Do you ever wonder where bullies get their power and how they seem to get away with their evil actions? It’s because they’re notorious suck-ups. Bullies have a knack for appealing to those in authority and winning them over to their side.
Bullies are, in many cases, the most clueless and incompetent employees in a company. I’ve known many who didn’t have the sense to come in out of the rain, yet to supervisors, they were the brightest of the bunch. This leaves me to wonder if the supervisors themselves weren’t just as dumb. So, how are bullies so successful at concealing their stupidity?
Vector illustration of a grovel in business
They do it by taking credit for other people’s work and ideas. And because bullies kiss the right butts, supervisors, managers, and HR overlook it. Thumbing rides on others’ coattails are the norm for these leaches.
In school, bullies often suck up to teachers, principals, and school officials. They also seek to impress them with academics and being on the sports teams and in clubs. Couple that with their parents’ other town and city connections, and they have the freedom to bully at will.
Bullies also undermine other employees’ accomplishments and successes, talk over them to keep them from speaking and deride coworkers who are a threat to them somehow. Is it any wonder they’re able to get away with their garbage and even be rewarded for it?
The sooner we get the word out and bust these predators, the more we’ll know what to look for in cases such as these.
You already know the first three ways bullies use gaslighting. Here are more of their evil tactics and what you can do to keep your self-esteem intact.
4. Isolating the Target (Divide and Conquer)
Bullies often force their targets into isolation through social aggression (spreading rumors and lies about the person or intimidating his/her associates).
In doing this, bullies strategically turn the target’s friends and associates against them to cut him/her off from any support or protection they might otherwise receive. Once the subject is isolated, the bullies then move in for the kill and take the bullying to new heights.
If the target expresses the desire to change schools or workplaces, the bullies may try to discourage him/her by convincing them that they won’t be treated any better in the new environment or attempting to block the targets’ transfer and cut off any means of escape.
5. Bullies Make Themselves Out to be Superior and Cunningly Convince the Target that he/she needs them to get along.
Bullies slyly force their target to believe he/she somehow needs their approval. If the bullies can make the target dependent on them, their power and control only increase.
Bullies do this by convincing to target that they (the bullies) are the only ones who can better his/her (the target’s) situation- that only through them (the bullies) will the person be able to make friends and enjoy positive relationships! And only with their (the bullies’) permission will the target find happiness and fulfillment.
Also, bullies make the target believe that they must submit to their every whim and wish, no matter how demeaning, before they grant him/her relief from the attacks. But understand that bullies will never leave you alone! It’s is only another tactic to assert domination!
6. Empty Promises
“If you do this, I’ll go away quietly and leave you alone.” “If you do that, I’ll be your friend.” “If you’d only do XYZ, I’ll make things easier for you.”
Don’t buy any of it! You can never appease a bully. They will never go away or stop the harassment. They only make empty promises to keep you under their control. Understand that bullies have an insatiable appetite for power, control, and destruction.
They are like bottomless pits, and no matter what you do to please them, they’ll only continue or increase the torment. You must realize that no amount of bullying is ever enough for a bully. Bullies are power and drama addicts, and harassment of their targets is like a drug to them. They can never get enough! Bullies always come back for more! In short, they become drunk on their own power.
The only way to stop a bully is to either use reverse psychology, put the fear of God into him/her by calling them out publicly, or go no contact if you can. If you can’t, then use the first two suggestions. It may or may not work, but keep it up. Because if you just clam up and say nothing, you’ll feel terrible about yourself later.
There are two things bullies fear most. Losing face and losing power, which would only come from having their evil exposed and and with the target ceasing to care what they say and think altogether. NOTE: When you stop caring (which can only happen after you see the bullies for the pathetic souls they really are), it’ll be so much easier to come back with a witty, one-line counter-dig and keep walking.
Another important note: DOCUMENT EVERYTHING! Write it all down in detail to keep records of this kind of stuff! You may need it!!!!!!
Jot down what happened (in detail), including date and time it happened, where it happened, who the bullies are, names of any bystanders, teachers, supervisors, etc., and if possible, why it happened (was it retaliation?)! EVERYTHING!
Find ways to expose bullies and reclaim your power.
Gaslight- to manipulate someone by psychological means into doubting their sanity.
