With your head filled with grandiose thoughts of your own importance
You’re totally oblivious to the severity of your own incompetence
With your head filled with grandiose thoughts of your own importance
You’re totally oblivious to the severity of your own incompetence
Bullies see any recognition the target gets for a good deed, high marks, an accomplishment, or success as the target’s having diminished them somehow. If you’re a target, these types of bullies will only see any success you enjoy as a reflection on them.
You force them to think about and take stock of their own successes and failures. Understand that it’s the bullies’ self-focus that sets the stage for their anger and hostility toward you. They will personalize your success as if you’re an opponent who’s competing with them for the same prize.
The bullies are forced to compare themselves with you because they’re afraid that other people will consider them less worthy or important than you. They feel invisible and left out because they’re not getting the praise that you’re getting. So, they get a sense of disregard from others.
But rather than have normal feelings of disappointment and regret, they have anger and hatred toward you.
Although you never harmed them, the bullies feel a sense of injustice because they feel that you don’t deserve the recognition, but they do. They feel wronged and very much entitled to their anger and hostility.
Bullies will then accuse you of thinking you’re better than they are- as if they know what you’re thinking. And they really do think they can read your mind correctly, which then only further arouses their anger and hate.
Again, according to the bullies’ logic, you’ve wronged them somehow so, you are the enemy. And this perceived wrong that you’ve done compels the bullies to act hostile toward you because the bullies’ egos have been bruised by your successes and accomplishments.
Just as money is the root of evil, the ego is the root of jealousy. And bullies have enormous egos!
With knowledge comes empowerment!
You do the Voodoo that you do
Other people you hoodoo
And happiness you poo-poo
We all say screw you
Like a pesky fly, we shew you
You say you’re a guru
You’re so full of doodoo
You’re really just coo-coo
Choosing me was your first boo-boo
‘Cause I see the voodoo that you do
Bullies of the narcissistic variety truly believe they’re better than and more important than anyone else. They believe the world revolves around them and owes them. They believe that they deserve better treatment. They think people should favor them and bow down to their every whim. They really have grandiose delusions of themselves, how others are supposed to treat them, and how the world is supposed to work.
Narcissistic bullies will take advantage of others and exploit their weaknesses for their benefit. They have no empathy and have no care how they hurt their targets. They pass unfair and ridiculous judgements on their targets, or anyone they deem inferior.
Narcissists have very fragile egos, and they feel threatened by anyone who outshines them in any way. They put up mental walls to keep threatening messages and info from penetrating their grandiose sense of self-importance and those walls are supported by the insults they hurl at their targets.
(Narcissism as a protective barrier)*
Narcissistic bullies can’t handle social rejection and they react fiercely to people they feel threatened by. Less than perfect evaluations send them into a fury. They protect and re-enforce their grandiose but fragile egos by criticizing any negative evaluations and feedback.
Many narcissistic bullies use grandiosity as a cover-up for their feelings of vulnerability, inadequacy, and incompetence. They’re deathly afraid that their shortcomings will be exposed, so, they hurl disparaging remarks and ugly names at others to distract others from their own flaws.
That’s why they need targets to project their own issues of insecurity, fear, and self-loathing. They are really quite pathetic when you stop and think about it.
It’s so easy to see why narcissists are so hateful and hurtful. They need to hurt people to feel better about themselves.
Normal people, especially confident people, don’t feel the need to constantly fire off zingers to intentionally hurt other people. Therefore, they don’t have to have a target because they have a healthy sense of self.
No. People who are truly confident and not narcissists like to get along with everyone and enjoy seeing others happy. They have a love for other people and empathy for those who are hurting.
While narcissists degrade others and need a target, healthy and confident people have a more favorable view of everyone, including people who are targets of bullying. Confident people who love themselves do not need to put others down.
On the other hand, a narcissist feels that the only way they can love themselves is to put others down- including those who aren’t necessarily a threat to their grandiose views of themselves.
Narcissists feel their value comes from having power, riches, good looks, and popularity. Whereas, confident people get theirs from having healthy relationships with the people who mean the most to them and from having positive experiences with them.
And these are the differences between narcissists and people who are truly confident.
With knowledge comes empowerment!
Ever! Why? Because it’s a trap and you set yourself up to be that person’s prisoner and to be discarded once you’ve served your purpose to them. You will put yourself at the other’s mercy. Anytime you allow your world to revolve around someone because you’re afraid that you won’t find another partner, you’re afraid that you won’t find other friends, or you seek attention because you feel deprived of it, you make yourself a slave to others. As a result, you lose your value in the eyes of others. In short, you make yourself expendable and replaceable.
