To put it in simplest terms, bullies target someone less powerful, then claim to be the ones who are bullied once the target calls out their behavior. It’s a classic move and, gladly, it’s easy to expose if you know the playbook and know what to look for.
Therefore, any time a bully targets you and you call them out for it, I want you to expect this to happen and prepare for it.
Realize that bullies despise resistance to their abuse, and, even worse, they hate it when you expose them. Any time bullies meet resistance to their evil, deceptive manipulations, voila! They suddenly claim that you are bullying them!
Bullies very convincingly cast themselves as so marginalized, so fragile, and so oppressed that anyone who dares to call them out on their shit are labeled “bullies.” Any criticisms or even questions of their actions and behavior is suddenly deemed “bullying.” Convenient, no?
Bullies do this by crying crocodile tears, using trending tropes of the day, and rationalizing their behavior, making everyone believe that they were only defending themselves or reacting to your bullying. And trust me, they’re good at it.
Bullies instinctively know that the best way to silence criticisms and reports of their ugly ways is to self-victimize. And sadly, it works like a charm!
Fortunately, society is just now catching on to this and it’s long overdue. Also, there are names for this that didn’t exist thirty years ago, and, if they did exist then, they weren’t well-known. So, targets can now call these tactics by name and better describe what’s happening to them.
Every day, society is learning more and more about the bully-target dynamic. This, in itself, is promising to targets.