Gossips are everywhere! Too many people worry needlessly about what people are saying about them. But here’s the thing, people talk. They’re going to have something to say about you until the day you die. Get used to it. Better, yet embrace it! Love it!
1. Although hurtful, when people talk about you, they make you relevant! Good or bad, it means you’re an exciting topic- you’re not dull. Remember that it’s much better to be good or bad than to be boring.
Businessman not listening to nonsense.
2. When people engage in petty gossip about you, it means that they can’t get you off their minds. Somehow, someway, positive or negative, you’ve made an impact on them. You’ve stirred emotions up in them.
3. When people talk about you, it means they don’t have lives of their own and are obsessed with yours, which means your life must be more exciting than theirs.
4. When people talk behind your back, they reveal much more about themselves than they do you. Remember the old proverb, “Great minds discuss ideas, Average minds discuss events, and Small minds discuss people.”
Remember, Haters Make You Famous
5. When people can’t shut up about you, you’re the one who’s in control of them. Because you occupy a large amount of space in their minds, you’ve affected them profoundly and with little or no effort.
6. The people who blab about you expend a lot of their energy on you while you get to save yours. They’re thinking of you without getting so much as a thought from you.
7. When you’re the topic of others’ discussions, it means that they’re your fans, only they don’t know it.
8. In a nutshell, when people can’t stop running their mouths about you, it only means that you have a tremendous amount of power over them, and you didn’t have to make an effort to get that power! Yay, you!
So don’t give their talk any validation by reacting. Just sit back and be amused by the talkers. Petty gossip is just that- petty!
Excessive groupthink was the accepted norm for Oakley High School and at one workplace I was employed in. In high school, most students and a few teachers shared this toxic group behavior. In the workplace, it went from top to bottom.
A moderate amount of groupthink is only human nature because it’s how we conform to rules and laws. Also, it provides stability for a community. However, excessive groupthink is unhealthy. It’s how cults, dictatorships, and totalitarian states get started.
An example of groupthink is, “if everyone else is doing it, I want to do it too.” It’s herd mentality at play.
When there’s a culture of bullying in a school or in a workplace, people who would not typically bully, will. And they’ll do it simply because everyone does it, and think they should get in on it also. It certainly was the case at *Oakley High School years ago and later at *Oakley Rehab and Living Center.
Therefore, from time to time, people you thought were friends would suddenly and without warning turn on you. And they will do it to jump on the bandwagon and join everyone else. Even they want to feel like one of the big guys.
Why Not? Everybody Else is Bullying Her?
There are several names for this, two of which are Social Contagion and Peer Pressure.
Now I understand that most of my classmates and later, coworkers were followers, drones, slaves! The student body of Oakley High School, sadly, was one big herd of sheep. They were slaves to the prospect of getting in good with “one of the cool kids” or “the ‘Good Ole Boy” network.
My bullies were nothing but two-faced hypocrites. They talked out both sides of their mouths, holding certain others to a double standard. All the while, they pretended to be someone they never were and never could be. Authenticity, being yourself, and free thought and expression were all punishable offenses. Everything was about appearances and whose butt they wanted to kiss to move up the social ladder
I would watch as most of my bullies pathetically sucked up to people they secretly couldn’t stand because they thought it would score them brownie points. And often, it would.
I also watched bullies who were second in power take plenty of degradation from the bullies at the top to fit in and look popular.
One such person was someone I knew who was the son of one of the teachers.
Very few of the so-called cool kids liked this wuss, yet he would lick their boots hungrily to get the so-called privilege of hanging with them. It didn’t matter to him if they were only tolerating him.
It was so pathetic I couldn’t hate the boy. All I could do was pity him.
On other occasions, I would see one of the popular girls drop a textbook, a pencil, anything. I would then watch the kids around her scramble, some taking a nosedive to the floor to pick it up for her and laugh as I walked by.
Whoever put on the best possible and most convincing front was rewarded not only by the other classmates but many of the teachers and school staff as well. I realize now that there was a reason behind all the fake sympathy, bogus compliments and, incessant butt-kissing. It was so they could get something from the higher-ups and not because they liked or respected them.
False flattery and opinion conformity in school and at work, made the bullies puffed up and overconfident. Also, it yielded immense social benefits for all the wannabes. Therefore, they maintained the status quo of ritualistic bullying of only kids or coworkers in particular.
Many of my classmates and coworkers were narcissistic sociopaths with low self-esteem. They were like tires with slow leaks. Their followers had to continuously air them up with fake compliments and false admiration to keep them from going flat!
