Space Invaders: 2 Ways Bullies Invade Your Personal Space

Bullies are notorious for violating others’ personal space. They make it a point to get too close. I want you to understand that bullies do this deliberately to intimidate and challenge targets.

If you are a target of bullying, bullies will get in your face or stand too close behind you, sometimes so close their bodies are touching yours. Bullies purposefully crowd you to either intimidate you, challenge you or provoke you into a reaction. These violations are too blatant!

Different zone distances are practiced based on the relationship we have with the people in the room around us. They are as follows:

Intimate Zone – (6-18 inches) This distance between people is reserved for lovers, family, close friends, and pets. However, unwelcome bullies will move into your intimate zone when they’re feeling hostile toward you and are about to attack.

Girl sitting on the ground and drawing personal space. Selective focus

Anytime someone we don’t know, don’t trust or don’t like moves into this area, they are too close, and our minds and bodies automatically go into fight, flight, or freeze mode. Some bullies may also invade the target’s intimate area only to toy with them and get them to react, then step back and laugh at the reaction. Do not ignore it! Call the bully out and let them know that they are in your personal space and that what they’re doing isn’t acceptable.

Personal Zone – (18-48 inches) We stand this far apart at parties and social gatherings. If bullies stand in the personal zone, they are still too close. Don’t be afraid to tell them in no uncertain terms to back the hell up!

Social Zone – (4-12 feet) These distances, we stand from strangers, clerks, and delivery people. Bullies will easily be able to get away with standing at these distances from their victims, so you might not want to react if you don’t want to look paranoid or unstable. But still, keep a close eye on your bully just in case they try to move closer!

Public Zone – (Over 12 feet) We stand at these distances when speaking publicly in front of an audience. Bullies can freely stand at these distances from their victims and not look conspicuous or threatening.

too close personal space bullied victim

(Zone distances- “The Definitive Book of Body Language,” Allan and Barbara Pease – pp. 194-195; 2004)

1.Sitting in your chair, leaning on your car, etc. – Any chair we sit in or any object we lean on or touch, we nonverbally lay claim to. Just as a dog will mark his territory by peeing on the spot he claims as his, people mark theirs by sitting, leaning, or touching the place or object they claim as theirs.

Other ways bullies invade their victim’s territory are leaning in the doorway of their office, dorm room, or house. Bullies may also prop their feet on the target’s desk or table or even walk into the victim’s home without knocking or being invited inside!

bullies dog peeing on tree marking territory

Male poodle dog pee on tree trunk to mark his territory

However, here are some less-obvious ways of space violations:

2. Invasion of your privacy – Bullies will very carefully observe you. They will eavesdrop on your conversations and listen for intimate details so they can take the private info and spread it as juicy gossip and make you look bad. They may also read your diary to find out your deepest, darkest secrets so they can spread it around and damage your reputation. They will even follow you to see where you go and who you associate with.

If you are a victim of bullying, understand that bullies do this on purpose. They invade your territory to intimidate, challenge, or dominate you.

You must protect not only your physical and mental health from bullies but also your personal space and territory. Never be afraid to call the bully out if they violate either one!

The more you know, the better you can protect yourself against these personal space invaders.

10 Secrets Bullies Hope You Never Find Out

dreamstime_xs_104065709

1. Being a bully is WORK! They work hard to keep up appearances and to maintain their fake facades. Bullies, especially popular ones, have an image to keep up, and they monitor themselves nonstop, twenty-four-seven. They must keep up with and remember all the lies they tell to keep their stories straight. And they often spend beyond their means to look like they have lots of money. Is it any wonder that many bullies get charged with crimes like embezzlement, fraud, and theft? Most have to steal to keep up!

2. Bullies are not happy people. They can’t be. Why do you think they bully others? They do it to feel better about themselves, to distract from their shortcomings and insecurities, and project them onto someone else. Bullies also bully to make themselves look superior, better, smarter, and more powerful. They may bully for attention because they aren’t getting it at home. It takes a miserable person to be a bully.

narcissist bully arrogant

3. They’re weak. Bullies bully because they’re feeble-minded people. They’re loud, obnoxious, and pushy because they don’t have the brains nor social intelligence to get what they want any other way.

