Don’t Fall into The Conformity Trap

Some rules, standards and laws exist for good reasons. Those that are sensible help keep society safe and without them, we’d live in a state of constant anarchy. However, if the rules, standards, or laws are blatantly ridiculous or downright dangerous, than we have a duty not to obey them, or at the very least, question them.

Most bullies wield power by making up rules and standards that are either laughable or unhealthy for the rest of us. And many targets try so hard to conform to their bullies’ rules and standards to fit in and because they think that their conformity will make the bullying stop. Sadly, this usually doesn’t work for targets. The hard truth is, conformity works for everyone else, yes, but rarely works for targets.

Why? Because they are targets and nothing else.

When others conform, they will be rewarded, but when a target conforms, they’ll only be bullied worse because the people around them will automatically presume that the target is conforming solely to keep out of trouble and get on everyone’s good side.

People will only see the target’s conformity and positive behavior as a form of manipulation and feel that the target only has ulterior motives behind it. And they will respond with deep anger and repugnance. The target will be branded a con artist. A grifter! A fake!

Bullies see anyone’s attempts to manipulate them as an unspoken message that the person doing the manipulating thinks they’re stupid. And bullies won’t stand for being thought of as dumb, especially by those they deem inferior. To bullies, that’s slap in the face!

This is one reason targets shouldn’t conform to their bullies, but here’s another reason:

Anytime you conform to the rules, standards or wishes of someone else- that is, someone who isn’t your boss, your teacher, your parents, etc., you deny your own wants and needs. You give up your autonomy and dignity, and ultimately, surrender to the bullies. This can take a huge toll on your self-esteem and after so many times, you’ll begin to feel terrible about yourself and regret that you ever conformed to those creeps.

Anytime you conform to bullies, you allow yourself to be subjugated. You become their subject, their slave, and their prisoner. And that doesn’t feel good at all.

You end up looking (and feeling) weak- like a wimp, a wuss, a pansy! You’ll only be ridiculed by everyone because you’ll look pathetic to them. They’ll see you as a bootlicker, a brown noser, a stooge!

It doesn’t matter how good or bad you are, bullies and everyone who sees you getting bullied only percieve you as a target and nothing else. And chances are, they will always see you that way. Therefore, if you can’t satisfy anyone else, then satisfy yourself by holding on to your dignity. And how you hold on to your dignity is to never conform to anything the bullies tell you.

Be strong and say no. Refuse to kowtow and bow down to them. They might retaliate and bully you worse for your refusal to give them what they want but trust me. They are going to bully you anyway whether you do or don’t, so why not make it count?

With knowledge comes empowerment!

The Bullying Survivor

The survivor of bullying who escapes the abuse first comes out with shock, anger, and sadness. But once the healing is underway, they’re filled with renewed hope.

When school or workplace bullying experiences have exposed you to the darkest sides of human nature, you have a stronger sense of your own endurance and capability. This is all because of what you have endured and were able to overcome.

You never know your own strength until you’ve overcome bullying, especially severe and chronic bullying.

Another takeaway is that the survivor has a stronger sense of people. She can smell fakery and BS from a mile away and can spot bullies before even talking to them. The survivor pays closer attention to how people carry themselves, body language, and the vibes and energy others put out.

survivors x-ray eyes

He is better able to avoid people who might want to harm him because he’s learned, the hard way, the importance of listening to his gut instinct and heeding it anytime something is even the slightest bit “off” about a person. In short, the survivor of bullying has learned that it’s okay, even paramount, that he trusts himself, and in that, his feelings and judgement.

On the other side of bullying, a survivor learns and develops the determination never to conform to the standards and criteria of others, but to live life on her terms because she knows what it’s like to be a slave to the approval of others. She knows what it’s like to be a prisoner to outside influences. She knows the powerlessness of having one’s pleasure depend of the permission of others. She knows what it’s like to be forced to apologize for simply being who she is and she’s not having any of it!

Overcoming past abuse gives the survivor a restored and refined sense of his worth and knowledge of the immense value he brings to this world. He awakens to his goodness and realizes that yes! He is worthy of love, friendship, affection, and of all the best things in life. He also realizes that he is loved and always was no matter what all those vile people told him!

