Ways Bullying Sharpens Your BS Detector

If you were ever a victim of bullying, it more than likely did the same for you. This is not to say that abuse of any form is a good thing because no one should ever be bullied. Ever! However, though painful and humiliating when it was happening, a bullied past has had its positive takeaways, one of which is my fine-tuned ability to smell bulls*** from a mile away.

Judging from my own experience and having heard stories of others who have endured the same, being a target of bullies has a way of giving you an almost psychic ability to see through people and detect true motives and intentions.


It allowed me to observe a large group of people, then spot and pick out the fakes and troublemakers at lightning speed and with accuracy. I don’t have to speak a word to anyone, only stand back and watch.

Just as a person who loses his sight experiences a much keener sense of hearing, a victim of bullying quickly grows the ability to read people like newspapers. Why? Out of sheer necessity. Many survivors can read body language like an FBI agent, deciphering the tiniest of micro-expressions. In fact, one can even pick up on the vibes others put out…especially negative ones.

When any certain skill is mandatory for your survival, nature gives you no choice but to quickly hon that skill and use it to near perfection.

I consider this sixth sense to be a gift. However, this gift came at a heavy price.

With knowledge comes empowerment!

42 thoughts on “Ways Bullying Sharpens Your BS Detector

  1. IMHO, just about every one of us have been the target of bullies for the past couple years, but I’m sure it began decades prior to that. If I’m wrong about that , can someone please tell me when in history we’ve endured a longer ‘2 weeks’ to control ‘the flu’?!?

  2. I had experience with this recently. It was last summer when my wife and I were planning our wedding. Her brother’s girlfriend (I will address her as “T”) offered to let us use her campground as the venue. We said we appreciated that. Then she said she wanted us to come up and see it before we decided for sure.

    I asked my wife, “How far away is their camp?”

    “About two hours,” she said, “and that’s one-way.”

    I hated the idea of making a 4-hour trip for something that would take 15 minutes, but we decided to try and set something up anyway. T suggested that we do this on a Sunday. That was okay, except for the fact that my wife and I get up super early for work on Mondays. Therefore, we asked if it could be at 10:00am or 11:00am.

    T texted, “That is kind of early for us. Can it be around 4:00pm?”

    I turned to my wife and said, “Damn, that’s kind of late.”

    She said, “Well, you know why they want to do it at that time? That’s because my brother’s son is due home at 3:00pm, and they will pass the mother’s house on the way if we go at that time.”

    Ah. First red flag. They wanted to go at a time convenient for THEM, not us. Still, we decided to say “okay” to the following Sunday. At this point, I also want to mention that T said she knew some caterers to whom she could refer us. (It becomes relevant soon.)

    As fate would have it, we got a lot of snow dumped on us when Sunday arrived. We messaged T and said we would have to reschedule. Also, we asked T for two things: (1) in the meantime, could she send us pictures of the campground? (2) Could she give us contact information for the caterers, so we could talk to them directly? Did they have websites or anything?

    T complied with the picture request. However, regarding contact information, she said, “These people do catering on the side. They don’t have websites. I will contact them for you.”

    Again, my wife and I gave each other puzzled looks. This didn’t make any sense. It was OUR wedding. No one would know our budget better than us. What sense did it make for HER to contact the caterers when she wouldn’t know all the things we wanted to ask?

    We didn’t reschedule a time to visit because, after seeing the pictures, we wrote her back and said, “It looks perfect. We will take your offer. Now all we need are the caterers.”

    We got no reply. A couple days (maybe even weeks) passed, and there was no more contact. Finally my wife texted again and said, “Hi, T, any luck with the caterers?”

    There was a text less than five minutes later: “I’m not contacting any caterers until you come up and see the camp.”

    Every single alarm in my head went off at once. I was LIVID. Who the hell did this woman think she was? I wanted to let it all hang out, but I worried about making things awkward for my wife, so I talked to her about what I wanted to say first. She gave the “okay,” so I reached out and said something like this:

    “So that’s how it is, huh? You are going to hold the caterer information hostage until we do what YOU want us to do? Well, in that case, we are going to have to respectfully decline the offer of the campground. This is OUR wedding, but so far you have made it all about YOU. First, you wouldn’t give me the caterer info when I asked for it. Second, you asked us when we wanted to come up, but when we gave you a time, you said no, and I am aware why you said no: it’s so you could drop off the child on your way north. Again, it’s all about your convenience. Third, you are now holding the information hostage until we go up there to see the camp…the same camp you sent us pictures of and we already said ‘yes’ to! If we said ‘yes’ to the pictures, why the hell do we have to drive up there??? We don’t have the TIME or EXTRA GAS MONEY to make a 4-hour trip to do something that would take 15 minutes, tops. Plus, we both work early on Monday. You weren’t charging us to use the camp, but apparently that doesn’t mean it was free because now you are trying to make us pay in other ways, namely by doing everything for OUR special day in the way that YOU want to do it. Well, if that is what it costs to use your camp, then forget it. We will seek another venue. Thank you though.”