Understand that people have a tendency not to place much value, if any at all, on someone who’s always readily available, who’s always around, and (gasp!) who’s always chasing after approval and human connection. On the other hand, a person who’s rare, scarce, mysterious, and allusive is usually the one who’s sought after.
Hey! I get it, I understand the overwhelming feeling of loneliness and despair when you’re being bullied and being thrown under the bus by others who’ve turned on you. And my heart goes out to you. However, the last thing you want is to give away what dignity you have left and to give these people the satisfaction of seeing your desperation. They may disparage you; they may judge you, they may gossip about you, but let them misunderstand you and let them look down their nose at you. Just don’t let them know that their bullying is ruining your life.
Nine time out of ten, the people who do these things to you want to know how it hurts you. They want to see your wounds. They want to see you beg and plead. They want to see you hurt- and hurt badly, because people who want to hurt you want confirmation that their abuse is working and that they have power over you. They want proof that they can determine how you feel about yourself. Most of all, they want you dependent on their say so.
Don’t give them the satisfaction!
I’ve known women with abusive husbands, who let their abusers talk them into quitting their jobs or dropping out of college. And, in doing that, she gave up her independence and became totally dependent on him. After that, he had free reign to do with her whatever he wanted.
My very narcissistic grandfather did the same to my grandmother when she worked for a T.V. manufacturing plant during the mid-sixties. She allowed him to sweet talk her into quitting her job, promising her that he would provide for all her needs and that he’d be a good husband to her if she’d only quit her job. And less than a month after she quit, he sold her candy apple red, ’66 Ford Mustang she had just paid off- behind her back! Right out from under her!
He wanted her to need him more than he needed her. Thankfully, my grandmother eventually ended the marriage.
My grandfather was the same to his oldest daughter, my aunt. He tried to keep her from marrying the love of her life when she was eighteen years old because he wanted to keep her under his roof and therefore, under his thumb. And when she married him, with my grandmother’s permission, but behind my grandfather’s back, he showed up at her new house and physically attacked her.
Why am I telling you this story? Because there’s a point to it and the point is that bullies, whether at home, in the workplace, in any form of government, or at school, want the same thing- they want their targets to need them more than the bullies need their targets.
Bullies in the home want their targets totally dependent on their approval to live in peace.
Bullies in the workplace want their targets to need their approval to keep and enjoy their jobs and to provide for themselves and their families.
Bullies in government, better known as tyrants, want their constituents to think they need permission from them for freedom and to enjoy human rights.
Bullies at school want their targets to depend on their say so not only to enjoy having friends and a good social life, but also for psychological and physical safety.
So, how do we ensure that we never become dependent on another person?
1. If you’re an abused wife, you keep your job, no matter how he may sweet talk you into quitting, no matter how he promises you that he’ll fulfill all your financial needs, and no matter how tough he makes life for you at home, or, if he wants you to drop out of college, don’t.
2. You quietly keep a private stash of money hidden away and keep saving until you can afford to bail out of the abusive marriage.
3. If you’re under the rule of a bully official, realize that the people outnumber this tyrant by the thousands and there is strength in numbers. Find a way to use that against them.
4. If you’re a target of bullying in the workplace, quietly update your resume and begin looking for another job. And whatever you do, find a way not to put the bully down as a reference. And when you find another job, quit!
5. You make friends outside the bullying workplace or school. Just because your bullies and others at work don’t value you doesn’t mean that people outside of the toxic workplace won’t.
6. You may want to take a self-defense class to keep physically violent bullies at bay.
7. You keep your sense of self- continue to value and love yourself no matter how your bullies may mistreat you and degrade you.
Although you can never control how others see you or how they behave toward you, you can control how you see and treat yourself and you do have a choice of whether to keep them in your life or kick them out of it. Remember that your thoughts are free, and you choose the way you think of yourself. You control how you see yourself.
No one deserves to live, work, or learn in an unsafe environment. You’re well within your rights to walk away and never look back, or to at least, make changes that benefit you until you can walk away.
When I was a freshman in high school, I heard the horror stories. I saw the humiliation of several girls- girls who were asked out by boys in the top echelons of the social hierarchy. When you’re a target of bullying, you learn very quickly to keep not only your eyes, but your ears peeled, and as a result, you pick up a lot of cross talk.
These guys would take these girls out, treat them to dinner and maybe a movie. Next, they’d take them to the countryside, out to the back roads, and proposition them. Sure, many girls would give in and get thrown away like yesterday’s trash.
But some would refuse. And when a girl politely declined, the guy would get angry, kick the girl out of his vehicle, and leave her stranded on the side of the road. She’d be alone in the dead of night!
Back then, there were no cellphones and no internet, and the poor girl would have to thumb it to the nearest house to call her parents.
