“You ‘Made’ or ‘Make’ Me…”, Statements Bullies Use to Intimidate Victims and Justify Themselves.

Businessman blamed unfairly

When you are or were bullied, did your bully ever justify their horrific treatment by making statements such as, “You ‘made me’ do it!”? I’ll bet that you have. Bullies often make the following statements to their targets to justify their behavior and intimidate the poor targets into keeping silent.

“You ‘made me‘ or ‘make me’ hit you!”
“You ‘make‘ people want to hurt you!”
“Don’t ‘make me‘ hurt you!”
“Don’t ‘make me‘ mad!”

These are all statements bullies use to gaslight targets and to brainwash them into believing that they did cause them (the bullies) to lash out.

I can’t count the times I heard these from my classmates and I must admit, it was very hurtful and intimidating. However, I look back now and realize that this was only my bullies’ ways of shifting the blame my way because they were so afraid that I would call them out on their terrible behavior and expose them for the trash they truly were. They also wanted to maintain the upper hand.

The key words in these sentences are either “made” or “make” and they are very telling if you really stop and think about it.

If you are a victim of bullying, expect those kinds of remarks. But understand that these are classic statements bullies make to shift the blame your way and to avoid losing their power over you, being caught and the possibility of facing consequences. Please keep this in mind the next time this happens.

Peeling the mask off the bully one layer at a time.

Advertisements

Bullying and Social Contagion

Bully Grabbing Angry Nerd

First, let’s define the term, “Social Contagion”. It is the spread of thoughts, ideas, emotions and behaviors from person to person and among larger groups as affected by shared information, mimicry and conformity.

A certain emotion or mood can spread quickly through a large crowd, leading them to extreme mindsets. This explains “pack mentality” where people in large groups act in ways they may later regret.

It is the same with bullying. A target is selected by a few bullies out of the whole class, workplace or community and before you know it, the entire student body, workplace or neighborhood is acting in evil and brutal ways toward the selected target- doing sadistic things that, under normal circumstances, they would never do. Intense hate spreads throughout the group like a cancer. Bystanders, witnesses, even teachers, school officials, supervisors, and managers will partake in the abuse of the singled-out and defenseless target.

They do this for several reasons:

1. To keep from being the next target
2. To fit into the group
3. To feel better about themselves and superior to someone (anyone).
4. They believe any lies/rumors about the target
5. To tighten bonds among themselves- using the target as the common enemy to unite against

In order to beat bullies at their own game, we must first know what makes them tick and why they do what they do. Once we learn the bully mindset, we will be able to better protect ourselves against them.

Peeling the masks of the bullies one layer at a time!

Why My Former School Bullies Never Left Oakley *

23736371_1618247488261822_6266122932610703971_o

They wouldn’t survive anywhere else. In Oakley*, they know people in high places. They have connections in town they would never have anywhere else and they fall back on those connections to get jobs, opportunities, and certain protections. So why would they leave? They would never get those perks anywhere else and no one in any other area would put up with their crap. They would have to live and take credit strictly on merit, rather than who they were, who they were related to or who they were friends with during high school. Therefore, they play it safe and stay in the same town they grew up in.
They eat in the same restaurants, frequent the same boring spots and pal around with the same boring people they hung with in high school. You’d think they would get tired of doing the same old stuff after thirty years.

Remember that bullies are cowards at heart. They don’t take risks and will never venture outside their comfort zones. They will never leave the confines of their familiar surroundings or their cliques. They may go on vacation from time to time but would never leave town for an extended period of time.

They also have no tolerance for people outside their circle of friends and it’s not because there’s anything wrong with those people. It’s because my former bullies are intimidated by anyone outside of their cliques and especially outside of their town. Could it be that maybe anyone outside of their circle and element might be smart enough to figure out who they really are? Or even worse, ballsy enough to call them out? After all, bullies fear exposure most of all.

Peeling the masks of the bullies one layer at a time.

(*Not the name of the town)

Othello’s Error, Another Reason Targets of Bullying Often Take Blame for Actions of Bullies

dreamstime_s_23724018

It’s called Othello’s Error on the parts of teachers, principals school officials, supervisors and managers. It comes from Shakespeare’s play, “Othello”, in which the main character, Othello assumes that his wife, Desdemona is having an affair based on her nervous response when he questions her.

