Bullies, Boasting, and Backfiring

Bad behavior bullying children cartoon characters composition with group of teenage girls laughing at their classmate vector illustration

Bullies have big mouths. When they succeed in taking their targets down, you can bet that they will boast about it later.

I say this because many of my classmates were chronic boasters and braggarts. Anytime a bully beat me up physically or verbally, they would immediately boast about it to get the “street cred” and make that power-high last a little longer. They would also do it to got attention and props from others.

“I let her have it!”

“I cursed her out!”

“I threw her little ass down the stairs!”

“I body-slammed that b*tch!”

“I kicked her butt!”

“I made her nose bleed!”

“I choked her out!”

“I threw her on the floor and kicked her in the ribs! I wish I’d broke her ribs!”

“I told her off!”

Oh, yes! They were so proud of themselves and wanted the world to know how they put “a girl like her” in her place.

guilt concept – unhappy young sporty man showing his throat with gun-like hands for sign of low self-esteem, textured effects

And anyone listening would laugh derisively and openly, and sometimes they would brag and laugh right in front of me and even some of the teachers.

‘You see? Bullies get their egos involved in the bullying of a target and they’re going to prove them wrong, by George! They’re going to humiliate them. They’re ’re going to show this person that they aren’t as good, safe, independent, strong, or brave as they think they are. They’re going to get them and they’re going to get them good and make them feel it when they do!

But here’s what I didn’t realize back then:

In their incessant boasting, my classmates were admitting that they were bullying me and without even realizing it. They were too stupid to realize that they were admitting who the real target was and who were the bullies. By letting everyone know that they had all the power, and I was powerless, they admitted their bullying behavior.

And had I realized this when it was happening, I would not have felt so crushed, and would have been able to use it to my advantage.

I would have used their brags as evidence that they really were the perpetrators and possibly stopped being abused by them. But who thinks about that at age 12, 13, or even 17?

Fortunately, I only thought of this years later, after a bullying incident at work, during which I was accosted by a vicious coworker who, as you can probably guess, bragged about it later. And after using it to my benefit by calling it out, I was amazed at the results.

The coworker ended up with a week’s suspension and the bullying came to a screeching halt. From that day forward, she avoided me and never even looked in my general direction.

I want you to know that, if you’re a target of bullying and your bullies openly brag about taking you down, that right there, folks, is a confession!

It is important that you point that out. You can say something to the tune of:

“Oh, so, you admit to bullying me? Nice! Now, I don’t have to convince anyone. You did that for me! So, thank you!”

If a teacher or supervisor is present. You can turn to them and say,

“Uh-huh! See there? Straight from the horse’s mouth. They just admitted that they attacked me. Now, who’s the instigator?”

Do this and be pleasantly amazed (and tickled pink) when you see your bullies’ faces change from smug looks of arrogance to looks of horror and humiliation, knowing they really stepped in it by opening their traps. Then you can smile devilishly as they try desperately to pull the foot out of their mouths!

Remember that loose lips sink ships and boasting can backfire. Royally!

Always point out the bullies’ confession. Use your bullies’ boasting to trap them. You’ll be surprised at just how fast you shut them down.

With knowledge comes empowerment!

The Bully’s Perspective

Bullies perceive their target as their enemy even when the target has done nothing to them and even as they’re ritually abusing and torturing the poor soul. And once the target speaks out about the abuse, that enmity only increases exponentially.

The bullies get a fix on the target and he/she is all they can focus on because they feel threatened.

Bullies and abusers only see from their own perspective and their perspective has the target as the enemy- a threat who must be contained and even eliminated. Bullies aren’t concerned with the fact that their anger and hatred are irrational. They don’t think that they’re destroying a fellow human being much like themselves- a human being with thoughts, feelings, and emotions.

Bullies are oblivious to the fact that the impetus of their violence comes from the primal part of their brains.

Understand that if you’re a target of bullying, your bullies see you as the enemy, right or wrong. They view you as bad and evil and they want revenge. They have no inhibitions of destroying you because they think they’re the good guys and they’re doing the right thing by destroying you: evil enemies must be annihilated.

