“Your value is not determined by others.”
~ Unknown ~
“Your value is not determined by others.”
~ Unknown ~
Understand that outrageous tactics are deliberate, and there’s a reason behind them.
Bullies employ these shenanigans on their targets to gaslight them. They already know their tactics are so disgraceful and outlandish that they’re beyond all comprehension. They also know that people would have a difficult time believing it if it were spoken of.
However, if something is beyond all comprehension, you have to ask yourself how anyone could make this stuff up? And so many people in power forget this.
Understand that the use of tactics that seem a bit outlandish is a subtle form of gaslighting. These astonishing actions are meant to confuse and silence the target. Because when things that happen are so far outside human comprehension and experience, they’re the most difficult to talk about because “these kinds of things just don’t happen.”
Any member of authority to whom the target reports it is likely to tell himself:
1. “No! It’s a mistake!”
2. “There’s no way something like that can happen! It couldn’t have!”
3. “Wow! That sounds so far-fetched! It can’t be true!”
Again. Understand that bullies do these things deliberately! They design their tactics to be “shocking,” “unbelievable,” and “over the top” in case the target speaks out. It’s a way to bewilder the target and make him too scared to talk about it. And if he does report it, it’s likely to leave potential listeners too bewildered to believe it.
They force victims to doubt their perceptions and their sanity. Because if the tactic is so wild and unheard of that, we can hardly believe it ourselves. And if we can hardly believe it, how can we expect others to believe it when we tell them?
You must realize that bullies are slick and inventive! If you’re a target, you will know your bullies are employing such tactics when, at any time, you ask yourself such questions as:
“Whoa! Did this just happen?”
“Did she really just say that?”
“Did he really just do that?”
“Did I just see that?”
“Did I just hear what I thought I heard?”
Or you’ll think statements that begin with, “She did NOT just…”.
Another clue is that you ask yourself,
“Can I tell anyone else about what these people are doing without being laughed at and told that it’s all in my imagination?”
And these questions will gnaw at you. Also, you’ll wonder if you really were imagining or seeing things. Remember that the purpose of gaslighting is to make you doubt your perceptions and what you experienced.
If you experienced these things from bullies, know that it wasn’t all in your head. There is a way to speak out about it and do it with confidence and conviction. And when you speak up, put some conviction in it.
Here’s another way you can respond if the person you talk about this too doubts you’re telling the truth or suspects that you’re being “crazy.” You can simply say,
“You can’t make this stuff up!”
That’s the best thing to say any time you witness, hear, or experience these types of bully tactics.
I would like to give a warm “thank you” to James Best @James A. Best – Author blog – https://myplace3187.wordpress.com/ for tagging me into this Tag. I am grateful and humbled that you thought of me. His blog is an awesome blog filled with fictional and personal stories. I hope and pray that you all go check out and follow his blog.
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When there’s a culture of bullying at school, everything is all about appearances. And it isn’t about what’s being done; it’s about who’s doing it.
Sadly, people often hold victims of bullying to a double-standard. If someone makes a statement, it’s never about the comment itself, but who it came from. Unfortunately, politics, whether it be on a national, local, school, or office level, is rife with double-standards.
Here are a few scenarios for examples:
1. The student body and people in the community find out that a particular girl is in a monogamous romantic relationship and that she and her boyfriend are not only dating; they have sex every weekend.
If she’s a target of bullying, she’s a “whore” or “slut.” And her boyfriend must be with her for the sole purpose of getting in her pants. It’s only a matter of time until he gets tired of her and dumps her for something better. And everyone uses her lack of celibacy as a means to persecute her.
On the other hand, what if she’s not a target of bullying (And she doesn’t have to be one of the popular crowd, she can be just an average Jane who blends in)?
As long as she’s any girl who doesn’t get bullied- she and her boyfriend are only in love, and they’re only experimenting and exploring the sexual terrain, which is only a normal part of being a young couple in love. And everyone either cuts her some slack and either doesn’t say anything, or congratulates her for reaching the milestone of finding love and losing her virginity.
Here are a few more examples:
2. A boy in the school is going out and getting drunk or high on the weekends.
If he’s a target of bullying, he’s a worthless drunk or druggie.
If he’s any boy who isn’t a target of bullying, however, he’s “cool,” he’s a hellraiser! He’s only doing what most teenage boys will try at some point during their adolescent years. And others dismiss it as his being one of the crazy kids from high school.
