Guilt by Association

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Understand that to achieve their goals to isolate the target, bullies will threaten and punish anyone they see who has anything to do with the target.

Nobody wants to be ostracized. Nothing wrong with that. However, when bullies slander you and friends turn against you so easily, it speaks volumes about the kinds of people they are. And sadly, very few people have the sack to stand up to bullies. It stinks, but it’s the gospel truth.

Most people will do anything- and I mean anything to keep from being socially isolated. Most will even turn their backs on their closest friends.

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But understand this. Anybody who claims to be your friend but doesn’t have your back is not your friend! And when it comes to your bullies, you must ask yourself these questions:

1. Who are they (the bullies and anyone else) to set standards for you?
2. Who are they to tell you what standards you should live up to?
3. Who are they to tell you to change?
4. Who are they to tell you how to dress, how to act, and how to live?
5. What authority do they have to make any rules that you should follow?
6. Who died and made them the authority over you?
7. What power do they have to tell everyone else who to associate with and who not to?

If you’re a target of bullying who’s just been abandoned by everybody because the bullies have influenced them to do so, you must also ask yourself this question:

1. I mean, dig deep and really ask yourself: Would you even want to be friends or associate with a bunch of pathetic wussies who are so weak and spineless that they’ll bow down to pacify a bunch of bullies? Do you want to associate with anyone who’s too chicken to stand behind you?

I want you to understand that anyone who says ‘yes’ to bullies and turns on you so quickly didn’t have much sack, to begin with. They were never even worth knowing. Because they only proved to you that they’re worthless and can never be trusted. You don’t want a bunch of wimps for friends. I know it hurts when someone you thought so highly of suddenly throws you under the bus!

Believe me, I’ve been there, and betrayal by people you thought were friends is the most painful part of being a target of bullying. But, as painful as it is, you need to realize that not everyone is worth your time. Not everyone deserves your friendship. So, when people turn against you, understand that it’s only the trash taking itself out!

What you want are strong and brave friends- friends with substance! You want friends with the cajones to have your back and tell the bullies to go take a long walk off a short pier!

Let me warn you. Great friends are hard to find. Because the strong and true are few in this world. Most people really are a bunch of bagless, weak-kneed wusses. Just as a girl must kiss many frogs to find a prince who’s worthy of her love, a target of bullying must weed through a great many wusses to find people who are worthy of her friendship.

You must raise your standards and expectations. You must be very selective of who you allow being pals with you. Selectiveness is a great thing because it shows that you value yourself and that you won’t settle for anything less than what you want! You must put a proverbial price tag on yourself and make sure it isn’t too low! Only then will people respect you.

For others to value you, you must first value yourself! And that means loving yourself enough to walk away from people who are worthless to you (i.e., the fake friends who betray you).

Non-Verbal Tactics Bullies Use to Violate Their Targets

Most seasoned bullies seek to intimidate others by nonverbal means. Why? Because nonverbal bullying is subtle and least likely to be detected.

This type of bullying can occur either at school or in the workplace. Here are a few such subtleties.

1. They lean against the victim’s desk, office doorway, car, etc. Anytime we lean against something, we stake a claim to or show ownership of that object.

How you handle it is to tell the bully point blank and in a stern voice,
“Get off my desk (car, etc.)”

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2. The bully will sit in the other person’s chair. Again, any chair you sit in, you non-verbally lay claim to.

Address it by telling the person in no uncertain terms to unseat your chair.

3. The bully may also pick the victim’s notebook, purse off the victim’s desk, touch their property, etc. Understand that anything of yours the bully touches, he is laying claim to.

The unspoken message that the bully is sending is, “I own your desk, car, notebook, and anything that’s yours.”

Don’t ignore it, and don’t be quiet about it. Open your mouth and tell the creep to keep his hands off your stuff.

When I was in school, I saw a bully walk up to a table of freshman boys during lunch and pluck a French fry from one of the ninth grade boy’s plates before popping it into his mouth without even asking.

It was clear that the bully was challenging the boy. The message was,

“I just took a piece of your lunch. Now, what are you going to do about it?”

Female bullies will often go through their target’s purses or jacket pockets or flip through their notebooks, yearbooks, or diaries. I’ve also heard of bullies walking into their victim’s homes without knocking.

I remember going on a school trip and finding out that my bullies had gone through my luggage and stolen fifty dollars, a dress, and jewelry from me while I was out of the room. Because there were so many bullies, it was difficult for me to confront the thief. Though I had a pretty good idea who stole my belongings, I couldn’t prove she took them!

Understand that bullies will claim ownership of your space and your property, which only means that they believe they own YOU!

4. Bullies will violate your personal space. Bullies are notorious for getting too close.

Understand that when the bully gets in your face or looms you from behind, he is either trying to intimidate you, dominate you, challenging you, or attempting to provoke a fight. Do what you have to do. Tell this idiot to back the hell up!

Understand that these types of bullies have unlimited audacity, and they do not respect boundaries! With people who are bold and audacious, you must take a stand!

