8 Common Responses Targets Get from Authority and Bystanders When They Speak Out

If you’re a target of bullying, people will naturally expect you not to open your mouth about the harassment. Not only your bullies themselves but often bystanders and authority will automatically side with the bullies.

But, it still doesn’t mean that you stay silent because standing up for yourself shows bravery and strength and you’re well within your rights to do so.

However, I want you to be prepared for the following hurtful responses you’re likely to get when you finally do begin speaking against the mistreatment.

Here they are:

1. “You’re being too sensitive.” Understand that when people respond this way, they’re only shifting the blame to you and trying to shame you into keeping quiet about it. People who tell you this might be friends or followers of the bullies or have a personal interest in keeping you quiet, such as the reputation of the school or company, the bullies may be kin to them somehow, or the bullies may be perceived as “good for the school’s or company’s reputation.” But don’t be ashamed to speak out. You must keep the pressure on even if the bullying gets worse. Understand that things usually get worse before they get better. But they will get better.

2. “Just Ignore Them.” This never works, as bullies only become angry at being ignored and escalate the bullying. Or, they may mistake ignoring for fear. And if a bully gets in your face, how do you ignore that? It’s impossible. You might think that the best way to handle it is to put your hand up and walk around the bully and it IS a good response. But how do you know the bully won’t come after you and attack you from behind once you’ve walked past them?

Understand that when people tell you to ignore the bully, what this means is that they either don’t want to hear about it, don’t want to deal with it, or don’t have any answers themselves.

3. “Toughen up.” Again. The people who could help you don’t want to get involved. So they put it all on you. By telling you to toughen up, they’re shifting the blame onto you and trying to shame you into staying silent. Also, when you tell a target to toughen up, you’re only asking for things between the target and bully to escalate because the target will take it as a green light to tell the bully to shove it up his you-know-where or haul off and knock the idiot’s block off. Not that it’s a bad thing because, in my opinion, bullies deserve a good whack in the nose.

But those in authority have no right to tell the target to toughen up, then turn around and punish him when he finally does.

Respond to this by saying, “No. It’s not about toughing up. It’s about asserting my right to be treated with decency and I don’t have to take that mess.” And when you say it, say it with conviction.

4. “Get over it.”

5. “Don’t be a crybaby.”

6. “Stop whining.”

7. “Don’t be a tattletale.”

8. Maybe you should just stay out of their way.

All of the above nuggets of advice are only meant to shame and silence you. Bullying is no different from any other form of abuse. It thrives on secrecy. If you don’t speak out about it, the bullying and abuse will only continue, even escalate.

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I realize that getting these kinds of responses makes you feel even worse and there’s a temptation to clam up and burrow back into your hole. But don’t! You must refuse to keep quiet about it!

Keep speaking out about it. When people give you any of the above responses, that’s when you should only double down, dig your heels in and speak louder! Because only when a problem is addressed does it have the potential to be solved.

It may get worse before it gets better, but there’s always a chance that it will get better when you verbally protest the bullying. And no matter the outcome, you’ll feel so much better about yourself knowing you took a stand.

With knowledge comes empowerment!

Deep Dive: What Relentless Bullying and Gaslighting Does to a Target (Part 2)

(…Continued from Part 1)

Remember that you have a voice, and you have a right to use it. Standing in your truth means that you must stop being afraid to lose people who don’t have your best interests in mind. It means letting go of people who block your growth, progress, and success.

Gaslighters are dead weight- they’re baggage that you don’t own and therefore, don’t have to drag around. Let them think and say of you what they will, it’s their prerogative. But know that you don’t have to accept their opinions and petty mischaracterizations of you as your truth. Remember that they have their truth and you have yours.

You are a separate person from them and so should your truth be separate from theirs.  Understand that putting your own wants and needs first, valuing your own opinions, perceptions, and reality, and being true to your own heart are far more important than what others think of you.

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Because, no matter what you say or do, people are going to think what they want, and you only end up losing your power and sense of self when you feel you must constantly explain and justify yourself to them or apologize for how you feel and who you are.

You have a God-given right to carve your own space in this world and to celebrate everything that you are. You have a right to be authentically unfiltered and unapologetically you, and no one else has the right nor patent to undermine that.

Be unwilling to please nor appease those who aren’t worth your time. Never allow the fear of ostracization to silence your voice or take away your freedom and autonomy.

Realize that even when you bring positivity and much good to the world, you will still have enemies who hate you and everything you stand for. There will always be some who will have a problem with you, but know that it’s their problem, not yours. Know that their issues have nothing to do with you.

