What Gets Targets of Bullying in More Trouble

Overreacting. Any overreactions to the taunts, insults, and attacks of bullies only bring more problems targets would otherwise avoid if they stayed calm. Unfortunately, I learned this lesson through time-consuming trial and error, and it could’ve gotten me either maimed or killed. But you don’t have to.

Overreacting can have a boomerang effect because when you get overly excited, the chances are that the bullies will too- especially bullies who are overly aggressive. Overdoing the response could cause the altercation to escalate into something you may not be able to walk away from. Also, the bullies could use your overreaction against you.

The target’s overreaction is how bullies feign victimhood and make the victim look like the aggressor. It’s how bullies bait their victims. So why not use a different strategy?

Chess board and text “Strategic plan” Business planning concept

The smart thing to do is to fake a surrender or submission. Make it look as if you’re giving in to your bullies’ demands. I realize this may feel a bit cowardly to you, but you aren’t caving in, you’re only making your bullies think you are. So, remain calm and make them believe they have the upper hand. Doing so will stabilize the bully’s temper.

But wait! There’s another benefit! Your bullies more than likely expect or even want you to react with a high degree of aggression. But you don’t, and it will throw them off guard. It will surprise, even shock your bullies, because you remained calm and agreed with them. The surprise is a powerful weapon if you know how to use it.

Use your fake surrender as part of a bigger plan once you fool them into thinking you care. On the inside, you continue to stand your ground, but on the outside, you give in to their desires. Doing so can give you time to quietly plan a countermeasure that will bring the bullies down. Smarts will always trump aggression every time!

However, understand that this takes a truckload of self-discipline and self-control. And, as mentioned earlier, you may feel like a big old wimp when you use this technique. Just remember this: You’re not giving the bullies what they want. You only look like you are. You’re only playing dead to save your life!

Here’s a third benefit. By faking your submission, you also allow yourself time to study your bullies and carefully plot any future moves. And when the bullies are satisfied and lay off you, you’ll finally have room to make your countermove.

So, go ahead—fake your submission. Get close to your bullies and learn their ways. Give them no reason to react, nothing to prepare for, and no cause for resistance. Then when the time is right, BAM!

They won’t know what hit them.

Any time you make it look as if you submit to your bullies, you’re only mocking them. It’s silent disdain – like expelling a silent fart in their direction, only they don’t know they’ve been farted on.

You turn their own power against them and make them look like idiots. But they can’t retaliate because you did what they told you to do. Right?

Bullies and Doublespeak

Bullies are slick with their insults. Many times, they may disguise their vitriol and contempt with the use of doublespeak.

The term “doublespeak” comes from George Orwell’s book “1984” and a person uses it when he uses euphemisms and words that sound more palatable to the ears. Bullies use doublespeak to sound concerned rather than hateful to keep from turning other people off.

For example:

a bully is degrading and defaming their target. But rather than being blunt and saying,

“I can’t stand him, he’s batshit crazy and he belongs in the nuthouse!” the bully will instead say,

“I’m very concerned about him. I think he has a mental imbalance somewhere that hasn’t been addressed. I hope he gets the help he needs.”

The first version would make the bully sound like the person she truly is- a nasty old shrew! The second version sounds so much better and makes the bully look like a good person who’s genuinely concerned for the target.

Here’s another example:

A bully is putting her neighbor down. But rather than say,

“I’d like to catch her in the street and beat the living crap out of her and leave her to die!” which would make the bully sound like a vindictive and hateful bitch, she says,

“If she doesn’t change her attitude, I’m afraid someone’s going to hurt her really bad!”

Again, the second version sounds so much better because it shows concern rather than hatred for the target and it also makes the target look like she must be bringing the bad treatment on herself.

It’s not what you say. It’s how you say it and the nonverbal communication you use with it that makes all the difference. It’s too easy to bully someone without looking like a bully!

Believe it or not, if you’re a target, you know when you’re being bullied no matter how covert your bullies may be. The trick is to call it out in the early stages before the sneaky attacks become a habit or a set pattern.

Never let anyone grow too comfortable with abusing you. Once they do, the abuse will get so out of control that people won’t even try to hide it! And that’s when you will be in grave danger!

Again! Call it out in the early stages. It’s the only way you’ll be able to put a stop to it!