In reality, Desdemona is innocent but the aggressive and volatile nature of Othello and his intimidating questions make the poor lady nervous and Othello takes this as a sign of guilt. It is often the same in real life.

Often, when a person is questioned and shows nervousness, most accusers and witnesses misread the response and take it as a sign that the person is lying or is hiding something. It’s how so many people have gotten blamed for something they didn’t do. Just as nervousness is too often mistaken for deception, the show of confidence is mistaken for honesty and trustworthiness. As we all know, bullies are well-known for feigned confidence and false bravado.

William Shakespeare

Victims of bullying are always nervous and rightfully so. Who wouldn’t be if they were constantly abused, shamed, name-called, threatened and physically attacked? And people are notorious for rushing to the first possible explanation which fits what they want to see. Should it why any wonder why victims are blamed, and bullies go scot free?

After the abuse goes on for so long, victims learn to expect more of the same and they usually get it, because the Law of Attraction dictates that expectation of such treatment more, more, then, even more, making the victim more nervous with each occurrence. As the victim grows more and more nervous, bystanders and authority grow more and more suspicious of the poor target of bullying!

The fact is that nervousness has several reasons and the mistake is often in the decoding of it and not the observation!

Targets of Bullying, Here’s Why You Have So Many Reasons to Live!

dreamstime_xs_51997270

If you are a person being bullied and are considering suicide, this message is for you! Please hold on. Stay strong. Continue the fight. Know that you deserve love and friendship just as everyone else does. Know that you are just as good as everyone else. Above all, rest assured that life will get much better! Instead of thinking of reasons why you should take your own life, think of reasons why you shouldn’t because I can think of several because there are so many reasons to keep living.

Let me put this another way. If you resort to suicide, you will cheat yourself out of the possibility of one day overcoming your present circumstances and out of so many exciting firsts. You will cheat yourself out of so many wonderful years that lie ahead.

dreamstime_m_5381347

If you’re under 16, you will cheat yourself out of driving a car for the very first time and let me tell you! That feeling of sliding in the driver’s seat, behind the wheel of a car and your hands on the steering wheel? There’s nothing like it! It’s one of the most liberating experiences!

dreamstime_xl_37284171

You will also miss out on prom and high school graduation, another one of the most exciting and hopeful times of life.

dreamstime_xl_18250243

You will also forfeit the magic of falling in love and the joy of marrying your soulmate. And I can tell you that love is one of the most intoxicating and fulfilling experiences life has to offer!

dreamstime_xl_5943798

And lastly, you’ll forgo the beautiful experience of having your first baby! I want you to imagine yourself, five or ten years into the future: You’re married to your spouse and you’ve become a new parent. You’re holding that precious little life in your arms for the first time and gazing into that precious, tiny face! You’re now able to have a life beyond your own! You’re holding that soft, tiny body against your chest and watching it sleep against you! I can’t explain what that feels like or the love and joy that goes with it!

You have so many firsts…so many magical and beautiful moments yet to experience and enjoy, so much beauty yet to behold and so many awesome people, potential friends and family yet to meet!

However, if you die by your own hand, you’ll cheat yourself out of all of it! On the other hand, if you’re patient and you keep fighting, life will reward you with such beautiful moments!

Another thing I want you to consider is that if you give up, the bullies will automatically win! That’s right! Your bullies will win and you will lose! Do you really want to let them win? Do you really want to give them such an easy victory? Think about it for a minute. Really think!

As long as you are alive, there’s always a chance that things will improve…and improve drastically! But once you’re dead, that chance dies with you and there’s no coming back! Death is final and there are no do-overs! So, if you ever consider suicide, I beg you! Talk to a close family member and if you can’t talk to a family member, talk to someone! A loved teacher, a trusted friend, a stranger- someone!

And give yourself a chance! Give the people who love you a chance! Give love a chance! You won’t be disappointed!

I promise you that you’re worth it! If you continue to fight for yourself, I can guarantee that there will come a day when you will look back on this moment and thank yourself. You will look back and be glad that you fought the good fight and stayed alive. I’m living proof!

You are worth fighting for! You are worth living for!

School Bullies Grow Up to Produce Little Bullies

karma written on chalkboard

If you’re a target and you feel that Karma will never one day visit your bullies, think again. Bullies do eventually get their comeuppances and often, the payback comes through their own children.

