The Difference between Dislike and Disrespect

There can be respect without like. However, there can never be like without respect. Put more straightforward, a person doesn’t have to like you to respect you, but they do have to respect you to like you.

Respect and like are different in that like is based on commonalities, and good feelings shared between people. When you like someone, you enjoy their company and the positivity they bring to your life. On the other hand, respect is regard for another person’s safety, space, freedom, privacy, property, and individuality.

When you respect someone, you may not necessarily like the person, but you see them as having the same rights and considerations as you and everyone else.

A conceptual look at respect, esteem, appreciation, recognition.

To not like somebody means you have nothing in common or just don’t want to be around the person. That’s perfectly okay because not everybody is alike and shares the same beliefs, feelings, ideas, or backgrounds. Like is subjective.

But to not respect someone means that you have no regard for their safety, space, freedom, privacy, property, or individuality. In other words, if you have no respect for a specific individual, you don’t see them as having the same human rights and considerations as you and everyone else. And when you don’t respect someone, you will think it’s perfectly okay to violate that person because they somehow deserve to be violated.

Therefore, you can dislike someone but respect their right not to have their boundaries crossed. When you disrespect someone, you won’t acknowledge that person’s boundaries, and you are more likely to trample their dignity and human rights.

In your mind, the person either doesn’t or shouldn’t have the same human rights or dignity as you and everyone else. You may wish the person harm or ill will. You may not want to breathe the same air as the person.

Signs of Dislike

1. Nothing in common with the person. You wish them well, but you’d prefer not to go on long trips with them. You have no problem coexisting.

2. You see them as having the same human rights and you and anyone else, and you won’t bully them nor place them in danger. You only don’t have anything in common with the person.

Signs of Disrespect

1. Lack of regard for the person’s freedom- this could include belittling their opinions and ideas, taking away their freedom to speak by talking over them when they are speaking, getting angry with them if they would rather spend time with family than with you or the group.

2. Lack of regard for the person’s safety- you bully them or put them in danger of being physically hurt. You don’t want to coexist.

If you are a victim of bullying, you must distinguish between the two and act appropriately. Disrespect is much worse than dislike. Dislike is a part of life and much easier to deal with. Disrespect, on the other hand, is harmful.

The people who dislike you won’t necessarily try to hurt you but act neutral around you. They might even say a few words to you to be polite. They just won’t be buddy-buddy with you.

On the other hand, people who disrespect you will violate you. They will shame you, humiliate you, try to sabotage you, and physically assault you.

If the people around you dislike you, it’s their loss, and you can still be around them if you must.

However, if they disrespect you, then it’s time to either walk away from them or send them packing, one of the two. People who regard you with disrespect don’t deserve a place in your life!

With knowledge comes empowerment.

Why Bullies Need Targets

They want you to think that you need them! You don’t. In fact, it’s just the opposite. They need you! Let me explain further:

Bullies need targets as guinea pigs on which, to demonstrate their perceived power and might.

They need victims to feel better about themselves.

Bullies need targets to blame their stupidity and bad behavior on.

Bullies need victims to scapegoat and to be a dumping ground for all their problems and shortcomings.

If you’re a target, Your bullies need you as a shield to cover their own cowardice.

They need you to entertain and get laughs from their audiences.

And they need you to look cool and in control in front of everyone else.

Understand that bullies need you more than you will ever need them!

Looking Out for Number One

One thing I learned the hard way: If you don’t start looking out for number one, you’ll only continue playing second fiddle to others. Or worse, you might end up playing last fiddle! I cannot stress this enough. It’s not selfish to make yourself numero uno! Especially around bullies and people who don’t value you.

Now, don’t get me wrong. If you’re a parent raising children, or you have an ailing mother who depends on you, it’s only natural that you would put your family ahead of yourself- that’s a given. We all have an obligation to our families.

It’s also a given (or should be) that you always put God ahead of everyone else, including yourself. Again, that’s completely understandable, and more than that, it’s expected.

