Bullying hurts. It’s not the physical beatings in the locker room. It isn’t the trippings in the hallways nor having your books knocked out of your arms. Neither is it the name-calling nor the threats. It’s not the rumors, the lies, and smear campaigns, nor is it the setups to get you into trouble, the jokes or pranks.
It’s the cumulative sum of all factors:
It leaves the target feeling that he’s lost all control over his life and that he no longer has a say in what happens to him- it’s the feeling of having power over nothing!
Is it any wonder that in an attempt to snatch back control over something, anything, many targets soon begin to bully those who are even more vulnerable than them?
Through their own victimization, targets learn that to keep from feeling so powerless, they must bully too. In bullying them, bullies unwittingly teach their targets how to bully.
We call these people bully-victims– people who are both bullies and are targets of other bullies. They bully to feel better about themselves and to ascend a few rungs up the social ladder.
Nobody wants to be on the bottom. Everybody wants to be better than somebody. It’s a sad part of human nature.
Just as people are fighting like crazy to stay on top, others struggle to keep off the bottom. As it is quoted, “Sh¬** rolls downhill and lands at the bottom.”
Person A at the top bullies Person B, who is second from the top.
Person B then bullies Person C, and so on.
And down the pecking order, the nastiness rolls until it lands on Person Z at the bottom. Then, everyone bullies Person Z because Person Z is defenseless! There’s no one for Person Z to bully because he’s the one with the least power of all the others.
Anyone on the bottom is going to catch hell because they’re powerless. And that person will likely be kept on the bottom because no one wants that position. Therefore, everyone keeps Z down to ensure that none of them ever take Z’s place.
That’s how it works, folks!
As long as someone else is on the bottom, it keeps you and everyone else safe from being there. It’s why bully-victims get bullied by pure bullies, then go on to select their own victims to degrade and humiliate.
However, must of the time, this doesn’t turn out good. Because sometimes, bully-victims become worse off then pure bullies or pure victims.
Pure bullies are people who don’t get bullied by other people.
Bully-victims are both bullies and victims of bullying by other bullies. And they bully far more than the pure bullies do because they have more to prove.
Bully victims are far more hated and ostracized than pure bullies or pure victims. They’re lonelier and have few friends or none at all.
Bully-victims often resort to trickery and deceit. Many are pathological liars, cheats, fakes, and sneaks. They believe that humans are the lowest forms of life on earth. Bully-victims tend to be Machs.
Understand that bully-victims need help. They need someone to get it through their heads that just because people are bullying them doesn’t make it okay to turn around and bully someone else.
But tell them lovingly and with patience because they’re badly hurting inside themselves and need someone to listen to them and gently guide them in the right direction.
Here’s something which most targets of bullying don’t realize. Not even I knew this at the time I was being bullied.
You teach people how to treat you. And how do you teach them this? By how well you treat yourself– by what you will and will not put up with and by the boundaries you set.
Sadly, after being bullied and abused for so long, a person can be conditioned to accept and allow bad behavior and disrespect from other people. Remember that prolonged bullying is a form of brainwashing and hypnosis. It slowly rewires your brain and forces you to “let” people walk over you.
However, know that it doesn’t have to be this way. You can retrain your brain and reclaim your dignity and the life you so deserve.
To put it plainly, you can either allow unsavory people into your life, letting them abuse and degrade you or you can put your foot down, call them on their unacceptable behavior, and give them the old heave-ho. You decide.
I have to admit. When I was being bullied years ago, I unwittingly let my classmates tear me down. I gave them the power to determine how I felt about myself- the power that never belonged to them in the first place.
I didn’t have the courage to stand up to them properly and I let the hurtful words and the physical assaults make me feel terrible about myself.
I gave up on schoolwork and my grades plummeted. I gave up on my talents and stopped doing what I enjoyed. I allowed them to turn me against myself.
I can’t even pretend it was all their fault. Because I allowed them to steal my confidence- without knowing it or meaning to, of course. Nevertheless, I let it happen, so some of the blame is on me.
But the good news is, they may have brought me down but they couldn’t keep me there. Eventually, I wised up and saw my value as both a human being and as a woman.
I can’t stress enough the importance of loving yourself first and foremost. Love should come from within and you should never look to any outside source for it. Love yourself and all of your imperfections, for we are all “perfectly flawed.”
Accept and respect yourself. You don’t have to do anything you don’t want to do to be accepted and for someone to love you. If a person does not want to see you for the beautiful person that you are, you can’t make them. However, you do have the choice of whether or not to keep them in your life.
With bullies, however, this may or may not change their behavior toward you, and the worst-case scenario might even make it worse. However, you aren’t looking to change anyone’s attitude, you’re looking to take care of yourself and to achieve your own peace and happiness.
It’s not about changing them, it’s about looking out for yourself and keeping your dignity and self-respect. It’s about taking appropriate measures to make you feel good.
