5 Myths About Bullying We Need to Be Aware of

Myths are often mistaken for fact and obscure people’s judgment. They can also blind us to bullying behavior, even when it’s happening right in front of our faces. Myths can even make it hard for a person to know when someone is abusing them.

Here are a few myths to be aware of:

Myth 1. Targets are weak losers who deserve bullying. People suffering at the hands of bullies are not weak, nor are they losers. In the past decade or so, we have found that bullies target mostly those who are good people with hearts of gold. Bullies are evil people who perceive goodness, kindness, and generosity as weaknesses. Therefore, they target people who have these qualities.

Also, bullies go after those who are multi-talented and star achievers and performers. Understand that bullies perceive these people to be a threat to their power. Why? Because one-upmanship is a way that bullies can feel powerful.

When high-achieving targets outshine bullies, especially bullies who are narcissists, they unwittingly provoke jealousy and narcissistic rage in the bullies, and they will pull out all the stops to make them pay and set them up to fail. If nothing else, understand this! Bullies hate to be outshone, outdone, or beaten at anything!

Nobody deserves bullying. Ever! Bullying is harmful and can destroy someone’s life.

Myth 2. Bullies are brave, strong, cool, exciting, and in control. Ha! Bullies are the opposite of these things. Let me break it down for you:

Bullies are brave. Nope! Bullies are great, big cowards! They’re only good at hiding it. Bullies live by the motto that strength comes in numbers, so they run around in packs- hiding their cowardice behind groups of sycophants or flying monkeys.

You will never catch a bully alone because a bully doesn’t know how to stand alone. The followers of the bullies are there to back them up and do their dirty work. Bullies get their power from an entourage. Without their wing-men to cover them, they would be powerless.

Bullies are strong. ‘Taint so! Bullies are weak, they only high it by aggression, loudness, and false bravado. They instill unnecessary fear into their targets. Understand that bullies draw their power from the fear they instill in others. Bullies are notorious bluffs, blowhards, and windbags. The tough act they put on is a way they hide their weakness.

Bullies are cool. Au contraire! Bullies are pathetic. They bluff, they posture, and they’re notorious one-uppers. They always have to be king of the hill and better than anyone else. All of this is a sign of insecurity and self-loathing. Because if they were secure in themselves, they wouldn’t resort to that buffoonery.

 Bullies are exciting. They may seem exciting at first, but they get boring pretty quick. Because they’ll talk incessantly about themselves, brag, and showboat until you’ll want to chew off your own arm just to get away from them. Also, they won’t be so exciting when they turn on you.

 Bullies are in control: Really? Is that what you want to call it? Um…not! Bullies can’t even control themselves and their own pathetic lives. So, they seek to control others in order to feel powerful. And in doing that, they not only create targets, but they also create enemies who hate them with a passion.

If you’re a bully, you may only control someone to a certain degree by putting the fear of God in them, but you’ll never control what they think of you and how they feel about you. Because the mind and thoughts are free. And if you run across a person who has a strong sense of self and doesn’t fall for your guff, what are you going to do then?

Myth 3. “Bullying is a normal rite of passage that all kids endure.” Not so. There’s nothing normal about bullying. It’s perverse, twisted, and sick. Bullying only speaks volumes of the mental imbalance and lack of character of the bully and is never a reflection of the target. Bullying is always a reflection of the bully’s arrogance, cowardice, insecurity, jealousy, and hidden rage. And the more we learn about the issue of bullying, the more evidence we seem to get that supports this.

Myth 4. Bullying builds character. No, it doesn’t. It tears it down or suppresses it, rendering targets afraid to relax, be themselves, and feel safe.

Myth 5. Bullying is only Darwinism, Natural Selection, or Survival of the Fittest. It may be a dark part of human nature, but a reason doesn’t equal an excuse. Bullies and their enablers often use this little line as an excuse to normalize their despicable and pathetic behavior.

It’s important to dispel and not to fall for these myths. Never blame yourself for other people’s crappy behavior. Hold on to your truth. And if anyone rattles off any of the above lines to you when you speak out against bullying, counter them and do it with conviction.

With knowledge comes empowerment!

11 Most Common Excuses People Make for Bullies

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As we know, bullies are very practiced and convincing liars and have a flair for using charm to deceive bystanders and authority.

Understand that this “charm” bullies often display is fake. It is all a part of the smokescreen they put up to hoodwink people, cover up bad behavior, and avoid accountability. In short, bullies are only actors and actresses.

Here is a list of excuses that bystanders and authorities often make for the bully anytime a victim reports them for their appalling behavior.

“That’s just his personality.”

“He was only joking.”

“She’s only expressing herself.”

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“He just has a very strong personality.”

“She’s going through a hard time right now.”

“But he’s really a good person, he’s just having issues right now.”

“She’s just having problems at home.”