Never ignore them or allow yourself to be intimidated because these kinds of folks will only increase the behavior if you do.

The more you know!

Guest Post: The Bullying Battle- “The Things You Do” by Leon Stevens

I’m very honored that Leon Stevens gave me permission to repost his blog about bullying. He is a very talented blogger, songwriter, and musician!

Keep up the awesome work, Leon!

By Leon Stevens Dec. 9, 2020:

I have been reposting (and reworking) some of my earlier blogs-just to get everyone caught up with what I am about. Here is one with a message that has been repeated many times over, but unfortunately bears repeating.

People can be mean. Real mean. From kids to adolescents to adults, it still amazes me when I witness bullying behaviour. I wrote The Things You Do after observing grown men acting like typical schoolyard bullies.

You know the ones. the ones in the movies and T.V. shows that when you think about it, is pretty real in today’s schools (still). Some kids learn it from home, others from their peers, and popular culture, and most-thankfully-grow out of it.

Credit goes to all the teachers who, on top of all the subjects they teach, also have to teach empathy and humanitarianism-from kindergarten and up.

As a musician, I wrote. Not being much for performing, I decided to record it (also not my forte). It was missing something though. Rudimentary graphics! I pulled out my gel pen and drew what I envisioned-like a storyboard. I’m cheap, so I downloaded a free video editor and a week later, Voila!

So, I hope that you enjoy the message.

Thanks for stickin’ around.

-Leon

When I Stopped Caring What People Thought

When I stopped caring what others thought of me, I stopped apologizing for being me. Instead of judging myself, I began loving and accepting myself- all aspects, the good and the not-so-good. I started living up to my own standards and experiencing life on my terms.

When I stopped worrying needlessly about what people thought, I set myself free from the chains of fear and anxiety and was no longer a slave to others’ opinions and approval. I no longer felt the need to walk on eggshells and hide my natural humanness. I stopped feeling like I wasn’t good enough and comparing myself to others. I no longer allowed anyone else to dictate what I should say, do, think, or feel.

I began permitting myself to make mistakes because we all make them whether or not some of us admit it. Even better, I started learning from those mistakes and seeing them as life lessons, rather than defects or screw-ups. I finally accepted that I’m not and never will be perfect. Who is?

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I learned that like, and dislike is subjective, never personal. I accepted that not everybody was going to like me and was not only okay with it but embraced it! Because if you don’t have people who don’t like you, you’re not doing something right- in one area or another, you’re not your true, authentic self.

I permitted myself to follow my heart, sing, dance, speak my piece, and yes! Even be a little weird. In all this, I took back control of my life and found freedom I’d never known.

The day I stopped caring what people think was the day I got my life back, and slowly but surely, my bullies began to disappear. I began to feel beautiful, smart, and, best of all, equal.

Positive things started coming my way magically and seemingly without effort. I began attracting the right people into my life- genuine people who were loving, caring, uplifting, and inspiring. Existing relationships drastically improved. An abundance of opportunities and blessings flowed into my life. I began seeing wins and successes that were very rewarding and fulfilling, which only encouraged me to stretch my imagination, take more risks, and try new things.

Today, I look back and ask myself why. Why did I even give a crap what my bullies and others- people who meant absolutely jack to me and could do nothing for me, thought of me?

They weren’t my family or friends.
They didn’t pay my bills.
They didn’t sign my paycheck every week.
They didn’t hold my life in their hands.
And they most certainly weren’t people I cared anything about.

I wasted a lot of time and energy, which I can never get back, worrying needlessly about what people thought of me. The truth of it is that most of those people nor their opinions were never even worth my consideration.

The only opinions that matter are those of my God, my family, my husband, and my closest and most trusted friends. And the only things that matter are my faith in God, my dreams, my morals, taking care of the people I love, my ability to be the best me I can be, and my desire to extend kindness and reach out and help those who need me. Anyone or anything outside of that is irrelevant.

The Cold, Hard Truth About Bystanders

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You not only never forget the bullies, but you also remember the people who were there- the people who had the power to help you but did nothing. Many times, the bystanders who saw it never tried to intervene and stop the attacks, nor did they speak up on my behalf.

As much as I hate to say it, I was guilty of the same thing. When I watched a few others get bullied, I said and did nothing, thinking that my voice wouldn’t make a difference if I did speak up. Other times, I was just damn glad that, for a change, I wasn’t the one targeted and that it was someone else taking heat for a change.

For this, I am very remorseful and would like to apologize to all the other targets I left to fend for themselves. I’m truly sorry.

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Here are the reasons bystanders do nothing to help a target of bullying:

1. They’re afraid of arousing the bullies’ anger and becoming the next target. No one wants to be a target of bullying. I get that. Many bystanders fear getting involved, and for good reasons. However, many bystanders do have some power because they’re high on the social hierarchy.

And the higher you are in the pecking order, the more weight your actions and words carry. So, why not use your power to help the target? Because if you’re extremely popular, the chances are that other bystanders will follow your lead and join you, and the bully will leave the victim alone. There’s strength in numbers.