Know your worth. Open your eyes to your value. And treat yourself better. Because if you don’t treat yourself right, no one will.
“Courage is fire and bullying is smoke.”
~ Benjamin Disreali ~
One of the greatest victories against bullies is reaching your full potential. Here are ways you can do it!
1. Don’t worry about what other people think. In life, there will be those who will try to tear you down, especially if they know you’re striving to reach a goal. But you don’t mind because they don’t matter. Don’t let them discourage you. No matter what they say, keep shooting for the stars. And don’t stop until you reach your dreams.
2. Weed out all the Negative Nancies and Debbie Downers. Yes! Get rid of all the gossips, whiners, complainers, bullies, and all the people who make you feel bad and suck the oxygen out of you. Surround yourself with positive and uplifting people- people who help you, not those who hinder you.
3. Never be afraid to be alone. Trust me; you’d rather be by yourself than keep company with people who are negative and drain the lifeblood out of you. Negative people are exhausting, and you will need all your energy stores to reach your highest potential. And if you have a partner who doesn’t treat you right nor appreciates the value you bring to a relationship, then perhaps it’s time to re-evaluate the partnership, get clear on the kind of partner you want in your life and give this person their walking papers.
4. Don’t quit. Don’t give up when it seems like progress isn’t happening fast enough or when the going gets rough. Keep plugging at it! Because sometimes, things are their toughest just before you finally get your breakthrough.
5. Believe in yourself. To succeed at anything, you must believe in yourself. If you don’t, no one else will, and you won’t accomplish anything. Without faith in yourself and your abilities, you won’t have the morale to keep working toward your dreams. If you need to rest, then do so. But whatever you do, don’t quit!
You will have to do all of these before you ever find your confidence and reach peace and happiness. It won’t be easy but I promise. It’ll be worth it in the end!
It’s not what you say; it’s what you don’t say. When bullies wish to harm someone, the silent treatment can the most effective way of doing so. It is a cruel and sneaky way of control.
Remember that bullies are cowards, and they will find the most effective and least noticeable ways to dig at you
Here are the reasons bullies use this tactic:
1. It’s least noticeable by others. It leaves no bruises, cuts or scratches, so there’s no physical evidence. This type of bullying is also hard to prove because it’s not easily seen. Therefore, it isn’t wise to report this type of bullying. Because people may see the target as overly sensitive, paranoid, or mentally unbalanced.
2. It’s the most effective. Understand that the silent treatment is emotional manipulation. So, you must see it as just that. When you’re able to see it for what it is, the least likely you are to be affected by it. Bullies know that it’s the most covert way to assert control over their targets and make them doubt themselves.
3. For control, dominance, and intimidation– Again, bullies use this dirty trick to control how you feel and to dominate you. People also use the silent treatment to intimidate.
4. To manipulate you into doing what they want you to do– Everyone has a desire for approval. However, if being accepted means they force you to do something you don’t want to do, then you’re more than likely spinning your wheels for nothing. Anyone who doesn’t respect your boundaries and wishes will never accept you anyway because a person who truly approves of you would respect your rights and freedom to choose.
5. To make you feel guilty– Again. Because you didn’t do or give the bullies what they want, they intend to make you feel as if you did something wrong. You didn’t!
You must realize that if you let it get to you, it will only encourage the bullies to keep doing it anytime you don’t cave in and do their bidding or give them what they want.
So, how can you respond to this type of bullying?
1. See the silent treatment for what it is: emotional manipulation When you finally recognize it as it is, the least you’ll be bothered by it.
2. Mirror the bullies by returning the silent treatment. When you give it right back to them, you’re not allowing them to control and intimidate you. You’re preserving some sense of power over your life by not allowing the bullies to phase you.
3. Cut those childish buffoons out of your life. Do it either entirely or have as little to do with them as humanly possible. You don’t need to be around these confidence thieves. Realize that you don’t have to put up with that.
4. Stay calm. Don’t get emotional. Exhibit self-control and don’t get sucked into the bullies’ mind games.
5. Call them out. Tell them, “Look. What you’re doing is called the silent treatment, and that’s not okay. You can’t possibly keep up this childish behavior forever, and it’s not going to work.
6. Enjoy the peace and quiet. There’s a bright side to this. At least the bullies aren’t in your face for the time being. You get a reprieve from hearing them bitch and pitch their hissy fits! Woohoo! Who doesn’t love that!
Word of warning though. Make sure you don’t give your bullies clues that you’re enjoying the peace a little too much. Otherwise, they’ll be back on your tail before you can say, “oops.”
Do all the above, and the bullies might leave you alone and move on to an easier target.
You’ll feel much better about yourself knowing you stood up to them and asserted your rights not to be manipulated.
“You can only let someone throw so many stones at you before you pick them all up, put them together, and build a wall to keep them from doing it again.”
~ Unknown ~