Sometimes, it takes being bullied to know what you will not accept.

Sometimes it takes being abused to make you more determined to stand in your truth and do it unmoved.

And sometimes it takes being mistreated to give you the strength and determination to never again allow anyone to dull your shine.

So, keep shining. Keep standing in your truth. Hold onto the truthful knowledge of who you are and the good you bring. Keep your authenticity and know that you’re awesome no matter what.

Deep Dive: What Relentless Bullying and Gaslighting Does to a Target

When the target is bullied, he is objectified. It is as if exists for other people’s purposes and not his own. Slowly, over time, it does damage to the target’s psyche and if he’s not careful, he may never grow into a full human being.

He can begin to see himself as the projected object the bullies deem him to be. Bullies notoriously distort the target’s reality because they themselves deny reality. They deny facts, uncontested truths, and the concreteness of evidence. They try to make reality into an imaginary illusion when, in fact, reality is the opposite.

So, what happens when a bullies try to undermine your perception of reality? They try to brainwash you and force you to see things from their point of view. I’ve met many kinds of people in my life, and I’ve met enough gaslighters to know their tactics and recognize them like the back of my hand.

Gaslighters used to leave me dazed and confused when I was young but now, they only solidify my perception of reality. And I know firsthand that, if you’re not careful, they will trick you into questioning your own reality and make you think there’s something wrong with you when there isn’t.

Understand that gaslighting is about wresting power and control over your mind, and gaslighters do this by undermining your reality. They minimize your thoughts, feelings, and experiences. They deflect and shift blame to you and they’re notorious for feigning concern over your (mental) wellbeing and weaponizing compassion and goodwill.

Also, gaslighters are experts at twisting the truth and reframing conversations, and they slyly use your reactions to what they’ve done to you in attempts to make you look crazy. You should never tolerate this kind of behavior.

Bullies have shown me my strength and resilience.

When I was young, I would accept opinions of my character and it only made me feel worse. They’d make remarks like, “If the shoe fits, wear it!” But the shoe never fit, therefore, they’d do everything in their power to try and shoehorn it.

They’d claim that they were giving me constructive criticism but, even then I knew the difference between constructive criticism and gaslighting.

Understand that, as long as you don’t get abusive, your perceptions, judgements, and opinions are yours to express no matter who doesn’t agree or who gets offended. And be forewarned that if you’re not paying attention, gaslighters will challenge your reality- they’ll undermine your feelings, opinions, and perceptions to the point that you will lose yours and replace them with theirs.

Once you decide that you will no longer fall for other people’s distortions of your inner reality and dismissal of your thoughts and feelings, be prepared! You will make a lot of people furious. You will offend them, and you will lose many people you thought were your friends. But understand that the people you lose were never really your friends to begin with.

You may even feel isolated for a little while as people you thought you could trust to support you either ghost you or flat out turn against you and side with your gaslighters. Again, see it as a gift because they were never with you in the first place and are only revealing themselves to you.

And why wouldn’t these types of people turn on you when they’re no longer benefiting from you being gullible? You wised up and cut them off! You gotcha some self-respect and put an end to the gravy train they were riding at your expense!

(Continue in Part 2)

“Get Over It!”

Studio shot of playful disobedient adult son in red t-shirt, covering ears with index finger and saying lalala while wanting mom get mad, standing indifferent to argue, being impolite and childish.

“Get over it!”

“Let it go!”

“Forget about it!”

How many of you have been told to do either of these? As if you could just wiggle your nose and everything is peachy king. When you’ve been abused, you cannot just let it go. Healing takes time.

The emotions you feel won’t just go away. Even if you paint a smile on your face and pretend that nothing’s wrong, these feelings will still be there, simmering under the surface, and the more you try to stuff them down and bury them, the more damage it will cause.

Understand that the emotions you’re feeling are there for a reason. They warn you that something isn’t right. Realize that the anger and hurt doesn’t disappear overnight and the people who give you that kind of response are ignorant and only re-abuse you when they demand that you “get over it.”

In order to heal and get your life back again, you must allow yourself to feel those raw emotions. No, it isn’t comfortable. No one wants to feel pain. But you must go through it to come out on the other side of it. And while you’re moving through the pain, practice self-care.

Give yourself some TLC. Have self-compassion. It’s okay to not be okay and it’s okay to baby yourself.

Take a few days off. Lounge around the house in your pajamas if you want to. Eat your favorite treat or give yourself a good, sweaty workout. Treat yourself to a spa-day, facial, new do, or a beach vacation. Your first priority is self-care, whatever it may be for you.