Boot-Licking for Approval
Thirsty for attention and praise, the bullies at the top only surrounded themselves with weak wannabes. They needed bootlickers and yes-people to feed their hungry egos by telling them what they wanted to hear. And everyone, except a few, was more than happy to do so if it awarded them high popularity and favors.
The higher-ups expected you to think like them, dress like them, be like them and agree with them. Conversely, the people who did their own thing, who were happy being themselves, and didn’t act or think like the flock became targets.
But real life did eventually come around to the top dogs in high school. Once we were all graduated, the so-called preppies (bullies) got a taste of the real world, many of them got a rude awakening.
They were no longer the big dogs and had to start at the bottom, which was a terrible blow to their fragile egos. They learned the hard way that the real world doesn’t care who you are. Real life isn’t concerned with whether you made the “Who’s Who” section of your high school yearbook. The real world only cares whether you can contribute to it. And sadly, most of the punks I went to school with haven’t brought a damn thing to the table of life.
In fact, many of them either became criminals or bred them.
Meeting the Real World
Fitting in leads to a life of mediocrity. Standing out, on the other hand, is a prerequisite of greatness!
So, if your classmates or coworkers are bullying you, know that you are the brave one. Why? Because you refuse to follow the herd or resort to pathetic fakery to get approval!
You continue to be your authentic self and embrace your uniqueness, flaws, and all. You’re at the head of the class because you are true to your own heart, your own beliefs, and your convictions. You refuse to let them mold you into what they think you ought to be. You stand out from the rest, and one day, it’s all going to pay off! Wait and see!
During high school, I can’t count the classmates who were posers and fakers. My guess was that these posers accounted for at least half of the class. It shouldn’t be surprising that in high school, everything is based on appearances. Therefore, those who fake it the best and most convincingly are the ones who are bullies and usually, most popular.
However, most high school kids don’t pay attention to detail. Thankfully, I was one of the few who did.
In the lunch line, I would notice that most of the guys in the clique would wear their flashy, designer clothes. Yet, most of them would pull out a cheap, fifteen-dollar wallet to pay for their lunches.
Cheap Wallets and Knock-off Handbags
Also, the girls in the clique would wear their high-fashion clothes. However, cheap, knock-off “Gucci” handbags would be hanging from their shoulders and arms. If you paid close attention and had an eye for detail, you could tell by the stitching patterns and thread counts, that these purses were fake.
All through the school, you would see the fake gold, Rolex watches. They also wore faux fur and suede, cheap costume jewelry, and fake leather and snakeskin. It was laughable at best!
Just to be clear, I have no qualms with anyone who has these items. Heck, they may like them. However, when you’re a bully and you buy these knock-offs to look like you’re rolling in money, you only look ridiculous. And you get no respect. Sorry.
In contrast, most targets of these bullies don’t feel like they need to have all that fake crap, yet they’re the ones bullied.
Targets, You’re Better Than That, and They Know It
You may still be wondering what the point to this story is. The point is that, if you’re a target, your bullies will most likely bully you over your virtues, not your faults. Also, they will project their fakery and insecurities onto you.
In short, people who are authentic and real- who are comfortable with being themselves, are those most likely to suffer bullying. It’s just a fact of this crazy world we live in.
So, I want you to know that when people bully you, it is not because you’re doing something wrong. It’s because you’re doing something right. And it’s not that there’s something wrong with you, it’s because there’s something right with you.
Most posers bully others because they’re angry that they must work so hard at being fake and they’re jealous of anyone who doesn’t. Therefore, your self-esteem should soar when you realize this fundamental truth. Posers hate and bully authentic people because they are complete opposite of them.
Have you noticed how bullies tend to repeat the same personal attacks over and over again? It’s true that a lie repeated a thousand times become truth. However, it can also have the opposite effect- it can become boring.
Sometimes, the attacks go on for so long, they become boring to the point that they actually lose their effect on the target…and everyone else. Why?
Because, instead of tapering off a bit once the attacks do have their desired effect, the bullies only increase them, trying to make absolute sure the labels stick. They want to ensure that others don’t forget how disgusting and revolting the target is.
But! What the bullies end up doing is repeating the same tired, worn-out lines and narratives that they end up losing support. In other words, it all backfires right in their faces.
Let Them Repeat, Repeat, Repeat!
This is good because the target now has leverage and can use it to their advantage.
If you are a target of bullying and your bullies are pulled this broken-record tactic, all you must do is to sit back and let your bullies do what they will do. You never know. They just might end up shooting themselves in the foot!
