Targets of Bullying Risk Becoming School Shooters

With the many shootings which have happened, such as the Jonesboro, Parkland, and Santa Fe school massacres, it has been placed on my heart to write about something which needs to be discussed but, sadly, isn’t by many. It should be no surprise that bullying is almost always a factor in the uptick of school shootings, which have plagued our country for the last twenty years. Before we go any further, let me remind you that being bullied, no matter how severe, is absolutely no excuse for taking human lives, and I would never condone such an action!

However, many shooters have been victims of bullying, who were pushed to the breaking point. They finally snapped after many years of relentless and repetitive abuse by their peers and being rebuffed by school staff in their attempts to report bullying incidences and get help. Therefore, they resort to bringing a gun to school and leaving death and mayhem in their wake! The shooters then turn the gun on themselves to avoid prison, and the end result is that families and loved ones on both sides and entire communities are left devastated!

One such example is the Columbine Shooting in April of 1999. I have read many articles about this particular case. It was stated by many experts that the perpetrators, Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold, had for years been bullied outcasts, who’d only gotten fed up with the continuous negative treatment and finally went into a rage and lashed out, as have so many other victims since then. Again, I cannot stress enough how wrong and counterproductive bringing a gun to school really is! However, I believe there is something we’re missing here- the issue of mental health and bullying, which often leads to these tragedies.

Before the pandemic, school shootings had become so common that they’d become a political issue and fodder for the agendas of both the left and the right wings, with the left pushing for gun control and the right’s push to arm teachers and tighten school security. Although these certainly are legitimate issues that need to be addressed before the end of the pandemic and schools are fully functional again, it seems that almost no one is discussing the root cause of these shootings- bullying and/or mental health.

I believe that “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”! Perhaps if we reach these bullied and at-risk youth and show them that they are not alone and that they matter just like everyone else, we will be able to save them from the possibility of becoming violent and, ultimately, bring down these horribly high statistics! I will explain this in more detail in part two.

(To be continued in Part 2…)

“Offended” Bullies

Isn’t it strange that, nowadays, we have so many people who are so easily offended? With that said, bullies are easily offended. In fact, bullies have such fragile egos that it takes zero effort to offend them- especially if you’re a target. Just your mere presence is an insult to them.

Understand that people who are easily offended take things completely out of context- automatically attaching meaning to the behavior of others, when, in reality, it’s completely devoid of personal meaning. Bullies and anyone easily offended have a flair for turning neutrality into a personal affront or confrontation.

They conjure up meanings out of exchanges from others that are totally impersonal. With these paranoid pansies, it’s always:

“She doesn’t agree with everything I say, do, and think, so that means she doesn’t like me!”

“He has a different opinion than me, so that means he’s looking down his nose at me!”

“She doesn’t like the same things I like, so that means she hates me!”

These sad, and often hateful, people automatically presume to know what the other is thinking and feeling.

In life, you will run into these types of people. That’s why it’s best to either divert the conversation to a neutral subject or walk away because they aren’t worth the energy expenditure.

Understand that bullies and the easily offended place entirely too much value and investment in how they are thought of by others. This is no way for a person to live. Anytime you place too much importance in how others evaluate you, you give them too much power over you- you make yourself their prisoner. You make yourself their servant- for free!

Bullies place too much value on their social images. They have a nasty habit of being too occupied with their imaginary views of how others think of them. They over-analyze the images others may (or may not) have of them. They must realize that this is a waste of time because it will never have any bearing on their (the bullies’) lives.

Back in the days of the cavemen, people had to be accepted by their in-group because it was a matter of life and death. To not be accepted in their in-group put the person at risk of starvation and extinction, especially it that person was a woman.

Thankfully, not so today. Nevertheless, if a bully feels they’re being insulted or made to look weak or stupid, they see it as the end of the world. The threatened loss of their gleaming reputations and becoming an outcast, to them, spells catastrophe!

Here are a few examples of the disease of over-offense:

1. Bully supervisors become offended and enraged at an employee for making a minor mistake because they take it too personally. Therefore, they wish to punish their victim- forever!

They see the other person as an enemy or adversary over one tiny mistake that was more than likely unintentional.

2. Bullies and the easily offended are also the types of people who think that when any rules or laws are applied to them, they only have the attitude that the people making the rules and laws are “picking on” them. They then feel a flash of powerlessness that prompts them to lash out.