2. The bystanders see the bullies’ torment of the target as entertainment. Bullies always bully in front of an audience to humiliate the target. During altercations between bullies and targets, bystanders immediately gather around to watch it go down.

Most bystanders then stand around, laughing and pointing fingers. Many of them cheer and egg the bully on, stirring it up to get more entertainment, all of which only encourages the bully to continue and even escalate the abuse.

As long as it isn’t them getting dogged out or having their brains beat in, most bystanders think it’s funny to see it happen to someone else.

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It’s the reason that instead of helping the target, bystanders will automatically whip out their smartphones and record the confrontation. They can then watch it later, send the film to their friends, and have another big laugh over it.

But! It’s not the least bit funny to the target. It’s painful and humiliating. It can be devastating to a victim who has already been a target of bullying for an extended time and can drive them over the edge.

3. The bystanders themselves either dislike or hate the target. In many cases, bullies have run vicious smear campaigns and turned everyone against their victims. When an altercation finally breaks out, the bystanders refuse to help the target because they think she deserves the abuse. Many times, these bystanders secretly or openly take pleasure in seeing the target suffer.

They may stand around snickering or join the bullies in tormenting the target. Often, the bullies are only doing to the victim what many bystanders wish they had the stones to do themselves. So, they get complete satisfaction in seeing someone else attack the target. Bystanders often hate the victim so much that they would defend a total stranger before protecting the victim they hate so intensely.

4. They don’t want to get involved. Many bystanders figure that it’s none of their business and choose not to get involved. These bystanders are so indifferent that they won’t even stop and watch. They will only pass by and keep going. They don’t care. Period.

Understand that bullies always perform in front of an audience to show their superiority, strength, and power. Bystanders who do nothing to stop the attacks only silently support and encourage the bullies. These bystanders are just as guilty as the psycho bullies who perpetuate the attacks.

Often, bystanders either don’t understand or underestimate the power they have, especially in large numbers. When witnesses speak up for the target, the bullies will likely stop and leave the victim.

Bullies and Cliques: Most Peak in High School Then Become Losers in The Real World

Little Girl Playing in a Kiddie Pool

High school is child’s play – the kiddie pool of life, if you will. And most often, graduation means the end of the line for most “popular” bullies and cliques.

I say this because most of my former school bullies had their fame in school but have done very little with their lives since. Most achieve very little as adults, while those bullied by these types evolve into remarkable and highly successful adults.

I know this for a fact because I’ve watched as one of my older school bullies got a Nursing degree, then worked as the Director of Nursing in a nursing home. She seemed to be moving up in the world and got handed the most favorable positions- all because she was well-known in the town. (Most of my bullies from school either became nurses, law enforcement, teachers, or went to work in corrections.)

While working her prestigious DON position, she got hooked on prescription pills, and someone caught her stealing out of the medicine cart. The owners of the nursing facility fired her from her job. Next, the state of Tennessee revoked her nursing license. Then her husband divorced her, and she ended up penniless and working in a local cafe for minimum wage. I can only imagine how humbled and humiliated she felt.

Don’t get me wrong. I don’t secretly wish for anything bad to happen to anyone, and I don’t boast of the misfortunes of others- not even those who tormented me in school. I’m merely making the point that Karma does repay eventually, and most of these coddled and babied daddy’s girls and puffed up mama’s boys get a colossal letdown once they’re out on their own.

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I came to find out that this has happened to many of my former bullies. They bully innocent others like myself during school, then get the comeuppance they never expected as adults.

Here are a few reasons why most of my ex-bullies aren’t very successful:

To be truly successful, a person must leave their comfort zones and face their worst fear- the possibility of failure. Most bullies will never leave the familiar. They’d rather stay in an environment where they continue to get opportunities, promotions, and rewards handed to them by their “town connections,” which are small to mediocre victories.

Most of my bullies never left that one-horse town. Why? Because they knew they wouldn’t get the special treatment and free passes in any other jurisdiction that were generously afforded them in *Oakley. Therefore, they stay where their friends are and know that they can get by on nepotism and the “Good Ole Boy System,” which rules not only *Oakley but most tiny Southern towns.

However, here’s the thing about small towns and rural areas. It doesn’t take long, nor does it take much effort to maximize potential in places such as these, even for well-connected bullies and cliques. A person can only go so far in a rural area, so let them have their small town safety net because they’re only playing in the kiddie pool! They would drown in the big pond.

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High school is the highlight of most people’s lives, so bullies today should enjoy it while they can. Because the real world doesn’t care who you were in high school.

Adult life has no concern with how popular you were, whether you were Homecoming Queen, the varsity football team’s star, or on the cheerleading squad. The workplace doesn’t care if you were in a fraternity or sorority or the class president!

All the real world wants to know is whether or not you can contribute something to it, and most bullies are as incompetent as they come and add nothing to life but negativity.

I’m very thankful that many of my differences, ridiculed by my classmates, are the same characteristics and skills that people today (other than my former classmates) value and admire about me. WHAM! Take that, bullies!