4. Bullies are insecure. When a bully sees someone who outshines them somehow, they fear that the person will take the attention and admiration away from them. Bullies share attention and recognition with no one. They must be adored at all times by everyone. They feel they have to be at the center of everything and that the world should revolve around them.

narcissist bully ego

5. Bullies are jealous of their victims. Bullies can’t handle anyone else’s success. If you have more wins then them, are better looking then them or are more talented than them, they’ll make it their mission to make you suffer for it.

6. Bullies are trying to be cool. Again, they strain themselves to keep up appearances. And bullies know that most people are under the mistaken impression that cruelty is “cool” as long as they aren’t on the receiving end of it. Many bullies bully to look cute to any witnesses.

7. They seek attention. If a bully doesn’t get attention, they feel inadequate. So they bully in front of an audience to get the attention they feel they never get.

8. They’re cowards. They’re afraid of looking weak and being bullied themselves.

9. They’re fakes, frauds, and imposters. They must don masks to hide their true selves. Understand that they do this out of the fear of their true personalities being exposed.

10. They’re compensating. Bullies bully to compensate for weakness. If they can look strong by making someone else look weak they make up for the weaknesses they feel they have. Bullies will also run with rich people or the popular crowd because it helps them to forget about the fact that they’re nothing and, in a way, makes up for anything they feel they don’t have.

bullied victim desperate people pleaser

Male bullies who feel they aren’t man enough will often drive around in hot cars and flaunt money to make up for the fact that most decent girls find them disgusting. Female bullies will often use fashion, makeup, and the latest hairstyles to compensate for the fact that few people like them. Or they may have a bunch of friends and use that to make up for the fact that they can’t get a date. Who wants to date someone with a haughty attitude?

Bullies have secrets they don’t want exposed and they’ll move Heaven and Earth to keep those secrets from coming out.

With knowledge comes empowerment!

Deep Dive: What Relentless Bullying and Gaslighting Does to a Target (Part 2)

(…Continued from Part 1)

Remember that you have a voice, and you have a right to use it. Standing in your truth means that you must stop being afraid to lose people who don’t have your best interests in mind. It means letting go of people who block your growth, progress, and success.

Gaslighters are dead weight- they’re baggage that you don’t own and therefore, don’t have to drag around. Let them think and say of you what they will, it’s their prerogative. But know that you don’t have to accept their opinions and petty mischaracterizations of you as your truth. Remember that they have their truth and you have yours.

You are a separate person from them and so should your truth be separate from theirs.  Understand that putting your own wants and needs first, valuing your own opinions, perceptions, and reality, and being true to your own heart are far more important than what others think of you.

Break the Silence words in 3d letters crashing trhough red glass to illustrate protesting in injustice or censorship and raising your voice in defiance

Because, no matter what you say or do, people are going to think what they want, and you only end up losing your power and sense of self when you feel you must constantly explain and justify yourself to them or apologize for how you feel and who you are.

You have a God-given right to carve your own space in this world and to celebrate everything that you are. You have a right to be authentically unfiltered and unapologetically you, and no one else has the right nor patent to undermine that.

Be unwilling to please nor appease those who aren’t worth your time. Never allow the fear of ostracization to silence your voice or take away your freedom and autonomy.

Realize that even when you bring positivity and much good to the world, you will still have enemies who hate you and everything you stand for. There will always be some who will have a problem with you, but know that it’s their problem, not yours. Know that their issues have nothing to do with you.

Sometimes, it takes being bullied to know what you will not accept.

Sometimes it takes being abused to make you more determined to stand in your truth and do it unmoved.

And sometimes it takes being mistreated to give you the strength and determination to never again allow anyone to dull your shine.

So, keep shining. Keep standing in your truth. Hold onto the truthful knowledge of who you are and the good you bring. Keep your authenticity and know that you’re awesome no matter what.