But when you’re in a toxic environment, around people who want to use and take you for granted, understand that you are top priority and to hell with them if they don’t like it.

Understand that when you’re being bullied in school or the workplace, the only person you have is you! So, be good to yourself. How you do this is to set firm boundaries and say no- and do it early-on and often!

You have to look out for number one, because, if you don’t, no one else will. In fact, they just might use you as a rug.

I know many, many people who were conditioned to think that putting yourself first is selfish or greedy- that taking care of yourself only means that you’re self-centered. They were raised being told that self-centeredness is a huge turnoff to others and in some cases, that’s true.

However, I’ve also noticed that bullies and abusers also tell their targets and victims those things only to shame them into staying around, taking their abuse silently, and accepting their inferiority to them (the bully/abuser).

Know that there’s a difference in being self-centeredness and self-care.

Self-centeredness means that you think you’re better than everyone else and that you think that any rules don’t apply to you. It means that you’re entitled- that you think everyone else is inferior to you and they should bow down and let you treat them however you deem them worthy because they have no boundaries.

Self-centeredness is one of the roots of bullying and abuse!

Self-care, on the other hand, means that you know that you’re no better than anyone else, but you’re just as good as the next person. Self-care means that you know that you’re equal to the next person and that you don’t deserve to be bullied or abused. Therefore, you know your rights and you’re not afraid to stand up for those rights.

It means that you hold yourself in high regard, just as you hold your family, friends, and the people you love and that you treat yourself just as well as you would another human being deserving of dignity.

It’s funny how quick bullies are to call us selfish or self-centered if we dare to stand up to their abuse. In fact, it’s part of the bully’s (or abuser’s) playbook. Accuse the target of that which you are guilty of yourself. Right?

If you have bullies or abusers who abuse you, always know that if they accuse you of anything- anything at all, you can bet that they are doing it themselves.

So, continue to look out for number one, even if you must find a way to do it on the sly. Don’t you think you’re worth it? I do.

With knowledge comes power!

Flowers Cannot Bloom Without Sunlight

Self-doubt is the killer of dreams. It comes when a person is consistently showered with toxicity and toxicity comes from toxic people- bullies and abusers. When all a person gets is insults and abuse for a long period of time, they become exhausted and any positivity they once had is slowly drained from them until they’re totally depleted of it.

Eventually, if targets aren’t careful, they’ll start to believe their abusers. They start seeing themselves through the eyes of their bullies. They’ll give up and others will see in them, a person who’s lackluster and slow.

When you’re a target of bullying, you’re like a flower that gets nothing but constant rain. The flower doesn’t grow and develop properly. The consistent abuse zaps your energy and keeps you hyper-vigilant and on guard 24/7- waiting for the other shoe to drop.

What happens is you lose your happiness, confidence, pride, will, and purpose in life. In essence, your bullies take away your good qualities and turn you into a person you don’t even recognize anymore.

Depression Concept with Word Cloud and a Humanbeing with broken Brain and Heavy Rain

Bullying and abuse takes the joy out of your life and you begin to daydream about escaping your current situation. If there is no escape route available, you feel stuck. Then, you isolate yourself and become a recluse. You retreat into your own little fantasy world because it just feels safer that way.

Finally, you stop growing as a person because you live inside your head instead of observing life that’s going on around you and learning the lessons life is trying to teach you. All the while, the bullying and abuse you suffer only gets worse because everyone around you knows that you’re living inside your head and they ridicule you for it.

And people who do not know what you are going through or don’t understand you may mistake you for being lazy, slow, or stupid. But it only causes you to retreat further inside yourself and the bullying only gets worse. It is a vicious cycle, and it is no way to live!

Not only do I understand how you feel inside, I understand why. Just as flowers can’t grow without sunlight, people can’t grow without positivity. Flowers need a good balance of rain and sunlight and people need a good balance of positivity and negativity. They cannot survive on just negativity nor positivity.

