It’s because they feel dirty. That’s right! Any time bullies and abusers must face the reality of any past abuse they may have inflicted on someone else, deep down inside, though they would never admit it to themselves much less you or anyone else, they feel like a piece of scum. And in order to not feel dirty, they must live in denial of what they did. It’s the only way they can bury their sins and still feel good about themselves.
My former classmates who bullied me, are no different. Denial is a useful psychological defense, and it does have benefits.
Many bullies deny their abuse because of their hatred for the victim, and they wish to reduce sympathy and support for the victim. They will claim that the violence a victim speaks of is either invented or exaggerated to either get attention or to make others feel sorry for him/her.
Sometimes, even bystanders and witnesses will side with the bullies and deny the abuse to keep from being bullied themselves or because they too have a secret hatred for the victim. Bystanders and witnesses may also want the bullying of the victim to continue for entertainment purposes. Believe it or not, many witnesses to the abuse enjoy seeing the victim get bullied because, to them, it is a source of entertainment and makes them feel superior to somebody.
Also, bystanders may feel dirty as well because they know they didn’t speak out for the victim when they should have, or the bullying may be something they would like to have done to the victim themselves but didn’t have the guts.
Understand that the psyches and egos of humans are very fragile, even those of bullies. So, any time your abuser denies any abuse they know they dished out to you in the past, you don’t have to feel angry or insulted. You don’t have to try and force them to fess up. Because just knowing why they deny it and the nastiness they feel inside when they see you should be enough satisfaction.
So, if you’re a survivor of bullying and anytime you’re out shopping, and see one of the people who bullied you in the past; and you immediately notice how they turn and walk away or avoid looking at you. Know why they do that and feel good about it.
I can tell you that most of my classmates can’t face me today. They cannot bear to look at me because they know what they did, and they feel so dirty. I am a reminder of what they never want to see in themselves, and I always provoke feelings of shame in them. Therefore, I can’t get angry at them, nor feel insulted. There’s no need for revenge, nor to hate them because, in the end, they are the ones who must live with what they did.
…or “Victim Derangement Syndrome. Whatever you want to call it, it’s extremely toxic and it’s when things begin to become dangerous for a target of bullying.
TDS happens when the lies and bad talk about the target reaches such as pitch that it seems to be the unwritten rule to believe the BS or to, at the very least, act like you do. And too often, the bystander’s safety depends on it!
Bullies, followers, and bystanders have TDS when they have such an intense, demented, and blind hatred for the target that they’ll believe, without question (and without even blinking!), anything about him, so as long as it’s negative. And the more negative and condemning the rumors, the better and more convenient, and the better it suits the running narrative!
They’ll also believe it, no matter how ridiculous it may sound. Anytime you hear something about a target that sounds absolutely and utterly absurd to any rational and sane person outside the bullying environment, that’s when you know that Target Derangement Syndrome is at play!
Understand that when you’re a target of bullying and everyone in the environment you feel struck in (and you are stuck in) has TDS, that’s when you know the bullying has taken on a life of its own. In essence, you are burned in effigy!
Here are the signs and symptoms of Target Derangement Syndrome:
1. Others seem to jump at the chance to diminish anything positive about the target. For instance, if you are a target of bullying and you do a good deed that is either visible or gets positive recognition, others in the class, school, workplace, community, or any toxic environment will only disregard it and make statements such as:
a. “He only did that to make himself look good!”
b. “She’s only trying to score brownie points, kiss ass, (etc.).”
c. “Haha! He’s just doing that because he thinks it’s going to get him on everyone’s good side!”
When the target reaches a success, others will only rain on it, saying things like:
a. “Oh, God! Anyone could’ve accomplished that!”
b. “He’s trying to show out! He thinks he’s so special!”
2. People in the environment are wide open with their brutality against the target. Bullies, their followers, and any other bystander who wants to join in the mistreatment won’t even try to hide it anymore. Why?
Because these people know they’re protected from any accountability. They know that their brutality toward you is widely accepted now- even encouraged, or worse, celebrated!
They’ve picked up on the reality that no one will even dare help you (if they know what’s good for them) and won’t utter one word against the open abuse you endure every day. Remember that when others openly abuse you, it’s gotten to a very dangerous level! And you might want to ask yourself this:
“If they can get away with this, what are they likely to do to me next?”