Deep Dive: What Relentless Bullying and Gaslighting Does to a Target

When the target is bullied, he is objectified. It is as if exists for other people’s purposes and not his own. Slowly, over time, it does damage to the target’s psyche and if he’s not careful, he may never grow into a full human being.

He can begin to see himself as the projected object the bullies deem him to be. Bullies notoriously distort the target’s reality because they themselves deny reality. They deny facts, uncontested truths, and the concreteness of evidence. They try to make reality into an imaginary illusion when, in fact, reality is the opposite.

So, what happens when a bullies try to undermine your perception of reality? They try to brainwash you and force you to see things from their point of view. I’ve met many kinds of people in my life, and I’ve met enough gaslighters to know their tactics and recognize them like the back of my hand.

Gaslighters used to leave me dazed and confused when I was young but now, they only solidify my perception of reality. And I know firsthand that, if you’re not careful, they will trick you into questioning your own reality and make you think there’s something wrong with you when there isn’t.

Understand that gaslighting is about wresting power and control over your mind, and gaslighters do this by undermining your reality. They minimize your thoughts, feelings, and experiences. They deflect and shift blame to you and they’re notorious for feigning concern over your (mental) wellbeing and weaponizing compassion and goodwill.

Also, gaslighters are experts at twisting the truth and reframing conversations, and they slyly use your reactions to what they’ve done to you in attempts to make you look crazy. You should never tolerate this kind of behavior.

Bullies have shown me my strength and resilience.

When I was young, I would accept opinions of my character and it only made me feel worse. They’d make remarks like, “If the shoe fits, wear it!” But the shoe never fit, therefore, they’d do everything in their power to try and shoehorn it.

They’d claim that they were giving me constructive criticism but, even then I knew the difference between constructive criticism and gaslighting.

Understand that, as long as you don’t get abusive, your perceptions, judgements, and opinions are yours to express no matter who doesn’t agree or who gets offended. And be forewarned that if you’re not paying attention, gaslighters will challenge your reality- they’ll undermine your feelings, opinions, and perceptions to the point that you will lose yours and replace them with theirs.

Once you decide that you will no longer fall for other people’s distortions of your inner reality and dismissal of your thoughts and feelings, be prepared! You will make a lot of people furious. You will offend them, and you will lose many people you thought were your friends. But understand that the people you lose were never really your friends to begin with.

You may even feel isolated for a little while as people you thought you could trust to support you either ghost you or flat out turn against you and side with your gaslighters. Again, see it as a gift because they were never with you in the first place and are only revealing themselves to you.

And why wouldn’t these types of people turn on you when they’re no longer benefiting from you being gullible? You wised up and cut them off! You gotcha some self-respect and put an end to the gravy train they were riding at your expense!

(Continue in Part 2)

Bullies Want to Make You Believe You Need Them. You don’t!

bullied victim blamed

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.

Letter to My Bullies- Your Anger and Personal Attacks Only Expose Your Guilt

Continued from Part 3…

And now, thanks to “From Victim to Victor (A Survivor’sTrue Story of Her Experiences with School Bullying,” more and more people know the truth. They know what really happened- more people than you ever thought would find out back when we were in school.

Even though I wasn’t out for revenge when I wrote the book, and therefore, had the common decency to conceal your real names and omit certain events that would’ve called you out for the devils you are, I consciously chose not to identify your sorry butts. So, go ahead, show some chutzpah. Get offended, get angry, talk smack, I don’t care.

‘You see? The thing you don’t realize is that by getting your noses out of joint, you unwittingly called yourselves out! By opening your mouths, you exposed yourselves, and as I already knew you would! So, who’s the “retard” now?

I concealed your real names, which is more than what you deserved, yet you get your emotions so stirred up you end up telling off on yourselves! So, who are the stupid ones?

Here’s the thing. If someone had written a book about me and exposed me and all my dirt, but changed the name? I would’ve been smart enough to zip my lips and not to let on that the book was about me!

I would’ve put on a poker face because I wouldn’t want anyone to know that I was one of the idiots who acted so immature back in the day- that I was one of the brutes that mistreated so horribly a person, who back then, was powerless to defend herself! And here another newsflash. Today, bullies don’t get the glory they got back in the ‘1980s.