Too much negativity or, in this case, toxicity, and the person’s emotional and psychological growth will be stunted. Then, their happiness, confidence, and dreams will die, and they’ll give up. Too much positivity, and they lose touch with the real world and real people, then become arrogant, full of themselves, demanding, and tyrannical! There has to be a healthy balance of both before a person can truly grow.

Therefore, if you’re a target of bullying, never accept what bullies and abusers try to cram down your throat. I want you to realize that they don’t know you at all, although they may claim they know you more than you know yourself. The truth is, nobody can possibly know you like that and anyone who tells you otherwise is lying through their teeth.

Understand that bullies and abusers are miserable people who want you to be as miserable as they are. Stay away from those people. They aren’t worth your time or energy. Only keep company with people who love you and who uplift you!

Remember that there’s always hope and you’re worth much more than what your bullies say you are and more than you may think you are. Never let bullies destroy the things inside you that matter the most- your self-love, self-respect, confidence, and sense of pride. Those things are yours and not for anyone else to have!

And how you do this is through self-care. If at all possible, remove yourself from the bullying environment and go to a new place where you can grow and flourish, and where you can make friends and be no only accepted, but celebrated!

Be your own best friend. Be your own hero. Be your own sunlight! Keep company with people who allow you to shine and the sun to shine on you!

Bullies Need Targets to Depend on Them Somehow

Sadly, bullies successfully convince targets that they must depend on them for something. It’s true.

“Depend on bullies? For what?” You may ask.

For acceptance and approval. For the ability to make friends and establish relationships. Yes, many targets of bullying have been hoodwinked into thinking that they should depend on bullies to have these things. This is how bullies keep targets essentially begging for it- by dangling carrots of the possibilities of having them. And the reasons why bullies do this is to keep their targets under their control and to force them to do what they want them to do.

Think about it. Domestic abusers, who are also bullies, do basically the same to their partners- keep them dependent in order to keep control of them. Only domestic abusers keep their partners dependent mostly on financial resources by keeping a tight grip on any money that come into the household.

Domestic abusers also close their partners off from any job opportunities and cutting them off from their friends and family who may see through them and convince their partner to leave.

Abuse is abuse, whether it comes in the form of bullying or domestic violence and psychological manipulation.

Oh! But wait!

Socialist and Communist governments (again, also bullies) always do this to their peoples- make and keep them dependent on them to keep control of them, their behavior, and their thoughts. These tyrannical governments keep their citizenry dependent by controlling all the resources- food, the water supply, energy distribution, income and wealth distribution.

Because, if you can keep someone dependent, you can make the rules and tell them what they can and cannot do. Even worse, you can force them to put up with horrible conditions and treatment- things that they wouldn’t, under normal circumstances, tolerate. You can control every aspect of a person’s life if you can make them depend on you for their very survival!

When bullies do this, they keep you afraid to be your own person, to exercise your autonomy, speak freely, be creative, and to flourish. They keep your fearful of standing up to them, calling them out of their atrocious behavior and abuse, and of asserting your God-given right not to be controlled and abused.

Understand that bullies, domestic abusers, and oppressive governments/regimes have the same in common- to control everyone and destroy their targets. It’s how they keep everyone dependent and obligated.

Realize that in the minds of bullies, other people are only there for their convenience, their purpose, and their agenda. Nothing more!

With knowledge comes power!

Your Mind Is Your Own. Keep It That Way.

Bullies don’t only want to hurt you or destroy your good name. More than anything, they want to get into your head and alter your mind.

The worst thing about bullying isn’t the physical assaults. Cuts and bruises heal easily. It isn’t even the name-calling, the smears, the rumors, or the marginalization. It’s what it can do to the mind if we aren’t careful.

The worst thing that can happen to a target of bullying is when he begins to believe what he’s being told. The worst thing that happens is when she begins to see herself through the eyes of the very people who hate her and who want nothing more from her than her complete destruction and ruination.

Anytime a target begins to believe he is nothing, he does himself a huge disservice because he discards his own definition of him and replaces it with that of his bullies. He values the bullies’ opinions over his own.

