Who Are the People Most Hurtful to a Target? ‘Tisn’t the Bullies (Part 2)

(Continued from Part 1…)

When you’re a target of bullying in school or at work, you can’t afford to put all your trust in anyone, not even those who seem to be your friends. I’m not suggesting you be completely paranoid, only nonchalant. Because in a toxic area, you will have a few nosy wolves in sheep’s clothing around you, who will try to get close to you for no other reason than to probe for intimate details about you and your life.

They will also study you like a lab-rat to see how you react to certain things and find out your opinions, especially opinions of your bullies and other people you go to school or work with. Why? So they can take the juicy deets and report back to your bullies with them.

Here are ways that you can pick up on your classmates or coworkers’ hidden attitudes and intentions.

1. Always observe the people around you – without looking like you’re watching, of course. Use your peripheral vision to scan them and your environment, and you’ll quickly pick up on the moods and sense the elephant in the room (if there is one).

2. Look for body language that isn’t congruent with words and context – Actions speak louder than words. If their body language isn’t congruent with words, background, or the situation and shows even a hint of hostility and discomfort when they’re around you, then “Houston, we have a problem.”

back-stabbing colleagues threatening an employee with scissors and knife

3. Watch for micro flashes – If you’re not careful, you’re likely to miss those tiny, split-second micro flashes of contempt people give without realizing it or when they think you aren’t aware of it. There are good actors; don’t get me wrong, but there are certain things the body gives away involuntarily, and if you look for it, you’ll see it.

When you’re around fake friends, sometimes, as you turn your back, you’ll see a tiny micro flash of contempt on their faces out of the corner of your eye. Then, you’ll get that nagging feeling in the pit of your gut. Don’t ignore that because you don’t only imagine things! Eighty-six, these creeps fast!

4. Notice the person’s feet – You can tell a lot by the feet! If the person is talking to you, facing you, but their feet are pointing away from you, that means they aren’t as “with you” as you think. Put some distance between you and that person.

5. Watch for crossed arms while talking to the person – If you’re having a conversation with the person and they cross their arms over their chest, that’s a dead giveaway! They’re exhibiting closed body language, and they’re closing themselves off to anything you have to say. It’s time to make an excuse to end the tete-a-tete and walk away. You don’t want this person around you.

6. Looking at you without blinking – if they do this, it’s a sure sign of contempt, or they’re trying to intimidate you. Either way, this person is not the person you want to be around.

7. Other signs to look for – a furrowed brow, one corner of the lip slightly raised, an icy, piercing stare, smiling at you with their mouth but not the eyes (no crinkles around the eyes). Any of these signs, you might want to distance yourself.

8. If they look at you, then look at each other when you walk away – again, you want nothing to do with these people.

9. Watch what you share– Very important! Don’t tell anyone anything they don’t need to know. Not even to those who seem friendly Don’t reveal information that’s better off private. Don’t badmouth anybody, especially the bullies, to anyone. They may smile in your face, but you can be sure they’ll report back to the bullies with anything you say and try to fan the flames.

10. Watch for eavesdroppers – If you have an innocent conversation with someone in the hall, be on the lookout for eavesdroppers. Don’t talk near corners or open doors. Many times people will listen in on your discussion, then report back to the bullies with it. Pay attention to people who walk by.

And if you see other people standing around while you’re speaking and those people aren’t a part of the conversation, take the discussion to a place more private.

Protecting Yourself from Bullying: Types of People You Should Avoid

One of the first steps in protecting yourself from bullying is to know what types of people you should avoid. And understand that trusting your feelings is also important as some people are experts at hiding their true intentions and some things just aren’t so obvious.

It’s a good thing that we all have a sixth sense and are able to sense the vibes and energy others put out. That can also work in our favor.

Here are the types of bad eggs to be aware of and avoid at all costs:

1. The gossip – this person is a walking tabloid. You’ll see and hear her talking trash about different people and you’ll notice she does it all the time. Many gossips will even talk about people they don’t know but have only heard about. They always seem to know everything about everyone- everything, short of their bathroom habits.

Know this! If they talk about others, they will talk about you too.

A closeup of a young beagle pup who is being nosey and doing some investigating. Shallow depth of field.

2. The bignose – this person is virulently nosy and should be considered a twin sister to the gossip because most gossips tend to be nosy. They consistently have their face in everyone’s business. You will often find them asking others personal questions, eavesdropping on conversations, eyeing people intensely, butting in, and inserting their cheap two-cents worth where it doesn’t belong.

 3. The two-face – An even closer sister of the gossip. These people pretend to be your friend but stab you in the back. The sad thing is that you’re usually the last to know. Again, if they’ll talk about somebody else…

Be careful what you share, not only with these people, but with anyone. Don’t share anything you wouldn’t want anyone to know.

Two words of advice. Steer clear!

4. The drama queen/king – This bad egg is a chronic complainer who always seems to have a problem for every solution. They are never happy and impossible to please. Moreover, this person also seems to have unending misfortune- bad break after bad break, back-to-back. Sure, we all have times when we must vent, and we all have bad luck at times. Perfectly normal. But when it’s constant, you have to wonder if the person is unknowingly bringing much of it on themselves somehow.

These people complain about everything and everybody. And they will complain about you too eventually. Bad moods have a way of spreading fast. So, if the person consistently dogs your mood, it’s best not to have anything to do with them. No one wants to be around a sad-sack nosebleed who whines constantly because, being around them can quickly become a drag.

Closeup portrait unhappy woman giving loser sign on forehead, looking at you with anger and hatred on face isolated on gray background.

More importantly, drama queens and kings also tend to be suspicious of people. They’re the type who think everyone is out to get them or everyone has ulterior motives. And if they think everyone is out to get them, they’ll think you’re out to get them too and they will get you before you get them.

Again, steer clear!

5. The passive-aggressive person – this person is sneaky and should be avoided as well because if they even think you’ve slighted them somehow, they’ll unless a rash of covert attacks- attacks you won’t even see coming until it’s too late. Also, if they have an agenda and you just happen to be standing in their way, look out! They will make your life a living hell. This person is to be avoided at all costs!

6. Anyone who puts out bad vibes. When we’re around some people we can sense that something is off about them, or we pick up on the vibes and energies they put out that doesn’t feel good or doesn’t feel quite right. Always listen to your gut feeling because vibrations don’t lie.

When it comes to bullying, many people, including me, have found out the hard way that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Save yourself years of trial and error and the heartache that goes with it. Avoid these people at all costs!