Why Bullies Turn Your Friends Against You

It’s especially painful when those you thought were friends suddenly go turncoat. It’s not the bullies who hurt you the most, it’s the betrayal from friends and the silence of the bystanders. Understand that during a smear campaign, your friends will be at the top of your bullies’ list of people they wish to win over to their side. They will also be the first people your bullies will go to. Here’s why:

  1. Bullies know that if they can get the people you care about and trust the most to turn against you, they’ll be able to strike a devastating blow! Having the bullies themselves, total strangers, or people you don’t care much about turn against you is painful, don’t get me wrong. But it’s much easier to take than if it’s someone you care about. Nothing hurts worse than having the people you love most and think highly of turn against you.

 

  1. By persuading your most cherished friends to turn against you, your bullies take away much needed social support. If they can isolate you from your friends, bullies know that you’ll become stressed and your performance and activities will take a hit. This will make it much easier for them to bully you.

  1. Your friends know the most intimate details about you and your life. Bullies know that if they can get your friends to turn against you, then they will have complete access to the most private details about you. Your friends will most likely know your deepest, darkest secrets and your weaknesses. They may also know about any future plans you’re making and anything you may have said about the bullies or anyone else in the toxic environment.

 

  1. Because bystanders may turn against you too. People will figure that if your own friends turn against you, then damn! You must really have it coming! You must have really done something lowdown and dirty!

They’ll think that maybe you slept with your best friend’s boyfriend or spouse. Maybe you stole from them. Maybe you emotionally abused their child. When others see that your own friends have turned against you, all these above possible reasons immediately come to mind. That’s the worst thing about being hung out to dry.

So, if your own friends turn against you, why would anyone else be fool enough to have anything to do with you?

I would definitely stick with my friend because I’d know what kind of person my friend is. But! To tell you the truth, if I didn’t already know the person in question, I don’t know how I would handle it. If the targeted person was a total stranger, I don’t know if I would want anything to do with the person either. I’m only human and I make mistakes like everyone else. And my first priority is keeping myself safe, as it would be any bystander.

It hurts me to have to admit that. I would hope that I would be able to see through the smokescreen. I think that I would be able to quell my own fear and try to get the facts before judging the person- I would try to do that. But if there was no way I could find the truth, I would stay away from the person out of concern for my own safety and not because I hated them for no reason. We all hope that we would be able to do the right thing.

This is how people get thrown under the bus. Know that bullies understand how it works and they will play it to the hilt. Here’s another thing I want you to understand about your bullies:

If you are a target of bullying, no amount of pain you suffer will ever be enough for your bullies. They will always want more suffering- more, more, and more! Bullies have an obsessive bloodlust for their victims and their hunger for the victim’s pain will never be satisfied. Please keep that in mind if someone targets you for bullying and handle the bully accordingly.

The key here is to know what to expect and prepare for it. Only then will you be able to strategize and outflank them. Also, realize that if people do turn against you, they never were your friends, to begin with, and you must refuse to associate with them for your own protection and dignity.

The People Who Are Most Hurtful to a Target (Hint: It Isn’t the Bullies)

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It wasn’t the attacks from the bullies themselves. The bullies were the people from whom I’d come to expect that kind of behavior. From them, any vitriol, any vile and disgusting words and actions came as no surprise to me!

What hurt more than anything was the betrayal– when those I thought were my friends would so quickly and without question believe the lies and rumors that my bullies had spread. It was akin to being kicked in the stomach. Also, these so-called friends in school never had my back. Some even had the power to stop the bullying and protect me but refused, only throwing me under the bus.

Friends are supposed to be the people who believe the best of you. They are supposed to have your back any time someone attacks you. They’ll speak on your behalf when another person so much as badmouths you behind your back but in front of your them, and they’ll stick up for you even when you’re not around to see them do it. Real friends are with you no matter what, especially when the chips are down. They will go to hell and back for you.

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But sadly, during school, the people I thought I could trust did the opposite; they’d either go along with or believe the lies- and without bothering to ask me first!

Many times, my fake friends sold me out- delivered me up to my bullies- with my head on a plate.

Rejection and mistreatment from a bully are easier to deal with because, from a bully, you expect nothing more. It’s much harder to take when it comes from someone you think is a friend and think highly of. When I look back now, I realize that I didn’t have friends in school until I was in the twelfth grade.

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Before senior year, I only kept these so-called pals around and put up with them because they were the only options I had. It was pathetic.

The betrayals I suffered years ago is why I’m so selective of who I let in my life today. It’s also why I prefer to keep my circle small. I’d rather have only a handful of real friends than a million half-baked, fake ones. But we don’t value ourselves like we should when we’re teenagers and haven’t been in the world very long.

Too many people are overly concerned with having a large number of friends but don’t realize that real friends- people who have your back, who have your best at heart and will go to bat for you under the worst conditions- are a rare commodity and don’t come around every day. Finding genuine friends is like opening a thousand empty oysters and finding only five or six pearls. These are the friends who are worth more than gold! And if you have them, you’d better appreciate them for all that they are!

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When I meet a new person for the first time, I no longer wonder whether they’ll like me, I now wonder if I’m going to like them. I choose who I let in and who I give the boot, and if I stop having anything to do with someone, you can bet they betrayed me somehow, and I consider betrayal a deadly sin that will get someone dismissed very quickly.

I know what I want in a friend, and I won’t settle for anything less because anything less than desired is unacceptable. Loyalty is a virtue I look for, and if the person isn’t loyal, they aren’t worthy!

I want you to understand that if you have friends who are so quick to believe the lies your bullies tell them that they get angry with you and refuse to speak to you, guess what? These people are not your friends. They never were! Why else would they take your bullies’ word over yours and be so quick to turn against you?