In the Mind of a Bully, The Target Owes Them Respect

And when the target doesn’t show the bullies the respect, they feel they’re entitled to, or in the way the bullies think should be shown, they become enraged and seek to destroy the person.

The power-dynamic between bully and target is always zero-sum. The bully feels the target deserves nothing but hostility and abuse from them but, in contrast, the target owes them respect…and he owes it to them as they’re abusing him.

From the bully’s perspective, the target must atone for their flaws, their shortcomings, and their evil by lying down and “letting” the bullies torment her.

But when and where does it stop? It doesn’t.

As we know, bullying only gets worse until somebody dies.

If you’re a target of a bully, understand this. It doesn’t matter what the bully’s perspective is. It doesn’t matter what the bully thinks. Neither the bully nor anyone else has a right to violate your boundaries, physical nor psychological. I want you to know that you have a right to learn, work, or live in a safe environment.

You have a right to be in a nourishing environment that allows you to flourish. And you owe respect to no one who hasn’t earned your respect. Bullies and abusers deserve no respect from you. Anyone who deliberately sets out to hurt you does not deserve anything from you. Understand that you must value yourself and put yourself first.

If someone is abusing you, you have every right to take care of yourself. You have not only a right but an obligation to yourself to either walk away from the person or, if you can’t walk away- if the bully won’t let you walk away, then you have a right to defend yourself. Realize that you are valuable, and you matter just as much as the next person.

And everyone has flaws, not only you. If anyone bullies you, then they have no business coming anywhere near you. Always remember that.

Bullies and Constructive Criticism

Bullies don’t take constructive criticism very well. They only react to it as if it is a personal attack. Remember that bullies are highly egocentric. They must always be right about everything or, more appropriately, look as if they’re right about everything. Bullies have a knack for hiding beneath a veneer of total perfection.

They do this for several reasons:

1.It makes them look better than they really are.

2. The veneer of perfection can be used as protection from accountability and shield them from reproach.

3. It can be used to draw others to them and fool them.

4. It can be used as a weapon against their targets.

5. It gives them status and social capital.

6. It gives them the attention and admiration they seek.

However, bullies will use the guise of constructive criticism to disparage others they deem inferior and unworthy. They may tell the target that they’re only giving him/her this criticism to help them when, in fact, they’re doing it to show them they’re smarter or imply that the target is stupid.

A bully’s hypocrisy knows no bounds.

If you ever find yourself being unfairly criticized by someone you know is a bully. It’s important that you tell them in no uncertain terms to keep their noses out of your business.

And if they insist on keeping it up, hit them with their own book of standards. You can always say something similar to:

“That sounds real good coming from someone who doesn’t practice what they preach. Now, get out of here and go on about your business.”

This is one comeback you can use. Nothing fancy- you don’t have to get cute or witty with it. Just say what you mean and mean what you say, and say it in as few words as possible.

With knowledge comes empowerment.

“Offended”

Isn’t it strange that, nowadays, we have so many people who are so easily offended? With that said, bullies are the very people who are easily offended. In fact, bullies have such fragile egos that it takes zero effort to offend them- especially if you’re a target. Just your mere presence is an insult to them.

Understand that people who are easily offended take things completely out of context- automatically attaching meaning to the behavior of others, when, in reality, it’s completely devoid of personal meaning. Bullies and anyone easily offended have a flair for turning neutrality into a personal affront or confrontation.

They conjure up meanings out of exchanges from others that are totally impersonal. With these paranoid pansies, it’s always:

“She doesn’t agree with everything I say, do, and think, so that means she doesn’t like me!”

“He has a different opinion than me, so that means he’s looking down his nose at me!”

“She doesn’t like the same things I like, so that means she hates me!”

These sad, and often hateful, people automatically presume to know what the other is thinking and feeling.

In life, you will run into these types of people. That’s why it’s best to either divert the conversation to a neutral subject or walk away because they aren’t worth the energy expenditure.

Understand that bullies and the easily offended can never be happy because they place entirely too much value and investment in how they are thought of by others. This is no way for a person to live. Anytime you place too much importance in how others evaluate you, you give them too much power over you- you make yourself their prisoner. You make yourself their servant- for free!

