Anytime you stand up to or reject a bully, you instantly change the power dynamic. You immediately take your personal power back and you automatically put the bully in a position of weakness and inferiority. You flip the script and take the position of power over the bully. This is why bullies cannot handle rejection because they feel that they must always be in the position of power in a relationship, especially the bully/target relationship.
A bully gets angry enough when anyone stands up to them. But if the person standing up to them happens to be the target- someone that they’ve grown accustomed to abusing- someone who they deem inferior, that’s when the bully really loses their marbles.
This is because the target is most likely on the bottom of the pecking order and when she finally bucks up and stands up to a bully, she then (figuratively) trades places with the bully and puts the bully on the bottom of the pecking order, if only for that moment. That’s what the bully can’t handle and that’s why he/she will explode with rage.
The bully’s unspoken message is:
“How dare you!”
“Who is this phlegm-wad to stand up to me? ME!
“This piece of scum is supposed to be under me and here she is talking to me and acting like she’s OVER me! Oh no! This can’t happen! Who does this loser think she is!”
“The nerve of that &#$%!”
“She’s making trouble and now I’ve got to really act out to put her back under me where she belongs!”
Understand that bullies rely on fear, overwhelming strength, and coercion to get what they want from you. And they’ve been steamrolling people and getting their way for so long that they’ve become quite arrogant and self-satisfied. And when you finally have enough of their gas and set your foot down, you can bet that it’s going to throw these types of people off. And do you know what else it’s going to do?
It’s going to blast a huge hole in their ego and it will shock the bejeebers out of them. Then the bullies will become highly PO’ed. In fact, they’ll become so angry that they’ll more than likely go from zero to one hundred in a matter of seconds. If the bully is a narcissist (and most bullies are), he will go into what is called narcissistic rage. And trust me, you don’t want to be anywhere around when this happens.
So, keep this in the back of your mind and be prepared. If you are a target of bullying and anytime you get fed up with others’ abuse and finally grow a spine, you can bet that your bullies will do anything they can to break it. It’s why they escalate the bullying when a target stops accepting the bad treatment and begins speaking out and asserting themselves.
Understand that a bully has a very delicate ego and his ego is involved. When you tell them to go kick rocks, you undermine their perceived superiority over you. Even worse, you put them into an inferior position and the bully knows that. Bullies are very prideful and their pride takes a huge blow anytime you talk back or fight back. And most bullies would rather die than to be made inferior, especially to their targets.
When you stand up to your bullies, be prepared for a battle because they will become vindictive. Your bullies will seek revenge on you and they won’t stop coming after you until they get it. Realize that they don’t care if they’re the ones who’ve mistreated you all these years and they don’t care that you’ve suffered.
The only thing they are thinking at this moment is that you challenged their superiority and authority. You are a target and nothing else. You are beneath them, yet you had the nerve to undermine them and make them look like punks and now you must pay a price for it. This is how bullies think.
Now yes, some bullies will back down but many will not.
However, know that you must defend yourself no matter what because you have a right to safety and to be treated with dignity. And if the bullies and bullying become too much to deal with, there’s nothing wrong with leaving the environment. Realize that leaving is not running and it’s not being fearful or “chicken.” It’s self-care, it’s smarts, and it’s self-preservation. You must do what you must to protect not only your physical health, but also your mental health.
With knowledge comes empowerment!