Remember that bullying is all about domination and control. Once the bully selects a target and begins their reign of terror over the chosen victim, they will do everything possible to maintain that dominance. Also, understand that bullies get a huge psychological payoff at the victim’s expense. Abusing their targets gives bullies a rush of power and a sense of authority and control.
If there is a culture of bullying at a school, workplace, or community, bullies are also rewarded with attention, high social status and promotions from others while the target suffers the opposite. And a bully will fight like crazy to keep those benefits should the target speak out and shed light on the behavior.
Once the target sees the behavior for what it is and begins to assert their right to be treated fairly, bullies will become angry and afraid. They will see the target as a threat to their power and increase the harassment to subdue, silence and punish the person.
Seasoned bullies maintain power by emotionally abusing, brainwashing, and psychological abuse to disempower the target and make themselves seem bigger and better than what they are. They use these methods because psycho/emotional bullying leaves no physical evidence and is much easier to deny.
They do this by convincing their target (and everyone else) that he/she is defective or no good, thereby stripping the target’s confidence and self-esteem.
Here are ways bullies gaslight their targets:
1. Persistent lying
Bullies tell vague lies and trying to convince you that you are mentally unstable, less than, deserving of the mistreatment, or that you’re somehow defective. Bullies will make statements to others such as,
“He’s a waste of space, and he needs to realize it already!”
“She’s such an embarrassment! How does she even show her face in public every day?”
“Who gives a #$% about his feelings! He doesn’t matter!”
“She brought it all on herself!”
Bullies will also tell their targets things like:
“What are you smiling about? Nobody likes you! Remember?”
“I’m not bullying you! You’re just over-reacting!”
Displeased woman looking at her growing nose and trying to stop it with her finger isolated on white background
“You’re just being (paranoid, overly sensitive, a crybaby, etc.)! You need help!”
“Nobody’s mistreating you! You’re just playing the victim to look innocent to everyone else!
“You’re so (arrogant, retarded, crazy, ugly, fat, skinny, etc.) nobody believes a word you say!”
I could go on and on.
Bullies deliberately repeat these lies over and over again and for a long time to convince the target that they are right. Understand that this constant repetition has a purpose! To instill insecurity in the victim, wear them down and force him/her to resign themselves and acquiesce.
It serves to brainwash the target and force him/her to believe the bully’s lies. As a result, the target becomes riddled with confusion, social anxiety and shame. Eventually, the person loses the ability to counter the attacks
You must realize that this is the bully’s strategy to render control and keep the target under their control and from rebelling against the abuse.
2. Wearing the Target Down and forcing him/her to agree with them.
Bullies continue to put the target down and marginalize them until he/she is so tired or afraid of defending against them that the person shuts down, grows numb to the abuse and surrenders to the bullies.
Bullying, friendship and people concept. Girl patronizing screaming pointing finger at shy timid nerdy woman who is looking down
3. Become Highly Aggressive When the Target Calls Out the Abuse
Bullies may try to maintain their power by intensifying and escalating the attacks in addition to blaming and shaming the target. Understand that this is designed to subdue and further subjugate the person by intimidation and to force him/her into silence and submission. It also allows the bully to escape accountability and to have a green light for continued and future attacks.
People manipulate because they feel powerless inside and can’t get what they want any other way. Therefore, they must resort to indirect means and trickery to get their needs and wants met.
There are many ways, people, especially bullies, manipulate:
1. Guilt Trips – manipulators will make you feel guilty when you don’t let them have their way and continue to violate your boundaries. If you “dare” to stand up to them, they’ll become offended and angry, trying to make you believe you are the bad guy.
Many times, when I was young, I had others tell me that if I didn’t do what they wanted, then I wasn’t a good friend, or I was selfish, stingy, or greedy. The other person would always play the loyalty card.
Manipulators may also attempt to make you feel obligated somehow. They may refer to when they did something for you and imply that you now owe them somehow. For example, if a partner asks a girl for sex and she tells them she’s not ready to take that step yet, the partner will then say something to the tune of, “I just took you out to a five-course dinner and treated you to a great movie…” Blah-b-blah.
Let’s be clear, you don’t owe them anything, especially if it’s a date trying to get in your britches, or someone trying to talk you into joining them in doing something illegal. If something doesn’t feel right and you get the feeling you’re better off not going along, trust your instincts. And say no, then tell them to either beat it or take you home right then!