People look down on bullies nowadays!

And let me address the psychopaths who’ve sent me threatening and nasty messages off and on for the last three years. Heads up: I’ve both screenshotted and saved them all “just in case.” And I’ve already exposed one woman. Don’t be the next person I plaster all over the internet. Because I will, in essence, parade you naked before the eyes of the entire world.

And if anything does happen to me, anything at all, that book will be seen as a possible motive. Many, many people will come around, asking questions. And who do you think they’ll come to? Who do you think those people will want answers from? Are you willing to take that risk?

The entire class will be under a microscope, and everyone will know what the possibilities are. But that’s all it takes. Isn’t it?

One accusation. One offhand comment. One motive. The slightest suspicion. That’s it.

So, if you see me out anywhere, your best bet is to keep on walking. You stay away from me, I’ll stay away from you, and everybody’s happy.

Letter to My Bullies- I’m No Longer Afraid of You

Continued from Part 2…

Also, the fact that no one cared about the truth nor even asked is only further proof that you all bullied and mobbed out of pure spite, ignorance, and stupidity. And the same three afflictions is why a few teachers, who followed your lead, also bullied me to the point of considering a lawsuit. A few even escalated the vitriol because they saw me as a threat.

Those few so-called teachers were afraid that I would file citing discrimination based on a perceived disability. Why? Because they found out about the daily journals, I kept each school day, documenting everything! And I’ll never forget their reactions (and those of some of you) each time they saw me writing.

It’s hilarious when I look back now because some of you seemed pretty desperate and afraid!

And the few spineless, undeserving losers I was such a fool to call friends? (Scoff) They didn’t have the stones to have my back, which means it’s safe to say that I didn’t have any friends at OHS. So, should it matter to any of you if I speak up or stay silent?

I can be honest about it now because none of you are anyone I need to impress, and I surely don’t owe any of you anything- not even respect because you did nothing to earn it. I’ll say again. You get no respect from me.

As for the few rotten apples who called themselves teachers, I realize they only fell for your lies and smear campaigns. These teachers, who were supposed to be adults, but only regressed into children by joining you in your evil and spiteful attacks, weren’t smart at all, only educated idiots. They were also too lazy to look for the facts.

Far be it from me to put their names out there because I won’t go that low. But I already suspect you know which teachers I’m referring to. So, I’ll leave it there.

With you, the excuse was always, “I’m afraid of her!” or “She’s crazy!” But the reality was that I was much more afraid of you than you ever were of me. But deep down, most of you were already aware of it.

Oh yeah. I know and you do too. I knew it back then; only I was too afraid to voice it because I knew what most of you would do if I opened my mouth. Oh, yes. You got that one for free. I was afraid of you all back then.

But the difference between then and now is that I’m not anymore. Now that I’m a grown woman, I’m not afraid of any of you.

I don’t have to see any of you. You can’t touch me now. So I can say pretty much anything I want. And I say it loud and proud. Even better, I make speaking out about people like you my livelihood, my bread and butter, and my niche!

Therefore, in bullying me, you were only paving my path for me. In trying to instill fear, you only encouraged me. In trying to keep me down, you only uplifted me! And in turning others against me back then, you ultimately made me truer friends now than I ever could have imagined back then.

Now, you must ask yourselves what good all that meanness did in the long run, and where did it get you? It certainly didn’t help you reach the top! It didn’t get you fame or fortune because none of you ever went anywhere.

Continued in Part 4…

Letter to My Bullies- You Only Made A Winner Out of Me

Continued from Part 1…

I’ll give you this much. For a while, you had me down and even managed to keep me there during school. I forgot who I was. Or maybe without meaning to, I allowed you to take the knowledge of who I was from me. You even succeeded in making me out to be the troubled one.

And while you bullied, harassed, name-called, slut-shamed, shoved, tripped, jumped, beat, choked, and kicked me- even threatened my life with a blade on two different occasions; I was told to ignore it, to toughen up, and not to be a snitch or a crybaby.