“How much worse will they hurt me later?”
3. People in the toxic environment are blinded by their own hatred of you. They don’t know why they hate you so intensely. They just do.
If anyone on the outside were to ask them what you did or said to them to make them hate you so much, they either wouldn’t be able to answer them at all, or they would throw just any ridiculous answer out there, without having the goods to back it up.
And they’ll hope to the heavens the person asking is lazy and won’t press the issue further, or worse- (gasp!) challenge them to provide evidence that you’re such a despicable and deplorable person.
They’ll give ad hominem responses such as:
a. “Because she’s just a bitch and I hate her”
b. “Because I just hate the bitch!”
c. “Because he just rubs me the wrong way!”
d. “Because he’s a jerk and a know-it-all!”
And because they can’t come up with anything that makes sense, or, God forbid, produce any evidence to back up their (false) claims against you be prepared for them to fabricate lies out of thin air, or viciously attack the person asking the (very legitimate) questions and in that, pose the threat of making them look like the moronic and brutal monsters they really are!
4. These people will be intensely angered each time anything positive comes your way. For example, if you win an award, they may not say it to you, but you’ll see it in their faces and body language. They also may talk through their teeth to one another as their eyes blaze at you.
5. They’ll try to destroy your good mood because they’ll hate the possibility that you might be happy and feel good. If you are a target and they see you so much as laugh or crack a smile, here are a few responses you’re likely to hear from them:
a. “What the hell are you laughing about!”
b. “What the @&%# are you smiling about!”
c. “What have you got to be so happy about, bitch!”
d. Shut up, asshole! You laugh like a hyena!”
e. “I don’t see anything funny!”
f. “I wish she’d wipe that stupid smile off her face!”
6. They’ll shout you down and tell you to shut up, every time you even look like you’re about to open your mouth. Understand that these people don’t think you deserve to be heard, nor to even have the freedom to speak.
7. They’ll all rise against you when you defend yourself. When you have “the audacity” to stand up to them and assert your right not to be abused, they will all gang up on you and gaslight you into believing you asked for the abuse.
If that doesn’t work, expect them to smear you to others. And if that doesn’t silence you, the next step is a brutal physical attack. Always! If they can’t bring you down emotionally, they will do it physically and no one will jump in to help you. I’ve seen this happen and have had it happen to me.
8. They will watch you like a hawk. Understand that they and everyone else in the bullying environment will be watching you very closely- waiting for you to screw up even the tiniest bit! They will then beat you down with your mistake and never let you hear the end of it.
Realize that these people are only looking for the slightest infraction to maximize and use against you. They will twist, spin, or add to the most trivial thing you do that’s not quite right to make it bigger and more severe. Something as minuscule as knocking over a glass of milk will be made into a Federal case and they’ll swear you did it deliberately.
If they see you talking to a member of the opposite sex, they’ll swear up and down you’re trying to get laid. But if you happen to be saving yourself for your wedding night, they’ll only call you a prude.
If you take one sip of wine, they’ll call you a sloppy, fall-down drunk. But if you don’t drink, they’ll call you a party pooper, boring, or a stick in the mud. They’ll make statements like, “Well, he just doesn’t know how to have a good time!”
You will be damned if you do and damned if you don’t.
You must realize that when the bullying and mass degradation of you gets this bad and seems to permeate the whole of the environment, the hatred and contempt for you reaches such a crescendo that it’s has turned into mass mental illness in those around you. At this point, it more than likely won’t get better. It will only get worse until either one of them murders you or forces you to do it yourself.
At this juncture, the best thing you can do for yourself is to run! These people are dangerous and you must get as far away from them and stay away!
However, you decide to do it, get these people out of your life, and keep them out because these are people, you will never be safe around!
If you’re a target of bullying, you often wonder why bullies and their followers make snap judgments about you before getting to know you or before seeing any evidence and getting the facts. You may also wonder why your classmates, coworkers, or neighbors automatically believe rumors and lies about you, especially rumors and lies that sound completely ridiculous.
I know how you feel. Some of the accusations my classmates accused me of were so absurd and ludicrous, that any sane person would’ve dismissed them outright. If you find yourself asking why your peers fall for such foolishness, here’s your answer.