“He’s just being himself.”

“But he’s so well-liked and well mannered. Why would he bully someone like you?”

“But she’s so sweet and everyone loves her. She wouldn’t hurt a fly.”

“But they’re just good kids who made a bad mistake.”

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These are a few examples of how others justify and condone the bully’s behavior.

Don’t fall for it! Call them what they are- BULLIES! Never accept any excuse. It’s true that retaliation may follow.

However, stay strong and know that you don’t have to tolerate atrocious behavior from anyone! You have rights. And you have a right to be safe and to live in a healthy environment. Those are non-negotiables!

Lastly, always remember that it’s not your fault and the harassment isn’t about you. It’s about the bullies’ issues!

With knowledge comes empowerment!

Euphemisms for Bullying- Darwinism, Natural Selection, and Survival of the Fittest

Anytime I hear people refer to bullying as either of the three mentioned in this article’s title, I find it cringe-worthy at best! And the words that immediately flash through my mind are “cop-out,” “trivialization,” and “excuses.”

To call bullying, one of these three things is to say that:

1. Bullying is completely normal and natural.

2. Targets of bullying are weak and/or undesirable and must be eliminated from the human race.

3. Bullying is required for the survival of the human race.

Allow me to rebut these three (conscious or unconscious) beliefs:

Bullying is anything but normal or natural. It is brutal, malicious, hurtful, and cowardly.

Victims (or targets) of bullying are NOT weak, nor are they undesirable. They may only think differently than most. They are often exceptional people with brilliant minds. Many celebrities, CEOs, inventors, writers, scientists, doctors, and professors were bullied as children and teens and have even been bullied in the workplace as adults. But they survived.

If these people had not survived, the world might never have seen many awesome inventions and breakthroughs, such as the electric light bulb, the telephone, or the first organ transplant. Where would we be without these people?

Bullying is NOT required for the survival of the human race; it can only destroy it.

An example of this would be the Nazi’s bullying of Jews during World War II and the slaughtering of six million during the holocaust. Now, do you still think that bullying is necessary for the survival of our species?

Bullying is NEVER okay! And sadly, I’ve heard many people refer to it as the above three. Understand that this is only a cop-out, a way to blame the target, and an excuse not to help victims who are bullied.

If you are a bully or bystander and believe this sort of tripe, then boy, are you ever delusional!

If you are a target, I want to assure you that it does not mean that you are defective in any way. It only means that you are an individual who is brave enough to think outside the box and that you refuse to be a follower. Those are characteristics that you should be proud of because you have a chance to go far and change society.

Don’t give up! Give yourself a chance! You never know, in the future, YOU may be the person who brings positive change to the world, and your bullies will more than likely end up living less than desirable lives. Suicide is not the answer. Don’t you want to live long enough to see your own potential? I want you to.

With knowledge comes empowerment!

Bullying and The Insanity of “Wokism”

So many times, I’ve heard people on the far left say things such as- “Intentions behind saying or doing something don’t matter. All that matters is that you did it or you said it and someone’s feelings were hurt. So, you should still be held accountable for hurting that person’s feelings.”

Though I understand it if you’re being bullied, and, if you are, then yes, you absolutely should be offended because bullying behavior IS intentional harm. It is something you should address quickly. However, if it’s unintentional and the person has the guts to apologize, why not accept the apology and move on?

In this major talking point, what the Radical Left is really saying is that we should be responsible for everyone else’s feelings and, therefore, handle others with kid gloves.

They’re saying that we should, in essence, walk on eggshells around other people and do it consistently.

They are saying that there’s no room for being a fallible human being, even though we all are by nature.

They’re also saying that any apology for an accidental offense won’t suffice, and that forgiveness is out of the question.

That still, you must pay a huge price regardless of your “intentions” and regardless of whether you’re remorseful for the perceived slight.

This kind of dichotomous thinking blows me away because, not only is it delusional, but downright ludicrous!

There have been times when I’ve accidentally ran into people in the supermarket on or the street, would it have made any difference if I’d run into them deliberately?

I’ve had other drivers accidentally pull out in front of me, does it mean that they did it on purpose and should be punished for it? No. Sure, it was aggravating, and, in the privacy of my car, I may have shouted, “Hey! Watch it, you idiot!” But I didn’t want to get even with the person, and I never thought that this person should be punished for it. Accidents happen. People make mistakes.

I accidentally dropped my oldest son when he was a toddler, but does that necessarily make me a terrible mother? Would it make any difference if I told you that I was sorry for it and that it scared me so bad that I took him to the ER just to make sure he was okay?

I see right through this nonsense. And one thing I know all too well is that bullies are the types who get the most offended about the tiniest and most insignificant of things. Bullies are the very people who subscribe to this kind of tripe because they’re the type who love to make any error someone makes ten times bigger than what it is. Even worse, bullies constantly search, and search high and low, for anything…anything to blow up, be offended about, nitpick, and make out to be an unforgivable sin that you should be given a death sentence for.