I have found that not only have several of my bullies from school gone on to become criminals, but also the children they had either during high school or after, who were born mostly out of wedlock. I don’t judge anyone who becomes a single parent, nor do I glory in the misfortunes of others, I’m mentioning a few truths to establish a pattern which is typical of most school bullies and what the many of them become later.

Many of my school bullies had babies during high school and now these children are adults. For many years, I’ve avidly read the newspaper and seen mugshots of many of my former bullies. Now I see the mugshots of their now-adult children and read the public list of indictments, which are usually located on the second or third page of the county’s newspaper.

Many of my bullies from school have been to prison or jail and now their children are following in their footsteps, being charged or convicted of crimes ranging from assault and drug-charges to armed robbery and murder. One of my old school harassers, along with her adult son, has recently been charged with abuse and neglect of a vulnerable, elderly adult and theft of over $60,000.

The son of another girl who bullied me in middle school is charged with kidnapping, shooting and killing a pregnant woman in cold blood last summer and is now in jail awaiting trial. Even more ridiculous is that the mother is talking her murdering son up, saying, “He’s really a good boy. He’s just…”, making all kinds of lame excuses for him. She and a few others are even calling for the authorities to “Free” him. “Free So-and-so!”, (I won’t mention anyone’s name here) “Free So-and-so!” is what people hear from her.

Handcuffed hands of a prisoner behind the bars of a prison with

Remember that bullies are self-entitled morons who think that you and the rest of the world owe them. They believe that rules and laws do not apply to them (or their offspring). They are willing to lie, cheat, browbeat, threaten, rob and even murder their way through life and to get what they want. They also teach their children to steamroll over others and sadly, this is what you get…a new generation of budding criminals, prison-rats and jailbirds.

Understand that bullies may be having their heyday now. High school may be their kingdoms. But once they are out of school, their kingdoms will crumble and fall. They will find out (the hard way) that the real world doesn’t care about them or their self-perceived status. Bullies may think they’re superior, but they’re in for a very rude awakening. Bullies may think (or attempt to make everyone else think) that they’re invincible and indestructible but rest assured that there will come a day when they will be given a generous dose of Karma. And that Karma will either visit them or worse…their perfect little darlings. Then you will have the opportunity to see just how small, insignificant and irrelevant those bullies really are while you get to enjoy life’s goody-bag of a loving family, a great career and much success!

Stay strong! Be patient! Your reward and your justice are coming! Mine did!

A More In-Depth Explanation of Frenemies (Part 2)

crying1

In Part 1, we discussed frenemies and the gradual but growing hot/cold, waxing and waning in their behavior, which snowballs into a terrible lashing of venom that leaves a target both shocked and hurt.

Again, if you’ve ever found yourself on the receiving end of a frenemy’s poison, rest assured that none of it was your fault and you were not the person with the issue. Understand that in using this hot/cold, nice/nasty cycle, the frenemy only used what is termed, “The Push/Pull Method” on you. This push and pull technique is exactly how it sounds: the frenemy pulls the target in, pushes him/her away, then pulls them in again. This back and forth cycle is specifically designed to hook you into the friendship and throw you off your game! Realize that the person was more than likely never your friend!

You may ask yourself these questions:

“If this person was never my friend and never liked me to begin with, why then did they exert such much effort to get close to me?”

“Why did this person latch on to me in the first place?”

Jealousy was most likely the culprit. Your frenemy (or frenemies) was intensely jealous of something you possessed and wanted a way to punish you for having something…anything they only wished they had. They wanted to bring you down a few notches…to put you in your place…to cut you down to size! Rather than a direct, frontal assault, they preferred to out-flank you by carefully cozying up to you, tricking you into dropping your defenses and winning your complete trust to get close to you!

Another reason could be that the frenemy somehow gets an ego-boost from being “friends” with you and the thought of being seen with you!

dreamstime_s_32438290

Understand that this closeness is a way to hook you into the friendship, then gather intimate, personal details about your life and personality, to suss out any weaknesses or less-than-desirable qualities you have. Fake-friends are like police detectives who attempt to build a case against you. Once they gather the intel they need, they then exploit this information, using it as a weapon to harm you, ruining your reputation and sabotaging your personal relationships and associations.

When you finally get fed up, put your foot down and end the friendship, the frenemy then paints you as the mean, mentally-unbalanced, or selfish person and trumpets any dirt collected on you to anyone who will listen to them. I want you to understand that this is how frenemies operate. People such as these are very sneaky, meticulous, and worst of all, patient!