3. It’s discovered that a girl at school is pregnant.
If she’s a bullied girl, she’s a cheap little slut, and it’s no surprise she’s “knocked up.” People shun her like Hester Prynne in Nathaniel Hawthorne’s “The Scarlet Letter.” Everyone judges her harshly and has the attitudes that she and her baby will only live on welfare and leach from society while the non-bullied kids will move on to successful careers. And that they will be stuck paying taxes, which will support this sorry excuse for a human being and her little spawn.
But if she’s any girl who isn’t a target of bullying, then she’s just a good girl who made a bad mistake. And everyone reaches out to her and extends compassion.
Do you see where I’m going with this?
Realize that school politics and double-standards are firmly put in place to keep a select few down and oppressed.
In a nutshell, if you aren’t a target of bullying, there’s margin for error and you’re allowed to explore many worlds. You’re allowed to make mistakes. You’re allowed to be a human being.
But if you’re a target of bullying, you’re not afforded any of it. You’re not allowed to be yourself. You’re not allowed to be human because in the minds of others, you aren’t human at all. In the minds of the student body, you aren’t even allowed to be- to exist.
But no matter how they judge you, do it anyway.
1. Allow yourself to make mistakes because that’s how you learn.
2. Be yourself because that’s how you weed out the people who aren’t supposed to be in your life and attract into your world the people who belong there.
3. Be human because being human is what exposes the people who are wrong for you and shows you the people who are right for you.
4. And don’t only exist, but live! Be alive! Live life to the fullest!
5. And know that happiness is a choice! And that you do have the power to choose.
“People don’t stop being bullies when they grow up. They just dress differently to fool you.”
~ Patti Digh ~
Bullies are the biggest hypocrites! And another unfortunate reality of bullying is that the target is held to a double-standard. The bullies, especially those in authority, will often condemn the target for statements and actions they allow others to get away with. They will also demonize the target for things that are harmless or innocent.
Also, ideas and creations, which are independent things and should stand on their own merits, are undermined or dismissed if they’re found to originate from the target. However, if the exact ideas or creations come from anyone other than the target, they’re accepted, even praised.
It’s not about the idea or creation itself. It’s about who it comes from.
The reality is that nothing- no action, statement, idea or creation ever stands on its own merit. Nothing is ever independent of the person who conceived it.
Double-standards aren’t only put in place to assign different roles to different people in different positions in a hierarchy, they have another purpose as well:
1. To elevate, angelize and benefit the people we approve of and to degrade, demonize and harm the people we disapprove of.
Understand that people hold a target of bullying to double standards for one reason only, to stress, oppress and invalidate the person.
It doesn’t matter whether or not the person deserves it. What matters is how people feel about and perceive the person.
Remember that emotions and personal feelings always- always take priority over logic. Always has and always will. And the sooner you accept it, the quicker and more effectively you will be able to find your way around it.
Here are a couple of ways you can get around a double-standard:
1. Go incognito if possible. If you write a paper or invent something, don’t use your real name in the beginning. Use a pen name or pseudonym before submitting it. If you have bullies around, they won’t know it was you who created it, so they will likely approve of it. Then, once it’s approved and recognized for its brilliance, everyone will want to know who the mystery person is. Once an award has been prepared and everything’s all said and done, you can reveal who you are. Think of the movie, “The Cinderella Pact.”
I’ve also heard of people doing similar things in real life.
But note that this only works in certain situations.
2. Meet strangers who don’t know and haven’t heard of you. Find and befriend strangers who don’t know of your damaged reputation. Then keep company with them. These people are least likely to judge you because there will be no history or biases. With them, you start with a clean slate. So, you can put your best foot forward and be your best you!
Reputations are hard to change, but with careful thought, inventiveness, and creativity, you can intelligently work your way around your circumstances.
Many targets are abused for so long that they simply lose trust in people and withdraw from everyone. And in social situations, many targets mistakenly assume that those they’re with are laughing at them when they’re really laughing with them. And this can cause a rift between the target and a person who’s a mean-meaning friend.
So, how can you tell the difference?
1. Laughing with you: Eye contact. The person is looking at you and interacting with you while laughing.
Laughing at you: Lack of eye contact. The person is looking around at everyone else but you while laughing.
2. Laughing with you: The person doesn’t hold the laughter in. Instead, the laughter happens automatically and spontaneously.
Laughing at you: The laugher usually pauses first. And they don’t laugh out loud but only snicker.
3. Laughing with you: How does the person treat you once the laughter is over? They’re generally good to you and they enjoy being around you.
Laughing at you: The person treats you with contempt and they won’t hang around. They may even make a snide remark to you on their way out to go laugh at you behind your back.
And it depends on context.
