(Continued from Part One…)
With the Horns Effect, teachers are less patient with a bullied student who asks questions in class. Therefore, the student will eventually stop asking for help. Thus the target of bullying won’t learn as much, won’t work hard, and won’t make very high grades. Consequently, this will only activate the teacher’s confirmation bias and reinforce her opinion of the poor kid. She will assume that the kid is lazy, good for nothing and a crappy student.
If you’re under the thumb of the Horns Effect, others begin to see you as a terrible person. And they will block any opportunities for friendships, relationships, and success as word travels quickly.
Anytime you suffer bullying and feel you can’t do anything right by anyone, you can bet that you’re under the spell of The Horns Effect.
An Unfair Disadvantage
It doesn’t matter whether or not people’s hatred of you is deserved. The Horns Effect mars everyone’s interactions with you. As a result, it leaves you feeling like you’re banging your head against a brick wall. Because although you may try, you don’t seem to get anywhere with people.
And because the mistreated target is unhappy, miserable, depressed and angry (and who wouldn’t be under those circumstances?), everyone who already hates the target feels more justified in their hatred.
Sadly, once the Horn Effect takes hold and people form an image of the target, it’s almost impossible to change. No matter what or how many good deeds she does, or how kind she is to others, people will see her good actions as a ploy to kiss-up to and manipulate people.
A Powerful Tool for Bullies
Understand that The Horns Effect is what bullies count on. And once the bullies complete their agenda of destroying your reputation, The Horns Affect will automatically come into play.
(The Horns Effect- the tendency to see one bad thing in a person and believe that everything about that person is bad).
It’s tough to get others to change their first impressions of you. It can be done but it takes a truckload of patience and consistency. It also takes a certain amount of pointing out your good qualities, hard work and successes to people. Ironically, this can backfire if you aren’t careful, because people may only think you’re an arrogant braggart.
Realize that any effort to effect change may do no good or make the situation worse. Because people naturally base their decisions and behavior on deeply hidden feelings. Moreover, their actions toward you are subconscious.
Judgements Based on Emotions
Most people are either too lazy or too full-of-themselves to do any critical thinking. When they hate you, they will rationalize any hateful behavior. Also, they will search for clues which confirm that their attitude, feelings and subsequent actions and behavior are justified.
Teachers will often grade student’s papers based on their biases. In other words, they rank a student’s essay based on how they perceive that student. If a teacher sees a student be a low performer and lazy, they’ll grade that paper through that lens.
People don’t judge you from what’s actually there; they judge you from what they expect to be there. If people expect trouble to come from a particular place, then that’s where they’re going to look. Therefore, this brings me back to the subject. If people don’t like one thing about you, the chances are that they won’t like anything else about you, good or bad.
Who You Are Cancels Out Merit
Most ideas don’t stand on their own merits. People judge ideas based on who they came from.
The Horns and Halo Effects have a way of clouding people’s judgment of a person. People will make irrational beliefs because, again, they believe that the existence of one bad trait means that there are other bad qualities.
Any time you are under the shadow of The Horns Effect, anything you say, accomplish, create or do is automatically dismissed without consideration of whether it’s genuine.
No matter who said it or did it, it’s either genuine or it isn’t, based on its own merit. It is what it is, no matter who it came from. A good idea is a good idea, even if it comes from the town whore. A bad idea is a bad idea, even if it came from a pastor’s wife.
Unfortunately, you have little control over other’s perceptions and opinions of you. However, there are a few things you can do, which is to take care of yourself and do the things you love most and that fulfill your soul. Also, lean on and draw closer to the people who love you.
This is how you keep the spell of The Horns Effect from trashing your self-esteem.