Bullies don’t care what the facts are. Never are they concerned with the truth. Understand that these quick judgments are judgments that fit their agendas. The only agendas they have are to hurt you! Nothing else! And they will look for any justification and opportunity to do so.
People, especially bullies, don’t believe facts. They only think whatever feels good to them. It doesn’t matter if it’s a fact, opinion, or a complete falsehood.
Here’s an example: A wife has a husband she loves dearly. The wife’s best friend sees the husband out with another woman and kissing her one Saturday night. So, the best friend informs the wife that her husband is cheating, only for the wife to get angry at the best friend and throw her out.
Even though the husband is, in fact, guilty of cheating and the BFF did witness him kissing the mistress, the wife doesn’t believe it because she doesn’t want to believe it. Therefore, it feels much better to assume that the BFF is jealous of her happy marriage and is trying to break them apart.
Here’s another example: Lori hates Veronica. Lori is best friends with Cindy. Cindy befriends Veronica and finds out what a sweet and genuine person Veronica is. Later, she tells Lori that Veronica is not such a bad person, that she’s, in fact, a lovely and caring lady. Lori refuses to believe Cindy and only wants to believe the worst about Veronica.
Lori gets angry at Cindy for having anything to do with Veronica and accuses Cindy of betraying her (Lori). Lori now refuses to talk to Cindy.
But understand that Lori only stops talking to Cindy to manipulate her into cutting ties with Veronica. Because of Lori’s blind hatred for Veronica, she refuses to believe that Veronica may, in fact, be a great friend if Lori ever got to know her.
Lori has VDS- Veronica Derangement Syndrome.
Again, bullies don’t care about facts or evidence. They want to believe the lies, and even worse, they want the lies to be true! Self-deception and willful blindness always feel better to bullies.
Ignorance is bliss, and unfortunately, bullies are some of the most blissful people on earth.
If you are a target of such people, my advice would be NOT to try and convince them because you’d only be wasting your time and energy. Instead, continue to love and accept yourself regardless. Also realize that these people aren’t good for you and shouldn’t be in your life. You’re better off without them.
Down through the ages, either at school, the workplace, or the community, people have made excuses for bullies’ behavior, and it can be downright sickening to targets of such evil acts. Often, the bully has gotten away with it for so long that they get too comfortable and no longer try to hide it. It leaves targets feeling not only a sense of injustice and resentment but endangerment! Unfortunately, this happens all the time, and it’s nothing new.
If you’re a target of such brutality and find yourself wondering why people make excuses for bullies, here are your answers below:
1. They’re afraid of becoming the next target. Nobody wants a bully on their back, so they make excuses for the bullies to protect themselves from being ostracized and to keep from arousing the bullies’ anger. These people often “don’t want to make waves” or “rock the boat.”
2. They’re loyal followers of the bullies. Many people are under the impression that being friends or followers of the bullies will give them status, popularity, favors, and, most of all, protection. And in many cases, it does. But in others, the followers are only being used and will be quickly dismissed as soon as they’ve “served their purpose.”
3. They hate the target worse than they hate the bullies. They take the lesser of two evils route. If people hate the target worse than they do the bullies, they’re naturally going to side with the bullies and help demonize the target, all for the satisfaction of seeing the victim suffer.
4. It’s expected of them. And people will often do what’s expected of them to do in an environment. Often, the bullying of a particular individual has become the status quo in that specific environment, whether it be a school, workplace, or community. And no one wants to challenge that for fear of being marginalized and forced to join the target at the bottom of the heap.
Silhouette of two hands with smartphones, shoot a video on a sinking person’s hand, asking for help. The concept of a selfish society, a social problem
5. They prefer to “cheer for the winning team.” Many people will side with the person who wields the most power. When people are on the side of the winners or ones with the most power, they get a share in being one of the big dogs. Many times, there’s a certain amount of social status and prestige that goes with rooting for a particular clique, team, or group who seems to be in charge and run the school, place of employment, or community.
6. They want to be a part of the in-crowd. (See number 5)
7. They think it will keep down the drama and allow some peace in that particular environment. Let’s face it. Bullying is stressful for bystanders and witnesses too. You don’t have to be a target for it to suck the energy out of you. All it takes for bullying to take the oxygen out of the room is for you to see it. So, people make excuses for the bully, often in their presence, to appease them and calm them down.
