Never Conform to a Bully’s Standards

Understand that a bully’s standards are unachievable. No matter what you do, who you are, where you’re from, or what you have; bullies will always- always move the goalposts, change the rules, and find something else to use against you. Bullies will even weaponize your best qualities.

Therefore, you should always be yourself, no matter how difficult it may be. Don’t change for anyone. Realize that anytime you conform to someone else’s standards, you only lower your own.

The way you dress, your interests, etc.

Bullies will often make fun of the way you dress- even if you dress fashionably. Understand that with bullies, it’s not about the way you dress. It’s not about your hair, makeup, your attire, hobbies, favorite music, your family, or anything they make fun of. No!

Its about power and control.

It’s about having the power to make you feel bad about yourself and taking away your confidence, your pride, your happiness, your health, peace of mind, everything that matters.

Your personality.

We all have quirks. Never change your personality. Continue to be yourself. Realize that anything you change to appease a bully today will be ridiculed tomorrow. Again, bullies have a desire to control you to get that ego boost they’re seeking. So, understand that they get their kicks from making you jump through hoops to win their approval.

And you know what? You don’t need their approval.

Just continue to be yourself and calmly blow the bullies off. Eventually, they’ll get bored and find another target.

Only you know what you like and don’t like. Only you can know what feels right to you and what’s best for you, so, don’t sell yourself short by living up to someone else’s expectations. They don’t know you the way you do and you’re a separate person from them. Always remember that.

With knowledge comes empowerment!

Bullies, Groupthink and Fakery

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Excessive groupthink was the accepted norm for Oakley High School and at one workplace I was employed in. In high school, most students and a few teachers shared this toxic group behavior. In the workplace, it went from top to bottom.

A moderate amount of groupthink is only human nature because it’s how we conform to rules and laws. Also, it provides stability for a community. However, excessive groupthink is unhealthy.  It’s how cults, dictatorships, and totalitarian states get started.

An example of groupthink is, “if everyone else is doing it, I want to do it too.” It’s herd mentality at play.

When there’s a culture of bullying in a school or in a workplace, people who would not typically bully, will. And they’ll do it simply because everyone does it, and think they should get in on it also. It certainly was the case at *Oakley High School years ago and later at *Oakley Rehab and Living Center.

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Therefore, from time to time, people you thought were friends would suddenly and without warning turn on you. And they will do it to jump on the bandwagon and join everyone else. Even they want to feel like one of the big guys.

Why Not? Everybody Else is Bullying Her?

There are several names for this, two of which are Social Contagion and Peer Pressure.

Now I understand that most of my classmates and later, coworkers were followers, drones, slaves! The student body of Oakley High School, sadly, was one big herd of sheep. They were slaves to the prospect of getting in good with “one of the cool kids” or  “the ‘Good Ole Boy” network.

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My bullies were nothing but two-faced hypocrites. They talked out both sides of their mouths, holding certain others to a double standard. All the while, they pretended to be someone they never were and never could be. Authenticity, being yourself, and free thought and expression were all punishable offenses. Everything was about appearances and whose butt they wanted to kiss to move up the social ladder

I would watch as most of my bullies pathetically sucked up to people they secretly couldn’t stand because they thought it would score them brownie points.  And often, it would.

I also watched bullies who were second in power take plenty of degradation from the bullies at the top to fit in and look popular.

Hypocrites Abound

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One such person was someone I knew who was the son of one of the teachers.
Very few of the so-called cool kids liked this wuss, yet he would lick their boots hungrily to get the so-called privilege of hanging with them. It didn’t matter to him if they were only tolerating him.

It was so pathetic I couldn’t hate the boy. All I could do was pity him.

On other occasions, I would see one of the popular girls drop a textbook, a pencil, anything. I would then watch the kids around her scramble, some taking a nosedive to the floor to pick it up for her and laugh as I walked by.

Whoever put on the best possible and most convincing front was rewarded not only by the other classmates but many of the teachers and school staff as well. I realize now that there was a reason behind all the fake sympathy, bogus compliments and, incessant butt-kissing. It was so they could get something from the higher-ups and not because they liked or respected them.

