Being predictable is dangerous. Because if a bully can predict your reaction or your next move, it’s game over. Remember that bullies are very socially intelligent, and they tend to spot behavior patterns in their victims.
Bullies carefully observe a potential target, looking for any patterns of behavior, habits, and weaknesses. They closely monitor your reactions to everything, what ticks you off, what makes you happy, and what excites you. They scrutinize the way you do things, even the way you arrange objects.
They study your moods, body language, and expressions to feel out your emotional state. And in observing you, bullies leave no stone unturned.
Bullies are like bank robbers who case out a bank before pulling off the heist. The robbers get the layout of the bank, search for any vulnerabilities in the security system, and look for any patterns of patrols and the comings and goings there.
Is it any wonder that being targeted for bullying can feel like being under a microscope? Like you’re being watched? It’s because you are!
Being too predictable is unwise when you’re bullied. Instead, make it a point to be unpredictable.Be as fluid with every as you possibly can. I know it won’t be easy because we’re all creatures of habit. It’s going to take work.
But understand that bullies fear a fluid person and will leave him/her alone if they aren’t sure how they’ll react. So, try new things every day, in everything. It will surely pay off!
If a bully cuts their eyes at you, return the gesture. If she tries to stare you down, never look away because she will only take that as fear and from then on, you’ll be her new source of power. Always glare back without blinking and stand with your feet apart and arms akimbo to take up some space. This is known as a “power pose”.
You may have to stand that way and stare for a while if she sees your response as a challenge, but if you hold your position long enough, she’ll finally get tired and move on.
Understand that any time a person uses this type of body language toward you without your provoking them, they are clearly saying that they’re superior to you and attempting to dominate you. So always, always reciprocate any dirty looks and dominate or intimidating body language. Assert your power this way, and soon, the bully will get the message that you’re confident, fearless and not one she should mess with.
It’s not what you say. It’s what you do. Nonverbal communication is over eighty percent of communication. Talk is cheap, and if your words don’t match your body language, bullies will pick up on it, and they will eat you alive!
If you’re the timid type, there are plenty of books you can read to learn confident body language and power pose. Once you read, practice and learn what nonverbal cues convey power, you must practice those poses until they become comfortable to you.
Remember that bullies always target someone they perceive to be unconfident, timid, and insecure because that person is least likely to fight back. To look confident, fearless and secure, practice open body language.
Stand with your feet apart and arms uncrossed (crossed arms are closed body language and make you look insecure and untrustworthy). When a bully confronts you, never look down or away. Always look the bully in the eye, and she will see that you aren’t afraid and likely move on to someone else.
The more you know, the better you protect yourself
Any time a target gets tired of the abuse and calls a bully’s bluff. The bully will more than likely justify their behavior to others. Here is a list of the most famous statements you’re likely to hear, from most popular to least.
Most people who become targets of bullying are genuinely good-hearted, pure, and sweet-natured and would never dream of hurting another human being in any way.
Bullies, on the other hand, are consistently thinking up newer and more sophisticated ways to inflict harm on others. Their hunger for power is so that they have left a long line of victims in their wake and are always on the lookout for new targets.
The reason most good-natured people become targets of bullying is that bullies are notorious for taking kindness for weakness. Sadly, to protect yourself from becoming the next target requires that you adapt the bully mindset. You must think as they do but not act as they do.
I realize this can be difficult because the mind of a bully isn’t a pleasant place to be. It’s downright ugly!
Another sad truth is that to think as a bully takes a certain degree of identifying with the person to be able to predict what they will most likely do next. And if you can figure out what their next move will be, you can stay a few steps ahead of the bully and protect yourself.
Though it won’t be easy, as the mind of a bully can be a real cesspool, sometimes you must wade through a ton of crap to keep yourself safe and your name and reputation clean.
Bullies never select targets at random. They always pick a possible target and size them up before they choose them.
Just as bank robbers will case a potential bank before they rob the place, bullies case (size up) any potential targets.
During the sizing up phase, bullies study their objects carefully to ferret out any weaknesses and imperfections, look for incongruencies between verbal and nonverbal communication (mismatches in words and gestures) and scan for any traces of fear.