They will pick apart even the tiniest infraction regardless of whether it was intentional.

This is a form of bullying, in and of itself. And the “intentions-don’t-matter” bologna only serves to give bullies the excuse they’re looking for.

I spent enough years tippy toing around bullies and I’ll be damned if I ever again walk on eggshells around anyone! Sorry, Lefties. Getting your feelings hurt is a part of life and the sooner you accept it, the better off you’ll be. I no longer care even the slightest what others think of me. Most of the people who think less of me never meant much to me in the first place.

And unless you’re on the autism spectrum or you’ve suffered a traumatic brain injury (which are things that can’t be helped), you can usually tell whether an offense was intentional or unintentional because you can sense these things. You can feel the vibrations coming off the offending person. And I’ve had people, even friends, accidentally say something that hit me in my heart. But I knew that they didn’t mean anything by it. Also, they usually apologized for it. Even better, I graciously accepted their apology.

Let’s face it, sometimes words just don’t come out right and innocent actions can have adverse reactions.

Again, that’s life, and life happens.

I still get my feelings hurt from time to time, even now. Do you know what I do about it? I brush myself off and I move on. And if it’s intentional, I quickly put the person in their place with as few words as possible, then I walk away and let it go. I don’t go out of my way to get back at the person. I flat refuse to allow a few assholes to ruin my day- I won’t give them that kind of power over my life.

And the fact that people can proclaim that there isn’t a difference between intentionally and accidentally harming another person, and still manage to keep a straight face, only goes to show that they have serious mental health issues which have for too long gone unaddressed, even denied.

Wokism is, in and of itself, a mental illness. There is a purpose behind their loud trumpeting of such nonsense. And that purpose is so they can have a reason to bully others. In short, it’s all a form of mass manipulation.

We’re all human and we make unintentional mistakes, and one of those mistakes is that sometimes we say and do the wrong thing merely by accident. The Left knows this, so they spread this paranoid nonsense to justify their bullying of others, even of their own.

And if we allow ourselves to fall for their crap, we’re doomed not only as a country, but also as the human race. The truth remains that nobody is responsible for your feelings but you. If a person intentionally harms you, you have two choices, either you can give away your power by staying angry, carrying a grudge, seeking revenge on the person who offended you and making yourself even more miserable. Or you can decide just to tell them what you think, drop that person and deny them any more power over you by letting them go.

And if the person accidentally offends you, you can either accept their apology and live a happier life knowing that they realized their mistake, had the guts to admit it, and apologized, or you can choose not to accept their apology, hold grudges, and stay miserable by dragging a bunch of toxic baggage around for the rest of your life. The choice is yours.

Making Excuses for Bullies- 10 Reasons Why People Do It

Down through the ages, either at school, the workplace, or the community, people have made excuses for bullies’ behavior, 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 endangerment! 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.”

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.”

bystander effect

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. Often, 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.

Silhouette of two hands with smartphones, shoot a video on a sinking person’s hand, asking for help. The concept of a selfish society, a social problem

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.

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 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.

However, these people are only letting these bullies’ approval define who they are, which is dangerous. Because once the bullies decide they don’t need them anymore, it will 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 make excuses for bullies, you can be sure that those people are somehow benefiting from it, whether it be a psychological, social, or material gain.

Excuses People Make for Bullies

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As we know, bullies are very practiced and convincing liars and have a flair for using charm to deceive bystanders and authority.

Understand that this “charm” bullies often display is fake. It is all a part of the smokescreen they put up to hoodwink people, cover up bad behavior, and avoid accountability. In short, bullies are only actors and actresses.

Here is a list of excuses that bystanders and authorities often make for the bully anytime a victim reports them for their appalling behavior.

“That’s just his personality.”

“He was only joking.”

“She’s only expressing herself.”

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“He just has a very strong personality.”

“She’s going through a hard time right now.”

“But he’s really a good person, he’s just having issues right now.”

“She’s just having problems at home.”

“He’s just being himself.”

“But he’s so well-liked and well mannered. Why would he bully someone like you?”

“But she’s so sweet and everyone loves her. She wouldn’t hurt a fly.”

“But they’re just good kids who made a bad mistake.”

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These are a few examples of how others justify and condone the bully’s behavior.

Don’t fall for it! Call them what they are- BULLIES! Never accept any excuse. It’s true that retaliation may follow.

However, stay strong and know that you don’t have to tolerate atrocious behavior from anyone! You have rights. And you have a right to be safe and to live in a healthy environment. Those are non-negotiables!

Lastly, always remember that it’s not your fault and the harassment isn’t about you. It’s about the bullies’ issues!