Then you get to smile as you watch them make complete fools of themselves. Also, you get to listen as people laugh at your bullies behind their backs. And, it you think they won’t dare laugh at the bullies, wrong. They may not do it to their faces, but trust me, they’ll go wild with the jokes and laughs behind the bullies’ backs. I guarantee it!
So, align yourself with those your bullies have bullied in the past. Enjoy listening to the ridicule as you laugh with your newfound friends and allies. Because that will be the fun part!
Bullies want to have a target or a victim. In fact, they need targets. To feel almighty and powerful, bullies must have people to dominate and subjugate. And having power over is extremely addictive to them. It’s like a drug. It’s why bullies repeatedly bully their targets over a a long period of time, years even. Because that “drug” wears off rather quickly and it won’t be long before your bullies come back for their next “fix.”
However, what happens when you finally realize who your bullies really are behind the tough facades, they put up? What happens when the masks fall off, and your bullies’ cowardice and insecurity come to light? Oooo! This is beginning to sound delicious, isn’t it?
Here’s what happens. Once the target sees these revelations, his confidence will get a big boost. The target will realize that she isn’t and never was the one with the issues. In this, he will find that it was the bullies who had the issues all along. Then, the target will finally have the courage to give the bullies the old proverbial middle finger and tell them all to go eat a fat one.
Moreover, the power dynamic will take a sudden shift and the scales will automatically tip in the target’s favor. In other words, the person will be a target no more. Remember that the best way to disempower bullies is to empower targets.
Because, once the target ceases to be a target, bullies no longer have power over him. Therefore, the bullies must go search for another target.
The Sudden Power Shift
When these bullies spot several potential targets, they’ll test the waters by performing several tests on these “potentials.” They will test these potential targets by watching them closely and launching subtle attacks and insults just to see how they react. But! What will the bullies do next, when things don’t go quite the way they expect? What happens when the potentials also give them the double middle finger?
Uh-oh, now they can’t find someone they can target! Curses! Now, what’s a poor bully to do? Simple. They begin eating their own. In other words, they turn on a member of their in-group.
That’s right, ladies and gentlemen! Once the bullying in-group runs out of targets on the outside, they have no choice but to turn their bullying inward and start bullying people within their group.
Remember that bullies need a target victim. They need someone to dominate and subjugate to have power because they can’t get power any other way. Without someone to ride roughshod over, to tell what to do, and to exert control over, bullies feel powerless. And you know what? They are!
independent 20s girl with threatening body language
Have you noticed that bullies love to talk smack? They trumpet to the world about how tough they are and that, in so many words, everyone else should bow down and tremble in their presence.
Bullies work hard at beating their chests and bluffing. It only goes to prove that they’re the least confident and most insecure schmucks on the face of the earth. In other words, anyone who must announce that they’re tough, smart, awesome, take your pick, can’t be.
In contrast, people who do have any of these qualities are usually the quiet ones. They don’t have to talk about it. How many times have you heard stories about the quiet kid beating the crap out of the loudmouth bully who pushed him too far?
Genuinely tough people never talk. You don’t see these people running around, spouting off about how tough they are because they don’t have to. They don’t need to tell you about it because they already know they’re tough and there’s no need to prove it to anyone. They’ve already proven it to themselves and that’s enough.
Bluffs, Blowhards, and Windbags
Therefore, if any bully messes with them, they will get hurt.
I’ve dealt with thousands of people of this caliber and one thing I noticed a long time ago is that they’re loudmouth losers. They puff out their chests and flap their lips, talking about how they’re going to kick this person’s butt, whip that person’s butt- they never stop. With these chumps, it’s one pissing contest after another.
As a result, having to constantly listen to their gas gets boring real fast. Why? Because, again, that’s all you hear out of them. Anyone who must spit such rubbish isn’t only trying to convince the rest of the world, they’re also trying to convince themselves.
These are characteristics of every single chump who has ever bullied me in my lifetime. It’s not only pathetic, but laughable that they must go through life this way.
Furthermore, these people are so incredibly insecure that you can trigger them and set them off by challenging their toughness, popularity, intelligence, or what have you. Their egos are just that fragile.
These bullies may even approach you and get in your face if they have their entourage of lackeys behind them.
If you’re a target of bullying, know this. Your bullies are total fakes. They’re phonies. Cowards. Chumps!
When you stop and think about it, it’s hard to hate anyone who is this pathetic. They only thing you can do is feel sorry for such pitiful souls.
Again, remember that those who are genuinely tough don’t have to talk about it. It’s just there.