Even worse, people also dared to tell me to be thankful that the abuse wasn’t worse or just to take it in silence.

But as you can see, it didn’t last. You couldn’t keep me in your little box and your vacuum. And once I got away from you, I began to flourish.

In the end, you only made a fighter out of me. What you did is make a winner out of me. You ended up making me more determined to love myself.  The girl who used to finish last now finishes first. Why? Because I put myself first.

When you all attacked me, others judged me unfairly and brutalized me- even those who were bystanders and those I thought were friends. And that was worse because the betrayal was more devastating than the bullying and mobbing itself.

motivational inspirational

Oh, yes. I’ll admit. People, even a few school staff, only scoffed when I went to them for help and tried to explain to them what I was going through. When I needed a listening ear and a shoulder to lean and cry on, they only ignored me. When I needed someone to care, understand, and make sense of what was happening, they abandoned me. Therefore, for a while, you won.

I even went against my better judgment and asked many of you why. Not even you could give me a straight answer, which should’ve been my first clue that none of you knew and, more than likely, still don’t know why you acted so ignorant and stupid.

Though I was only a kid and didn’t realize it back then, it’s only proof that you had no excuse nor justification for the simple way you behaved. And the most astonishing part was you didn’t need any evidence of any wrongdoing on my part to rally the school to your side.

Continued in Part 3…

The Long-Term Effects of Bullying

Bullying, especially chronic and severe bullying, is traumatic for targets and can have long-lasting effects. Most people who’ve been traumatized by bullying have lives that don’t run smoothly. They experience many stops and starts in life- many interruptions and setbacks.

They suffer a long string of broken relationships and friendships due to their shattered trust in humanity. When you’ve been bullied severely as I have, you will come to believe the lie, that human beings are inherently evil and enjoy seeing others suffer, if you aren’t careful and you don’t get professional help. And naturally, this destructive belief will effect your personal relationships.

In order to succeed at anything- you job, academics, finances, projects, anything, you must know how to form and nurture successful relationships. The hard truth is that it really is who you are connected with that determines your success in life. How to form relationships and confidently maintain them is the most important life skill you can ever learn and master. It’s sad that traditional schools don’t teach this.

Many people who have been chronically and severely bullied have been stunted in their emotional development and their development of people-skills. Many targets and survivors of bullying are afraid of meeting new people and of relationships. They’re fearful of social engagements and situations because they see themselves through the eyes of their bullies- that they’re somehow defective and inferior to everyone. Therefore, they don’t trust themselves or other people anymore.

Targets and survivors of bullying may desire friends and relationships but don’t want to take the risks required to get what they want. They decide that it’s much safer to stay alone and avoid even the remotest chance of conflict, being ridiculed, and possibly being targeted again in the future.

What these traumatized people don’t realize is that this doesn’t decrease their chances of being targeted. It actually increases that chance because bullies actively search for people like them- easy marks who are fearful and easily intimidated. Also, it lessons their chances of success at all other aspects of their lives.

Many targets and survivors of bullying are ashamed of what they had to do to survive and keep from getting hurt and bullied worse than they already were.

They have much shame about the many times they had to submit to the bullies demands to keep from getting their brains beat out or save themselves from being shot or stabbed.

They often look back and wish they’d spoken up or defended themselves and just took whatever consequences they’d have had to face afterward. Sadly, they haven’t thought about the fact that the brain’s and body’s natural reaction is to do whatever they must do to keep one from harm- it’s part of our survival instinct.

If you are or have been a target of bullying, how can you change your life for the better?

1.You start by getting therapy and by reading self-help and personal development books that deal with the type of problems you’re having. You also relearn the social arts and do the inner work to reprogram yourself. Realize that this will take a lot of time to internalize.

2. You replace negative thoughts with positive ones.

3. You count your blessings and make a list of your good qualities and talents.

4. You think of the good people in your life, even if you only know a few, and realize that there are more of them in the world- realize that, out of almost eight billion people in the world, there must be more good people besides the few you already know.

