Young girl bending down covering her face with her hands trying to protect herself from mens’ fists, finger guns and hands pointing at her. Women’s rights. Violence against women. Domestic violence.
I could go on and on! The excuses bullies make are endless. However, know that these so-called reasons have nothing to do with you if you’re a target of bullying. Understand that bullying is about power and the need to feel better than. Your bullies are trying to meet their needs for validation or superiority in a hateful and hurtful manner.
When you’re being mistreated, it’s normal to want to figure out why. And the reason we want to know why is so we can fix whatever’s wrong and make the bullying stop. But just because we correct whatever’s wrong doesn’t mean the bullying will go away, and most of the time, it doesn’t.
It only gets worse when you try to change yourself because people lose respect for you when you’re not yourself.
You may try to change yourself; you may hide, wear fancier clothes, even buy a new flashier car. But the truth is there was never anything wrong with you in the first place. Understand that bullies are targeting you not because there’s anything wrong with you or because you’ve done anything wrong. They’re only using you to meet their needs, and those needs are to feel better about themselves, to feel powerful, superior, or better than you.
I even know adults- ADULTS, who should know better but are under the misguided impression that if people bully you, that you’re causing them to do so- that there’s something wrong with you, that there has to be something you’re not doing right, that you’re somehow annoying people and rubbing everyone the wrong way. No! This is a falsehood you should dismiss immediately!
Don’t accept it! Know in your heart that you did nothing wrong and that you’re great just the way you are! Here are things you can do to help your self-esteem and restore confidence.
Avoid these bullies like the plague.
Keep company with only those who uplift you and make you feel good about yourself.
Befriend other targets.
Do the things you enjoy and always show off your talents and gifts.
Do all of these and your self-esteem will thank you for it!
As we all know, bullies are convincing liars. But what happens when they finally get called out on their lies and evil deeds. Let’s use scenarios to find out.
For example, you’re a target of bullying. You find out that the one friend you thought you could trust has been spreading your deepest secrets and spreading lies behind your back while only pretending to be your best buddy (This can apply to both school and workplace environments). When you confront her, here are his/her possible reactions.
1. She will deny it or, at the least, try to avoid the subject. How you’ll know she’s dishonest? She will change the subject by talking about a topic irrelevant to the issue at hand while appearing to be busy doing a task. Girls are known for this.
2. She will become irate and go on a tirade. She may even yell and curse at you. She may turn it back on you and accuse you of being paranoid, crazy, a crybaby, etc. But understand that she only looks and sounds desperate when she does this. Know that this is just another dead giveaway, and most bullies get highly defensive when they’re afraid they’re busted.
Understand that most bullies will get loud. They scream, yell, and pound their fists, curse, and swear when they fear exposure. However, don’t let this scare you because the dramatics and theatrics they display only mean that the bullies are desperate!
Bullying, friendship and people concept. Girl patronizing screaming pointing finger at shy timid nerdy woman who is looking down
3. She will lay guilt trips on you.
“Well, if you were my friend, you wouldn’t believe…”
“If you were a true friend to me, you wouldn’t even question my loyalty.”
Don’t buy that garbage. The person is just trying to make you feel guilty or trying to intimidate you into silence. If your so-called friend was the only person you told any secrets to or knows about your life outside of the school, workplace, or organization, it’s a safe bet they’re guilty. And if enough people tell you that she is saying things behind your back, especially people you’ve never met or had any dealings with or people who aren’t a threat to you, she’s guilty!
Example 2: You have a bully on your back, and you’ve finally had enough. You call him/her out on his/her bad behavior and begin speaking out about the abuse she dishes out.
1. She will escalate the harassment to either punish you or to intimidate you and shut you down. Understand that the bully is afraid of being exposed, facing accountability, and losing face and will stop at nothing to silence you.
2. He will justify himself with full conviction.
“If you didn’t always make trouble, I wouldn’t have had to hurt you!”
“If you weren’t so stupid, I wouldn’t give you such a hard time!”
“You made me do it because you always do this when you should do that!”
“If you would just do this, I wouldn’t have to do that!”
“You won’t shut up, so you deserve it!”