You’ll know you’re being sized up for bullying when the person watches you closely while looking you up and down. Their eyes will go from your head to your feet, then back up to your head, and you’ll get an uncomfortable feeling in the pit of your stomach. You’ll feel that something ‘just isn’t right’ about this person. Trust those feelings and get rid of them! Fast!
Another sure-fire sign is that the bully will test you by throwing out a subtle insult or use sarcasm to see whether you catch it and what your reaction will be. If you quickly pick up on it and take control of the situation by calling the bully out or countering him/her by coming back with a cute, but scathing zinger of your own, you’ll stop the bully in their tracks, and they’ll likely decide you are worth the trouble, then move on to an easier target.
On the other hand, if their test remark goes over your head, you ignore the comment or react out of fear, you’ll likely become the bully’s new victim.
Always put a stop to it the first time it happens.
This can be as easy as saying, “I know what you’re doing and I don’t like it! Now get lost!”
Never let the mistreatment become a habit or pattern! Because once a pattern is set, it’ll be too late and any comebacks or means of defense will only bring retaliation and escalation of the bullying.
If you are being sized up by a bully, shut it down! Do or say something that will discourage the bully, then have no more to do with the creep.
The more you know, the better you protect yourself!
Often times we ran into people who are just jerks and are rude to random people. Just because a person is rude to us does not mean that they are bullying us.
Anyone, at any age, can become a target of bullying, and there is evidence that child and teen targets are more likely to grow up to be bullied adults. Some do not, I didn’t, but others do.
All bullies, regardless of age, deep down at their core are COWARDS!
The difference between child bullies and adult bullies is that the young bullies select targets who are weaker, smaller, mentally handicapped, or sick with a disease (Type 1 diabetics, childhood cancer patients, paraplegics, etc).
Adult bullies target people who are well-liked, outgoing, confident, and successful in their jobs or have successful marriages and family life. Adult bullies target people who have what they themselves want but feel they can’t have because they feel those people outshine them and are a threat to them.
With that being said, this has prompted me to talk about the subject and how one can overcome a hostile work environment. I believe that knowledge is power and without it, you may not what to do when an adult bully comes calling. So I feel that it is incumbent upon me to share my own knowledge, experience, and the tools I used to overcome a hostile work environment and come out virtually unscathed.
There is no age limit on bullying. It does not stop after high school graduation, nor does it stop at age 18, 21, 40, or even 60. If it did, there would be no assaults, murders, robberies, home invasions, or the like. And there wouldn’t be corporate or government corruption either.
The majority of employees will have at least one encounter with a workplace bully in their lifetime. So if you have never been the target of an ultra dominating and overbearing boss or coworkers, chances are that you will sometime in the future
After high school, I was fortunate to have never suffered bullying in the workplace until just a few years ago. For years, in the places I worked, I was usually the one who was well-liked by my supervisors and coworkers because I worked hard and did my best to treat everyone with respect. This is not to say that I didn’t run into a few dirtbags – smart-alecs, gossips, and trouble makers because I did.
But these people usually treated EVERYONE like dirt, not only me. Also, they were only a few and not liked by the rest of my coworkers. So these were NOT cases of bullying although I may have thought differently at the time. So how do we distinguish a case of bullying from incivility?
BULLYING – involves singling one person out of the whole of alumni, organization, company, or geographic population. It also involves repetition…repeated attacks against the same individual or group over a long period of time (usually from 3 weeks to several years). Also, others, even total strangers, are usually encouraged to join in.
Bullying is relentless. Bullying is a CAMPAIGN with a GOAL
It means destroying the target’s good name and standing in a community, relationships, family, career, finances, businesses and to ruin the target’s self-esteem and sense of security and well-being, to eventually ruin his/her life.
INCIVILITY – does not have any certain target.
People such as these don’t care who you are or where you come from. They just have personalities that suck and treat everyone in general like dirt. And they only insult you because they don’t want to be bothered, whereas a bully or bullies will actively pursue you and make it their mission in life just to destroy you. A dirtbag, on the other hand, will never put in the effort to pursue anyone.
INCIVILITY – is sporadic and random mistreatment against random people. It does not involve repetition and is not directed at any certain person or group.