Always remember this the next time a bully shoots his mouth off at you or gets in your face. Feel confident in knowing that you’re not like this person and you don’t have to resort to such buffoonery. This alone should be a real self-esteem booster.
Not only are politicians notorious for asking gotcha-questions, but bullies are also infamous for asking them. What is a gotcha-question, you may ask?
Gotcha-questions are questions that put you in a bad light no matter how you respond to them or if you respond to them at all. These are the types of questions bullies will usually ask you in public, in front of an audience. Gotcha-questions are forms of entrapment because bullies use them to trap you into looking bad to others.
Here are two examples:
“Hey, Jeff, do your friends know you got arrested the other day?”
This question says that Jeff did get arrested. It implies that he is a criminal and assumes that he was arrested whether his friends know it or not. If Jeff answers yes, it means that he’s a criminal and his friends know about it. If he answers no, it still means that Jeff is a criminal, only that none of his friends knows.
“Hey, Jennifer, how many people know that you spent time in a mental institution?”
Again, the question makes a statement- one that says that Jennifer was institutionalized. It implies that she was in a mental institution whether anyone knows it or not. If Jennifer answers yes, it means that she has mental issues, and others know about it. A no means that no one knows that she has a mental illness and that she’s hiding it from everyone. Even worse, the asker is, in a sense, telling Jennifer and everyone else within hearing distance that she’s “batshit crazy.”
These types of questions are “gotchas” because they are closed-ended questions that leave no room for the truth.
Here are a few more examples of gotcha-questions:
“Tabitha, did you ever get help for your alcoholism?”
By asking this question, the asker is calling Tabitha an alcoholic without calling her an alcoholic. It’s a slick way for the asker to attack her. A yes means that Tabitha was “a drunk” in the past. A no implies that Tabitha is still a “boozehound.” And that’s what people will think.
Furthermore, if she responds by saying, “I’ve never had a drinking problem,” it would sound like a cover-up. Why? Because others would wonder why anyone would ask such a question if they weren’t privy to such private information? It implies that the asker knows information that hasn’t been available to anyone else.
“Does Ella know that you slept with her boyfriend?”
Here, you have three options. You can answer yes, no, or you can choose not to respond to such a ridiculous question. Either way, the asker is still assuming that you slept with Ella’s boyfriend. Also, it’s a stealthy way for the questioner to call you a whore.
Therefore, if you are a target of bullying, you must learn very quickly how to spot gotcha-questions. Then, you must call them out as such. Be sure to respond in a way that makes you look the least guilty.
Here are a few healthy responses to such questions:
“You’re wasting your time with the gotcha-questions because they don’t work on me.”
“You need to quit with the gotcha-questions. I know what you’re trying to do. You’re fooling no one.”
The trick here is to call the person out by calling the questions what they are. And when you do, do it as intelligently as possible. It may or may not save your good name, but you’ll feel good knowing that you called it out without allowing the bully to throw you off balance. And sometimes, that’s enough.
Isn’t it funny that when a target does something right- when they succeed, especially if they receive recognition and praise for a job well done, an award hard won, or a good deed well accomplished, the bullies protest the loudest? They work feverishly to trivialize and minimize any positive quality and maximize any negative. Bullies will also be quick to bring up any mistake or wrongdoing in the target’s past to overshadow the positive quality or accomplishment.
I’ve had firsthand experience with this because my classmates did the same to me, as did coworkers at a workplace years later. Understand that, if you’re a target of bullying, your bullies see you as the bad guy and they want everyone else to see you the same way. They can’t stand even the thought of you reaching success, much less getting recognized for it.
Therefore, anytime you score a win, expect your bullies to do everything in their power to downplay it by minimizing it. Or, they may remind you and others of a past mistake or sin you might have committed, even if it was done decades ago when you were a dumb kid.
They may also make all kinds of wild accusations concerning your win. Here are a few cruel remarks bullies will make:
1. You cheated. Your bullies will refuse to believe that you won that coveted award through hard work and they’ll move Heaven and Earth to convince you and everyone else of it too. But don’t fall for it! And don’t fret if others choose to foolishly believe the bullies. Instead, see it for what it is and what it’s meant to do.
Know that this is designed to dull your shine and cast doubts in the minds of others. Your bullies mean to make other people assume that your success or accolade is illegitimate and that you didn’t come by it fairly. It’s also designed to discredit you and cause others to resent you.
2. It was just dumb luck. When you make a good grade at school, your school bullies and other classmates may verbally pass it off as your being lucky. Realize that when they say these things, they mean to discredit your abilities and cheapen your success in the eyes of those around you. The underlying message is that you couldn’t have made it if you tried and that your accomplishment was some freak accident.
