you deserve to be treated with respect and that you don’t have to tolerate people or environments that are toxic or harmful.
Tap into that power and you’ll be able to tip the scales and restore balance to power. Even better, you’ll find peace and confidence you never thought possible.