In most cases of bullying, many targets suffer at the request of a ringleader. They may have friends and allies at first but slowly, one by one, these supporters disappear until there aren’t any left. Do you know why? It’s because the bullies have gotten to these allies and either threatened them for having something to do with the target or offered generous incentives to turn against the target.
Anytime there’s bullying, people outside the bully/target relationship will be influenced and persuaded by the bullies. Many people will instantly conform to the bullies’ way and I discussed why in the post entitled, “10 Reasons Why People Make Excuses for Bullies,” just a couple of days ago. But how do we know when someone has been influenced by bullies? How do we know when our friends have been compromised? Believe it or not, it’s easy to tell when someone is being told what to say, what not to say, and what to and not to do.
1. They will be wishy-washy and flip-flop back and forth. This person will say whatever they’re told to say and that often means they must flip-flop. They say one thing, then later, say the opposite. They say whatever they think will benefit them, or what they believe will keep them out of trouble.
2. They say anything they think people want to hear. You can easily pick these people out if you listen and observe them around different types of people. Understand that folks in this category are puppets!
3. They go with the prevailing belief or narrative. If the prevailing belief or narrative (started by the bullies) is that the target is evil, crazy, a criminal, a whore, take your pick, that’s what the puppets around them will believe. And they won’t dare ask questions. They won’t care if proof to the contrary is available. They’ll only go along with whatever the word of the day is.
And understand that narratives are very flexible. They change like the weather. If you’re a target of bullying, one day you may be deemed crazy or stupid, the next day, you might be a cunning and shady con artist, and a week from now they’ll deem you an ax-murderer. You get the point.
4. They’re social chameleons. They speak and act one way around this group of people, then the exact opposite around another group of people.
Understand that these are people who can’t think for themselves. They flex and bend to anything others tell them. They’re sheep who are easily lead and persuaded.
Such people have no real personality, no backbone, and no beliefs and convictions of their own. When it comes down to it, they’re really quite pathetic and those who are true, real, and authentic (like the target), have no respect for them.
If you’re a target of bullying and you have friends who seem to turn on and off, hot and cold, because of things they hear about you and they don’t even bother to get the facts, you might want to shit-can these wimps and find better friends. Ditch and switch, baby!