In most cases, bullies have the benefit of followers and bystanders covering for them when they terrorize and brutalize their targets. Targets, on the other hand, get no leniency whatsoever, so, they must make extra efforts to keep their hands clean because, unlike the bullies, they can’t afford to break any rules. IF targets dare to engage in the same behaviors the bullies do, they’d quickly be fired, expelled, prosecuted, or worse, killed.
What targets are severely punished for bullies get away with. You see it all the time- in the schools, workplaces, and communities. For a target of bullying, there’s no margin for error. Targets don’t have the benefit of a cheering section. And if bullies can’t find anything to hold against the target, they’ll make something up.
Understand that bullies and their enablers don’t play by the same rules. When bullies engage in bad behavior, people are silent, and the bullies are exempt from accountability. While bullies get a pass for the worst behaviors, targets are persecuted for perceived or made up slights or normal human errors that anyone could make.
Realize that this is a clear-cut example of “bully privilege” and it’s real. It’s been around since the beginning of time.
During the Medieval Period, kings had scapegoats who were blamed for mistakes and wrongdoing- scapegoats, who were executed. If targets expect to defend themselves properly, they must stop being so shocked about it and realize that such things exist.
Targets must prepare and stop being blindsided because it will only throw them off balance and hinder their ability to think properly.
Realize that we live in a fallen world and one that isn’t just. Also, understand that nothing is impossible and that we should expect the unexpected.
Only then will you be able to come up with a strategy and protect yourself more effectively.
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.
concept of a mob attacking a person that they think is different
You will never see a bully alone. Why? Because they could never handle being by themselves. Peer-abusers are cowards! Wimps! Wusses! They always attack in groups because they need their wingmen as a source from which to draw and re-enforce power.
Without their backup, bullies are just as powerless as you are. A bully is too afraid to attack you one on one because they fear that you would bury them where they fall.
Yet, victims are (mistakenly) branded as cowards, although they are the ones who come to school or work and face bullies…alone, no matter how viciously they get brutalized. Through all the name-calling, the taunts, the brutal beatings, the threats to their lives, targets manage to reach within themselves and push through another day.
To endure that every single day for several years and still find the resolve to soldier on? Now that takes courage! These people are the real warriors!
It takes bravery to be a target of relentless bullying and remain standing tall. To be a victim of daily and constant abuse and make it to the finish line of high school graduation or the end-of-week paycheck?
To stay in the race, while most bullies drop out of school or quit their jobs when the going gets tough? That’s not only brave, but it’s also heroic! To be your own hero? That takes bravery bullies will never have!
Now, will the real wimps in the workplace or classroom please stand?
I rest my case.
If you are a victim, know that your bullies could never be half the man/woman you are! You have more heart, more soul, and more strength than they ever will!
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.”
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.
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 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 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.
Excessive groupthink was the accepted norm for Oakley High School and at one workplace I was employed in. In high school, groupthink and fakery were shared by most students and teachers alike. 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 and provides stability for a community. However, excessive groupthink is unhealthy, and 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, all too often, people who would not typically bully another person will do it simply because everyone does it, and they 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.
From time to time, people you thought were friends would suddenly and without warning turn on you and bully you- all to jump on the bandwagon and join everyone else so they could feel like one of the big guys.
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! I compare the student body of Oakley High School, of which I was apart years ago, to one big herd of sheep with no definite shepherd. They were slaves to the prospect of being seen as “one of the cool kids” or a member of the ‘Good Ole Boy’ network.
My bullies were nothing but two-faced hypocrites. They talked out both sides of their mouths, held certain others to a double standard, and 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.
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 all the fake sympathy, bogus compliments and, incessant butt-kissing were so they could get something from the higher-ups, not because they liked or respected them.
False flattery and opinion conformity in school and at work, made the bullies puffed up and overconfident, and 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!
Unquenchably thirsty for attention and praise, the bullies at the top only surrounded themselves with weak wannabes- bootlickers and yes-kids to feed their hungry egos by telling them what they wanted to hear. And everyone, except a few, was more than too happy to do so if it awarded them high popularity and favors.
You were expected to think like them, dress like them, be like them and agree with them. And the kids who did their own thing, who were happy being themselves, and didn’t act or think like the flock were bullied for it.
But real life did eventually come around to the top dogs in high school. Once we were all graduated, and 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 had to learn the hard way that the real world doesn’t care who you are or 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 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.
Fitting in leads to a life of mediocrity. Standing out, on the other hand, is a prerequisite of greatness!
So, if your classmates are bullying you in school, or if your coworkers at work are bullying you, know that you are the brave one 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!