BULLYING – is personal and there is always an agenda and vendetta behind it.
INCIVILITY – is not personal and there is no agenda nor vendetta.
The person is just a jerk. Everyone will experience incivility at times in their lives, even popular people. A dirtbag does not care who you are.
A dirtbag just doesn’t care…about anyone…period.
A dirtbag is afraid you might want something from him.
And now, thanks to FVTV, 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 taking offense? By getting enraged, furious, and bent out of shape, 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? Who are the dummies? Who are are the morons here?
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 even 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 an innocent person, who back then, was powerless to defend herself! And here another newsflash, classmates! Today, bullies don’t get the glory and respect they got back in the ‘1980s? Mmmkay?
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, classmates?
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 stay away from you, and everybody’s happy.
You no longer matter. I only post on the class page to humor you and to give you a little something to talk about.
Oh, 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, kicked, and 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.
The word Answer on a puzzle piece to symbolize the quest for understanding in answering questions and concerns
Even worse, people also dared to tell me to either 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. And I do! The girl who used to finish last can now finish 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.
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 to cry on, they only ignored me. When I needed someone to care, understand, and to 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.
That’s right! 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.
Much to your chagrin, I’m no longer the naive girl of yesterday, but the wise woman of today. And the beauty of getting older is the wisdom you store up and the realization that you’re perfect just the way you are and always have been. Also, you realize that you never needed certain people in the first place and that certain people don’t belong in your life. You, OHS class of 90, except for two- two people, are “certain people.”
Another great thing about getting older is that you become completely secure in yourself and comfortable in your own skin. You can speak your mind no matter who sees and hears it because you could give less than a damn what others think.
Who are you, anyway? Who are any of you? I’m the only one who can decide who I am. I’m the only one who has that kind of power.
So many people tell me things, and it is people you’d never expect. ‘You know? Those who tell you stories of people you could care less about and regardless of whether you want to hear them? Yeah, those types. Believe it or not, some of them are people you think are your friends.
Oh, yeah! They stop me in places like the supermarket and the gas station, or when I’m passing through. They tell me that many of you keep up with my social media posts and read my blog regularly. Yep. I know all about it.
So, I don’t doubt that you’ll read this blog post too, so I’m writing this to help you indulge yourselves. Because you only expose yourselves and your obsession.
To be real, I could care less about what or how any of you are doing. Because you were only people, God was teaching me to look out for. You were lessons, not blessings. And the things I take away from having the displeasure of even knowing you are these:
That if I can survive your obsessive bullying and mobbing for six long years, then I can survive anything. Oh, yes! You most certainly showed me my own strength, resilience, and determination.
You showed me the type of people I don’t want in my life, and who aren’t good enough to be in it.
You gave me a much better appreciation for the real friends I have today.
You gave me a thick skin and a fighting spirit.
You gave me clarity- clarity of what I want and what I will and will not tolerate in my life.
You gave me the confidence that when hard times come, they will eventually pass me by, and things will get much better.
You gave me the drive and determination to have what I want out of life and the motivation to work hard and keep going after it until I get it- the commitment to reach success and live my dreams.
You gave me the desire not only to learn and improve my knowledge of bullying and the psychology of predatory behavior but to use what you tried to do to me to protect other innocents from people like you.
You also gave me the ability to spot a liar and faker a mile away in the dark! It’s funny how dealing with the likes of you can give one the ability to point out other liars and fakes without ever meeting them.
I survived because my determination to remain standing superseded your desperation to tear me down. I survived because the fire inside me burned hotter and brighter than the fire you ignited around my feet.
My efforts to reach happiness and success outmatched your efforts to keep me miserable and in failure. And my strength to keep going was much bigger than the force you expended to stop me. I prevailed against odds that would’ve proved overwhelming for the likes of you.
I graduated because I kept pushing myself and went on living through enormous threats and circumstances under which you wusses would’ve dropped out. And the thing is, most people would’ve hated you. But I don’t. ‘You know why?
Because hate is a waste of energy, and I’d rather spend my energy focusing on my goals. I’m too busy working on me and pursuing my own agenda than to hate on anyone. I make it about me. That’s right, class, all about me, my family, and my goals.