5. You spend time with the people who love you and who uplift you. These positive connections will balance out all the bad experiences you’ve had with bullies and your confidence will grow. Soon, you won’t be as fearful because you’ll feel better about yourself.

6. You take risks by meeting new people and making new connections. This will be uncomfortable at first but continue to push yourself and it will eventually feel natural.

The things above are what I did to regain my confidence and become outgoing. It wasn’t easy and it took time and a lot of practice for it to sink in and become like second nature. But I look back now and I’m so glad I put in the work because my life is so much better now.

I’m at peace with myself and with others. Words cannot explain the freedom that comes with it. You would have to experience it to know. But I promise that if you do the same things I did, and put in the time and work, the payoff will be exponential, and you’ll get the ROI you’ve never thought you would!

Invest in yourself. Don’t you think you’re worth the time and effort? I do.

Why Seasoned Bullies Prefer Psychological/Emotional Bullying

PTSD

Why? Because this type of harassment offers easy deniability.

Unlike the physical kind, Psycho/Emotional bullying is less evident to others outside the bully-victim dynamic because it leaves no visible bruises, cuts, or wounds. Therefore, the target has no proof that any bullying ever took place. The bullies can easily deny any incidences if the victim becomes fed up and either assert themselves or reports the harassment to an authority figure.

Afterward, the bullies can brand the target as mentally unstable, destroy his/her credibility, reputation, and relationships, then retaliate against the victim by continuing and escalating the harassment later.

Remember that the most talented bullies are the biggest cowards and the most successful actors and actresses. They have methods of harassment that are well-planned in advance.

Depression Concept with Word Cloud and a Human being with broken Brain and Heavy Rain

They go to great lengths to prevent themselves from being exposed. They’re incredibly crafty, committing their attacks ever so slowly and subtly, undercover and behind a veil of superficial charm, fake playfulness, and deceit.

These types of bullies are often in the Preppy/Popular crowd at school or in the Good Ole’ Boy Clique at work because of their superior social skills, ability to read people and predict others’ reactions. They have a talent for keeping up appearances.

They are usually well-liked by teachers, school staff, supervisors, managers, and CEOs. They excel in studies, join clubs or sororities/fraternities, and make themselves out to be high performers at work by stealing others’ ideas and work.

Because their popularity and extreme likeability serve as a shield from accountability and add a lot of weight to their lies and deceit, they often get away with bullying others.

If you live in a small town, they likely come from families who have powerful connections, which is all the more reason why they must keep up appearances. Many of these kinds of harassers are highly skilled wordsmiths, which is why they are such good liars and seem to have the right answer or justification for anything.

Bullies of this kind also have followers. They’re too chicken to get their hands dirty, so if they want to cause any physical harm to their target, they will often send one of their sycophants to do it for them, being sure to offer money and social status as possible incentives to get the job done and stay quiet.

But understand that most of their followers don’t like them; they only kiss and cover their butts to get something from them- their approval and the power and social status that comes with it.

Bullies on top of the pecking order will also use their social skills to take advantage of the mentally disabled (kids with Down’s Syndrome, Cerebral Palsy, Traumatic Brain Injury, etc.) and the physically disabled (kids with Diabetes, Lupus, heart defects, and food allergies; kids who are paraplegic, etc.).

They also target kids with weight issues (overweight or underweight), those with low self-esteem, or those younger and smaller.

And most of the abuse they dish out to these kids is strictly psychological or emotional because they’re such cowards! Otherwise, they wouldn’t select such vulnerable kids to push around in the first place.

Since you have to go to school or work with these types and there is no way to avoid these types of people or to go no-contact, I want you to see through these self-entitled, self-absorbed, and self-satisfied wimps so that you can learn their weaknesses and expose them for your own protection.

You must get into the minds of these bullies. You must think as they do even though it’s not a pleasant place to properly defend yourself, and I’ll tell you! The souls of such people can be downright ugly!

Sometimes it takes getting just as low, just as sneaky, and just as nasty as your attacker if you ever want to expose them for what they are before they back off.

The more you know, the more you’re prepared, the better you can protect yourself from such people.