Bullies place too much value on their social images. They have a nasty habit of being too occupied with their imaginary views of how others think of them. They over-analyze the images others may (or may not) have of them. They must realize that this is a waste of time because it will never have any bearing on their (the bullies’) lives.

Back in the days of the cavemen, people had to be accepted by their in-group because it was a matter of life and death. To not be accepted in their in-group put the person at risk of starvation and extinction, especially it that person was a woman.

Thankfully, it’s not like that today. Nevertheless, if a bully feels they’re being insulted or made to look weak or stupid, they see it as the end of the world. The threatened loss of their gleaming reputations and becoming an outcast, to them, spells catastrophe!

Here are a few examples of the disease of over-offense:

1.Bully supervisors become offended and enraged at an employee for making a minor mistake because they take it too personally. Therefore, they see the other person as an enemy or adversary over one tiny mistake that was more than likely unintentional and that anybody could make.

2. Bullies and the easily offended are also the types of people who think that when any rules or laws are applied to them, they only have the attitude that the people making the rules and laws are “picking on” them. They then feel a flash of powerlessness that prompts them to lash out.

Understand that these types of people have a child’s mentality and never matured beyond the age of six mentally and emotionally. Their tactics may be way more sophisticated than a six-year-olds, but inside, they still have the maturity and the attitude of one.

With knowledge comes empowerment!

When Bullies Think They Can Predict Your Downfall

Bullies are notorious for playing fortuneteller to their targets. They laugh at your goals and dreams. They try to derail and sabotage your progress. And they do it because they’re so darned insecure in themselves. Why do you think bullies work so hard at bringing others down?

Realize that all this is very telling about the bullies’ own lives. In many cases, you’ll have the smart kid in your class who always makes straight A’s and makes high remarks and he’s targeted by bullies.

There’s also the girl who can sing like a professional, the boy who wins all the awards, the girl who writes the most beautiful poems and interesting stories, the guy who always gets the promotions at work, or the woman who always gets noticed by potential suitors.

One thing they all have in common is that they’re the ones bullies come for to make their lives as miserable as possible.

In school, I could sing, and the music teacher would pick me to sing solos in the school choir. I also write stories and poems back then and I cannot count the times my bullies told me:

“You’ll never make it in the music business.”

“You’ll never publish any books.”

“No book publisher will ever choose any of your lame stories.”

“You’ll never amount to anything.”

“You’ll never be anybody.”

“You’ll never get married.”

“You’ll never have children.”

“You’ll never be worth a damn.”

And the list goes on…

And each time I’d hear garbage like this from my bullies, I’d think of the sounds I’d hear every time I’d watch Charlie Brown and the Peanuts gang and see them talking to an adult, whether it be their parents, or a teacher in class.

toxic brainwashing

I would think, “Wa-wa-w-wa-wa-waaaaaa.” That’s how little I valued their words when it came to things I enjoyed doing and my dreams and goals.

With bullies, it’s always the same old you’ll never this and you’ll never that. But, here’s the thing. People who haven’t accomplished much themselves will always try to drag you down when they think you’re striving for something. And because they haven’t tasted success, they don’t believe that anyone else will (or should) either.

Understand that when bullies predict your failures, they only reveal all their failures and disappointments. That’s right! They’re speaking from their own perspectives. Anytime they tell you that you’ll never succeed at anything, it’s because they’ve never succeeded at anything and likely never will.

What these bullies are also telling you is that they’re afraid that you will succeed and make them feel even more like the losers they are. Realize that your bullies are trying to wreck your optimism, kill your confidence, and crush your self-esteem. And they want to do it before you end up winning at something.

Bullies want you to fail and they want it so badly they can almost taste it. Because, if you do reach success, your win will only reflect back to them their own laziness, failure, and mediocrity. Therefore, they relentlessly try to drum their words of doom into your head to condition you to not even bother to try. Because they know that not trying only ensures failure. In trying to condition you to not try, they’re only trying to ensure your failure.

That’s why it’s imperative that you turn a deaf ear to your bullies’ bogus predictions of your future because they can’t possibly know what their own futures entail, much less yours. You must not allow them to discourage you and cause you to lose sight of your goals and dreams.

