Dealing with Bullying Differently Today Than in The Past

Bullies have been around since the beginning of time and bullying is a dark part of human nature. However, that doesn’t mean that we should put up with it.

I’ve dealt with bullies at different times my whole life and it has led me to evaluate the way I dealt with bullying in the past. It has also led to a passion for learning more about bullying and what makes bullies tick.

Here’s what I’ve learned.

Bullies are highly insecure, egotistical, know-it-all creeps with god complexes, and they feel they must always be the center of attention. Therefore, they feel entitled to waste your precious time by telling you how they think you should behave, what clothes, accessories, and hairstyles they think you should wear, trying to teach you things that you already know and most likely learned when you were five, and being passive-aggressive (or overtly aggressive). They do this to impress others by making you look inferior.

This is how bullies get the attention they crave.

And the best way to deal with a bully is to refuse them the attention they want. And when we deny bullies attention, we don’t value their opinions of us or anything that comes out of their mouths. We deny them that supply- that ego trip they seek, and in that, we cease to be victims. We might still be targets, but never victims.

In the past, I’ve had bullies force me to justify myself over the most harmless and trivial things, compel me to do things I never wanted to do, and attack me with stealthy put-downs disguised as “teachable moments” and “friendly advice.”

Back then, I over-apologized for just being me, or for things I had nothing to do with. I apologized for other people’s bad behavior, which were things I had absolutely no control over. I bought into their lies and gaslighting and apologized any time a bully let me know that my interpretation of what they would say to me wasn’t meant the way it came across and that they’d never say such terrible things to another person. Then I’d feel bad for taking them the wrong way. All the while, they’d continue and even escalate the abuse.

I’d let bullies push me into losing my temper and returning fire with the same verbal attacks they launched against me. I would then feel terrible when the bullies would whine, cry, and moan about how much I’d hurt their little feelings and how I had “overreacted.”

It’s funny how bullies can always dish it out but can never take it when the crap gets kicked back their way.

What I didn’t realize was that by my reactions, I was giving these bullies the attention they were looking for. I was giving them the green light to push my buttons, to question my mental stability and jerk me around. I was making myself their play-toy. I was allowing them to tear me down in order to build up their own fragile egos.

It was all a load of tripe, and I fell for it- hook, line, and sinker.

But no more. Since then, I’ve learned to spot a bully by observing the same types of behavior. I’ve also learned not to play their games. A person may bully me once. But trust me, they’ll only do it one time because I know bullying and abuse when I see it. And I also know what it looks like in the early stages.

I make it a point to treat others how I’d like to be treated and to listen to other people’s opinions and takes on things. However, bullies and abusers are the exceptions here. And when I see the signs and realize that someone is starting to bully me, they automatically lose a target. And when I’m done with a person, I’m done and there’s no looking back. I won’t continue to stroke a bully’s ego.

If the person is someone in a high position, I’ll withdraw my support. If the person is a coworker, I’ll find another job or I’ll expose them by simply giving them plenty of rope,  then sit back and bide my time until the person hangs themselves and gets fired. If the person is someone related, any future contact will be on my terms.

And when I go no-contact, I won’t bother to explain to the person why I’m done with them because I owe them no explanations. Neither will I smack them across the head and let them know when they are about to cross the line. If they don’t have the self-awareness to realize that their evil actions and behavior are the problems, that’s on them and they’re the one who must deal with the consequences.

And no. I won’t have as much as a shred of guilt over it because self-care is nothing to feel guilty over. I value my sanity and peace of mind more than I ever will others’ opinions of me. For me, the knowledge gained from the lessons I had to learn gives me self-acceptance, self-love, confidence, and personal power.

Reasons Bullies Crave Power (And Can’t Get Enough of It)

Simple. Because it feels good.

“Power is not what you have. It’s what the enemy thinks you have.”  ~ Saul D. Alinsky (Rules for Radicals)

Bullies crave power like a kid craves candy. Power tastes delicious. Understand that most bullies attack in groups, or more appropriately, mobs. Being in a mob gives people tremendous power and bullies know it.