I cannot stress enough the importance of loving yourself even when it looks as if others don’t love you back. You must continue to believe in yourself even when it seems that no one else does. You must also continue to stand your ground even when people want to bury you in it.’

That’s how you keep your confidence and self-esteem from tanking. It’s how you keep even a little bit of your dignity and it’s how you protect your spirit from being broken.

Yes, your confidence may take many blows, but it doesn’t have to die. Your self-esteem may be pummeled, but you can keep it for hitting rock bottom. Bullies may break off pieces of your dignity, but you don’t have to give them the piece of it you still hold for yourself. Your spirit may take a hard beating, but only you decide whether to let them break it.

In short, you don’t have to surrender everything that matters to your bullies.’

You have more power than you know. Your thoughts are the freest commodity you have. No matter what they take from you, they can never take your mind if you don’t let them.

“Power is not what you have but what the enemy thinks you have.” ~ Saul D. Alinsky (Rules for Radicals)

Think about that quote for a moment and realize that it’s what all bullies live by.

Here Are Some Ways Bullies Gaslight Their Targets (Part 2)

You already know the first three ways bullies use gaslighting. Here are more of their evil tactics and what you can do to keep your self-esteem intact.

4. Isolating the Target (Divide and Conquer)
Bullies often force their targets into isolation through social aggression (spreading rumors and lies about the person or intimidating his/her associates).

In doing this, bullies strategically turn the target’s friends and associates against them to cut him/her off from any support or protection they might otherwise receive. Once the subject is isolated, the bullies then move in for the kill and take the bullying to new heights.

If the target expresses the desire to change schools or workplaces, the bullies may try to discourage him/her by convincing them that they won’t be treated any better in the new environment or attempting to block the targets’ transfer and cut off any means of escape.

5. Bullies Make Themselves Out to be Superior and Cunningly Convince the Target that he/she needs them to get along.
Bullies slyly force their target to believe he/she somehow needs their approval. If the bullies can make the target dependent on them, their power and control only increase.

Bullies do this by convincing to target that they (the bullies) are the only ones who can better his/her (the target’s) situation- that only through them (the bullies) will the person be able to make friends and enjoy positive relationships! And only with their (the bullies’) permission will the target find happiness and fulfillment.

Also, bullies make the target believe that they must submit to their every whim and wish, no matter how demeaning, before they grant him/her relief from the attacks. But understand that bullies will never leave you alone! It’s is only another tactic to assert domination!

6. Empty Promises

“If you do this, I’ll go away quietly and leave you alone.”
“If you do that, I’ll be your friend.”
“If you’d only do XYZ, I’ll make things easier for you.”

Don’t buy any of it! You can never appease a bully. They will never go away or stop the harassment. They only make empty promises to keep you under their control. Understand that bullies have an insatiable appetite for power, control, and destruction.

They are like bottomless pits, and no matter what you do to please them, they’ll only continue or increase the torment. You must realize that no amount of bullying is ever enough for a bully. Bullies are power and drama addicts, and harassment of their targets is like a drug to them. They can never get enough! Bullies always come back for more! In short, they become drunk on their own power.

The only way to stop a bully is to either use reverse psychology, put the fear of God into him/her by calling them out publicly, or go no contact if you can. If you can’t, then use the first two suggestions. It may or may not work, but keep it up. Because if you just clam up and say nothing, you’ll feel terrible about yourself later.

There are two things bullies fear most. Losing face and losing power, which would only come from having their evil exposed and and with the target ceasing to care what they say and think altogether. NOTE: When you stop caring (which can only happen after you see the bullies for the pathetic souls they really are), it’ll be so much easier to come back with a witty, one-line counter-dig and keep walking.

Another important note: DOCUMENT EVERYTHING! Write it all down in detail to keep records of this kind of stuff! You may need it!!!!!!

Jot down what happened (in detail), including date and time it happened, where it happened, who the bullies are, names of any bystanders, teachers, supervisors, etc., and if possible, why it happened (was it retaliation?)! EVERYTHING!