3. You kiss arse. Ah, yes! Your bullies will say that you sucked up and won favor with the right people. They will accuse you of scoring “brownie points.” They will whine, saying that the person whose ass you kissed gave you a boost and that you got an unfair advantage. Again, this is designed to discredit you and undermine your abilities and intelligence. It’s also meant to instill intense anger and resentment of you in others.
4. You slept your way to success. If you’re a woman who’s a target of workplace bullying and you happen to get that coveted promotion that you and several competitors have been vying for, be prepared to get accused of “f***ing the boss man.” Bullies don’t censor their words and that’s exactly what they’ll say.
Also, if your workplace bullies are trying to get you fired and your boss happens to know better and goes to bat for you, they will also accuse you of giving sexual favors. And sadly, this is the most common accusation if you are female.
Just like all the rest, this remark is made to undermine your abilities and smarts, discredit you, cheapen your accomplishments in the eyes of others, and cause anger, hatred, and resentment toward you. It’s also meant to degrade you as a lady and instill in others the belief that you’re nothing but an opportunistic slut who will spread her legs to get ahead in life. This happened to me when I worked at a nursing home years ago, and, let me tell you. It wasn’t fun!
But don’t fret over any of this! I want you to see it for what it is- jealousy, poor sportsmanship, and trash-talk! You must see it for what it is and what it means. And what it is and what it means is that your bullies are a bunch of crybabies, whining and foaming at the mouth because they didn’t get that cookie and you did!
It means that they feel inferior and that they no longer have the attention they crave. It means that they feel cheated and indignant, and it shows that they’re the real losers!
But wait! Here’s something else that neither bullies or targets think about: If you’re a target or survivor of bullying, you’re going to loooove this little gem of truth!
Anytime your bullies make any of the above accusations, what it is, is a confession on their part. In other words, your bullies are projecting- they’re accusing you of the very things they either would do or are doing themselves!
Think about it. How many husbands have falsely accused their innocent wives of cheating, only to end up being caught cheating themselves?
It’s the same when bullies falsely accuse their targets of wrongdoing. Anytime bullies are so quick to point fingers at the target for an alleged transgression, it’s a good indicator that they’re committing the same sins themselves and are only trying to cover their behinds. Always remember that!
I feel compelled to discuss how these shows get their ratings to give parents who permit their children to watch them a better understanding of what subliminal messages their child may be receiving.
Sadly, reality shows that receive the highest ratings also have the highest peer abuse incidences, commonly called bullying. Peer abusers (bullies) love drama and are drawn to it like flies to feces! Bullying brings drama…always! The more altercations and confrontations a reality show displays for viewers, the more drama it brings.
More drama means the show is more interesting to viewers. The more interesting the show, the more views the show gets, and the higher the ratings the show receives.
Also, the more drama a certain reality star brings to a show (usually by bullying others on the show), the higher the show is rated, and in return, the higher the star is rated by producers of the show and network executives…all because he/she brings the most drama. For a reality star, this not only guarantees them a spot on the show’s next season but also much higher pay, with producers and execs offering the bullying star hundreds of thousands, if not millions of dollars!
This equals great rewards for bullies on the show…rewarding and encouraging despicable behavior! Think Teresa Guidice, “Real Housewives of New Jersey,” or Nene Leakes, “Real Housewives of Atlanta.”
In my opinion, both of these women, who are in their 40’s and 50’s, have shown some of the most queen bee, mean girl behavior of anyone on television.
Should they even qualify as stars? I don’t know about anyone else, but in my opinion, watching women in this age group display such girl’s room/locker room antics is sickening and an embarrassment to my generation of women.
This behavior is unbecoming of women of any age but looks downright ugly coming from middle-aged women, whom you think would be a better example to younger females.
Parents need to sit down with children and explain that just because reality shows make bullying look glamorous does not mean that bullying is okay. Bullying is anything but glamorous, especially to victims.
Sadly, high ratings for these shows speak volumes about the society we live in today- that the bulk of society apparently has an insatiable appetite for trash. It is glaring proof that in the eyes of a vast majority, crap is king. It shouldn’t be any wonder that bullying and peer abuse is so globally rampant today.
Parents and grandparents must either forbid kids to watch these types of reality shows. If they permit them to watch it, they must also explain to the children that just because certain behavior is shown on television does not mean it is acceptable in real life.
We must also stop prioritizing petty and poor values, one of which is the misguided belief that being the most popular, liked, or the toughest kid on the block is what life’s all about.