Let the trash they talk go in one ear and out the other. Tell them, “That’s your opinion” and laugh at them or maybe scoff and give your bullies a scornful eye-roll. Then turn your back to them and walk away snickering. Look on your bullies with scorn when they try to predict your outcomes because they only do it out of ignorance and stupidity.

Do these things because it’s the only way you’ll keep your power and continue to feel confident. Your self-esteem will thank you for it later!

Protecting Yourself from Bullying: Types of People You Should Avoid

One of the first steps in protecting yourself from bullying is to know what types of people you should avoid. And understand that trusting your feelings is also important as some people are experts at hiding their true intentions and some things just aren’t so obvious.

It’s a good thing that we all have a sixth sense and are able to sense the vibes and energy others put out. That can also work in our favor.

Here are the types of bad eggs to be aware of and avoid at all costs:

1. The gossip – this person is a walking tabloid. You’ll see and hear her talking trash about different people and you’ll notice she does it all the time. Many gossips will even talk about people they don’t know but have only heard about. They always seem to know everything about everyone- everything, short of their bathroom habits.

Know this! If they talk about others, they will talk about you too.

A closeup of a young beagle pup who is being nosey and doing some investigating. Shallow depth of field.

2. The bignose – this person is virulently nosy and should be considered a twin sister to the gossip because most gossips tend to be nosy. They consistently have their face in everyone’s business. You will often find them asking others personal questions, eavesdropping on conversations, eyeing people intensely, butting in, and inserting their cheap two-cents worth where it doesn’t belong.

 3. The two-face – An even closer sister of the gossip. These people pretend to be your friend but stab you in the back. The sad thing is that you’re usually the last to know. Again, if they’ll talk about somebody else…

Be careful what you share, not only with these people, but with anyone. Don’t share anything you wouldn’t want anyone to know.

Two words of advice. Steer clear!

4. The drama queen/king – This bad egg is a chronic complainer who always seems to have a problem for every solution. They are never happy and impossible to please. Moreover, this person also seems to have unending misfortune- bad break after bad break, back-to-back. Sure, we all have times when we must vent, and we all have bad luck at times. Perfectly normal. But when it’s constant, you have to wonder if the person is unknowingly bringing much of it on themselves somehow.

These people complain about everything and everybody. And they will complain about you too eventually. Bad moods have a way of spreading fast. So, if the person consistently dogs your mood, it’s best not to have anything to do with them. No one wants to be around a sad-sack nosebleed who whines constantly because, being around them can quickly become a drag.

Closeup portrait unhappy woman giving loser sign on forehead, looking at you with anger and hatred on face isolated on gray background.

More importantly, drama queens and kings also tend to be suspicious of people. They’re the type who think everyone is out to get them or everyone has ulterior motives. And if they think everyone is out to get them, they’ll think you’re out to get them too and they will get you before you get them.

Again, steer clear!

5. The passive-aggressive person – this person is sneaky and should be avoided as well because if they even think you’ve slighted them somehow, they’ll unless a rash of covert attacks- attacks you won’t even see coming until it’s too late. Also, if they have an agenda and you just happen to be standing in their way, look out! They will make your life a living hell. This person is to be avoided at all costs!

6. Anyone who puts out bad vibes. When we’re around some people we can sense that something is off about them, or we pick up on the vibes and energies they put out that doesn’t feel good or doesn’t feel quite right. Always listen to your gut feeling because vibrations don’t lie.

When it comes to bullying, many people, including me, have found out the hard way that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Save yourself years of trial and error and the heartache that goes with it. Avoid these people at all costs!

Hate Is Contagious!

It’s one of the reasons bullies are able to unite people who think like they do and win over bystanders and members of authority. It’s the reason why entire schools, workplaces, and communities will repetitiously mob a single targeted person. Understand that hate builds on hate.

Hate also helps to mask the insecurities of each member of the hating group. And all haters have insecurities, but not all insecure people are haters. Bullies know that, outside of a group, they are insignificant, ineffective, and powerless. If you have noticed, and I’m almost certain you have, haters always- always hate in packs.

Bullies are known for inciting others to not only partake in their hatred of the target, but also agree with and condone it. In their shared hatred of a target, each member gets validation and gains a sense of self-worth. The group also helps them to forget all about their insecurities and shortcomings.