I overheard these girls talking in the girls’ room, over in the next stall. On this particular day, a girl was crying and confiding to her best friend. She’d fallen victim to this routine and paid for her solid refusal to cave into any demands for sex.
Although I wasn’t friends with the girl, my heart hurt for her, and I became furious with the guy who did that to her. I remember thinking to myself,
“Soooo…some creep thinks just because he took her to dinner and a movie, that suddenly she’s obligated to let him get in her pants???”
Oh yes! I was steaming! Judging from the way these girls talked, the schmuck who took this girl out acted like he’d done her a favor by asking her on a date- told her to her face that she should be thankful he even considered her!
The longer I eavesdropped, the angrier I became until I just had to get out of there or the temptation to open my mouth and insert my two cents would surely overwhelm me.
Who did this asshole think he was? Just learning of the privileged mindsets of some of those chumps in the popular crowd infuriated me! It was guys like him who made it hard on the decent guys who did respect women.
Their delusions of grandeur!
Thinking they were somehow entitled to a cheap roll in the hey!
Thinking that any girl who dated them was somehow “lucky” and that she should be on her knees thanking him for choosing her!
The delusional assumption that their reproductive organs were made of gold and that a girl was supposed to just grant him access to her body without question!
Ugh! All of it made me sick to my stomach and I couldn’t help but feel compassion for that poor girl a few stalls from me! It was a conversation I never forgot overhearing. I decided then and there that if some jerk from Oakley High asked me out, there was no way I’d be desperate enough to accept, and I didn’t give two hoots how “popular” he was! It wasn’t worth the risk.
No way was I going to fall victim to that! Being a victim of bullying was bad enough. I wasn’t about to add something like that to a repertoire of disses that was already a mile long. No, thank you!
These creeps would also threaten girls with things like, “If you don’t, I’ll tell everyone you did. And who do you think everyone will believe? You or me?”
It was the arrogant and narcissistic guys who had a way of forcing these girls to give them what they wanted. And if the girl wasn’t nearly as popular as the guy, all the worse for her! If she did give in, he’d use her once, then go ghost, while telling everyone he scored with her and putting her down like a dog. If she didn’t give in, he’d put her out, then lie and tell everyone he did score with her but kicked her out because she was a lousy lay.
She was damned no matter what she decided!
I look back now and am thankful I overheard that conversation because it forced me to make a few critical decisions, one of which was to avoid guys in the popular crowd like the plague and date guys who were a little more mature and knew how to treat a girl.
Eventually, I’d meet a guy in the college-age range, and he would become my first serious boyfriend. He allowed me the freedom to decide when I was ready. And although the relationship ended after a year and a half, I can look back and remember that he respected me and never guilted nor threatened me into doing anything I didn’t want to do.
Understand that this is a form of bullying and sadly, it’s something that’s rarely talked about. The creep in this story tried to bully this girl into giving herself to him before she was ready- he played on her fear of being left stranded, then humiliated, to get what he wanted from her. And when she stood firm in her decision, he made good on his threat and put her in a potentially dangerous situation.
I admire her for sticking to her guns, although she was punished for it. And I’m pretty sure she looks back on it today and is glad she respected herself and didn’t give in regardless of the end result.
Even today, many of the women from my class think I and a few others missed out because “we didn’t date the (right) guys in school.” But I beg to differ. I was fortunate not to have dated any of them because there’s no telling what might have happened to me if I had.
Know this! It’s okay to say no when someone demands you do something you’d rather not do. Avoid anyone who thinks they’re entitled to sex or thinks you owe them something. Because you owe no one a damn thing!
No means no! And if your date cannot respect you for it, then that person is not good enough for you. You deserve so much better. You might have to wait a while longer before a better person comes along, but anyone who truly deserves you is worth the wait!
It comes down to the bully’s views of him/herself and others. The reason these bullies use physical force and violence is because they feel vulnerable in conflicts. So, they go to the only problem-solving technique they’re most comfortable and familiar with- physical violence.
Physical violence is the only way they feel they can punish their targets and, therefore, restore their self-esteem.
These bullies tend to crave instant and immediate gratification and physical violence gives them that- an immediate rush of power and dominion, a thrill, a sense of control and that they’ve won.
Many physically violent bullies are egocentric and have delusions of grandeur. And when a target sticks up for themselves against these bullies- even if they do it verbally, or they just happen to say something, anything back to the bullies, right or wrong, it shatters the bullies’ grandiose images of themselves as tough guys who are always in the right. It makes them feel weak and stupid. Then they fly into a rage and use violence to restore that sense of power and invincibility.
Understand that these types of people are self-serving, feel superior to anyone else, and think they have innate entitlements that supersede even the most basic human rights of their targets. In other words, these bullies believe they’re entitled to harm their targets and that their targets are just supposed to “shut up and take it.” ‘Just take the abuse without protest or even question.