The survivor of bullying ends up with a much clearer vision of what she will not tolerate nor settle for. She is unmovable in her refusal to kiss arse or bow down to anyone no matter what the cost may be. She’s spent enough years living on her knees and if she’s going to be punished for her unwillingness to kowtow, she’ll suffer those consequences standing up.

The survivor of bullying is also a fierce warrior for other victims. If he sees another person being bullied, he’s will stand up for that person and go toe to toe with the bullies to protect the target.

The survivor who has overcome bullying isn’t afraid to say no, nor to walk away from any relationship that doesn’t fulfill and nourish him. He refuses to be stuck in any environment that doesn’t allow him to grow and flourish.

The survivor is more aware than ever of what she deserves and goes after it with resilience and tenacity. Life’s given her enough of what she doesn’t want and now it’s time for her to go get what she knows is due her.

The survivor realizes, probably more than anyone, that life is short, and you only get one shot in this world. And she works diligently to create the life she knows she deserves, and she does it without guilt. She knows that she’s not entitled nor privileged. She realizes that the big bad world owes her nothing. And that’s okay.

The survivor realizes that there’s no such thing as a free ride because, heck, no one ever gave him anything but hell. What he understands more than anything as that all you have is you and the only person you can depend on is you. So, he knows that reaching his goals and dreams is up to him and him alone. And he works toward what he wants with a fervor.

The survivor of bullying makes it a point never to take anyone for granted but lets her family and friends know that she loves and values them. Why? Because she knows what is like to be alone, unwanted, and abused and she would never want anyone- especially the people she cares about feel that way or endure it.

The survivor of bullying savors every wonderful moment, every positive encounter, and every happy event because he has seen enough negativity.

What the survivor enjoys more than anything else is wonderful relationships and happy moments, and most of all, she’s grateful for them. She also enjoys helping others who go through what she once endured. And she uses her experiences to encourage them and give them hope.

Sometimes, you must be torn down to be built up again. Sometimes you must first be dejected and left lonely before you can truly appreciate the family and friendships you have later. And sometimes, it takes being forced into the chains of others’ approval and validation before you can enjoy the freedom of self-love and the indifference to the opinions of those who don’t matter and, perhaps, never should have mattered.

With knowledge comes empowerment!

7 Benefits Bullies Reap at the Target’s Expense

Bullies aren’t just a pain in the butt; they’re power-hungry confidence thieves who can wreak havoc on your life if you aren’t careful. Understand that the laws of human nature dictate that no one does or says anything without some sort of psychological benefit.

Bullies reap several benefits at your expense if you’re a target. Here is a list of those benefits:

1. A sense of power – bullies bully for power, control, and domination. Anytime a bully takes a victim down, they get a tremendous rush of power and become addicted to that rush. This is why bullies never bully once. They always come back for more.

It’s no different from being a drug addict. The evil actions, cruelty, and power become a drug in and of themselves.

Also, as with any drug, the same tactics and frequency of bullying lose their potency after a while, so the bully must escalate the torment to keep getting the rush they crave.

For example, when name-calling and verbal abuse of the target lose the thrill they once gave and begin to get boring, bullies will often escalate to either cruel pranks, humiliation, or physical assault and battery to keep getting the rush they look for. It’s the same as when a drug addict builds a drug tolerance and begins taking higher doses.

2. Popularity – Bullies bully because, sadly, many people think it’s cool or cute. Bullying gives the bully lots of attention and visibility from others. Bullying is a way for bullies to exert power and sadly, in toxic work and learning environments, it gains them the popularity they crave.

3. Superiority – Bullying gives the bully an appearance of strength and sends a message to those around him that he’s a badass, and they’d be a fool to mess with him. The bully also gives the appearance that he’s top dog.

4. Attention and Sympathy – if the bully can make the targeted student look like the bad guy, he gets to enjoy the attention and bask in the sympathy others give him.

5. Distraction from their own shortcomings – Bullies are experts at making the target look weak and pathetic. If the bully can distract everyone else’s attention to the victim’s flaws, weaknesses, and shortcomings, he can keep the spotlight off his own defects and imperfections. Because if people expect to see trouble coming from a specific place, that’s where they’re going to look.