Find ways to expose bullies and reclaim your power.

Here Are Some Ways Bullies Gaslight Their Targets

blame accuse pointing finger

Gaslight- to manipulate someone by psychological means into doubting their sanity.

Remember that bullying is all about domination and control. Once the bully selects a target and begins their reign of terror over the chosen victim, they will do everything possible to maintain that dominance. Also, understand that bullies get a huge psychological payoff at the victim’s expense. Abusing their targets gives bullies a rush of power and a sense of authority and control.

If there is a culture of bullying at a school, workplace, or community, bullies are also rewarded with attention, high social status and promotions from others while the target suffers the opposite. And a bully will fight like crazy to keep those benefits should the target speak out and shed light on the behavior.

Once the target sees the behavior for what it is and begins to assert their right to be treated fairly, bullies will become angry and afraid. They will see the target as a threat to their power and increase the harassment to subdue, silence and punish the person.

Seasoned bullies maintain power by emotionally abusing, brainwashing, and psychological abuse to disempower the target and make themselves seem bigger and better than what they are. They use these methods because psycho/emotional bullying leaves no physical evidence and is much easier to deny.

They do this by convincing their target (and everyone else) that he/she is defective or no good, thereby stripping the target’s confidence and self-esteem.

Here are ways bullies gaslight their targets:

1. Persistent lying
Bullies tell vague lies and trying to convince you that you are mentally unstable, less than, deserving of the mistreatment, or that you’re somehow defective. Bullies will make statements to others such as,

toxic brainwashing

“He’s a waste of space, and he needs to realize it already!”

“She’s such an embarrassment! How does she even show her face in public every day?”

“Who gives a #$% about his feelings! He doesn’t matter!”

“She brought it all on herself!”

Bullies will also tell their targets things like:

“What are you smiling about? Nobody likes you! Remember?”

“I’m not bullying you! You’re just over-reacting!”

Displeased woman looking at her growing nose and trying to stop it with her finger isolated on white background

“You’re just being (paranoid, overly sensitive, a crybaby, etc.)! You need help!”

“Nobody’s mistreating you! You’re just playing the victim to look innocent to everyone else!

“You think you’re (smart, pretty, cute, tough, cool, etc.), don’t’ you! You’re nothing!”

“You’re so (arrogant, retarded, crazy, ugly, fat, skinny, etc.) nobody believes a word you say!”

I could go on and on.

Bullies deliberately repeat these lies over and over again and for a long time to convince the target that they are right. Understand that this constant repetition has a purpose! To instill insecurity in the victim, wear them down and force him/her to resign themselves and acquiesce.

It serves to brainwash the target and force him/her to believe the bully’s lies. As a result, the target becomes riddled with confusion, social anxiety and shame. Eventually, the person loses the ability to counter the attacks

You must realize that this is the bully’s strategy to render control and keep the target under their control and from rebelling against the abuse.

2. Wearing the Target Down and forcing him/her to agree with them.
Bullies continue to put the target down and marginalize them until he/she is so tired or afraid of defending against them that the person shuts down, grows numb to the abuse and surrenders to the bullies.

Bullying, friendship and people concept. Girl patronizing screaming pointing finger at shy timid nerdy woman who is looking down

3. Become Highly Aggressive When the Target Calls Out the Abuse
Bullies may try to maintain their power by intensifying and escalating the attacks in addition to blaming and shaming the target. Understand that this is designed to subdue and further subjugate the person by intimidation and to force him/her into silence and submission. It also allows the bully to escape accountability and to have a green light for continued and future attacks.

(More to come in Part 2…)

Bullies Will Eat Their Own

I saw this happen and yes, while I was at Oakley High School, even in the workplace. When there are no targets available to degrade and dehumanize, bullies will begin to turn on one of their own in the clique.

