Group Mentality- Us versus Them

Bullies and, sadly, bystanders tend to relish the humiliation of the target. Bullies and bystanders are as fans rooting for their favorite ball team and against the rival team. Only the rival team only consists of one person- the target.

This is even better because the bullies and their loyal sycophants vastly outnumber the target and feel that it’s safe to show hostility. People in groups are far more open with abuse because they get a certain degree of cover and anonymity from the group.

The group’s comradery and empathy for each other, combined with their blatant hostility for the target are both powerful and dangerous. It’s the same kind of scenario you see in political fights and persecution.

A crowd of people surrounded the red man. Accusation of crime, mob law over a person, lynch court. The leader in the center of the crowd, the leader, an example for diving. Angry crowd

The enthusiasm of the supporters who back the bullies is that of the audience for their favorite ball teams, or an entire nation when its soldiers return home from war. It spreads throughout the group with extreme fervor and exalts their “heroes” while degrading the adversary or enemy.

Whether in sports against the opposing team, in the military against the enemy on the battlefield, or a group of bullies and bystanders against a target, the mentality and feelings of hostility are all the same- it’s the dynamic of “us versus them.”

When bullies turn an entire school, workplace, or organization against one target, the entire group shares a great degree of esprit de corps. Members of the group solidify themselves to one another and distance themselves from the target. In this, they overplay the sameness in their clique and differences from the target.

The greater the hatred and hostility, the more they band together and bond with each other and the more hostility they heap onto the target.

Simply put, hatred and hostility only serve to strengthen their desire to not only isolate the target, but to eliminate him/her altogether.

The more you know about pack mentality, the better prepared you’ll be when the mob comes for you.

Why Bullies Crave Power (And Can’t Get Enough of It)

Simple. Because it feels good.

“Power is not what you have. It’s what the enemy thinks you have.”  ~ Saul D. Alinsky (Rules for Radicals)

Bullies crave power like a fat kid craves McDonald’s Big Macs. Power tastes delicious. Understand that most bullies attack in groups, or more appropriately, mobs. Being in a mob gives people tremendous power and bullies know it.

Power feels good because it can get people prestige, street cred, notoriety, and popularity. Power has a way of cushioning the ego, and as we already know, most bullies have meaningless lives outside of the mob and bullying environment (school, work, community, etc.). So, the power they get from being a part of a mob adds “meaning” to their lives that they could never get by any other means. Power is what gives bullies a cause and a purpose in life.

Group power is even better! Because in a mob, each individual can bully a target, lose themselves in the bullying, and get a degree of anonymity. Therefore, bullies are much safer in the group. The group shields each bully from taking any responsibility for their appalling behavior. Groups provide protection from exposure and personal consequences.

So, how do you fight back against a mob?

One way is to call out one or two of their members by their names and tell them to “get a grip,” “knock it off,” or “calm down.”

I recently read this in a book about survival and it makes perfect sense. Anytime you call out a few members of a mob by their names, it brings them back to themselves by personalizing them. What you’re doing is basically, separating them from the mob when you loudly call out their name.

How I wish I’d known this earlier in life.