6. Projection of their own flaws onto someone else – Bullies have a flare for accusing their targets of the same deplorable behavior of which they are guilty. If the bully can make the target look like the bully, then the real bully can go unpunished and continue to attack the victim freely and with impunity. Again, it also takes the focus off his own misdeeds.

7. The satisfaction and gratification of seeing the target suffer – Bullies love to see their targets suffer. For the bully, the victim’s misery is entertainment and gives them a rush of power. Just know they can determine how the target feels and how their day goes gives them a feeling of dominance.

Don’t give them the satisfaction. Be a waste of time and energy to them. The way to do this is to see the bully for the weak punk they really are- bullies bully because they’re great big cowards. They have no persuasion skills. In fact, they have no redeemable qualities. Therefore,  the only way they cam be effective is to bully their way through life. Keep this in the back of your mind.

With knowledge comes empowerment!

6 Things That Happen When You Call a Bully’s Bluff

As we all know, bullies are convincing liars. But what happens when they finally get called out on their lies and evil deeds. Let’s use scenarios to find out.

For example, you’re a target of bullying. You find out that the one friend you thought you could trust has been spreading your deepest secrets and spreading lies behind your back while only pretending to be your best buddy (This can apply to both school and workplace environments). When you confront her, here are her possible reactions.

1. She will deny it or, at the least, try to avoid the subject. How you’ll know she’s dishonest? She will change the subject by talking about a topic irrelevant to the issue while appearing to be busy doing a task. Girls are known for this.

2. She will become irate and go on a tirade. She may even yell and curse at you. She may turn it back on you and accuse you of being paranoid, crazy, a crybaby, etc. But understand that she only looks and sounds desperate when she does this. Know that this is just another dead giveaway, and most bullies get highly defensive when they’re afraid they’re busted.

Understand that most bullies will get loud. They scream, yell, and pound their fists, curse, and swear when they fear exposure. However, don’t let this scare you because the dramatics and theatrics they display only mean that the bullies are desperate!

3. She will lay guilt trips on you.

“Well, if you were my friend, you wouldn’t believe…”

“If you were a true friend to me, you wouldn’t even question my loyalty.”

Don’t buy that garbage. The person is just trying to make you feel guilty or trying to intimidate you into silence. If your so-called friend was the only person you told any secrets to or knows about your life outside of the school, workplace, or organization, it’s a safe bet they’re guilty. And if enough people tell you that she is saying things behind your back, especially people you’ve never met or had any dealings with or people who aren’t a threat to you, she’s guilty!

Example 2: You have a bully on your back, and you’ve finally had enough. You call him/her out on his/her bad behavior and begin speaking out about the abuse she dishes out.

4. She will escalate the harassment to either punish you or intimidate you and shut you down. Understand that the bully is afraid of being exposed, facing accountability, and losing face and will stop at nothing to silence you.

5. He will justify himself with full conviction.

“If you didn’t always make trouble, I wouldn’t have had to hurt you!”

“If you weren’t so stupid, I wouldn’t give you such a hard time!”

“You made me do it because you always do this when you should do that!”

“If you would just do this, I wouldn’t have to do that!”

“You won’t shut up, so you deserve it!”

Again, don’t believe a word of it! Continue to report the harassment. You must protect yourself by speaking just as loud and with just as much conviction as the bully. Make plenty of noise because the wheel that squeaks loudest gets the grease!

6. She will slander you to everyone who will listen to her and try to turn others against you. Again, understand that this bully is afraid of being exposed. So she spreads rumors and lies to discredit you by distracting others from her appalling and embarrassing behavior by making you look like the guilty party.

If the bully can make you look bad and turn everyone else against you, she reaps several benefits.

a. She can intimidate you into silence and avoid any future risks of exposure.

b. She can discredit you, make herself look like the victim, and, therefore, gain attention and sympathy from other people.

c. She can successfully cut you off from any support you might otherwise receive.

d. She gets the green light to bully you again later and with impunity.

e. She gets to move up the social ladder and win more friends and allies.

f. She gets the satisfaction of maintaining power, domination, and control over another person.

As goes the old political quote from World War II, “Accuse the other side of that which you are guilty.”