Again, don’t believe a word of it! Continue to report the harassment. You must protect yourself by speaking just as loud and with just as much conviction as the bully. Make plenty of noise because the wheel that squeaks loudest gets the grease!
3. She will slander you to everyone who will listen to her and try to turn others against you. Again, understand that this bully is afraid of being exposed. So she spreads rumors and lies to discredit you by distracting others from her appalling and embarrassing behavior by making you look like the guilty party.
If the bully can make you look bad and turn everyone else against you, she reaps several benefits.
a. She can intimidate you into silence and avoid any future risks of exposure.
b. She can discredit you, make herself look like the victim, and, therefore, gain attention and sympathy from other people.
c. She can successfully cut you off from any support you might otherwise receive.
d. She gets the green light to bully you again later and with impunity.
e. She gets to move up the social ladder and win more friends and allies.
f. She gets the satisfaction of being able to maintain power, domination, and control over another person.
As goes the old political quote from World War II, “Accuse the other side of that which you are guilty.”
Understand that any smear campaign is designed to protect the guilty bullies from being exposed and shift blame onto innocent victims. It’s a tactic used since the beginning of time!
So, don’t shut up no matter what! Continue to call out the bullies’ behavior! And if they react like any of the above, tell them like it is.
“The tirade isn’t going to work anymore” or “Go ahead and lie all you want. Everybody knows this is only retaliation because I had the gall to expose your deplorable behavior! Right,(the bully’s name)? Is that what this is, (Bully’s name)?”
Be sure to say the bully’s name at the end of the above questions because that really shakes a bully when you put his/her name on it!
If the bully says “No!” Tell her in a fast and short tone, “Oh, yes it is and you know it, (Bully’s name)!”
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 or workplace, 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 victim speak out and shed light on the behavior.
Once the victim 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 their victim.
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 victim’s confidence and self-esteem.
women with elongated nose – the concept of lying
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, deserve the mistreatment, or that you’re somehow defective. Bullies will make statements to others such as,
“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!”
“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’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.
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 victim 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.
Bullying, friendship and people concept. Girl patronizing screaming pointing finger at shy timid nerdy woman who is looking down
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.
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 victim 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.
If you’re a target of bullying, you often wonder why bullies and their followers make snap judgments about you before getting to know you or before seeing any evidence and getting the facts. You may also wonder why your classmates automatically believe rumors and lies about you, especially rumors and lies that sound completely ridiculous.
I know how you feel. Some of the accusations my classmates accused me of were so absurd and ludicrous, that any sane person would’ve dismissed them outright. If you find yourself asking why your bullies and classmates fall for such foolishness, here’s your answer.
Bullies don’t care what the facts are. Never are they concerned with the truth. Understand that these quick judgments are judgments that fit their agendas. The only agendas they have are to hurt you! Nothing else! And they will look for any justification and opportunity to do so.
People, especially bullies, don’t believe facts. They only think whatever feels good to them. It doesn’t matter if it’s a fact, opinion, or a complete falsehood.
Here’s an example: A wife has a husband she loves dearly. The wife’s best friend sees the husband out with another woman and kissing her one Saturday night. So, the best friend informs the wife that her husband is cheating, only for the wife to get angry at the best friend and throw her out.
Even though the husband is, in fact, guilty of cheating and the BFF did witness him kissing the mistress, the wife doesn’t believe it because she doesn’t want to believe it. Therefore, it feels much better to assume that the BFF is jealous of her happy marriage and is trying to break them apart.
Here’s another example: Pam hates Veronica. Pam is best friends with Cindy. Cindy befriends Veronica and finds out what a sweet and genuine person Veronica is. Later, she tells Pam that Veronica is not such a bad person, that she’s, in fact, a lovely and caring lady. Pam refuses to believe Cindy and only wants to believe the worst about Veronica.
Pam gets angry at Cindy for having anything to do with Veronica and accuses Cindy of betraying her (Pam). Pam now refuses to talk to Cindy.
But understand that Pam only stops talking to Cindy to manipulate her into cutting ties with Veronica. Because of Pam’s blind hatred for Veronica, she refuses to believe that Veronica may, in fact, be a great friend if Pam ever got to know her.