8. They’re bullies themselves. Birds of a feather flock together. People have a nose for and take care of their own.
9. For purposes of self-interest. The bullies benefit them somehow. If the bullies are stars on the school football team, star performers in a corporation, or successful business people in a community, they boost the image of that school, corporation, or district and often bring or attract money into the coffers of these entities.
The prevailing thought is this, “If someone makes me look good and is bringing in the money, I’d be a fool to do anything to jeopardize it!”
Also, in return for keeping their mouths shut or justifying their wrongdoings, bullies will often reward bystanders and witnesses with social status, perks, favors, and protection. Or the reward may be the feeling of importance in knowing that they’re on the team that holds the most power and prestige.
10. They want to impress the bullies and be admired by them. Many people have a desire to run with the “cool crowd.” Therefore, they make excuses for them to impress them and win favor. They feel that if the bullies, who already have an overinflated sense of their own importance, think well of them too, then they must be hot items themselves. And it’s a huge self-esteem boost.
However, these people are only letting these bullies’ approval define who they are, which is dangerous. Because once the bullies decide they don’t need them anymore, it will be devastating for them.
You must understand that there is a payoff in it somewhere. Human Nature dictates that none of us do anything unless it somehow, someway, appeals to our self-interests, even a little bit. If people make excuses for bullies, you can be sure that those people are somehow benefiting from it, whether it be a psychological, social, or material gain.
Have you noticed that anytime you speak out against bullying and abuse, or any wrongdoing for that matter, that the guilty dogs always come for you and bark the loudest? Maybe you tell your story of the bullying and abuse that you, yourself, suffered in the past and how you’ve since overcome it.
And…BOOM! Many haters come out of the woodwork, latch on, and start screaming, cursing, putting you down and accusing you of everything under the sun. Some call you ugly names and threaten – even people you don’t know, who don’t know you, and have nothing to do with what you’re talking about.
Thankfully, this has not happened here on WordPress and I am so grateful for all my WordPress family! You guys are truly the best and I could not ask for better people online.
But, on occasion, it has happened on a few other forums and once in person when I gave information about it to someone who desperately needed it. The person thanked me but the people who overheard our conversation went berserk over it later. So, if this has happened to you too, did you ever wonder why?
Its because the people who are sooo offended and doing the yelling, cursing, and tantrum-throwing have guilty consciences.
Here’s a further explanation:
Naturally, we know that people who’ve bullied and abused you in the past, are going to come out in droves and attack you. That’s a given. And you don’t have to call these people out by their names to trigger them and put them on the defense. Why? Because to hear, read about, or even know that you’re speaking out on the subject itself makes them very afraid- panicky even.
But, more than anything, it eats at their conscience!
Again, realize that you don’t have to necessarily expose them. All you’ve got to do is prick at their sense of guilt and they go nuts.
The latter is why you may also trigger people who may not know you nor have anything to do with what was done to you- you delivered a huge blow to their conscience! Even worse, you made them feel dirty! And that alone drives people utterly insane!
Though they may not necessarily have bullied and abused you, they did someone else. And hearing you talk about your experiences, or talk about bullying and abuse in general, made you a huge reminder to those people. You caused them to either think of the abuse they’re dishing out to someone else or have inflicted in the past. Ouch!
It’s subconscious. They don’t know it, and probably couldn’t explain it. All those people know is that your story, or the subject you speak of is rubbing them the wrong way and causing them a lot of anxiety.
This is the reason they freak out and flip their wigs.
It’s happened to me. I’ve seen it up close. And believe you me, these folks become downright scary! Because when they lose it, their eyes seem to jump out at you and they snarl when they yell at you. I mean, they really come unglued!
But understand that they are only revealing themselves. They’re ripping their own masks off and don’t realize they’re doing it. Why would someone get so defensive, so irate and have a complete meltdown if you weren’t stepping on a few toes- if the people around you didn’t feel that somehow, some way, you weren’t talking directly to them, or about them?
Really think about it. Pastors of churches have this happen all the time. During Sunday service, they’ll preach on a certain subject, then a few church members get angry over it and give him the what-for after the service is over.
My point is that if they knew they weren’t guilty of anything, they’d automatically know that the conversation had nothing to do with them. So, why would they care?
Remember that the people who are most offended by this and react irately are the guilty ones and you can bet that they have, at some time, bullied you or another innocent person. Anger can be revealing.