    T wrote back with some wimpy, lame reply like, “Wow okay, I didn’t mean it that way. Damn text messages. You can’t hear tone, so things come out the wrong way.”

    Yeah, maybe SOMETIMES that is true, but in this case, I heard her tone loud and clear.,

    My wife and I have dealt with bullies all our lives. The thing is, I’ve been doing an enormous amount of work over the last half decade or so to overcome my timidity, to stand my ground and call BS when I see it, and that is exactly what I did.

    My wife hasn’t quite come out of that shell yet, although she is improving every day. At the time though, she was still on the fence as to whether we should move ahead with T’s camp as our venue still. Luckily, I had the strength to say, “NOPE! If we cave on this, then it’ll be a situation where we wind up caving on everything, and our wedding will be all about THEM, so…no.”

    I was proud of this accomplishment. Even my cousin said to me, “You handled that beautifully. They wanted to take charge, and you said hell no. In that moment, you were the exact partner that your wife needed you to be.”

    I laughed and said, “Wait…aren’t I always?”

    My cousin said, “Most of the time.”

    Well, as they say, we are all works in progress. Hopefully since then, I have become the partner she needs more often. πŸ™‚

    Thanks for the post!

    ~~~Steve

    • Bravo! I’m so proud of you for standing up for yourself and your wife! Some people are control freaks and you have to tell them how it is. And your cousin was right! You were the man your wife needed to be! Good on you! 😊πŸ’ͺ🎊

      • Cherie,

        Thank you. I think I fit the bill more and more with each passing day!

        By the way, although my blog is mainly devoted to Wing Chun Kung Fu, I also post material about mental health and self-esteem that you might enjoy. πŸ™‚

          • Cherie,

            Awesome! I like your content as well. Maybe we could engage in some mutual guest posting: you copy/paste one of my blogs here, I will copy/paste one of yours over there, and on top of that, you can link to your post on me and vice versa. Backlink City! LOL

            Seriously though, i will reach out to you for further discussion. Watch for an email from geekwingchun@gmail.com

          • I’d be honored! I’ll definitely look for it. Just to give a heads up, I’ll be away from home most of the day tomorrow. My husband has to have a series of tests run tomorrow and I need to be with him. Please hope and pray for a good outcome.

      • RoBIN,

        First, thanks for the comment.

        Second, I don’t think that T qualifies as a grifter because that usually means a scam artist. She wasn’t really trying to scam us out of anything, meaning money or belongings. I guess you could say she was trying to scam us out of having our wedding day be about us, but I don’t think that counts.

        Third, you are absolutely right. Over the years what I have found is that if you stand up to a bully, they don’t like it, so they increase the intensity of their bullying in the hopes that you will cave when faced with a new amount of pressure. It’s like they’re saying, “I’m the bully, YOU are the victim. Now get back down to your station!” You just have to have enough energy to deal with the escalation because they WILL run out at some point.

        The key to that is right in what you said: “They SEEM to have limitless energy…” (I added capitalization for emphasis.)

        Right. They SEEM to, but the truth is: they don’t. πŸ™‚

  3. Yes ma’am Cherie, all you need to do is to take a step back, be quiet, and watch. Most of the time you will be able to quickly see that wolf’s tail 🐺 come out of that sheep’s clothing. πŸ‘ What’s inside will definitely come to surface on the outside! FACT!!! Ya just gotta pay attention! πŸ€”πŸ§πŸ˜‰

  4. Every day I am getting more impressed with you. I love reading your insights on such a delicate issue. My brother was a victim of bullying by most of his classmates that I wish to share in one of my blogs. Bullying is the worst thing that could happen to humanity and caused by humans. Excellent post.

  5. Wow! You are so right- I do have the gift – but it did come at a heavy price! Thank you another perceptive article to mull over!

  6. It’s ok to bully a bully if you get the chance. When I was in high school this girl who was much taller than I was would always get in line behind me and snap my elastic. We were in class and she was in my row in front of me so when we had to go up in front of the class to talk I passed her on the way back to my seat. She was sitting so I reached over and pulled the banana clip in her hair down in front of her eyes. The whole class saw me and the teacher said, Chris, why did you do that? I said she always snaps my elastic so I got her back. She acted embarrassed. If you pick a revenge equal to the bullying and wait for your chance do it. Let everyone see so no one else messes with you. Be unpredictable.

  7. Bullying also has different forms. Look for the signs someone might try to bully you. If you feel like someone is trying to pressure you into something, best thing to do is walk away. Because it can turn into bullying real quickly.

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