Excuses Bystanders, School Staff, and Company Managers Make for Bullies

As we all know, bullies are very practiced and convincing liars and have a flair for using charm to deceive bystanders and authority. Understand that this “charm” bullies often display is fake; it is all a part of the smokescreen they put up to cover up bad behavior and avoid accountability. In short, bullies are only actors and actresses.

Here’s a list of excuses that bystanders and authority often make for the bully anytime a victim reports them for their appalling behavior.

“That’s just his personality.”

“Boys will be boys,” or “Kids will be kids.”

“She’s only expressing herself.”

“Maybe you need to toughen up.”

“He just has a very strong personality.”

“Maybe you’re doing something to bring it on yourself, and you don’t realize it yet.”

“She’s going through a hard time right now.”

“You’re just too sensitive and need to grow a thicker skin.”

“But he’s really a good person. He’s just having issues right now.”

“You’re over-reacting.”

“She’s just having problems at home.”

“Maybe you’re too dramatic.”

“He’s just being himself.”

“Maybe she was just joking with you, and you took it the wrong way.”

Studio shot of playful disobedient adult son in a red t-shirt, covering ears with the index finger and saying la la la while wanting mom gets mad, standing indifferent to argue, being impolite and childish.

“But he’s so well-liked and well mannered. Why would he bully someone like you?”

“But she’s so sweet, and everyone loves her. She wouldn’t hurt a fly.”

And last but not least, my personal favorite-

“You’re just having a personality conflict.”

If you’ve ever been a target, I’m positive you’ve heard that last line. It seems to be the most popular excuse on the planet!

These are several examples of how others justify and condone the bully’s behavior. Don’t fall for it! Call them what they are- BULLIES! Never accept any excuse.

Retaliation may indeed follow. However, stay strong and know that you don’t have to tolerate atrocious behavior from anyone! If no one will listen, be sure to document document document every bullying incident in detail!!!!!!!

“Kids Will Be Kids”

Many teachers, principals- even the bullies’ parents will use this excuse to sweep incidences of bullying under the rug and trivialize any bullying the targeted student suffers. The “kids will be kids” cop out is designed to protect only the bullies, not the victim- the child who needs the protection.

But see this as it is- a cop out! A farce!

School officials have a legal responsibility to keep kids out of harm’s way while they’re at school- all kids. Not just a select few.

Many schools shirk responsibility and either blame the victim or hide bullying altogether. I’ve read news articles that reported situations where schools failed to notify the parents when a child was seriously injured by bullies.

Even worse, I’ve read about a few cases when the school neglected to call 911 when a child who was injured by a bully desperately needed medical attention.

These schools turn a blind eye when they see bullies making some innocent child’s life hell. They turn a deaf ear and blame the bullied child when he/she reports that they’re a target of bullying. I’ve read about extreme cases where schools retaliated against the victim’s family because they wouldn’t keep silent. And they usually do this by making false claims to CPS and having the child unfairly removed from their home- and thus, destroying an entire family!

Officials are afraid that the school and school district will be given a black eye. So, they do everything possible to hide bullying that is rampant in their schools.

Because of these occurrences, parents are losing trust in the public-school system. I don’t blame them.

People are waking up to the fact that school officials are elected officials- politicians! And in many cases of bullying, when schools fail to act, you can best believe that politics is behind it.

In the past few years, homeschooling has skyrocketed. Should it be any wonder?

Excuses Bystanders and Authority Often Make for a Bully

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As we know, bullies are very practiced and convincing liars and have a flair for using charm to deceive bystanders and authority.

Understand that this “charm” bullies often display is fake. It is all a part of the smokescreen they put up to hoodwink people, cover up bad behavior, and avoid accountability. In short, bullies are only actors and actresses.

Here is a list of excuses that bystanders and authorities often make for the bully anytime a victim reports them for their appalling behavior.

“That’s just his personality.”

“He was only joking.”

“She’s only expressing herself.”

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“He just has a very strong personality.”

“She’s going through a hard time right now.”

“But he’s really a good person, he’s just having issues right now.”

“She’s just having problems at home.”

“He’s just being himself.”

“But he’s so well-liked and well mannered. Why would he bully someone like you?”

“But she’s so sweet and everyone loves her. She wouldn’t hurt a fly.”

“But they’re just good kids who made a bad mistake.”

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These are a few examples of how others justify and condone the bully’s behavior.

Don’t fall for it! Call them what they are- BULLIES! Never accept any excuse. It’s true that retaliation may follow.

However, stay strong and know that you don’t have to tolerate atrocious behavior from anyone! You have rights. And you have a right to be safe and to live in a healthy environment. Those are non-negotiables!

Lastly, always remember that it’s not your fault and the harassment isn’t about you. It’s about the bullies’ issues!

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.”

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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.

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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.

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 psychological, social, or material gain.