Understand that these types of people have a child’s mentality and never matured beyond the age of six mentally and emotionally. Their tactics may be way more sophistication than a six-year-old, but inside, they still have the maturity and the attitude of one.

We must realize that the festering disease of “over-offense” is one of the causes of the societal rot that is happening today before our very eyes. And it’s the catalyst of cancel culture and other forms of senseless bullying we see happening every day.

Perhaps, it isn’t the targets of bullying who are the crybabies and who are weak. It’s the bullies and abusers themselves who have fragile and delicate little egos that get squashed like an overripe grape every time they hear, read, or see something they don’t like.

My message to these bullies is this.

It’s time to grow up and accept that the world isn’t concerned about your feelings- that life itself isn’t always going to flow the way you want it to flow and there’s nothing you can do about it. Life isn’t always fair.

If there’s anyone who is aware of the above truths in italics, it’s the target of bullying. Believe me, when I was bullied, life rarely went the way I wanted it. In fact, life really wasn’t fair for me during those days.

Life is downright horrible for targets of bullying. But few of them complain or whine about it. They either suffer in silence or they speak out about the abuse in a way that empowers them and others.

Although life really isn’t fair for targets of bullying, they do the best they can to get through each day and to achieve their goals. Most targets of bullying simply keep pushing on- they get on with it and eventually find a way to empower themselves and overcome the bullying. And those who don’t find a way to self-empowerment either don’t know how, or they’re in a position where they’re trapped.

With knowledge comes empowerment!

Remarks Bullies Make Anytime The Target Succeeds at Something

Isn’t it funny that when a target does something right- when they succeed, especially if they receive recognition and praise for a job well done, an award hard won, or a good deed well accomplished, the bullies protest the loudest? They work feverishly to trivialize and minimize any positive quality and maximize any negative. Bullies will also be quick to bring up any mistake or wrongdoing in the target’s past to overshadow the positive quality or accomplishment.

I’ve had firsthand experience with this because my classmates did the same to me, as did coworkers at a workplace years later. Understand that, if you’re a target of bullying, your bullies see you as the bad guy and they want everyone else to see you the same way. They can’t stand even the thought of you reaching success, much less getting recognized for it.

Therefore, anytime you score a win, expect your bullies to do everything in their power to downplay it by minimizing it. Or, they may remind you and others of a past mistake or sin you might have committed, even if it was done decades ago when you were a dumb kid.

They may also make all kinds of wild accusations concerning your win. Here are a few cruel remarks bullies will make:

1. You cheated. Your bullies will refuse to believe that you won that coveted award through hard work and they’ll move Heaven and Earth to convince you and everyone else of it too. But don’t fall for it! And don’t fret if others choose to foolishly believe the bullies. Instead, see it for what it is and what it’s meant to do.

Know that this is designed to dull your shine and cast doubts in the minds of others. Your bullies mean to make other people assume that your success or accolade is illegitimate and that you didn’t come by it fairly. It’s also designed to discredit you and cause others to resent you.

2. It was just dumb luck. When you make a good grade at school, your school bullies and other classmates may verbally pass it off as your being lucky. Realize that when they say these things, they mean to discredit your abilities and cheapen your success in the eyes of those around you. The underlying message is that you couldn’t have made it if you tried and that your accomplishment was some freak accident.

3. You kiss arse. Ah, yes! Your bullies will say that you sucked up and won favor with the right people. They will accuse you of scoring “brownie points.” They will whine, saying that the person whose ass you kissed gave you a boost and that you got an unfair advantage. Again, this is designed to discredit you and undermine your abilities and intelligence. It’s also meant to instill intense anger and resentment of you in others.

4. You slept your way to success. If you’re a woman who’s a target of workplace bullying and you happen to get that coveted promotion that you and several competitors have been vying for, be prepared to get accused of “f***ing the boss man.” Bullies don’t censor their words and that’s exactly what they’ll say.

Also, if your workplace bullies are trying to get you fired and your boss happens to know better and goes to bat for you, they will also accuse you of giving sexual favors. And sadly, this is the most common accusation if you are female.

Just like all the rest, this remark is made to undermine your abilities and smarts, discredit you, cheapen your accomplishments in the eyes of others, and cause anger, hatred, and resentment toward you. It’s also meant to degrade you as a lady and instill in others the belief that you’re nothing but an opportunistic slut who will spread her legs to get ahead in life. This happened to me when I worked at a nursing home years ago, and, let me tell you. It wasn’t fun!