2. Pretending not to understand – “I don’t know what you’re talking about!” We have all heard that line many times. people will claim they don’t understand when, in fact, they know darn well what you’re saying but don’t want to know. Do not fall for this! Either walk away, or tell the person, “don’t give me that crap. You know exactly what I’m talking about.” Then, walk away.
3. Being friendly only when they (the manipulator) expect something in return – Every single one of us has dealt with those types- you know the ones. You never hear from these people and they may even treat you cold when they see you out and about. Then, suddenly, magically, out of the blue, they call you up or start being friendly. Next, they ask you for a favor, some help with a problem they are dealing with, or maybe they need a little cash. And so, you help the person and once they’ve gotten what they wanted, it’s back to true blue.
Ditch this person because you don’t need them in your life.
4. The silent treatment – This is one of the most common tactics manipulators use and it’s done to exploit the natural and very strong human need for social acceptance and community. And let’s face it. We are all hardwired for social connection. Furthermore, it’s natural to go silent on someone when they’ve done us wrong. However, the silent treatment can also be abused by manipulators when they don’t get their way and can be damaging to the target when used against them.
If a bully or anyone else tries to get you to do something you don’t want to do, no law says that you have to do it. And how you protect yourself and your self-esteem against this childish behavior is to mirror it. In other words, when someone gives you the silent treatment, you give it back to them. Always remember that two can play that game!
5. Acting as if an agreement has been made when there’s been no agreement at all – This can be the most infuriating to a target. These people will often go ahead with their plans before you’ve made an agreement or they’ll tell you something like, “Remember? We agreed to so-and-so last week,” knowing darn well you never agreed to anything. Manipulators will try to put words in your mouth to strong arm you into giving them their way.
Don’t go along with this. Give this person their walking papers. Pronto!
6. Suggesting negative outcomes to the target’s plans – Anytime you have plans, there will be people who will try to break your confidence by giving you words of discouragement. For example, if you plan to record a CD, they might say things like, “I’m not trying to disappoint you, but chances are your CD will never chart.” Or “I hate to say this, but it’s no guarantee a producer will ever sign you to a record level.”
If you’re planning to publish a book, someone might ask you, “How do you know your book will even sell?” Or they might ask, “Do you really think you’re that good of a writer? You need to be honest with yourself.”
They may also ridicule and belittle your goals and dreams to make you feel like your dreams are stupid, or something to be ashamed of.
Trust me, I had people do the same to me but it never discouraged me, it only ticked me off and made me double down on my plans to publish my books. And the best part is, I finally did it!
I advise you to do the same if a shady character tries to discourage you from pursuing your plans, goals, and dreams. Realize that the reason people discourage you is because they’re so afraid that you just might succeed. In fact, the very possibility of you succeeding scares them to death! Why? Because your success would force these jerks to take a long look at themselves and their own pathetic lives.
7. Distracting the target from goals – If a jealous manipulator knows that you’re striving toward a goal, they will deliberately try to distract you. Again, the reason people do this is because, deep down, they’re afraid that you might succeed and force them to compare your life to theirs.
Point blank, these people want so badly for you to fail. And they want you to stay on the same level as them so they won’t be left in the gutter alone and feel so bad about themselves. For example, people might be real sneaky about it and begin inviting you to parties or trying to get you drunk.
When they do this, they can claim that they only want you to have a good time instead of sitting at the house studying all the time. Or they may be more overt and interrupt you while you’re working or play loud music while you’re trying to concentrate. Again, these people are scared to death of your success and they will very slyly put out all the stops to distract your attention. So, beware.
How you combat this is to politely decline any invites or go to a place where you can work quietly and not be interrupted or distracted.
Bullies want you to believe that you’re nothing without their approval.
They want you to think that they control your very existence and that you can’t make friends, find a date, make the sports team, win a prize or have any successes without their say so.
Understand that this is how they brainwash you to wrest complete control and domination over your life. If they can make you believe that you’re nothing without their approval, then they succeed in taking away your power!
But know this! You do not need approval from anyone except the people who love you back. If the person doesn’t see your worth, their opinions of you shouldn’t matter.
The biggest excuse for hatred and bullying today is in the name of social causes. They hide their hatred of certain individuals and groups behind political activism and the accomplishment of social goals, which have nothing to do with love for your fellow man. As we’ve learned in the last year, most political policies only serve to destroy civilization.