4. Laughing with you: The laughter is deep and the person’s natural laugh.
Laughing at you: There’s “mocking laughter”, where the person imitates your laugh. The person isn’t laughing because you’ve done anything wrong or stupid, or because there’s anything wrong with you. They’re laughing at you to bring you down and boost their own social status or to feel better about themselves.
5. Laughing with you: The person generally has good feelings toward you and is having fun or being playful.
Laughing at you: The person has a hostile and hurtful attitude toward you. They’re enjoying your pain, humiliation or weakness.
The sooner you recognize the differences, the sooner you’ll avoid the wrong people and the better relationships you’ll have with the people who truly love and care about you. And ultimately, the better you’ll feel!
“When people hurt you over and over, think of them like sandpaper. They may scratch and hurt you a bit, but in the end, you end up polished and they end up useless.”
~ Chris Coffer ~
Bullies want you to believe that you’re nothing without their approval.
They want you to think that they control your very existence and that you can’t make friends, find a date, make the sports team, win a prize or have any successes without their say so.
Understand that this is how they brainwash you to wrest complete control and domination over your life. If they can make you believe that you’re nothing without their approval, then they succeed in taking away your power!
But know this! You do not need approval from anyone except the people who love you back. If the person doesn’t see your worth, their opinions of you shouldn’t matter.
Putting others first isn’t a bad thing. It shows that you care about your fellow man and that you’re willing to contribute some good to the world. It’s an outstanding character trait to have.
Many people have been conditioned, often by well-meaning parents, that the polite thing to do is to put others ahead of ourselves. That making sacrifices for others shows manners and that we’re “good people”- that we are well-mannered and have morals. Nothing wrong with it.
However, when that courtesy is overdone or done at your own expense, that’s when it becomes a bad thing. The problem is that people will come to expect you to be a yes-person and take their crap. You’ll soon attract users and abusers and become a doormat.
In taking this advice, many of us found out the hard way that giving too much of ourselves sometimes involved overlooking abuse. Even worse, we found that it didn’t make the mistreatment go away but only encouraged the person to abuse us later.
Growing up, I heard every excuse you can imagine.
“Oh, they’re just having a bad day.”
“Maybe they have an abusive or cheating spouse at home.”
“Oh, but you never know what that person is going through.” Blah-blah-b-blah.
A few adults in my family and a few teachers advised me to,
“Give them a break.”
“Cut so-and-so some slack.”
“Try to overlook him.”
“Oh, but try to put yourself in her shoes.”
That got old very quickly. I eventually grew fed up and wanted to scream,
“Um- EXCUSE ME! I’ve been ‘reasonable,’ and the only thing I ever got from it is taken advantage of! Would you be reasonable if this happened to you?!”
The point is that no matter what anyone tells you, it’s okay to put yourself first. And no law or rule says you have to tolerate unacceptable behavior- from anyone! Ever!
Anytime you’re mistreated, then advised or forced to “be nice” or “understand what Joe Blow is going through,” it only means that, subconsciously, the givers of this advice either don’t care about your boundaries, or they’re afraid of making the offending person angrier, and of the situation escalating. Some people can’t handle conflict.
They are only trying to silence you to appease the person who’s being a total jackass.
These kinds of advice and expectations can do one of either two things to you as you get older:
A. It can program you to be over tolerant of unacceptable and abusive behaviors and set you up for a life of getting bullied by other people.
You grow up being so afraid of pissing anyone off that you accept any abuse to avoid conflict. You end up living a life of being crapped on by others.
B. It can have the exact opposite effect and give you an “F-you” attitude and a bad case of The Don’t-Give-A-Shits.
Because of being forced to accept bad behavior in the past, you become a mean, bitter, and apathetic adult and could care less about anyone. That’s not good either.
I’m one of the lucky ones. It gave me an equal blend of both. I believe in treating others how I’d want them to treat me and don’t mind lending a helping hand to someone who needs it.
But if for one moment, I suspect that someone is taking my kindness for being a fool, I’ll drop that person like a bad habit and they’re on their own!
It’s okay to be kind. It’s okay to put others before you, but only in particular circumstances.
It’s perfectly fine to give an older adult your chair in a crowded doctor’s office.
It’s okay to get up and offer your seat to a combat soldier in a crowded airport.
In fact, it’s called having respect for elders and servicemen and women who fight for your country.
But never take abuse nor accept excuses for unacceptable behavior. Anytime someone crosses a line with you, go ahead. Respond in kind. Give it back to them because only then will the person realize that you aren’t a doormat and find someone else to abuse.
This is not selfish or being self-centered. It’s called self-preservation.