Understand that even the inner circle of the clique has a pecking order. Every clique has a leader, second in command, third and so forth (depending on how many members in the group), all the way down to the bottom rat. And if their targets aren’t available, the members of the clique will turn on that bottom rat and she will be the target of the day.

And if it so happens that the bottom rat’s not available either, then the poor sucker on the second rung up is the one who will catch hell. And so on. Crap always rolls downhill and lands on whoever is unfortunate enough to be in the basement.

And what was really scandalous is that sometimes, the targets didn’t have to be unavailable. I stood back and watched a lot of back-biting between the members of the bully cliques, a few would go out with the other friends’ boyfriends or girlfriends behind their backs then smile in their faces at school the following Monday. But that was their business and any sane person would no part of such strange, twisted, and dysfunctional friendships.

With them it was back to back ego trips and while most targets, sheople, and wannabes at OHS considered a curse, a few others considered a blessing. I could deal with not being in the in-crowd, that was fine and dandy. What I had an issue with was that none of those creeps would leave me alone, go on about their business, and get a life.

Remember that bullies must always have a target- someone to look down on, someone to dump on, and someone to tell what to do and ride roughshod over. Therefore, if their usual targets aren’t available on any given day, the bullies at the top will turn on the lowest members of their own group and continue demeaning them until their regular targets return.

This is yet another reason why you should never accept being in one of the in-cliques. Must you be in one to feel validated? No. You’re just as awesome without them. You’re also freer! Because if you’re not in a clique, you don’t have to live up to anyone’s unwritten rules or standards. You’re free to be yourself and do your own thing. And there is nothing better!

What is DARVO?

It is just another term for gaslighting but is more in-depth. Bullies will discredit the victim by discrediting the claims.

DARVO is an acronym that stands for:

D – Deny – Anytime the target calls out their bullies’ abuse, the bullies will first deny the behavior. Bullies will counter with things like,

“That’s not what I said.”

“That never happened.”

“That’s not what I did.”

Or, they may not necessarily deny it, but may minimize their behavior by saying things like:

“It wasn’t that serious.”

“I didn’t hit you that hard. That was a love-pat compared to what I could’ve done to you.”

“If I was mad, you’d know it.”

A – Attack – Next, the bullies will attack you. They will discredit you by discrediting your claims. Bullies will use gaslighting to make you question or doubt yourself. And they will say to you, things like:

“You’re overreacting.”

“You’re crazy.”

“You’re just looking for a fight.”

“You’re a drama queen.”

“You’re being paranoid.”

“You’re being difficult.”

“You’re making a mountain out of a molehill.”

“You just won’t leave well enough alone.”

R – Reverse

V – Victim

and

O – Offender – The bullies will blame you for their behavior. They’ll claim that you did something to them to make them act the way they acted. Your bullies will make statements such as:

“It’s your fault.”

“You asked for it.”

“You had it coming.”

“You made me hurt you.”

“You’re the bully, not me!”

Understand that bullies do this to escape accountability and, at the same time, cause the target to doubt and blame themselves. The stronger the bullies’ DARVO reaction, the more likely the target will blame themselves. And when it happens, the target will feel crazy, stupid, guilty, and responsible. This is why targets often take responsibility for the abuse they suffer.

DARVO is also used to silence targets and make them afraid to speak out. If victims are brainwashed into thinking they’re crazy, they’ll be afraid that everyone else will think the same thing.

I want you to know that you’re not responsible for the vile behavior of another person because you can’t control someone else’s behavior. You can only control yours.

Know that it isn’t your place to carry someone else’s emotional baggage! And how you unload it is to go grey-rock and cut the bullies out of your life if possible.

DARVO has been around since the beginning of time. Down through history, it’s been the most common manipulation tactic of psychological abusers. Only 24 years ago did someone put a name to it! DARVO came from the work of psychologist Jennifer Freyd, PhD, who first introduced the term in late 1997.

You can read more about Dr. Freyd and DARVO here:

https://dynamic.uoregon.edu/jjf/defineDARVO.html

With knowledge comes empowerment!