Why Many Targets Feel Better When They See Someone Else Being Bullied

This is a difficult thing to admit. However, sometimes when you’ve been singled out for bullying for so long, it can make you feel better if, by chance, you see another person also being bullied. I say this because, years ago, I felt the same way when I saw another kid being treated as badly as I was.

Many targets feel a sense of relief when they see bullies target someone other than them, and it’s not for the reasons most people would think.

It doesn’t mean that these targets enjoy someone else’s pain. It doesn’t mean that the target is sadistic. What it does mean is that the target sees it as confirmation that they aren’t the only one being mistreated.

Let’s be real here. No one wants to be the only one being picked on. No one wants to be alone or the odd man out.

But here’s something else. Anytime you are a regular target of bullying and bullies target someone else, it means that, for once, they’re not bothering you. Because when bullies target someone else, it takes the negative attention off you, and you get a nice little reprieve from all the BS!

Again, what the target feels isn’t pleasure. It’s relief!

I’ll go ahead and tell you the truth. When I was being bullied in school years ago, I felt that same sense of relief any time I saw another person catching heat because, again, not only did I need that confirmation that I wasn’t the only one being bullied, but I also got the break I needed from it.

I’m not say that it’s right amd I certainly wouldn’t feel the same today as an adult. What I am saying is that I was guilty of having those feelings of relief and that a few other targets and survivors have said that they were guilty of having the same feelings.

Although now, I would be angry and would stand up for anyone I see being targeted, I’m sad to say that this wasn’t the case years ago and it wasn’t a good way to be.

With that said, not only should we learn the inner workings of bullies but also those of targets too. When we learn the inner workings of bullies, we get to see what’s behind their desire to abuse others. We also see their motives and intentions for abusing their targets and so, we’re able to outflank the bullies and defend ourselves and others against them.

When we learn the inner workings of targets, we get to see the damage that bullying has caused them. We get to see the anger, the rage, the sadness, the despair, and the hopelessness they feel and, therefore, we’re better able to reach out and help them.

With knowledge comes empowerment!

18 thoughts on “Why Many Targets Feel Better When They See Someone Else Being Bullied

  1. So true Cherie. When we see others going through the torture, we are glad that the attention is off of us. That’s just a normal human response. But as you noted, when we take a deep dive into the workings of bullies we learn how to go on the offense, and with their other targets, we learn how to help them with defense. Great post Cherie, Cherie Coco Pop!!! Thanks for this teachable moment my dear! 🥰📖🤗💖😍🌹😁✨😘

    • You’re most welcome, my fellow deejay! 💖🌺🌷And you’re so right, sweetie! It IS a normal human response and one that can be uncomfortable to admit.💯 Sending you much love, hugs, and smoochies! 😍🤗😘💋🤗😘💋🤗😘💋

  2. Cherie, I don’t think you should beat yourself up for how you’ve acted in your childhood. You were victimized and did not have the strength you possess now. It is awesome that you provide awareness to others so that they should be able to tell their children (and themselves) to stand up for their peers and do what’s right.
    Awesome post..! Keep ‘em coming 😇

    • Thank you so much, Simone! Especially for the assurance! 💖😍🌷🦋 I will definitely keep blogging! Your encouragement is refreshing and I am so grateful to you!

      • My pleasure, dear! It is a true pleasure reading your insightful blogs. And I do think you shouldn’t take the past doings to heart.. as you said you yourself were bullied terribly and can not take the blame for enjoying reprieve. My love to that little girl ♥️

    • Yes it is. Most bystanders clearly don’t want to get involved. What they don’t realize is that if the bullies come for you, they can just as easily come for them too. Then what?

  3. I very much agree and regret that as a young man, it almost felt like a relief when someone else was the target. I always felt like, “What is it about my personality or face that invites the bullies?!” When I was in school, I knew it was mostly due to my size.

    Regardless, I always felt a sense of “dirty”, being thankful the times it was someone else and not me.

    I wish I could go back in time and change that, I can’t, but I can change my approach to bullies as an adult and going forward.

    Thanks for always writing on this topic. Hopefully your words reach a wide population and inspire more change.

    • Thank you so much, Brian. My heart goes out to you. Understand that your feeling of relief is a natural human reaction so please don’t beat yourself up over it. Sending you lots of hugs! 🤗

  4. I’m so sorry that you were bullied. It’s horrible. I was bullied too, I moved schools and it happened every single time. Well, I was the type to stand up for others when they were being bullied as well and it was the very thing that gave me a feeling of relief and empowerment as well – for a change, I wasn’t the one being bullied and I could also do something good for someone else. You don’t have to feel guilty for that sense of relief, it’s natural to not want to hurt any more. Bullying is horrible and nobody should go through it.

    • Thank you so much for your kind comment. I have forgiven myself for it. I realize now that I was a scared kid and yes, I was sick and tired of being hurt. I so appreciate your kindness and encouragement! 😊🤗

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