False flattery and opinion conformity in school and at work, made the bullies puffed up and overconfident. Also, it yielded immense social benefits for all the wannabes. Therefore, they maintained the status quo of ritualistic bullying of only kids or coworkers in particular.

Many of my classmates and coworkers were narcissistic sociopaths with low self-esteem. They were like tires with slow leaks. Their followers had to continuously air them up with fake compliments and false admiration to keep them from going flat!

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Boot-Licking for Approval

Thirsty for attention and praise, the bullies at the top only surrounded themselves with weak wannabes. They needed bootlickers and yes-people to feed their hungry egos by telling them what they wanted to hear. And everyone, except a few, was more than happy to do so if it awarded them high popularity and favors.

The higher-ups expected you to think like them, dress like them, be like them and agree with them. Conversely, the people who did their own thing, who were happy being themselves, and didn’t act or think like the flock became targets.

But real life did eventually come around to the top dogs in high school. Once we were all graduated, the so-called preppies (bullies) got a taste of the real world, many of them got a rude awakening.

They were no longer the big dogs and had to start at the bottom, which was a terrible blow to their fragile egos. They learned the hard way that the real world doesn’t care who you are. Real life isn’t concerned with whether you made the “Who’s Who” section of your high school yearbook. The real world only cares whether you can contribute to it. And sadly, most of the punks I went to school with haven’t brought a damn thing to the table of life.

In fact, many of them either became criminals or bred them.

Meeting the Real World

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Fitting in leads to a life of mediocrity. Standing out, on the other hand, is a prerequisite of greatness!

So, if your classmates or coworkers are bullying you, know that you are the brave one. Why? Because you refuse to follow the herd or resort to pathetic fakery to get approval!

You continue to be your authentic self and embrace your uniqueness, flaws, and all. You’re at the head of the class because you are true to your own heart, your own beliefs, and your convictions. You refuse to let them mold you into what they think you ought to be. You stand out from the rest, and one day, it’s all going to pay off! Wait and see!

With knowledge comes empowerment!

How “Good People” Become Willing Participants in Bullying

Even the best and kindest of people can help bullies to destroy a target. Oh yes! It’s true!

Many times, good people are either scared or duped into joining bullies in destroying targets. Understand that your bullies have either intimidated or lied to these people until they finally succeeded in turning them all against you.

What’s worse? These people really and truly do not believe they’re bullying you. They don’t see it as meanness and an attempt to cause another human being to suffer intense pain. People who willingly join with bullies and take part in torturing and tormenting another person do not think that what they’re doing is evil and sadistic. No.

What these people believe is that what they’re doing is good and morally right. Remember that you’ve been labeled immoral. Bullies have painted you as an evil adversary who needs to be punished.

Although the reality is that you’re totally innocent and wrongly persecuted, perceptions (opinions and attitudes) are everything, and bullies can easily distort others’ perceptions to fall in line with their narratives. And sadly, everything in life is based on appearances, and no one cares about what’s behind them.

Understand that, one by one, the “good” people will be sucked into the bullies’ smoke screens. And, one by one, they’ll join forces with the bullies in defeating “the evil enemy.”

These good people will gradually distance themselves from you. Then, little by little, they’ll join in the gossip and defamation of your character.

Again, these bystanders and witnesses don’t see what they’re doing as bullying. They genuinely believe that what they’re doing is a good thing- they’re only doing it for the greater good- the good of the school, alumni, and staff. They’re doing it for the sake of the company and people in it. They’re only showing loyalty and trustworthiness to the group. They’re heroes.

I want you to realize that this is how good people do bad things to innocent people. When this happens, the fact that you’re innocent and undeserving of the abuse and brutality just doesn’t come into it.

Also, understand that there are benefits that come with siding with a group against “the enemy” and few people will forgo those benefits.

With knowledge comes empowerment!

How “Good People” Become Willing Participants in Bullying and Turn Evil

Even the best and kindest of people can help bullies to destroy a target. Oh yes! It’s true!

Many times, good people are either scared or duped into joining bullies in destroying targets. Understand that your bullies have either intimidated or lied to these people until they finally succeeded in turning them all against you.