People pointing a woman hidden behind a computer

Understand that any smear campaign is designed to protect the guilty bullies from being exposed and shift blame onto innocent victims. It’s a tactic used since the beginning of time!

So, don’t shut up no matter what! Continue to call out the bullies’ behavior! And if they react like any of the above, tell them like it is.

Say this:

“The tirade isn’t going to work anymore” or “Go ahead and lie all you want. Everybody knows this is only retaliation because I had the gall to expose your deplorable behavior! Right,(the bully’s name)? Is that what this is, (Bully’s name)?”

Be sure to say the bully’s name at the end of the above questions because that really shakes a bully when you put his/her name on it!

If the bully says, “No!” Tell her in a fast and short tone, “Oh, yes it is, and you know it, (Bully’s name)!”

Counter. Everything. She. Comes. Back with!

Arrogant, Narcissistic Bullies- Give Them Enough Rope…

Narcissistic bullies are such good actors, aren’t they? They’re good at going undetected, flying under the radar, and making themselves out to be better than what they are while making you look like the fool or the bad guy. But the good news is that sooner or later, people such as these usually wind up telling off on themselves somehow, someway, without even realizing it until it’s too late and the cat’s already out of the bag.

I’ve seen it happen before too many times when narcissistic bullies grew a little too confident. They got too sure of themselves, too loud, too obnoxious, too flippant, and then, they got stupid! They ended up unintentionally outing themselves!

Perhaps the narco didn’t realize a person in authority nearby when he got too loud and shot off his mouth. Or maybe she accidentally left a damning piece of evidence lying about and didn’t cover her tracks as well as she could have. Then again, perhaps the Narc-bully wove such a big web of lies and finally got tangled in it, or pushed things a little too far and made people not want to be around them. Either way, in the end, the narcopath stepped in it!

Understand that these types are always pushing boundaries as far as they can. Give these people an inch, and they take a mile. But give them a mile, and they take ten. With a Narco, it’s never enough. Standing up to these idiots is useless because you’ll only arouse their narcissistic rage, and they’ll spend the rest of their natural lives hunting for you and trying to get back at you. With a narcissist, everything is tit for tat, and the fight soon becomes exhausting for the victim of such erratic behavior.

These people have a “Divine Right of Kings” mentality. So, don’t fight or try to get back at a narcissistic bully because, trust me, they’ll never stop. They’ll only keep coming after you. Instead, just sit back, let the narco rant and rave and act like you don’t care. While they shout, curse, and foam at the mouth, continue to rock it- grey rock it, that is! Go no contact if it’s possible because people like these are dangerous and can hurt you.

But rest assured that eventually, the narcissist bully will screw up, and karma will visit them. They may not learn their lesson and change (few narcs ever do), but they always get what they deserve in the end, especially when they get old.

I knew a young nurse who was a narcissist bully, even had the displeasure of working with her for a while. Eventually, she got caught stealing opiates from the nursing home, where she held Director of Nursing’s title. The nursing home owners fired her, and soon after, the state revoked her license to practice as a nurse. After losing her nursing license, her husband divorced her. She then worked at one of the local cafés as a waitress before becoming ill and finally dying. Her whole life went down the crapper, and this woman had a sad and miserable ending.

I’ve even known a few elderly narcissists, and trust me. They live the most miserable and lonely existence of anyone I know. They’re the most bitter, angry, demanding, and ornery people you’ll ever meet. And why not? They’ve steamrolled others all their lives and now have no one to come for a visit nor to help them when they need it. And it’s sad!

People who know the person always make it a point to stay far away! And if by a minuscule chance some poor, unsuspecting sucker does come around, I can tell you that after spending enough time getting to know the person, they won’t be able to get out of there fast enough!

I know it seems that no one will hold these bullies responsible for their mean-spirited words or actions. I realize that narcissistic bullies have a talent for pouring on the charm and hoodwinking people into believing that they’re such good people. I understand that these types are so intimidating that they force people to take sides with them and give them what they want. And yes, I know that none of it is fair (and whoever said that life was?).

But rest assure. God doesn’t like ugly, and eventually, everything comes full circle. It may take a long time, but narcissist bullies always get back what they dish out in the end.

With knowledge comes empowerment!