But don’t fret over any of this! I want you to see it for what it is- jealousy, poor sportsmanship, and trash-talk! You must see it for what it is and what it means. And what it is and what it means is that your bullies are a bunch of crybabies, whining and foaming at the mouth because they didn’t get that cookie and you did!

It means that they feel inferior and that they no longer have the attention they crave. It means that they feel cheated and indignant, and it shows that they’re the real losers!

But wait! Here’s something else that neither bullies or targets think about: If you’re a target or survivor of bullying, you’re going to loooove this little gem of truth!

Anytime your bullies make any of the above accusations, what it is, is a confession on their part. In other words, your bullies are projecting- they’re accusing you of the very things they either would do or are doing themselves!

Think about it. How many husbands have falsely accused their innocent wives of cheating, only to end up being caught cheating themselves?

It’s the same when bullies falsely accuse their targets of wrongdoing. Anytime bullies are so quick to point fingers at the target for an alleged transgression, it’s a good indicator that they’re committing the same sins themselves and are only trying to cover their behinds. Always remember that!

With knowledge comes empowerment!

God Rebuilds ~ — Tonya LaLonde

God rebuilds,from the rumbleHe restoresthose humble. He regenerates,the broken soulHe heals and mendstil it’s again whole. God reconstructs,hearts shatteredHe recoversa life fractured. He reshapes,the mind fraughtHe remoldsevery thought. God rebuilds,souls, minds and heartsHe restores . . .all the broken parts! ~~~~~~~~ 1 Peter 5:10 But the God of all grace,who hath called us untohis eternal […]

God Rebuilds ~ — Tonya LaLonde
Targets, hold on tight, God’s got your back! 

The Negative Side to Reality Shows- Glorifying and Glamorizing Bullying

Reality shows and the present epidemic of bullying:

One of the reasons that bullying has become so out of control in our schools is the overabundance of reality shows on television, which seem to glorify and glamorize the abuse of others.

Shows like “Bad Girls Club,” Jersey Shore (which I think are the absolute worst), and The Real Housewives franchise, are shows in which people as old as their 30’s, 40’s and 50’s act like middle schoolers in a locker room brawl. Grown men and women, whom you would think would have a modicum of maturity, often resort to name-calling, bashing others, and yes…even hair-pulling, shoving, punching, and kicking.

When I see this, a question always comes to mind: “What kind of example and message are these shows and their stars sending our children and teenagers?”

Violence has indeed been shown on TV and in movies for decades. However, before reality shows were heard of, TV was not real, and kids of my generation understood because our parents never let us forget it.

We knew that what we were seeing was only actors playing the parts of fictional characters in fictional shows. Moreover, we were taught not to try anything we saw on TV in real life because it would put us at risk of getting hurt and/or worse. We grew up with the understanding that “It’s only a television series” or “It’s just a movie,” and none of it was real.

Sadly, as television networks slowly run out of ideas for fictional shows and reality shows gradually take over the airwaves, TV is becoming less fictional (and interesting) and is sending the message to kids that bullying is okay or that you have to be a bully to move up in the world…that to get ahead, you have to step over another person.

And most reality show stars are narcissistic has-beens who are just dying to stay relevant and get the last shot at fame, which makes them lousy role models!

Such a shame!

The Negative Side to Reality Shows- How They Get Their High Ratings

I feel compelled to discuss how these shows get their ratings to give parents who permit their children to watch them a better understanding of what subliminal messages their child may be receiving.

Sadly, reality shows that receive the highest ratings also have the highest peer abuse incidences, commonly called bullying. Peer abusers (bullies) love drama and are drawn to it like flies to feces! Bullying brings drama…always! The more altercations and confrontations a reality show displays for viewers, the more drama it brings.

More drama means the show is more interesting to viewers. The more interesting the show, the more views the show gets, and the higher the ratings the show receives.

Also, the more drama a certain reality star brings to a show (usually by bullying others on the show), the higher the show is rated, and in return, the higher the star is rated by producers of the show and network executives…all because he/she brings the most drama. For a reality star, this not only guarantees them a spot on the show’s next season but also much higher pay, with producers and execs offering the bullying star hundreds of thousands, if not millions of dollars!

This equals great rewards for bullies on the show…rewarding and encouraging despicable behavior! Think Teresa Guidice, “Real Housewives of New Jersey,” or Nene Leakes, “Real Housewives of Atlanta.”