Other benefits bullies get from their groups is a feeling of immense power, anonymity, and decreased accountability.

Realize that hate is like an adhesive that binds each member of the bully group together. When a group of bullies verbally attack their target, it enhances each member’s self-image and the overall status of the group.

And once verbal attacks lose their thrill, these bullies will take it up a notch and begin taunting the target by flipping him off, throwing rocks, destroying their property, and other such activities. And once that no longer produces the power high they seek, they will then begin shoving, tripping, pushing, etc. Shoving, pushing and tripping will then escalate to punching, kicking, and beating- then worse, and worse, and worse still.

Understand that hate spreads like a cancer. It’s the root of so many problems today. It’s true that hate hurts the haters more than the hated and that it eats the haters up inside, it can still cause a lot of collateral damage and make life dangerous for the hated if the hated doesn’t learn to recognize it.

If you’re an object of hate, the best you can do is to make yourself a priority. And how you do that is to take steps to protect yourself, take care of yourself, and focus on the people you love and who love you. Stay away for the wrong people and keep yourself around people who uplift you. Stay in a warm and loving environment if possible. You owe it to yourself.

Toxic Friendship

Have you ever had so-called friends who seemed to turn hot and cold toward you? Who manipulated you into doing something you didn’t want to do? Fake friends who never had your back and always threw you under the bus whenever you were in trouble or in danger? Who treated you shabbily and didn’t seem to care how they hurt you? Whom you had to apologize to for things you weren’t guilty of just to keep the peace?

Have you ever had that particular friend who seemed possessive of you and wanted to keep you all to herself? Who would get angry when she saw you talking to another friend of yours, or worse, treat the other friend like a fifth wheel because she feels threatened by your friendship with the other girl?

Or…maybe it’s less obvious. Your so-called friend discourages you when you tell him what your plans for the future are. You tell your frenemy that you’re planning to cut a CD, or write a book and publish it. And he shoots you off your saddle by telling you in the most caring and concerned tone,

“I want to warn you before you get your hopes up because the last thing I want is to see you disappointed. Most singers and writers never get anywhere with their music and books. It’s hard to make it in that industry today.”

Although that may be true- it’s very difficult to make it in both the music and publishing industries, your friend should at least encourage you and be proud of you for having the guts to try. Because, who knows? You may be one of the lucky few who do make it. However, if you don’t even try, you won’t even have a chance of succeeding.

Maybe you have a dream of one day becoming an actor and your friends ridicule you for having that dream and tell you that you’ll only crash and burn.

Maybe you’ve made a great achievement or won an award and your friends only give you backhanded compliments, or trivialize your accomplishment.

Any time friends discourage you like that, you have to wonder if they’re only discouraging you because they’re afraid that you just might be successful. You also must ask yourself whether they believe in you or not, or if they’re secretly resentful of your success.

If you’re having these problems with those who are supposed to be your friends. My loving advice is to find new friends. You owe it to yourself. Realize that real friends make us feel better about ourselves not worse. Real friends enhance your life, they don’t cause pain or humiliation.

Toxic friends only suck the life out of you and leave you feeling worthless. You deserve friends who are ride or die. You deserve friends who are there for you no matter what kind of storms you may be going through. And you deserve friends who value you and don’t want to lose you.

But first, you must value yourself. And how you value yourself is to get rid of anyone who doesn’t treat you as well as you treat them. You may be alone for a spell, but your people will find you eventually and it will be worth it in the end. I guarantee it!

Reasons You Have Haters

Many of the greatest, most tender-hearted, and level-headed people I know have a pack of haters behind them. And many of them don’t understand why. Down through the years, I’ve heard them ask, “What did I ever do to them?” or “I know I’m not a bad person and I treat everyone how I would want to be treated. So, what is it that they (the haters) think is wrong with me?” I’ve got to admit it. I asked the same questions many times when I was young and it happened to me. But here’s a little assurance.

First, if you are one of those good people who certain others hate on, and you yourself are asking yourself the same questions, let me tell you: You didn’t do anything to them. In fact, you did nothing wrong. Secondly, what they think is wrong with you doesn’t matter. What they think period doesn’t matter. And there’s nothing wrong with you. I want you to know that you’re okay. You’re enough. And you’re awesome just the way you are.