What’s worse? These people really and truly do not believe they’re bullying you. They don’t see it as meanness and an attempt to cause another human being to suffer intense pain. People who willingly join with bullies and take part in torturing and tormenting another person do not think that what they’re doing is evil and sadistic. No.

What these people believe is that what they’re doing is good and morally right. Remember that you’ve been labeled immoral. Bullies have painted you as an evil adversary who needs to be punished.

Although the reality is that you’re totally innocent and wrongly persecuted, perceptions (opinions and attitudes) are everything, and bullies can easily distort others’ perceptions to fall in line with their narratives. And sadly, everything in life is based on appearances, and no one cares about what’s behind them.

Understand that, one by one, the “good” people will be sucked into the bullies’ smoke screens. And, one by one, they’ll join forces with the bullies in defeating “the evil enemy.”

These good people will gradually distance themselves from you. Then, little by little, they’ll join in the gossip and defamation of your character.

Again, these bystanders and witnesses don’t see what they’re doing as bullying. They genuinely believe that what they’re doing is a good thing- they’re only doing it for the greater good- the good of the school, alumni, and staff. They’re doing it for the sake of the company and people in it. They’re only showing loyalty and trustworthiness to the group. They’re heroes.

I want you to realize that this is how good people do bad things to innocent people. When this happens, the fact that you’re innocent and undeserving of the abuse and brutality just doesn’t come into it.

Also, understand that there are benefits that come with siding with a group against “the enemy” and few people will forgo those benefits.

The more you know.

10 Reasons Why People Make Excuses for Bullies

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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.”

concept of a mob attacking a person that they think is different

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.

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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.

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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.

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.

bystander effect

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 a psychological, social, or material gain.

Why People Bully Others

Someone came to me with a burning question that I used to ask all the time. I am certain that millions of people around the world have asked the same question, “Why do People Bully?”

There are many answers and they all depend on the individual bully.

1. Spoiled, Coddled, Narcissistic bullies.

gossip girls

These kinds of bullies bully because they are arrogant and overconfident. They truly believe that they are superior to and better than anyone else and will stop at nothing to let you know who’s boss. They are self-entitled, self-serving and have no empathy.

With people such as these, the ends always justify the means. They do everything possible to keep the spotlight on themselves and hog all the glory. They consider themselves highly privileged.

These people are also jealous of anyone who outshines or outdoes them in any way because they believe that any happiness, successes, accolades, and victories should be reserved for only them.

If you have a talent which brings you recognition, look out! Because these bullies will punish you for it and they will pull out all stops to crush your self-esteem and kill your confidence.

You will often find these people in the popular and preppy crowd at school or in the “Good Ole Boy” clique at work. These folks will often be jocks, cheerleaders and sorority/fraternity nuts or in management or one of their suck-ups.

2. Hurting and Victimized Bullies (Bully-Victims)

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These types of bullies bully because they are being bullied themselves either in the home, at school/workplace or both. These folks feel powerless. So, in order to reclaim some of the power which has been stripped away from them, they search for someone they perceive to be even weaker than they are and bully them.

These people have a strong need to feel like they have control over something in their lives.

Here’s an example:

A child is yelled at by his parents, then he gets mad and kicks the dog. This is why I call this “Kicking the Dog”.

Also, no one wants to be on the bottom of the pecking order. As the age-old saying goes, “Sh** rolls downhill and lands at the bottom”. So, in order to stay off the bottom, these types will often find someone else to bully so they don’t feel like they’re the ones stuck in the basement.

3. Bullies who Are Followers, Drones and Wannabes

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These bullies are to be pitied because they are quite pathetic when you really think of it. They will suck up to the in-crowd (the narcissistic bullies) and all too often, they do this by either bullying those lower on the social totem pole, or participating in the bullying somehow.

Many of these people will say, ‘How High?’ when a person from the in-crowd tells them to jump. They often do the dirty work of the narcissistic bullies, join in with them in bullying others, or agree with them.

But understand that these people are only kiss-butts, yes-men, and brown-noses; and are only bullying you or your child for a ticket into the popular crowd or because they’re afraid of becoming the next target.