Last and most important, don’t shut up! Keep speaking out and standing in your truth. Self-care also means being your own advocate and if people don’t like it, too bad.

Put yourself first!

Who Are the Real Bullies?

If you want to know who the real bully is, ask yourself these questions:

“Who has the most power?”

“Who has the most social capital?”

But most importantly, ask yourself these questions:

“Who are the people no one is allowed to criticize?”

“Who are the people everyone is AFRAID to criticize or even question?”

“Who are the sacred cows- the people who seem to be untouchable and beyond reproach?”

“Who can openly inflict abuse on people and get away with it?”

If you can answer these questions honestly, you know who the bullies are.

Excuses People Make for Bullies

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As we know, bullies are very practiced and convincing liars and have a flair for using charm to deceive bystanders and authority.

Understand that this “charm” bullies often display is fake. It is all a part of the smokescreen they put up to hoodwink people, cover up bad behavior, and avoid accountability. In short, bullies are only actors and actresses.

Here is a list of excuses that bystanders and authorities often make for the bully anytime a victim reports them for their appalling behavior.

“That’s just his personality.”

“He was only joking.”

“She’s only expressing herself.”

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“He just has a very strong personality.”

“She’s going through a hard time right now.”

“But he’s really a good person, he’s just having issues right now.”

“She’s just having problems at home.”

“He’s just being himself.”

“But he’s so well-liked and well mannered. Why would he bully someone like you?”

“But she’s so sweet and everyone loves her. She wouldn’t hurt a fly.”

“But they’re just good kids who made a bad mistake.”

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These are a few examples of how others justify and condone the bully’s behavior.

Don’t fall for it! Call them what they are- BULLIES! Never accept any excuse. It’s true that retaliation may follow.

However, stay strong and know that you don’t have to tolerate atrocious behavior from anyone! You have rights. And you have a right to be safe and to live in a healthy environment. Those are non-negotiables!

Lastly, always remember that it’s not your fault and the harassment isn’t about you. It’s about the bullies’ issues!

You’re Not Only Imagining Things: You Know When Something Doesn’t Feel Good

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One of the saddest things about bullying is the confusion it often brings. Many targets of bullying are confused and misled as to whether or not they are legitimately being bullied or only being paranoid.

Oftentimes, when an individual is bullied and they defend themselves, others may gaslight the person by either trivializing the bullying or dismissing it. They tell the target that “it’s only in your mind” or “you’re just being paranoid”. Half the time, people convince the target of the above statements, which only forces him to endure the torment in silence. Bullying cannot thrive without silence.

Therefore, the bully is let off the hook and is free to target the same individual again in the future. The bully gets the message loud and clear that it’s okay to target this person simply because they can – and with impunity.

After so long, the victim begins to feel as if it is somehow wrong to report and stand up to bullies. The victim then questions their own sanity, thinking, “Maybe it really is only in my mind.” and often grows silent for fear of being gaslighted and seen as “paranoid”, “crazy”, “overly sensitive” or other labels that undermine and steal their voice.

If you’re a target of these mind games, let me assure you: It’s NOT only in your imagination. You are not being overly sensitive. You are not being a wimp, wuss, crybaby, crazy or whatever else unsavory people may call you.

Always remember that bullies are very skilled and convincing liars. You always know when something does not feel good. Your brain and your gut always let you know when something isn’t right!

You can see it in the way certain people cut their eyes at you.

You can see and hear them talking through their teeth.

You can hear the short and cold tone in their voices.

You can feel, deep down in your gut, the nasty vibes they exude.

This is why you should always listen to your gut feeling because it is never wrong. Eighty-six those people, pronto!

Defending their rights concept

Anyone who causes you to feel bad does not deserve the time of day from you. It does not matter if they are rich, smart, good looking, popular, successful, cool or tough.

If they cause you to feel less than, ditch them! Weed. Them. Out! They are not worthy of even being in your presence. Never allow anyone to violate your boundaries, whether physical or psychological.

Self awareness is key, as is awareness of everyone and everything around you. You must get to know yourself. Listen to your body and the sensations you feel.

It is imperative that you get absolutely clear on what you will and will not accept. Only then will you be able to tell the difference and send your bullies packing.

7 Reasons Targets Are Blamed While Bullies Escape Accountability

One thing I’m certain of is that every person, who has ever been a target of bullying, has at some point asked either themselves or another person these questions: “Why am I always to blame?” and “Why do my tormentors often get away with tormenting me?”