In my opinion, both of these women, who are in their 40’s and 50’s, have shown some of the most queen bee, mean girl behavior of anyone on television.

Should they even qualify as stars? I don’t know about anyone else, but in my opinion, watching women in this age group display such girl’s room/locker room antics is sickening and an embarrassment to my generation of women.

This behavior is unbecoming of women of any age but looks downright ugly coming from middle-aged women, whom you think would be a better example to younger females.

Parents need to sit down with children and explain that just because reality shows make bullying look glamorous does not mean that bullying is okay. Bullying is anything but glamorous, especially to victims.

Sadly, high ratings for these shows speak volumes about the society we live in today- that the bulk of society apparently has an insatiable appetite for trash. It is glaring proof that in the eyes of a vast majority, crap is king. It shouldn’t be any wonder that bullying and peer abuse is so globally rampant today.

Parents and grandparents must either forbid kids to watch these types of reality shows. If they permit them to watch it, they must also explain to the children that just because certain behavior is shown on television does not mean it is acceptable in real life.

We must also stop prioritizing petty and poor values, one of which is the misguided belief that being the most popular, liked, or the toughest kid on the block is what life’s all about.

Bullies Who Think They Can Predict Your Downfall

Bullies are notorious for playing fortuneteller to their targets. They laugh at your goals and dreams. They try to derail and sabotage your progress. And they do it because they’re so darned insecure in themselves. Why do you think bullies work so hard at bringing others down?

Realize that all this is very telling about the bullies’ own lives. In many cases, you’ll have the smart kid in your class who always makes straight A’s and makes high remarks and he’s targeted by bullies.

There’s also the girl who can sing like a professional, the boy who wins all the awards, the girl who writes the most beautiful poems and interesting stories, the guy who always gets the promotions at work, or the woman who always gets noticed by potential suitors.

One thing they all have in common is that they’re the ones bullies come for to make their lives as miserable as possible.

In school, I could sing, and the music teacher would pick me to sing solos in the school choir. I also write stories and poems back then and I cannot count the times my bullies told me:

“You’ll never make it in the music business.”

“You’ll never publish any books.”

“No book publisher will ever choose any of your lame stories.”

“You’ll never amount to anything.”

“You’ll never be anybody.”

“You’ll never get married.”

“You’ll never have children.”

“You’ll never be worth a damn.”

And the list goes on…

And each time I’d hear garbage like this from my bullies, I’d think of the sounds I’d hear every time I’d watch Charlie Brown and the Peanuts gang and see them talking to an adult, whether it be their parents, or a teacher in class.

toxic brainwashing

I would think, “Wa-wa-w-wa-wa-waaaaaa.” That’s how little I valued their words when it came to things I enjoyed doing and my dreams and goals.

With bullies, it’s always the same old you’ll never this and you’ll never that. But, here’s the thing. People who haven’t accomplished much themselves will always try to drag you down when they think you’re striving for something. And because they haven’t tasted success, they don’t believe that anyone else will (or should) either.

Understand that when bullies predict your failures, they only reveal all their failures and disappointments. That’s right! They’re speaking from their own perspectives. Anytime they tell you that you’ll never succeed at anything, it’s because they’ve never succeeded at anything and likely never will.

What these bullies are also telling you is that they’re afraid that you will succeed and make them feel even more like the losers they are. Realize that your bullies are trying to wreck your optimism, kill your confidence, and crush your self-esteem. And they want to do it before you end up winning at something.

Bullies want you to fail and they want it so badly they can almost taste it. Because, if you do reach success, your win will only reflect back to them their own laziness, failure, and mediocrity. Therefore, they relentlessly try to drum their words of doom into your head to condition you to not even bother to try. Because they know that not trying only ensures failure. In trying to condition you to not try, they’re only trying to ensure your failure.

That’s why it’s imperative that you turn a deaf ear to your bullies’ bogus predictions of your future because they can’t possibly know what their own futures entail, much less yours. You must not allow them to discourage you and cause you to lose sight of your goals and dreams.

Let the trash they talk go in one ear and out the other. Tell them, “That’s your opinion” and laugh at them or maybe scoff and give your bullies a scornful eye-roll. Then turn your back to them and walk away snickering. Look on your bullies with scorn when they try to predict your outcomes because they only do it out of ignorance and stupidity.

Do these things because it’s the only way you’ll keep your power and continue to feel confident. Your self-esteem will thank you for it later!

With knowledge comes empowerment!