It’s not easy for people to distinguish between the real bully and the victim. Bullies are good at making victims look guilty, showing only the victim the worst, most brutal, and evil sides of themselves while showing everyone else their best, sweetest, and most loving halves of their personalities.
The bully may feign sympathy and compassion for her victim by making statements such as,
“I feel so terrible for (victim’s name). I sincerely hope she gets the help she needs before it’s too late.”
Bullies accuse their victims of attacking them when it’s the over way around, and people can quickly get confused and not know who did what to who. That’s one reason it’s so easy to blame the wrong person altogether.
Many times, if you’re a target of such torment, whether people believe you or not depends on their relationship with you and with the bully. If the bully is someone they either like or love, they will take the bully’s word over yours out of loyalty. It won’t matter that the bully is in the wrong. And in many cases, people may know the bully is wrong and even witness the bully’s bad behavior.
Again, they still may take the bully’s side because “that’s their friend” or “that’s their family.” Or maybe they dislike or may even hate the bullying person, but they dislike or hate you even more. So, they choose who they perceive to be the lesser of two evils.
People tend to believe those they care about and disbelieve those they don’t care about or don’t know.
My advice for targets of bullying is this: It pays to have friends and connections. If you don’t have them, find ways of making them, even if you must establish those connections outside of the toxic workplace or learning environment.
They may not be able to help you with your situation in the bullying environment. But what they can do is help you feel so much better about yourself and not feel so alone. And self-care is a must when you’re a target of bullying.
Also, establishing connections and relationships now may pay off in the long run because if you’re a target of bullying at your job, chances are you won’t be working there for much longer. And maybe your outside friends and connections just may work at your next job, and life will be much easier.