It is much better to have full-blown enemies than frenemies because, with an enemy, you always know where you stand and can more easily avoid contact. Frenemies, however, (especially those who are superiorly charming and persuasive) have ways of reeling you in and keeping you dependent on their approval and acceptance. And if you are a victim of bullying, the relationship is much harder to get out of because you’re afraid of going back to being friendless. But wouldn’t you rather be to yourself than to keep company with people who only wish to bring you down? I know I would!

Remember that a smiling face does not a friend make. Not everyone who heartily pats you on the back has your best interests at heart. There are red flags you can look for and speed in the progression of the friendship is a major red flag! Anytime someone is so quick to call you a friend, be alert! Alternating hot and cold (flip-flopping) and micro-flashes of contempt and hostility in their body language are also warnings you should be aware of!

In these scenarios, the best you can do is to step back and maintain plenty of distance between you and the person in question. Only then is it possible to observe them and figure out their true motivations and intentions!

A More In-Depth Explanation of Frenemies

isolating

Every single one of us has had that one “friend” or that handful of “friends” if that’s what you prefer to call them. They seem to really like us and want to be around us all the time. They cozy up to us very quickly (too quickly), seemingly mesmerized by us, bombarding us with attention and laying the flattery on super-thick really early in the relationship and wanting so badly to be a part of our lives. They butter us up with compliments, smile at us and pat us on the back, making us feel great about ourselves. If you’re being bullied and are feeling insecure like I was years ago, this is such a welcome change!

You’re bullied, lonely, rejected and this seems to be just the thing you’ve been waiting for, giving you that much-needed shot of dopamine you’ve been craving for so long! Suddenly you feel great about yourself and think that maybe, the bullying might be coming to an end. Soon, however, you notice subtle signs in the person that doesn’t feel so good, occasionally seeing out of the corner of your eye those split-second flashes of disdain on the faces of your “new friends”…a sneer here, an evil, piercing glance there.

Although your gut begins to sound off, telling you that something is “off” about this person (or these people), you only mentally make excuses for them.

“Maybe he/she is having a rough day.”
“Maybe someone made him/her angry before they came to visit.”
“Maybe they’re just in a bad mood.”

isolate

Wanting to believe the very best of the person(s), you mentally explain away the signs which are only telling you that something just isn’t right. Then, when it happens again, you begin to ask yourself,

“Was it something I said or something I did accidentally to offend this person?”

Next, your new buddy or buddies seem cold toward you. They begin to alternate hot and cold and you’re left bewildered as to the causation, all the while your sixth sense is telling you to put some distance yourself and these people and to do it fast! But you don’t because this person is a friend. You love them and don’t want to seem like a heel or that you don’t appreciate their friendship. Also, the bullies have suddenly disappeared and you want to keep it this way. Even worse and more pathetic, you dread the possibility of going back to square one…eating your lunch alone, walking alone in the halls and once again, being the target of bullies. So, you continue to tolerate behavior which is unacceptable because, deep down, you don’t think that you can find better people to be pals with. You’ve been bullied and shamed for so long that you have actually forgotten what a true friend is and what it’s like to have one.

When you finally work up the nerve to ask the person about his/her behavior, they either lie about the behavior, downplay it or worse, tell you that you’re imagining things or being too sensitive. However, as time goes by, those tiny micro-expressions of ire, the split-second glares and subtle, back-handed compliments and coldness only become more frequent! Now, your Spidey-Senses are screaming! Others you thought were decent toward you are now giving you the silent treatment and you don’t know why.

Suddenly, BAM! It happens! The person lashes out at you for reasons that are so trivial, or worse, reasons which seem to be made up! You know you should tell them to take a hike, but you only blame yourself or give misplaced apologies instead, looking even more pathetic to bystanders and witnesses! Even worse, now, you look like an even bigger target to bullies!

(To be continued in Part 2…)

That Creepy Stare Bullies Give Victims

beautiful arrogant and moody spanish woman showing negative feeling and contempt facial expression

It’s that stare, which makes the hairs stand on the back of your neck! You know the one- that creepy, bone-chilling look bullies give you that makes you stop whatever you are doing or clam up if you’re talking when they do it? Yeah. That one! They look at you so intensely, making you feel as if you’re under a microscope! What’s even scarier is that the person doing the staring is eerily calm, so still and doesn’t move a muscle, nor even blink! Those angry, icy-cold eyes relentlessly bore into you like a blow poke, looking as if they could jump out at you and attack you at any moment! It reminds you of a wolf standing ever so still and eying an antelope…anticipating it’s next meal! Weird, no?