I know what you’re likely to say next and you’re probably thinking it now: “But there’s got to be some reason they hate me so much.”

And you’re right. There are many reasons your haters hate you. But those reasons have nothing to do with you, and here they are:

1. They don’t have a life. …or one that’s meaningful. Most haters aren’t what they appear to be. Many are life losers who have no redeeming qualities whatsoever. So, they have nothing better to do than to hate on others. Many of these types of haters are broke, jobless, partner-less, and live in their mommy’s basement.

To feel better about themselves, they’ll troll your social media pages, make incendiary comments, and post vile things about you. If they happen to be local to your area and you know them, they’ll talk trash about you behind your back and try to kill your reputation, your opportunities and prospects. These types of haters are bored with life and the only entertainment and rush of endorphins they can get is to cause drama in other people’s lives.

These are the types of people you should feel sorry for because they live truly miserable and pathetic lives. And the only way they can feel powerful is to ruin other people’s lives. Sadly, we have so many people like that today, and many of them get involved in the cancel culture that’s so prevalent. Again, understand that this is a last-ditch effort for them to achieve power. And sadly, it seems to work for them.

2. They’re not happy in their lives. This can go hand in hand with number 1. However, some people can have everything, a good job, a nice home, good family, and still not be happy. What they lack is contentment. Or, it could be that they aren’t happy with some things in their life. Whatever it may be, their attitude is this. If they can’t be happy, then by George, they’re going to make sure you’re not happy either.

They want to take away your peace of mind and bring you down to their level of misery. And you aren’t the only one. There are probably other people they do this to as well. Again, this person is a miserable individual and you shouldn’t hate them back, you should only pity them.

Jealousy

3. You have something they don’t have. No one ever said life was fair. Some people can, and some can’t. Some have, and some don’t. It’s a hard part of reality that makes some people angry because they can’t seem to figure out how to obtain the things they want. So, they hate on anyone who has the things they (the haters) have been longing for and who has life a little easier than they do.

4. Jealousy. This goes back to you having something your haters don’t have and those poor souls not being happy in their lives. Whether it’s an admirable trait you may have, such as the ability to make friends easily, or how you look, what you have, or even the ability to be happy, haters want to take it all from you because they don’t have it and don’t think they can ever get it.

5. Your good qualities are a threat to them- In other words, you make them look bad. You cause them to compare themselves with you and see you as competition. And if they ever feel like you’re winning over them, look out!

Therefore, realize that you aren’t at fault here. It was nothing you said or did to ruffle their feathers and there’s nothing wrong with you. You are enough. In fact, you are awesome! Your haters only say otherwise to mess with your mind and throw you off balance. Don’t let them do that to you!

Haters can stress you out, yes. But they can also motivate you. So, be your best self and keep your haters blabbing. Think about it. Your haters are the ones who keep you relevant.

With knowledge comes empowerment!

If They Can’t Manipulate You, They’ll Label You as Crazy

 

Businessman with wind up key on his back sitting on chair and using laptop computer on city background. Manipulation concept

It’s the oldest and most used tactic in the book! My classmates were no different. Bullies will always come back at you with the “crazy” or “mentally imbalanced” label to discredit you and control how others see you when you don’t let them have their way and they can’t find anything else to pin on you.

It only goes to show that they see you as a threat and they’re both desperate and afraid. When you refuse to be manipulated, it sends several messages to your bullies- messages that threaten their sense of superiority, positions, and their power.

  1. It tells them that you see through their smokescreens.
  2. It tells them that you’re not afraid to tell them to go kick rocks.
  3. It tells them the opposite of what they think of you- that you’re strong and intelligent, not weak and dumb.
  4. It puts them in their place.
  5. It tells them that they can’t make you do anything you don’t want to do.
  6. It tells them that you don’t give a crap about what they say or think about you.
  7. It tells them you could care less about impressing them.
  8. It tells them they don’t matter to you and that you don’t value their insults or do you accept their definitions of you.

Understand that bullies have an over-inflated sense of their own importance and thus, feel entitled. They despise being told no and they loathe anyone who will not be controlled. And if they can’t manipulate you, they’ll manipulate your relationships, and the way others perceive you.

Always remember that.