Euphemism- word, phrase or statement that softens a harsher meaning.
Seasoned bullies are well-known for euphemizing their words so that they don’t look bad to others. Anytime bullies soften their insults, they appear concerned for the target’s well-being, or they appear sympathetic. But, don’t be misled. In reality, they’re anything but!
Also, in “softly” putting you down, they are more like to get confirmation for their interlocutors (the other people taking part in the discussion) to justify their atrocious behavior. And when they get the confirmation they seek, they get with it relief and the green light to continue talking.
Closeup portrait unhappy woman giving loser sign on forehead, looking at you with anger and hatred on face isolated on gray background.
Here are the most common softened statements.
“I hope she gets the help she needs.”
“The poor guy, it’s sad that people treat him so bad.”
“I know I shouldn’t say this, but…”
“Bless her heart, she’s such a miserable and unhappy person.”
“I sincerely hope she can go someplace where she can be happy.”
I want you to understand that when your bullies make these statements, they’re not the least bit sympathetic nor concerned about your well-being. They’re only concerned with how they look and sound to everyone else and with putting on a good front to cover their true feelings.
So, your bullies have suddenly had a change of heart. They’re finally treating you right. They’re finally talking to you like you’re equal to them. The bullies are smiling in your face, giving you pats on the back, and talking to you like you’re one of them and you belong.
But you’re smarter than what they give you credit for. You notice that the bullies are so sweet – too sweet. You think that if they don’t stop with the pleasantries soon, you’ll surely fall into a sugar coma!
You also notice a slight fakeness in the tones of their voices and that instead of making you feel good about yourself, they instead make you feel a little gross. But you don’t mention it to them. Just stay polite yet neutral.
The bullies are even inviting you to sleepovers, parties, cookouts, lunch and dinner dates, meetings, and family get-togethers. Every time these people talk to you, they seem to gush over you, and there again is that sick feeling in the pit of your stomach.
You grow suspicious of them, and rightfully so. And in your mind, you ask yourself, “Why are they acting so nice to me all of a sudden?”
You politely decline the invitations they extend to you. But trust me, they won’t give up so easily. There will be a few more tricks up their sleeves. You can bet on it.
Here’s another bad sign to look for:
1. They’re nosey. The bullies will seem so interested in your life and in what you’re doing. But don’t be flattered. Chances are, they’re only probing you for information they can use against you later.
They will ask you a ton of questions about your family and what you do outside of school or work. Those questions are innocent enough. However, they will slowly and gradually move into more personal territory.
Bullies will begin asking you what your political views and beliefs are and about your religious views. You don’t have to answer those. It’s none of anyone’s business!
Before long, they will begin prying into your personal and private business. These snoops will ask your opinion of this person and that, who you’re dating, how you feel about this, that and the other. They will ask questions that anyone with a brain would know better than to ask. Some things are just off limits!
Bullies will even share with you some personal deets about themselves. But don’t be fooled! They’re only doing it to put you at ease and in hopes that you’ll share a few of yours. Again. Don’t fall for it!
Understand that any time someone asks questions that are none of their business, it’s a dead giveaway that they intend to use your answers against you. Don’t answer them!
Also, anytime people ask you very personal questions, it also means that they don’t respect your right to privacy. And be warned that when you refuse to let them in on your private business, they may come back and accuse you of “having something to hide.”
Don’t believe it! Because it’s not about having anything to hide, it’s about knowing that some things aren’t anyone’s business, and they should respect that.
Never share anything that you wouldn’t want anyone else to know!!!
If you are a target of bullying, you should beware if your bullies ever just up and all of a sudden, out of the blue, start being kind to you. Anytime bullies are up to something, they need you to let down your defenses. And how they get you to open up to them is to pour on the sweetness.
I want you to understand that if you see this sudden change in your bullies at school or in the workplace, they could be setting you up to be humiliated, to fail, to get in trouble with authority, or for a brutal physical attack.
Here are the signs:
1. A sudden change of heart – Nobody becomes a friend overnight. Friendship takes time because trust isn’t free; it’s earned. Trust needs a considerable amount of time to build. Just as you shouldn’t rush into a romantic relationship, neither should you rush into a friendship. If someone who usually is brutal toward you just up and begins treating you warmly, you’d better beat feet to the nearest exit- fast!
2. Flattery/Sweet-Talk – Bullies instinctively know that when a person is bullied over a certain amount of time, that person is more than likely hungry for any morsel of acceptance, approval, and kindness, and they take full advantage!
You’ll know that something is off because they’ll overdo the pleasantries. Bullies will use excessive flattery to get you to let your guard down and trust them. And man! Do they lay it on thick! If they’re so sickeningly sweet that you swear you’re getting a mouth full of cavities just listening to them, that’s your cue to find the door.
3. A fake smile – As one verse in the old song goes, a smile is only a frown turned upside down. If they smile with their mouths and not with their eyes, it’s time to end the conversation and get away from those creeps.
4. Microflashes – If you pay close attention to their body language and facial expressions, you’ll notice those tiny, split-second flashes of contempt on their faces when they think you aren’t looking or paying attention. Don’t ignore those. Bid them goodbye and politely leave.
5. Giggling or smirking among themselves after you turn and walk away – Dead giveaway! Give these idiots the boot!
6. They will get furious when you politely decline any invitations or requests – Again! Steer clear. It only goes to show that they don’t respect you as a person with feelings, boundaries, and human rights!
Also, it’s a sign that in their invitations or requests, they more than likely had plans for you that you don’t know about. Maybe they invited you to dinner or a party as a way to lure you to a possible set-up for something humiliating or dangerous? You never know. And if you don’t know, don’t go!
When it comes to bullies, always be on the lookout for anything out of the ordinary or that doesn’t feel right to you because that’s usually your clue. Your gut will always give you the correct answer. Listen to it.