Power feels good because it can get people prestige, street cred, notoriety, and popularity. Power has a way of cushioning the ego, and as we already know, most bullies have meaningless lives outside of the mob and bullying environment (school, work, community, etc.). So, the power they get from being a part of a mob adds “meaning” to their lives that they could never get by any other means. Power is what gives bullies a cause and a purpose in life.

Group power is even better! Because in a mob, each individual can bully a target, lose themselves in the bullying, and get a degree of anonymity. Therefore, bullies are much safer in the group. The group shields each bully from taking any responsibility for their appalling behavior. Groups provide protection from exposure and personal consequences.

So, how do you fight back against a mob?

One way is to call out one or two of their members by their names and tell them to “get a grip,” “knock it off,” or “calm down.”

I recently read this in a book about survival and it makes perfect sense. Anytime you call out a few members of a mob by their names, it brings them back to themselves by personalizing them. What you’re doing is basically, separating them from the mob when you loudly call out their name.

How I wish I’d known this earlier in life.

With knowledge comes empowerment!

Bullying and Ego

 

Bullies bully because they have fragile, but overinflated egos. Believe it or not, the ego is a huge factor in bullying- perhaps the biggest.

Bullies will often bully their targets any time they see him/her get recognition for a good deed or achievement. This is because bullies interpret any praise the target gets from others as the diminishing of them in some way or another. When the target has success in something, the bullies begin thinking about their own achievements (or lack thereof) and comparing them to those of the target. They then feel regret or jealousy.

The bullies become totally absorbed in how the target’s success reflects on them and they personalize it as if the target is an adversary competing for the same award. Because of the bullies exaggerated self-focus, they become angry and want to attack the target.

Bullies compare themselves to their target according to their own egocentric views and fear that others will consider them less important than the target, who is “supposed to be” inferior to them. Also, the bullies feel like the target is getting more attention than they are, and this infuriates them.

The reason why it enrages them so is that it totally goes against their beliefs that the target is inferior. Bullies absolutely despise being shown up.

They feel a sense of injustice anytime the target achieves success and gets recognition for that success.

If you’re a target of bullying and a high achiever, you’ll often hear such statements as:

“You think you’re better than me (or us).”

“You think you’re some kind of super star.”

You think you’re this and you think you’re that.

By making such bold statements, bullies only imagine what the target thinks of them, then project onto the target, as if, they know what the target thinks. Bullies claim to be mind readers. And what’s so bad is that they presume the worst of the target without any evidence to back it up.

The bullies then feel an urgent need to attack the target because they feel that the target slighted them simply by being successful and making achievements.

So, I want you to know that if you ever find yourself in this kind of predicament, know that you did nothing wrong and that it isn’t about you. It’s about your bullies, their insecurities, and their own shattered egos. The bullies are the ones with the issues. You, on the other hand, are a winner and you are on the side of truth and right. Always remember that and keep winning!

How I Dealt with Bullying in the Past v/s How I Deal with It Today

Bullies have been around since the beginning of time and bullying is a dark part of human nature. However, that doesn’t mean that we should put up with it.

I’ve dealt with bullies at different times my whole life and it has led me to evaluate the way I dealt with bullying in the past. It has also led to a passion for learning more about bullying and what makes bullies tick.

Here’s what I’ve learned.

Bullies are highly insecure, egotistical, know-it-all creeps with god complexes, and they feel they must always be the center of attention. Therefore, they feel entitled to waste your precious time by telling you how they think you should behave, what clothes, accessories, and hairstyles they think you should wear, trying to teach you things that you already know and most likely learned when you were five, and being passive-aggressive (or overtly aggressive). They do this to impress others by making you look inferior.

This is how bullies get the attention they crave.

And the best way to deal with a bully is to refuse them the attention they want. And when we deny bullies attention, we don’t value their opinions of us or anything that comes out of their mouths. We deny them that supply- that ego trip they seek, and in that, we cease to be victims. We might still be targets, but never victims.

