Bullies and Tattling

Bullies, especially school bullies, are notorious tattletales, and they often tattle on their targets for even the tiniest of infractions. If it so happens, they cannot find anything to tell on their targets about, they will make something up and they make sure it’s something believable.

These bullies watch their targets closely, waiting with bated breath for the target to do or say something- anything that even smacks of being outside the category of right. They then run and tattle to a teacher, principal, supervisor, or manager.

How noble these bullies must feel, sitting on their moral high ground, working as little gestapos to ensure that everyone are good little peasants and following the rules down to the letter! Or, at least, that’s what they want those in authority to think.

The reality is that everyone, other than the target, is free to do as they wish. They only do these things to their targets. Why? To keep them from being able to defend themselves or report bullying.

If you are a target of bullying, all your bullies must do is smear your name to any member of staff and you’re marred for good. They’ve clear the path to bully you in the future without fear of being reported because, who’s going to take the word of a troublemaker and rule-breaker?

And if enough people tattle on you, those in positions of power are more likely to believe them because, “if you aren’t guilty of whatever they accuse you of, then why are so many people pointing the finger at you?” Right?

In tattling on you or telling lies about you, these bullies are setting up a system where you will be discredited and rendered powerless to stop the bullying or escape it. Tattling is also a way to silence you because if you know that no one will believe you anyway, you’re more likely to find it easier and less painful to just keep your mouth shut.

Tattling is a technique to eventually block the target from any help they’ll need and otherwise receive.

Remember that bullies are master chess players. If you’re a target of bullying, this is how they set the stage beforehand to make you powerless, and, once you’re completely powerless, they’ll bully you openly and in plain sight.

And who’s going to stop them? After all, you’re a troublemaker, a rebel-rouser, a riffraff! And people aren’t bullying you, they’re only reacting to something you must have done to them.

Bullies and everyone else-good. Target-bad! You’re bad, so you deserve it.

And the tattlers? They’re only “good kids” who want to learn in a clean environment. They’re the extra pairs of eyes that the staff need because the staff can’t be everywhere at once. They’re the little helpers.

So, let’s give them a cookie for their efforts to make our jobs a little easier!

And after the damage is done, the bullies will boast about how they succeeded in taking away your power and ruining your life.

Understand that the tattling is just a veneer bullies use to hide their own bad behavior and project it onto you. If they can slither their way into the good graces of those in power while demonizing you, their plot will work perfectly, and the bullies be virtually untouchable.

I cannot stress enough the importance of being prepared for this type of thing. And the more you prepare, the better you’ll be able to counter this slick tactic, and the better you’ll protect yourself.

Bullies, Rumors, and Gossip

Gossip is purely judgmental and includes hasty generalizations about the target’s character and private life, which has nothing to do with the school, community, or workplace. The purpose of gossip is to control the target’s status by demoting the target on the social hierarchy.

Another purpose of gossip is to justify any punishment of the target by promoting a collective view that the victim doesn’t deserve respect, dignity, or humanity, but only abuse and hostility.

 And once a target is viewed to deserve abuse, others will always escalate it!

Gossip has another benefit. It tightens group connections, gives higher status to the people who are privy to the negative information, and sets expectations and norms in the group as to how they should treat the target.

Through gossip, the group establishes, maintains, or changes social infrastructures. Gossip promotes unity and shared negative perceptions of the target. With the use of it, the group will foster justification for hostility. Therefore, no one in the group considers their actions as bullying. They will only say that the target “deserves it” and say they were reacting to “an evil enemy.”

People tell others to keep it secret, but they also ask them to inform the group of any new information and updates that concern their target.

Realize that it serves to provide bullies reaffirmations that their perceptions of the target are correct, that the target deserves abuse.

Gossipers will often cover their bad behavior with a slight confession of guilt by beginning their sentences with things like,

“I know I shouldn’t say this, but…”

“Poor thing…”

“Bless her heart…”

 They will acknowledge that the target is a human being, but only because this gives them the green light to go on talking and helps them to feel less like the creeps they are.

gossip rumors lies talk

It’s true that reputation doesn’t equal character. But it can effect life. Understand that the rumors may, in fact, be false and there may be zero credible evidence to back them up. But if pure speculation best fits the bullies’ goals, that’s what they will go along with.

In the late stages of gossip, all bystanders will become willing co-conspirators. Gossip brings scandal, which means to assassinate the target’s character, integrity, mental fitness, and worth as a student, worker, neighbor, or human being.

Anyone who questions or disbelieves the lies will immediately become an object of bullying as well. Nobody wants to be isolated, so this forces others to stay in line with the running narrative.

And if the target attempts to defend himself or speak out against the abuse, it will be used against him.

Unfortunately, at this stage, the only way for the target to ensure his safety and escape the abuse is to leave the toxic environment and go to a new place where he can start anew, establish new connections, and reinvent himself.

Remember the character, Chris Chambers, in the movie “Stand by Me.” Although he was a great kid, he was considered a rogue and a thief. Remember the scene where he was crying to his friend, Gordy, telling him about how he got his bad name and wishing he could go somewhere where no one knew him.

During the conversation, the character of Chris Chambers, played by River Phoenix, tearfully tells Gordy that a member of staff took the lunch money out of the teal but he got blamed for it solely because of his family name. It was heartbreaking to watch.

And sadly, that happens a lot. In a majority of cases, targets must leave the school, company, or community to heal and to rebuild their lives.