And when the target opposes and protests the abuse, the bullies will take it as a challenge and an insult and use forceful and violent measures to take the target down.
These people derive feelings of pleasure when beating up their targets and feel no shame unless they’re found out by the wrong people. In most cases, they are open with their violence and do not fear retaliation nor accountability because they know that most others are too scared to address the behavior and confront them.
As mentioned earlier, narcissistic physical bullies have no qualms about asserting their dominance over others because they feel their entitlements are supreme to your basic rights and they confidently encroach on your time, your space, and your safety.
These bullies have a low threshold for frustration and will make their targets pay dearly for frustrating them. And where most people would feel guilt and shame over hurting someone, narcissistic physical bullies only feel powerful and victorious.
Sadly, there’s not much you can do to help these types of people. Narcissistic people are resistant to any help or change. And narcissists who are physically violent usually end up in prison for battery or murder.
Unless you’re a black belt, there’s also not much you can do to protect yourself from these people because the more you fight back, the more they’ll come back until they wear you down, maim you, or worse, kill you. If you are a target of a narcissistic physical bully, the only way you can ensure your safety is not only to go no contact, but either relocate, transfer schools, or find another job.
I can tell you the metaphors I often used to describe my bullies at school. I often called them:
I remember how they’d get in my face, nose to nose, and scream obscenities and curses while bushwhacking me with their funky breath and spraying me with misty micro-balls of their saliva. How their eyes would bulge so far out of their heads, you’d think they were going to pop out.
How they’d jump out of their seats at me, slinging textbooks and papers everywhere and sometimes flinging their chairs backwards!
I remember one bully picking up a metal waste can and hurling it at me with all their strength. The waste can flew past me, barely missing my head by less than an inch. How their faces would contort and how they’d fly into screaming tirades with long diatribes of obscenities, threats of bodily harm, and personal attacks. It was both bizarre and terrifying!
That’s what overt bullying looks like, especially to targets.
Overt bullying looks like angry and snarling faces that bare their teeth and spit on you as they scream, yell and threaten you while balling a fist in your face.
And they called me crazy? I see it so clearly now. They were the crazy ones.
Then, there was covert bullying.
I remember how the covert bullies would come to me with smiles on their faces. How they would act so sincere as they asked such personal questions about my private life. If I was dating, they’d ask such personal questions:
“Have you given it up to him yet?”
“Have you gotten horizontal yet?”
“Are you still a virgin?”
I didn’t answer those questions, of course. However, the questions alone made me feel violated. For them to think they could ask me such questions so openly made me feel disrespected.
The covert bullying looked like smiling faces with a gleam in their eyes as they hurled zingers and backhanded compliments. Covert bullying was the shaking of your hand with one hand and hiding the knife behind their back with the other. It was the tiny nibbles and little violations of my boundaries that would arouse my anger and provoke me to tell them to piss off, or to mind their own damned business.
I was very ugly to people when they’d pull this crap, and I reacted very harshly. Unfortunately, that’s exactly what the covert bullies were looking for- a reaction.
The overt bullies, however, were looking for submission and compliance, and if they didn’t get it, God help the person they wanted it from. And the covert bullies always became more and more overt as time went on. Until they too eventually became just as crazy.
Many of them were so unpredictable. They were like Jekyll and Hide, or like ticking time-bombs. The bullying I suffered was shocking and surreal.
It was as if they were all using black magic- like they had dark powers and they would unleash a legion of demons from the pits of hell. They could magically morph into whatever character they wished, it depended on the audience present at the time.
Understand that those metaphors are just a few examples of how all targets describe their tormentors and if they use those metaphors, listen to them because they’re not lying, nor are they “making it up.” You can’t make this stuff up.
And if you’re a target of this kind of evil, you should always stand up to the mini-micro violations because, if you don’t, the violations will only grow bigger until they become out of control. Never accept even the tiniest of offenses from a bully because if you give an inch, they will take ten miles.
If it’s overt, find a way to remove yourself from the situation for your personal safety.
Remember that you teach people how to treat you and you do it by what you’ll put up with. Always put yourself first and stand up for your rights. You’ll thank yourself for it later. I’m living proof of it.
Thank goodness I don’t get that behavior from anyone anymore because I know how to keep my cool and tell someone in a politer way to get lost any time they stick as much as a toe over my boundary line. And know that you won’t be a target forever either if you continue to stand firm and refuse to accept bad treatment.
Again, if you’re listening to someone who describes the bullying they’ve suffered and refers to their bullies as either of the above metaphors or even as dictators or tyrants, listen to them and more importantly, believe them! They’re telling the truth and they know what they’re talking about!
With knowledge comes empowerment!