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Maybe those you thought were your friends only tolerated you because they felt sorry for you. And why would you settle for someone’s pity? Or, maybe your so-called friends didn’t have many options themselves, and you were only a second choice friend, or worse! The last resort friend! Ewww! Who wants that!

Also, if you have friends who don’t stand with you and who fade into the woodwork when your bullies attack you, they’re not worth your time or energy. Friends like that don’t deserve the privilege of being a part of your life. You’re better off without them.

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You need to ditch these losers and find better friends, even if it means you have to be by yourself for a while. Hey, I know it sucks. Nobody wants to be alone. However, you must learn to be your own best friend before anyone else can.

Sometimes you must clean out all the trash to make room for the good stuff- the people who deserve to be in your life.

Bullies May Turn Everyone Else Against You. Just Don’t Let Them Turn YOU Against You!

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No matter what other people may think of you, you are the only one who knows who you truly are. Bullies are known for spinning smear campaigns and witch hunts to turn others against a target because it’s the only way they can make their lies and accusations seem valid. However, no matter how convincing the bullies may be and how many people believe the lies and rumors spread about you, it doesn’t mean the talk is true.

Only you can judge who you really are, nobody else can. I know it’s difficult not to question yourself when it seems that others hate you. Anyone who finds themselves in this situation would ask themselves, “What did I do?” or “What did I say?” It’s only a natural human reaction to being ostracized. It’s difficult not to blame yourself.

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But please, for your own self-esteem, do not blame yourself. Remember that the problem lies with the bullies, not with you. You are not responsible for what is happening to you. Believe it!

Although others may turn against you, just make sure that you do not turn against you! Remember that reputation doesn’t equal character!

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Continue to love yourself. Continue to take care of yourself and be true to your own heart! Continue to do the things that give you pleasure and surround yourself with those who do love you and want the best for you. Because during this time, you must ‘baby’ your self-esteem and your confidence!

Bullies may turn everyone else against, you! Just don’t allow them to turn you against yourself because you have no reason to hate yourself. So, love yourself even when it seems that others hate you. I promise you that your self-esteem will thank you for it! You will thank yourself for it!

Bystanders: The Cold, Hard Truth

Bullying Poster Concept Illustration

A vector illustration of Bullying Poster Concept

You not only never forget the bullies, but you also remember the people who were there- the people who had the power to help you but did nothing. Many times, the bystanders who saw it never tried to intervene and stop the attacks, nor did they speak up on my behalf.

As much as I hate to say it, I was guilty of the same thing. When I watched a few others get bullied, I said and did nothing, thinking that if I did speak up, my voice wouldn’t make a difference. Other times, I was just damn glad that, for a change, I wasn’t the one targeted and that it was someone else taking heat for a change.

For this, I am very remorseful and would like to apologize to all the other targets I left to fend for themselves. I’m truly sorry.

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Here are the reasons bystanders do nothing to help a target of bullying:

1. They’re afraid of arousing the bullies’ anger and becoming the next target. No one wants to be a target of bullying. I get that. Many bystanders fear getting involved and for good reasons. However, many bystanders do have some power because they’re high on the social hierarchy.

And the higher you are in the pecking order, the more weight your actions and words carry. So, why not use your power to help the target? Because if you’re extremely popular, the chances are that other bystanders will follow your lead and join you, and the bully will leave the victim alone. There’s strength in numbers.

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Bullying. Marginalized child. Concept illustration. Scene shows a child suffering harassment and marginalization from other children.

2. The bystanders see the bullies’ torment of the target as entertainment. Bullies always bully in front of an audience to humiliate the target. During altercations between bullies and targets, bystanders immediately gather around to watch it go down.

Most bystanders then stand around, laughing and pointing fingers. Many of them cheer and egg the bully on, stirring it up to get more entertainment, all of which only encourages the bully to continue and even escalate the abuse.

As long as it isn’t them getting dogged out or having their brains beat in, most bystanders think it’s funny to see it happen to someone else.

It’s the reason that instead of helping the target, bystanders will automatically whip out their smartphones and record the confrontation. Then, they can watch it later, send the film to their friends and have another big laugh over it.

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But! It’s not the least bit funny to the target. It’s painful and humiliating. It can be devastating to a victim who has already been a target of bullying for an extended time and can drive them over the edge.

3. The bystanders themselves either dislike or hate the target. In many cases, bullies have run vicious smear campaigns and turned everyone against their victims. When an altercation finally breaks out, the bystanders refuse to help the target because they think she deserves the abuse. Many times, these bystanders secretly or openly take pleasure in seeing the target suffer.

They may stand around snickering or join the bullies in tormenting the target. Often, the bullies are only doing to the victim what many of the bystanders wish they had the stones to do themselves. So, they get complete satisfaction in seeing someone else attack the target. Bystanders often hate the victim so much that they would defend a total stranger before they would protect the victim they hate so intensely.

4. They don’t want to get involved. Many bystanders figure that it’s none of their business and choose not to get involved. These bystanders are so indifferent that they won’t even stop and watch. They will only pass by and keep going. They don’t care. Period.

Concept of a selfish society, a social problem

Silhouette of two hands with smartphones, shoot a video on the hand of a sinking person, asking for help. The concept of a selfish society, a social problem

Understand that bullies always perform in front of an audience to show their superiority, strength and power. Bystanders who do nothing to stop the attacks, only silently support and encourage the bullies. These bystanders are just as guilty as the psycho bullies who perpetuate the attacks.

Often, bystanders either don’t understand or underestimate the power they have, especially in large numbers. When witnesses do speak up for the target, the bullies will more than likely stop and leave the victim be.
Bystanders can become upstanders when they show compassion and reach out to help a victim of bullies. Don’t be a bystander; be an upstander