It’s especially painful when those you thought were friends suddenly go turncoat. It’s not the bullies who hurt you the most, it’s the betrayal from friends and the silence of the bystanders. Understand that during a smear campaign, your friends will be at the top of your bullies’ list of people they wish to win over to their side. They will also be the first people your bullies will go to. Here’s why:
1.Bullies know that if they can get the people you care about and trust the most to turn against you, they’ll be able to strike a devastating blow! Having the bullies themselves, total strangers, or people you don’t care much about turn against you is painful, don’t get me wrong. But it’s much easier to take than if it’s someone you care about. Nothing hurts worse than having the people you love most and think highly of turn against you.
2. By persuading your most cherished friends to turn against you, your bullies take away much needed social support. If they can isolate you from your friends, bullies know that you’ll become stressed and your performance and activities will take a hit. This will make it much easier for them to bully you.
3. Your friends know the most intimate details about you and your life. Bullies know that if they can get your friends to turn against you, then they will have complete access to the most private details about you. Your friends will most likely know your deepest, darkest secrets and your weaknesses. They may also know about any future plans you’re making and anything you may have said about the bullies or anyone else in the toxic environment.
4. Because bystanders may turn against you too. People will figure that if your own friends turn against you, then damn! You must really have it coming! You must have really done something lowdown and dirty!
They’ll think that maybe you slept with your best friend’s boyfriend or spouse. Maybe you stole from them. Maybe you emotionally abused their child. When others see that your own friends have turned against you, all these above possible reasons immediately come to mind. That’s the worst thing about being hung out to dry.
So, if your own friends turn against you, why would anyone else be fool enough to have anything to do with you?
I would definitely stick with my friend because I’d know what kind of person my friend is. But! To tell you the truth, if I didn’t already know the person in question, I don’t know how I would handle it. If the targeted person was a total stranger, I don’t know if I would want anything to do with the person either. I’m only human and I make mistakes like everyone else. And my first priority is keeping myself safe, as it would be any bystander.
It hurts me to have to admit that. I would hope that I would be able to see through the smokescreen. I think that I would be able to quell my own fear and try to get the facts before judging the person- I would try to do that. But if there was no way I could find the truth, I would stay away from the person out of concern for my own safety and not because I hated them for no reason. We all hope that we would be able to do the right thing.
This is how people get thrown under the bus. Know that bullies understand how it works and they will play it to the hilt. Here’s another thing I want you to understand about your bullies:
If you are a target of bullying, no amount of pain you suffer will ever be enough for your bullies. They will always want more suffering- more, more, and more! Bullies have an obsessive blood-lust for their victims and their hunger for the victim’s pain will never be satisfied. Please keep that in mind if someone targets you for bullying and handle the bully accordingly.
The key here is to know what to expect and prepare for it. Only then will you be able to strategize and outflank them. Also, realize that if people do turn against you, they never were your friends, to begin with, and you must refuse to associate with them for your own protection and dignity.
With knowledge comes empowerment!