In the past, I’ve had bullies force me to justify myself over the most harmless and trivial things, compel me to do things I never wanted to do, and attack me with stealthy put-downs disguised as “teachable moments” and “friendly advice.”

Back then, I over-apologized for just being me, or for things I had nothing to do with. I apologized for other people’s bad behavior, which were things I had absolutely no control over. I bought into their lies and gaslighting and apologized any time a bully let me know that my interpretation of what they would say to me wasn’t meant the way it came across and that they’d never say such terrible things to another person. Then I’d feel bad for taking them the wrong way. All the while, they’d continue and even escalate the abuse.

I’d let bullies push me into losing my temper and returning fire with the same verbal attacks they launched against me. I would then feel terrible when the bullies would whine, cry, and moan about how much I’d hurt their little feelings and how I had “overreacted.”

It’s funny how bullies can always dish it out but can never take it when the crap gets kicked back their way.

What I didn’t realize was that by my reactions, I was giving these bullies the attention they were looking for. I was giving them the green light to push my buttons, to question my mental stability and jerk me around. I was making myself their play-toy. I was allowing them to tear me down in order to build up their own fragile egos.

It was all a load of tripe, and I fell for it- hook, line, and sinker.

But no more. Since then, I’ve learned to spot a bully by observing the same types of behavior. I’ve also learned not to play their games. A person may bully me once. But trust me, they’ll only do it one time because I know bullying and abuse when I see it. And I also know what it looks like in the early stages.

I make it a point to treat others how I’d like to be treated and to listen to other people’s opinions and takes on things. However, bullies and abusers are the exceptions here. And when I see the signs and realize that someone is starting to bully me, they automatically lose a target. And when I’m done with a person, I’m done and there’s no looking back. I won’t continue to stroke a bully’s ego.

If the person is someone in a high position, I’ll withdraw my support. If the person is a coworker, I’ll find another job or I’ll expose them by simply giving them plenty of rope,  then sit back and bide my time until the person hangs themselves and gets fired. If the person is someone related, any future contact will be on my terms.

And when I go no-contact, I won’t bother to explain to the person why I’m done with them because I owe them no explanations. Neither will I smack them across the head and let them know when they are about to cross the line. If they don’t have the self-awareness to realize that their evil actions and behavior are the problems, that’s on them and they’re the one who must deal with the consequences.

And no. I won’t have as much as a shred of guilt over it because self-care is nothing to feel guilty over. I value my sanity and peace of mind more than I ever will others’ opinions of me.

Why Bullies Crave Power (And Can’t Get Enough of It)

Simple. Because it feels good.

“Power is not what you have. It’s what the enemy thinks you have.”  ~ Saul D. Alinsky (Rules for Radicals)

Bullies crave power like a fat kid craves McDonald’s Big Macs. Power tastes delicious. Understand that most bullies attack in groups, or more appropriately, mobs. Being in a mob gives people tremendous power and bullies know it.

Power feels good because it can get people prestige, street cred, notoriety, and popularity. Power has a way of cushioning the ego, and as we already know, most bullies have meaningless lives outside of the mob and bullying environment (school, work, community, etc.). So, the power they get from being a part of a mob adds “meaning” to their lives that they could never get by any other means. Power is what gives bullies a cause and a purpose in life.

Group power is even better! Because in a mob, each individual can bully a target, lose themselves in the bullying, and get a degree of anonymity. Therefore, bullies are much safer in the group. The group shields each bully from taking any responsibility for their appalling behavior. Groups provide protection from exposure and personal consequences.

So, how do you fight back against a mob?

One way is to call out one or two of their members by their names and tell them to “get a grip,” “knock it off,” or “calm down.”

I recently read this in a book about survival and it makes perfect sense. Anytime you call out a few members of a mob by their names, it brings them back to themselves by personalizing them. What you’re doing is basically, separating them from the mob when you loudly call out their name.

How I wish I’d known this earlier in life.