Here are the answers, and there are many:

1. Bullies are very convincing liars. Bullies have been lying and covering up bad behavior all of their lives. They have been doing this for long enough that they have learned what works and what does not work. They are master manipulators, skilled in the art of deception.

Bullies are also very good at rationalizing and justifying their unacceptable behavior. They are wordsmiths and con artists, who often use charm to deceive those in authority.

2. Bullies often use projection. They project all their faults and shortcomings onto their targets, making the target look like the bully and themselves look like the victim. When faced with possible accountability for their evil actions, they often cry and feign victimhood. This tactic is usually employed by female bullies.

3. Bullies are very charming to the right people, which can be used as another weapon against a target. Bullies seem to emit an oozing charm. Because of this, they had a way of winning people over and making them their allies.

A good reputation can be used as a weapon against any target because, with this good name, the bully has everyone (except the target) fooled. Others cannot believe that “this sweet, innocent, pretty little girl” would harm anyone. Take a look at the outgoing guy that everyone loves.

No one is going to believe that this “fine young man” would ever beat up a smaller boy unless he was provoked.

4. Because this person has so many friends who cherish them. Even if these friends did witness them undertake any wrongdoing, they will still more than likely cover-up for the bully out of loyalty and place the blame on the target.

5. There is strength in numbers Most bullies have a large number of friends behind them. And people in large numbers can have a cumulative power that can be overwhelming even for the greatest, toughest, strongest, most intelligent individuals. To put it plainly, if enough people are against a person, that person is powerless, no matter how strong, smart, beautiful, or easy-going they may be.

6. Bullies use gaslighting- adding their own spin to make you look and feel like the villain or by laying guilt trips- trying to convince you that you are at fault or that the abuse is just your imagination. Bullies are masters at this, especially female bullies who use feminine charm to deceive bystanders and authority figures.

7. Bullies malign you to others to destroy your good name and credibility: They recruit followers and start a campaign of hate and viciousness against you by way of rumors, lies, and trying to turn your friends against you. This occurred to me regularly in school, and it would happen as retaliation for my having the gall to stand up to them and assert my God-given, divine right not to be abused or taken advantage of.

There were several different benefits from the execution of this strategy.

1. It could be used to protect one another from being labeled by a teacher and getting a bad reputation. Most who have been in school have a least gotten into two fights, which sounds perfectly normal.

2. Destroying the target’s name with the staff would lessen any chances of him being listened to, should the target run and “tattle” to members of the authority. Again, protecting them from discipline at school and allowing them the freedom to do whatever they want to the target whenever they feel like it.

3. It’s used to silence the target and make him/her afraid to report the bullying or speak out about it.

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Targets get the blame because, sadly, the attitudes of most bystanders and members of authority are these:

“Why would so many kids have it in for her if she’s not provoking them somehow?”

“Nobody likes him, so there has to be a reason that justifies it.”

After all, who will look any further than the child with the worst reputation anytime a confrontation arises? If people expect trouble to come from a certain place, that is where they’re going to look.

It is all designed to manipulate school staff and save the bullies’ behinds from having to face repercussions and, therefore, leaves an opening for further bullying later on.

Targets not only need the confidence to fight to bully but also the knowledge of bullies. The first step of defense is knowing the mindsets and intentions of bullies and the tactics they use.

Why You Should NEVER Hate Yourself

In today’s backwards culture, we are continuously encouraged to hate ourselves, especially if we fall under certain criteria. You know what I’m talking about.

Also, we’re being brainwashed into believing that if we hate ourselves because of some kind of “privilege,” or because we’re Americans, or Westerners, or middle class, or because we own a business, whatever, then it shows that we’re “woke.” It’s virtue signaling at its finest, and it’s all a bunch of hogwash!

Here’s why you shouldn’t hate yourself no matter what anyone, including your bullies, the media, and certain politicians tell you:

If they can get you to hate yourself, then they can make you self-destruct. Understand that if you hate yourself, it isn’t to your own benefit, it’s only to theirs (bullies, media, politicians, the elite, etc.) Also, if they can get you to hate yourself, they can talk you into doing the most degrading and demeaning things- like bow down and kneel before other people.

Anyone who can get you to hate yourself can make you feel guilty for things that you had nothing to do with and that aren’t your fault, get you to subjugate yourself, and make you feel that you must “atone” for that guilt.

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Understand that people who hate themselves are easily led because they are yes-people too eager to please. They try so hard to show the rest of the world, they’re morally good- that they’re above certain things. These people will jump through hoops to prove they’re decent people.

