In the first part, we discussed that bullies soften bully by instigating an argument between the target and someone not normally involved in the bullying.
There are many ways in which bullies instigate and bait others to participate in the bullying unwillingly.
Here are a few examples of baiting strategies:
The Secret Admirer Bait
A bully will use this to bait someone to insult and humiliate the target.
Here’s how it goes:
The bully and a few classmates or coworkers will see the target. The target is nearby and within earshot. If the target is female, the bully will point to a nearby male and say,
“Hey, (target’s name)! John said he was madly in love with you!”
John will then get on the defensive and say,
“Oh, hell, no! I don’t like that ugly thing!” or, “That whore? No freakin’ way!”
By doing this, the bully slyly baits John in a knee-jerk reaction that includes insulting and humiliating the unfortunate target and achieves gratification in seeing the target humiliated and hurt.
The secret admirer bait is mostly used in middle and high school.
The Invitation bait
In this situation, the bullies will, all of a sudden and out of nowhere, become chummy with the target and pretend to have a change of heart. They do this to win the target’s trust.
Once trust is won, the bullies will invite the target to a birthday party, cookout, sleepover, or kegger, then humiliate the target somehow.
This may involve getting the target drunk or high, then manipulating them into compromising situations. This is used by both school-aged and adult bullies.
Here’s how to shut these monsters down:
1. Understand that no one ever becomes true friends overnight. If someone who has bullied you suddenly starts to buddy up to you, and it seems to have come out of nowhere, it’s a red flag, and you should steer clear! You can be sure that this creep is up to no good.
2. Also, if bullies are trying to bait you into anything, they will lay it on thick! They’ll overdo the pleasantries. It will sound so sickeningly sweet, you’ll want to grab a barf bag. You’ll know it’s fake if you’re paying attention.
But remember that bullies are very convincing and if you’re young and still in school, you’re likely to overlook the yuck if you aren’t careful. So don’t fall for it! Don’t go anywhere with those people. Because once you’re alone with them, you’re at their mercy!
3. If you’re a kid in school and a bully uses the secret admirer bait and tricks someone into humiliating you, deal out a good burn for the person baited into insulting you.
For example, you can say:
“No chance. I could never be that desperate, and you could never be that lucky.”
Then keep walking.
Your witty comeback will sting the poor sucker who took the bully’s bait and tried to insult you. But hey! Better them than you. Right?