As rumors and lies circulate, details are included and added to the stories, and these details have a way of being inserted into people’s memories. There have been cases of burglaries where the homeowners “thought they saw” an unarmed burglar with a gun when, in fact, there was no gun.
Understand that in these cases, people don’t lie on purpose. They really and truly believe they saw a gun in the criminal’s hand or his pocket. They actually “remember” seeing it.
And the reason they remember it so plainly is that they’ve heard and talked about it so much their brains filled in the blanks with the details based on what they heard. Another reason for false memories is that when bullies ask questions such as,
“Did you see her do this?”
“Did you hear him say that?”
they only suggest that she did do this, or he did say that- the Power of Suggestion at work.
It’s so easy to influence people’s memories by presenting something in a particular way. Also, the memory will adjust itself according to a person’s stereotypes and expectations. People see what they expect to see.
Too often, people’s memories depend on social expectations- what they expect the target to do and not what he is actually doing.
Understand that memories are mistakable and can be falsified. Sure. And whether accurate or make-believe, once it becomes a memory, there’s no way to tell the difference.
If you’re a target of bullying, I want you to realize that this does happen and that you must make preparations accordingly to protect yourself better.
I’ve never told one lie in my entire life, and that’s no lie!
Ha! Shyeah, right!
Let’s face it, we’ve all told some big ones in our lives, myself included and yes, even you have. No one is perfect and there are many reasons why people lie- too many to list.
As we all know, bullies and abusers are notorious liars and they do it without even a shred of conscience. The scary thing about it is that they’re good at lying, and their talent for telling such convincing falsehoods is what makes them so dangerous. And why not, bullies and abusers have been telling fibs all their lives.
They’ve had so many years of practice, they’ve gotten deception down to a fine art. In other words, they’ve become masters at it!
We also know why bullies and abusers lie. They don’t only lie to cover their butts and conceal wrongdoings, imperfections, and shortcomings; but also, to discredit their victims, defame others, assassinate people’s character, and ruin their reputations and lives.
However, many targets of bullying also lie. But they lie for totally different reasons.
Targets of bullying don’t like having to tell falsehoods. In fact, they hate it! But they do out of fear and terror. They lie out of desperation. You see, a person who is under the threat of being harmed will do anything to remove that threat. And if they have to lie to save themselves, they’ll do it.
Many targets of bullying must tell lie after lie just to survive! Sadly, most people who are bullied feel like they must lie to protect themselves because they know that truth could get them hurt. Or they lie to make the bullying stop.
Sadly, lying becomes a survival method and, even worse, a terrible habit that’s hard to break.
I must confess that this was me years ago. During the years I was bullied, I felt I also had to lie to ensure my personal safety, and it sucked. A lot of my relationships suffered in the process, and I lost a lot of people.
After years of being bullied, I became a very sneaky and wile person. I used craftiness and cunning to get through a normal school day. I felt I had to use trickery and con games just to survive each day and I’m not proud to admit this today.
If there’s one thing you should remember, it’s this: The people you feel you must lie to have power over you. They control your life. In other words, by lying, you make yourself a subject.
Here’s another thing you should remember:
People with any common sense can tell when they’re being played. And lies have a way of unraveling. Falsehoods are also hard to maintain, and you must tell another lie to cover up the first one. In other words, it’s a lot of work to maintain a lie.
Eventually, I came to realize these important facts. There finally came a time when I began to ask myself these questions:
“Who are these people that I should have to lie?”
“Why must I work so hard to hide stuff instead of being myself and being free?”
“Who do I have anything to hide from?”
“Why should I give up my power to people who have no business having it?”
That’s when I got sick of it and said, “screw this!”
Lying is too much work and it’s stressful too. And it’s a shame that more don’t learn that lesson. I’m so glad that I now have the confidence to be honest without feeling the need to apologize for it.
Today, I know that I have nothing to hide from anyone, and that means I have nothing to lie about. If they can’t handle the truths of my reality, then screw them. They don’t pay my bills, nor do they sign my paychecks. They have no authority over me and no bearing on my life whatsoever.
And even if they did, I wouldn’t feel the need to lie to them about anything.
Being myself and standing in my truth allow me to relax and live in peace and harmony. There’s no need to scramble to cover up any lies and it’s the life I love and want to continue to live.
If you’re a target of bullying, I almost certain that you’ve had bullies tell the most outrageous and outright ridiculous falsehoods about you- lies which were laughable at best. And shockingly, everyone in the place actually believed that garbage! And you wondered, “How could anyone with even a lick of sense believe such moronic tales!”
It seemed as if everyone around you was smoking crack. They’d have to be to believe such tripe!
Understand that anytime you’re a target of bullying; you’re at your absolute worst! Anyone would be at their worst under the extreme pressure that bullying brings. Anytime a person is bullied by everyone, it doesn’t matter how strong they are, how brave they are, how beautiful, how awesome their personalities are, they will eventually be overcome with exhaustion and taken down.
If you’re bullied long enough, by enough people, you’ll only be able to stay strong and withstand it for so long. Because we’re all human, and no one can hold up under that kind of stress and adversity forever.
Bullies instinctively know this. So, they increase the abuse until you begin to crack. You will be overwhelmed with so many emotions. You’ll be completely paranoid- and with good reason!
You’ll be furious, you’ll be terrified, shocked, confused, and stressed to the extreme! Your appetite will be gone, and you’ll get very little sleep. You’ll have lots of your hair falling out, and your stomach will be in knots. You’ll have excruciating headaches. At times, you’ll feel nauseated and even vomit!
Should it be any wonder that people believe everything they hear about you?
They’ve seen you morph from a cheerful, reliable, responsible, and reasonable person to a stressed out, hot mess of a train wreck who’s barely able to function, much less concentrate on schoolwork or work projects.
Here’s another thing:
Joseph Goebbels, who was the minister of propaganda to Adolf Hitler, said it best when he made these statements,
“Tell a lie once, and it remains a lie. Tell a lie a thousand times, and it becomes the truth.”
“The bigger the lie, the more it will be believed.”
Believe it or not, people will believe the big, outlandish lies before they accept the little white lies that make more sense. If we hear something about another person, especially if it’s something huge and horrible and comes from a person we trust and with a little bit of power, we may feel shocked and disbelief at first, we will eventually end up believing it.
And the reason we end up believing it is that the repercussions of severe wrongdoing are so enormous that we don’t want to think that anyone would tell such a big fat lie about someone if there isn’t some truth to it.
We cling to the belief that if a person is audacious enough to make such an accusation about another person, then somewhere, there must be evidence to back it up. Otherwise, they wouldn’t dare make such bold accusations and risk being proven wrong and made to look like a fool!
So, we hold on to the idea that where there’s smoke, there’s fire and allow caution and speculation to supersede any logic. And if we expect trouble to come from a specific place, that’s where we’re going to look.
And when we look for a specific thing, we usually find it.
Also, if a lie is something that goes against the target’s character, we’re more likely to believe it strictly because any story of hypocrisy has a certain amount of shock value and entertainment to it as long as the story is about someone else and not us.
Another reason we’re more prone to believe a big fat lie is because it frightens the crap out of us. When people hear a lie so big and outrageous, it makes them wonder if they ever really knew the target at all. And the idea that someone they know could do such a horrible thing scares people to death.