But folks, if you already know yourself and know without a doubt that you’re a good, moral, and decent person, why then would you feel you must bend over backwards and make such a concerted effort to prove that?

You wouldn’t. Because you know that the goodness, morals, and decency are already there whether others know it or not. Your conscience is clear, and you know that you’ve done nothing wrong. Therefore, you instinctively know that anything the media, politicians, or anyone on the street might put out does not apply to you.

Anyone who virtue signals- who has to work so hard and put on a show to prove something to others can’t have a clear conscience- so they must pander, virtue signal, and really strain themselves not only to prove to the rest of the world that they’re on top of the moral mountain, but to ease their guilty conscience.

On the other hand, if your conscience is clear and you know that none of the narratives apply to you, you wouldn’t waste your time and energy trying to prove it.

‘Know where I’m going with this? Great! I thought that you would!

No matter where you come from,  it’s best to love yourself just the way God made you and turn a deaf ear to the lies of The Enemy!

How I Dealt with Bullying in the Past v/s How I Deal with It Today

Bullies have been around since the beginning of time and bullying is a dark part of human nature. However, that doesn’t mean that we should put up with it.

I’ve dealt with bullies at different times my whole life and it has led me to evaluate the way I dealt with bullying in the past. It has also led to a passion for learning more about bullying and what makes bullies tick.

Here’s what I’ve learned.

Bullies are highly insecure, egotistical, know-it-all creeps with god complexes, and they feel they must always be the center of attention. Therefore, they feel entitled to waste your precious time by telling you how they think you should behave, what clothes, accessories, and hairstyles they think you should wear, trying to teach you things that you already know and most likely learned when you were five, and being passive-aggressive (or overtly aggressive). They do this to impress others by making you look inferior.

This is how bullies get the attention they crave.

And the best way to deal with a bully is to refuse them the attention they want. And when we deny bullies attention, we don’t value their opinions of us or anything that comes out of their mouths. We deny them that supply- that ego trip they seek, and in that, we cease to be victims. We might still be targets, but never victims.

In the past, I’ve had bullies force me to justify myself over the most harmless and trivial things, compel me to do things I never wanted to do, and attack me with stealthy put-downs disguised as “teachable moments” and “friendly advice.”

Back then, I over-apologized for just being me, or for things I had nothing to do with. I apologized for other people’s bad behavior, which were things I had absolutely no control over. I bought into their lies and gaslighting and apologized any time a bully let me know that my interpretation of what they would say to me wasn’t meant the way it came across and that they’d never say such terrible things to another person. Then I’d feel bad for taking them the wrong way. All the while, they’d continue and even escalate the abuse.

I’d let bullies push me into losing my temper and returning fire with the same verbal attacks they launched against me. I would then feel terrible when the bullies would whine, cry, and moan about how much I’d hurt their little feelings and how I had “overreacted.”

It’s funny how bullies can always dish it out but can never take it when the crap gets kicked back their way.

What I didn’t realize was that by my reactions, I was giving these bullies the attention they were looking for. I was giving them the green light to push my buttons, to question my mental stability and jerk me around. I was making myself their play-toy. I was allowing them to tear me down in order to build up their own fragile egos.

It was all a load of tripe, and I fell for it- hook, line, and sinker.

But no more. Since then, I’ve learned to spot a bully by observing the same types of behavior. I’ve also learned not to play their games. A person may bully me once. But trust me, they’ll only do it one time because I know bullying and abuse when I see it. And I also know what it looks like in the early stages.

I make it a point to treat others how I’d like to be treated and to listen to other people’s opinions and takes on things. However, bullies and abusers are the exceptions here. And when I see the signs and realize that someone is starting to bully me, they automatically lose a target. And when I’m done with a person, I’m done and there’s no looking back. I won’t continue to stroke a bully’s ego.

If the person is someone in a high position, I’ll withdraw my support. If the person is a coworker, I’ll find another job or I’ll expose them by simply giving them plenty of rope,  then sit back and bide my time until the person hangs themselves and gets fired. If the person is someone related, any future contact will be on my terms.

And when I go no-contact, I won’t bother to explain to the person why I’m done with them because I owe them no explanations. Neither will I smack them across the head and let them know when they are about to cross the line. If they don’t have the self-awareness to realize that their evil actions and behavior are the problems, that’s on them and they’re the one who must deal with the consequences.

And no. I won’t have as much as a shred of guilt over it because self-care is nothing to feel guilty over. I value my sanity and peace of mind more than I ever will others’ opinions of me.