Bullying and hatred only see laws, rules and norms as ways to oppress. I’m not saying that certain corrupt individuals won’t pervert them for their own ends, because they do. However, laws, rules and norms are initially put in place for a good reason, to preserve peace and safety for everyone. The dark side of human nature dictates that without laws and rules, our society would be a cesspool of chaos, anarchy, and suffering.
Bullies and haters will use words like “equality” and the past sins of targeted groups and individuals as an excuse to cause harm and destruction to those who have been labeled, fairly or unfairly. They will hide their hatred behind a veneer of a desire to do the right thing and use shame, disgust, and ridicule to bully people who may or may not have contributed to the inequality.
In this, innocent people can become objects of bullying and hatred because they are different somehow- they may be of different races, religions, or political beliefs. They may also be bullied and hated because they are poor. Maybe they smell bad, or are considered unattractive.
Many are bullied and hated because of something they have no control over- maybe they have a mental handicap, are physically weak, disabled, or disfigured. Some are hated because they don’t conform to certain standards. Maybe they were disadvantaged, got a poor education, and not as knowledgeable about things that most people already know.
Maybe they don’t dress properly, or they just do things their own way and not the way everyone else does. Difference, no matter how slight, always attracts bullying and hatred. Always! It’s sad but true! And innocent people who so happen to fall into the hated category of people end up persecuted and suffer needlessly and unfairly.
Hatred and bullying are so tricky because, like I’ve mentioned earlier, people often disguise their hatred and bullying as morality and equality. To be accepted, hatred and bullying can never be boldfaced and without moral reasoning. Bullies and haters must hide behind the facade of justice and fairness.
For example, hatred that stems from jealousy often dresses itself as a campaign of fairness. I’m not saying that all campaigns of fairness and justice stem from hate. However, many do.
The idea of spreading the wealth is one such example of class envy and hating and bullying those who have worked hard and reached financial and personal success.
In my opinion, a person that has worked hard to get his business off the ground and is successful in doing so deserves to keep his profits. Why? Because he worked hard, and he earned it. And he has the option to donate to the charities of his choice and help the poor but it’s his choice whether to.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m charitable and I like to give to the less fortunate, but only because I want to! Not because some politician or activist demands that I give a portion of my earnings. And I can guarantee that if anyone dares to demand that I give them something, the only thing they will get from me is a proverbial middle finger and an “up yours.”
People give because they want to, not because they’re ordered to. That, my friends, is human nature.
Movements like these send the wrong message- that’s it’s somehow wrong for someone else to have something “that I don’t have and haven’t found a way to get” even though they worked their ass off to get what they have and where they are.
Another example is hatred and the desire to take revenge, which often masquerades as movements and campaigns against injustice or for justice.
Again, I’m not saying that all of these campaigns are about hate and vengeance. Martin Luther King, in his marches for freedom, surely did NOT advocate hatred, bullying, or taking revenge. His campaigns were for true unity and the good of mankind.
However, it’s too easy to use these campaigns to justify hatred and bullying, just as extremist groups like Antifa and others do. This is wrong. There’s no justification for hatred and bullying. Never! When groups such as these say the word “justice,” what they really mean is “revenge.” It’s how they justify burning, looting, violence, and murder.
Bullies and haters will also pervert the word compassion to hide hatred and bullying and will also recruit people to join them in their hatred of another person or group. This is how they trick people into believing that they’re being compassionate of their pain when, all they’re really doing is promoting hatred and hostility toward a target or targets.
Remember that MLK encouraged forgiveness and peaceful protesting. He encouraged unity. Sadly, groups like Antifa, BAMN, and The Red Guard encourage only hatred and any voice that encourages forgiveness or peace will be seen as opposition and quickly silenced. These groups will make it seem unfeeling and to lack empathy for the oppressed.
But lies disguised as compassion are of the most evil variety because they cause the most destruction and blind it’s followers to their hate, hostility, and viciousness. It’s also how innocent people are demonized and brutalized. Because, when an innocent person is labelled as bad and evil, they then become targets for hatred, violence, even murder!
It’s actually a clever and convincing disguise, but think about this: Satan never comes before you in a red suit with horns and a pointy tail, no. He always comes as an angel of light or as your heart’s desire- something you’ve always dreamed of. And trust me, he’s damn good at it! And why not? He’s the master of lies and fake disguises!