Pam has VDS- Veronica Derangement Syndrome.
Again, bullies don’t care about facts or evidence. They want to believe the lies, and even worse, they want the lies to be true! Self-deception and willful blindness always feel better to bullies.
Ignorance is bliss, and unfortunately, bullies are some of the most blissful people on earth.
concept of a mob attacking a person that they think is different
Down through the ages, either at school, the workplace, or the community, people have made excuses for the behavior of bullies and it can be downright sickening to targets of such evil acts. Often, the bully has gotten away with it for so long that they get too comfortable and no longer try to hide it. It leaves targets feeling not only a sense of injustice and resentment but downright furious! Unfortunately, this happens all the time, and it’s nothing new.
If you’re a target of such brutality and find yourself wondering why people make excuses for bullies, here are your answers below:
1. They’re afraid of becoming the next target. Nobody wants a bully on their back, so they make excuses for the bullies to protect themselves from being ostracized and to keep from arousing the bullies’ anger. These people often “don’t want to make waves” or “rock the boat.”
2. They’re loyal followers of the bullies. Many people are under the impression that being friends or followers of the bullies will give them status, popularity, favors, and most of all, protection. And in many cases, it does. But in others, the followers are only being used and will be quickly dismissed as soon as they’ve “served their purpose.”
3. They hate the target worse than they hate the bullies. They take the lesser of two evils route. If people hate the target worse than they do the bullies, they’re naturally going to side with the bullies and help demonize the target all for the satisfaction of seeing the victim suffer.
4. It’s expected of them. And people will often do what’s expected of them to do in an environment. Many times, the bullying of a particular individual has become the status quo in that specific environment, whether it be a school, workplace or community. And no one wants to challenge that for fear of being marginalized and forced to join the target at the bottom of the heap.
5. They prefer to “cheer for the winning team.” Many people will side with the person who wields the most power. When people are on the side of the winners or ones with the most power, they get a share in being one of the big dogs. Many times, there’s a certain amount of social status and prestige that goes with rooting for a particular clique, team or group who seems to be in charge and run the school, place of employment, or community.
6. They want to be a part of the in-crowd. (See number 5)
7. They think it will keep down the drama and allow some peace in that particular environment. Let’s face it. Bullying is stressful for bystanders and witnesses too. You don’t have to be a target for it to suck the energy out of you. All it takes for bullying to take the oxygen out of the room is for you to see it. So, people make excuses for the bully, often in their presence, to appease them and calm them down.
8. They’re bullies themselves. Birds of a feather flock together. People have a nose for and take care of their own.
guilt concept – unhappy young sporty man showing his throat with gun-like hands for sign of low self-esteem, textured effects
9. For purposes of self-interest. The bullies benefit them somehow. If the bullies are stars on the school football team, star performers in a corporation, or successful business people in a community, they boost the image of that school, corporation, or district and often bring or attract money into the coffers of these entities.
Portrait of happy teenage guy surrounded by pretty girls
The prevailing thought is this, “If someone makes me look good and is bringing in the money, I’d be a fool to do anything to jeopardize it!”
Also, in return for keeping their mouths shut or justifying their wrongdoings, bullies will often reward bystanders and witnesses with social status, perks, favors, and protection. Or the reward may be the feeling of importance in knowing that that they’re on the team that holds the most power and prestige.
10. They want to impress the bullies and be admired by them. Many people have a desire to run with the “cool crowd.” Therefore, they make excuses for them to impress them and win favor. They feel that if the bullies, who already have an overinflated sense of their own importance, think well of them too, then they must be hot items themselves. And it’s a huge self-esteem boost.
However, these people are only letting the approval of these bullies define who they are, which is dangerous. Because once the bullies decide they don’t need them anymore, it’s going to be devastating for them.
You must understand that there is a payoff in it somewhere. Human Nature dictates that none of us do anything unless it somehow, someway, appeals to our self-interests, even a little bit. If people are making excuses for bullies, you can be sure that those people are somehow benefiting from it, whether it be psychological, social, or material gain.
If you’re a target of bullying, do you ever wonder how some bullies are able to lie so convincingly and turn everyone against you?