This happened to me on many occasions in middle and high school. I didn’t know what it was, nor why and I couldn’t find the words to describe nor explain it. I only knew how it made me feel! To say that it was unnerving would be an understatement! It was downright creepy!

It felt as if my school bullies were studying me, searching for something, scanning the very depths of my soul while staying ever so calm, ever so still and not saying a word…not the slightest micro-twitch whatsoever while they were doing it! Ewww! It made me want to run and get as far away from them as I possibly could.

portrait

This is not to say that all staring is necessarily bad because if a person likes you and has feelings for you, they may also stare, with their pupils dilating and crinkles forming around the eyes every time they look at you. However, the look bullies give you is much different. Their pupils only constrict, becoming tiny black holes in the irises of their eyes and the stare is a cold, prolonged “I’m going to kill you” look which stops you cold! This is the best way I can describe it.

Now that I’m older and have done years of reading and study, I want to warn you that if ever you notice anyone looking at you this way, you must get clear of that person fast because they are studying you, trying to ferret out any weaknesses they can exploit and ways they can attack you with maximum effect! They also display that look to intimidate you and throw you off kilter and if they succeed in doing so, it gives them a sense of power! Understand that bullies are sociopaths and the weird and psychotic looks they give you is covert and serves to shield them from detection and accountability! Also, know that covert/indirect bullies are cowards at heart and this is how they roll!

The Benefits of People-Reading

skeptical man looking suspicious, some disgust on his face

I have a Spidey-sense when it comes to people. I automatically pay attention to others’ non-verbal communication, also their silences, the clothes they wear, the arrangement of objects in their homes and work spaces, patterns in their breathing, tensions they have in certain muscles (mainly the neck and jawline),and subtext in conversations. I even pay attention to their feet! In participating in or listening to conversations, I home in on what is implied, rather than what is said. There is no such thing as an action which doesn’t communicate something.

Having been bullied in school ended up making me a very accurate people-reader. If there’s anyone who will teach you the level of evil human beings are capable of, it’s bullies. Once you have suffered the vicious onslaught of a bully or group of bullies over an extended period of time, your people senses sharpen tremendously, allowing you to better pick up on body language, facial expressions, tonality, and the hidden emotions/intentions of others around you. Even better, you learn to read those split-second flashes or micro-expressions most others miss. Why? Because it is key to your survival!

This is only natural. An example of this would be a person who has lost their sight. We’ve heard stories of people whom have suddenly gone blind and these same people reported that the other four senses automatically sharpened to compensate for the lost ability to see, which is only a natural survival mechanism of the body. It is the same when someone is bullied.

A victim of bullying is in a constant state of being threatened, both physically and psychologically. In order to survive, the person’s “sixth sense” and the ability to even better read non-verbal communication heightens to near perfection. Again, this is only the brain’s and body’s way of protecting them. Understand that what compels a person to hon certain powers is always…ALWAYS necessity. If we feel that our survival depends on how well we read the emotions, moods and intentions of those around us, we will find a way to tap into that power and learn it…and learn it forward, backwards, upside down and sideways!

Understand that people-reading isn’t only about doing it with your eyes and ears. It goes much deeper. It’s also about using your gut, tuning into their moods and feeling those moods. You must learn to sense the vibrations that others put out!

I can automatically feel the moods of others, sensing every vibe they emit and honestly, some of what I’ve felt in those around me didn’t feel good and was downright scary! However, I consider myself blessed to have this ability because it keeps me safe. As an adult, I now know how to avoid unsavory people. Even better, I no longer am bullied and haven’t been in years!

Learning the art of people-reading is an absolute must if you find yourself on constant defense against bullies. All it takes is to stand back and quietly observe the people around you and you don’t have to stare a hole through them to do it. You can always watch people without looking directly at them by using your peripheral vision to do so. So, why not start today?

The sooner you begin, the sooner this will become like second-nature to you. The more and the longer you practice, the better you will become. Know that everything people do…the way they walk, talk, stand, sit, eat, arrange things in their environment, the types of people they associate with…EVERYTHING they do gives clues as to their moods, their character and most importantly, whether or not they are for or against you.

So, keep your eyes, ears AND spidey-senses peeled!