A Detailed, Step-by-Step Description of Mobbing in Progress

Mobbing is THE severest form of bullying. Once the bullying reaches the stage of mobbing, this is when the bullying becomes life-threatening! And if you’ve ever been a target of it, you know firsthand how destructive it is.

The reason that mobbing is so hard to remedy is that not only has it already rendered us so distraught that we’re unable to think clearly, but we aren’t able to name, describe, nor communicate the steps bullies take to destroy us.

A successful smear campaign is started by a bully or bullies who are well-practiced in the arts of persuasion and influence and can last for years.

Here’s something I want you to realize. A smear campaign is nowhere near as tricky as it looks. You’d be amazed at just how simple it is to smear someone. It’s so easy that it shouldn’t be so effective, but it is!

To quote the old Geico commercial, it’s “so easy; a caveman can do it.”

Here’s a chronological, step-by-step recap of how bullies do it and succeed at it:

1. The bullies have a dislike for a specific individual who refuses to conform to their standard of who she should be.

Now all this time, the bullies have been able to influence everyone else and get them to submit to their will and every whim. Then, low and behold, along comes the target (we’ll call her “Cindy”) who’s stubborn and either unable to or won’t submit to the bullies’ control and allow them to change her personality into what they think it should be.

And Cindy may not realize the bullies’ motives and that just by doing her thing, she’s enraging the bullies. So, she goes on about her business, makes plans for her future, makes achievement after achievement, and maybe she gets loads of positive attention and praise from others because she’s so successful and well-liked.

2. Next, the bullies begin to smear Cindy. To implement their smear campaign, they watch Cindy, studying her behavior carefully until they’re able to anticipate her reactions.

3. The bullies then train their audience (i.e., the other classmates or coworkers to expect a specific type of behavior out of Cindy. They point out these behaviors when they occur. The bullies then associate Cindy’s completely innocent behavior with something bad or evil.

For example, let’s say that Cindy is sweet, playful, and likes to engage in a little banter. The bullies watch as Cindy banters with people in the school or workplace. She playfully calls someone a “dummy” or a “goofball,” but others know that it’s all for harmless jokes and think it’s funny because Cindy is a genuinely kind person.

4. So, the bullies begin making offhand comments. They remark that Cindy’s kindness is only an attempt to kiss ass because she wants something from people and that she thinks the people around her really are dummies, but only disguises it under a veil of fun jokes and playfulness.

The bullies also make statements that Cindy thinks she’s cute and that Cindy thinks she’s smarter than everyone else. Then repeat, repeat, repeat!

To quote a propaganda minister to a well-known dictator in history, “Tell a lie once, and it remains a lie. Tell a lie a thousand times, and it becomes the truth.”

5. The next time others see Cindy being kind to and playfully bantering with someone, she doesn’t look so cute, and the banter isn’t so funny anymore. Now people see a side of Cindy they can’t believe they never noticed before.

6. Now feeling smug with gratification, the bullies look at themselves, then at Cindy with smirks on their crooked faces and try the same thing all over again.

7. And before you know it, everyone wonders what they ever saw in Cindy, to begin with. They start having negative feelings toward the poor girl.

8. Cindy begins to pick up on the negative vibes around her and withdraws a little. She doesn’t speak to people as much as she did and doesn’t understand what she did or said to bring it all about. The bullies notice that Cindy is more distant than usual, and they point this out to everyone.

“Hey, look! Do you see that? Now, what did we tell you? Cindy really does think we’re all dummies! She really does think she’s smarter than the rest of us!”

“And her ass-kissing (Cindy’s sweet disposition) didn’t work, so now she’s too good to speak to anyone!”

9. Cindy’s withdrawal only inflames everyone’s feelings of dislike and resentment. Although her becoming distant is only out of self-protection, others mistake it for smugness and arrogance.

10. And it only snowballs from there, getting worse and worse over time. Understand that people are human, and they make mistakes. They misjudge innocent others all the time.

And when bullies condition the whole of a group, school, organization, workplace, or community to see any quality in a particular person as a bad thing, a smear campaign is most effective. So everyone, even those who aren’t bullies and are otherwise kind and compassionate, can become extremely cold and cruel to a target. And everyone repeats the same cruelty, over and over again.

Understand that smear campaigns are just too effective because they can quickly become bullying, then escalate to mobbing, which is the most severe kind of bullying. And once it increases to mobbing, it’s unstoppable, and the only way you can take your life back is to leave that toxic, poisonous environment altogether.

17 thoughts on “A Detailed, Step-by-Step Description of Mobbing in Progress

  1. This happened to me. First, the bully had the blessing of the owners/managers so she could get away with whatever she wanted. Then everyone got in on laughing at me, being mean/cruel like the initial bully. And then manages/owners became bullys (they always were/are psychopaths) and joined in on the fun. And it was all blessed and promoted by the owners! And everywhere I went in the place, bullying was accepted behavior.

    • I’m so sorry to hear this, Ruth. Sadly, that’s what happens in these workplaces. The mobbing is always at the direction of someone in power. They give incentives to other people to mob you.

  2. This happened to me at a Christian school I attended through eighth grade, but I don’t remember how it started…which I guess is a good thing. I had no friends at the school the last two years, even the teachers bullied me. I tried telling my parents, they said I was just being silly, or whatever. Until two things happened…1) my sister was invited to a birthday party of a family friend, but I wasn’t. She said I was too weird and didn’t want me at her party. Neither of us went, and the friendship fell off. 2) One of my teachers told my mom that I would never amount to anything. I heard him say it. I finished the school year there, but I wasn’t forced to stay all day if I didn’t feel comfortable. Luckily, there was only a couple weeks left… The next year we went to public school.

    • This breaks my heart, Holly. That teacher had some nerve telling your mom that! I believe teachers sat things like that about students they don’t like because they secretly hope they live up to it and prove them right. It’s the cruelest thing an adult can ever do to a child. 😥

      • I cried! And my mom read him up one side and down the other! I don’t think he cared that I heard what he said. The worst part is, they’re supposed to be Christians…my mom called them out more than once for their behavior.

        But you know what? I have no feelings one way or another towards these people. That doesn’t mean I want to be around them, but I could really care less.
        I will never step foot in that school/church again, and even though my mom and my friends mom remained distant friends after that birthday party, I didn’t.

        They’re just miserable people, trying to bring everyone else down to their level.

        • You’re so right, honey! They are miserable people. And they aren’t true Christians. Many people go to church and act all sanctified for show. Not everyone who goes to church is a Christian and it’s people like those who give all Christians a bad name. People like your teacher make me sick and I’m glad your mom chewed his butt out! 😡

  3. Wow, Cherie, that was a great runout on bullying and mob mentality. I never really thought about the steps it takes to get there, but we all witnessed it firsthand while 45 was president and we continue to witness it as he sits on the sidelines throwing shade. The scary part is how easy it is to have your reputation ruined. I read somewhere that it takes 10 times as much energy to refute the lies and it really doesn’t even help because while you were rehabilitating lie no. 1, the bully was busy spewing more lies so you can never really catch up. I wonder what an effective anti-bullying campaign looks like. It’s probably not, “bullying is bad” but rather, “here’s what you can do to circumvent the crazy,” although what that looks like I have no idea.

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