It’s because these bullies are master wordsmiths. But let’s delve a little deeper. What makes them so good at wordsmithing? How is it that their words seem to have a hypnotic effect on your friends, associates, teachers and supervisors?
Here are your answers:
1. They use loaded words and language. Good or bad, loaded language appeals to or triggers other’s emotions. And when emotions are high, logic goes right out the window! Sadly, most people are ruled by their emotions and bullies instinctively know this.
2. They make offhand comments. Offhand comments can be taken many different ways and are interpreted based on the perception of the person you’re talking to. These types of remarks often sound innocent but are meant to be highly insulting, which makes them so easily deniable.
3. They are good at taking your words out of context. And they do this deliberately to use them against you. The intended meaning behind your words won’t matter because these bullies will twist and spin them any and every which way to fit their own narratives.
4. They ask “gotcha questions.” Many times, bullies will get you in front of bystanders and people in authority. They’ll then ask you questions which are designed to trap you into giving answers that may damage your credibility and reputation.
It’s these types of bullies you should avoid at all costs. And if you can’t avoid them, find a way to learn how to counter these monsters because they can do some damage if you don’t defend yourself against them.
If you’re a target of bullying, people will naturally expect you not to open your mouth about the harassment. Not only your bullies themselves but often bystanders and authority will automatically side with the bullies.
But, it still doesn’t mean that you stay silent because standing up for yourself shows bravery and strength and you’re well within your rights to do so.
However, I want you to be prepared for the following hurtful responses you’re likely to get when you finally do begin speaking against the mistreatment.
Here they are:
1. “You’re being too sensitive.” Understand that when people respond this way, they’re only shifting the blame to you and trying to shame you into keeping quiet about it. People who tell you this might be friends or followers of the bullies or have a personal interest in keeping you quiet, such as the reputation of the school or company, the bullies may be kin to them somehow, or the bullies may be perceived as “good for the school’s or company’s reputation.” But don’t be ashamed to speak out. You must keep the pressure on even if the bullying gets worse. Understand that things usually get worse before they get better. But they will get better.
2. “Just Ignore Them.” This never works, as bullies only become angry at being ignored and escalate the bullying. Or, they may mistake ignoring for fear. And if a bully gets in your face, how do you ignore that? It’s impossible. The best way to handle it is to put your hand up and walk around the bully. But how do you know the bully won’t come after you and attack you from behind once you’ve walked past them?
Understand that when people tell you to ignore the bully, what this means is that they either don’t want to hear about it, don’t want to have to deal with it, or don’t have any answers themselves.
3. “Toughen up.” Again. The people who could help you don’t want to get involved. So they put it all on you. By telling you to toughen up, they’re shifting the blame onto you and trying to shame you into staying silent. Also, when you tell a target to toughen up, you’re only asking for things between the target and bully to escalate because the target will take it as a green light to tell the bully to shove it up his you-know-where or haul off and knock the idiot’s block off. Not that it’s a bad thing because, in my opinion, bullies deserve a good whack in the nose.
But those in authority have no right to tell the target to toughen up, then turn around and punish him when he finally does.
Respond to this by saying, “No. It’s not about toughing up. It’s about asserting my right to be treated with decency and I don’t have to take that mess.” And when you say it, say it with conviction.
4. “Get over it.”
5. “Don’t be a crybaby.”
6. “Stop whining.”
7. “Don’t be a tattletale.”
All of the above nuggets of advice are only meant to shame and silence you. Bullying is no different from any other form of abuse. It thrives on secrecy. If you don’t speak out about it, the bullying and abuse will only continue, even escalate.
I realize that getting these kinds of responses makes you feel even worse and there’s a temptation to clam up and burrow back into your hole. But don’t! You must refuse to keep quiet about it!
Keep speaking out about it. When people give you any of the above responses, that’s when you should only double down, dig your heels in and speak louder! Because only when a problem is addressed does it have the potential to be solved.
It may get worse before it gets better, but there’s always a chance that it will get better when you verbally protest the bullying. And no matter the outcome, you’ll feel so much better about yourself knowing you took a stand.