Bullying and Toxic Conformity

Conformity can be good because we conform to sensible laws and rules in order to ensure a safe and well-run society. Conformity holds us together. However, toxic conformity is never good and can place us in danger.

What Toxic conformity brings:

Toxic conformity brings unawareness, silence to wrongdoings and injustices. Also, it promotes abuse of power and totalitarian authoritarianism.

In a toxic environment, bullies in power demand that you agree with everything they say and do. Right or wrong, they expect you to keep your mouth shut if you disagree. Moreover, you’re cannot give off any nonverbal language of opposition. In other words, you must go along if you expect to get along.

Because, if you don’t, the powers that be will subject you to ostracism, rejection, smear campaigns, even physical violence. And in extreme cases, the bullies in power will send mobs to your door. Consequently, you may endure physical torture and murder.

Schools and workplaces with a culture of bullying demand total conformity, absolute loyalty, or- toxic conformity. Totalitarian authoritarian communities and societies also demand these things. In these types of environments, there’s no margin for error.

Expect to be Ostracized if You Don’t Conform to a Bully’s Buffoonery

Moreover, you can’t deviate even the slightest bit without being punished in some way, shape, or form. And it doesn’t matter if the deviation was an honest mistake. In other words, they don’t allow you to be human. For instance, in schools and workplaces where people practice toxic conformity, creativity isn’t allowed. In communities and societies of this nature, the head honchos forbid free thought and expression.

Understand bullies see anyone who doesn’t conform to their rules and standards as a threat to their power. And they will make that person pay dearly for daring to be different. Anyone having the audacity not to stay in lockstep with their morals (or lack thereof), rules, and standards faces danger.

As I mentioned, if you dare to be different- to show creativity and talents, God help you. Having your own thoughts, opinions, and ideas puts you at risk of the bullies’ hatred and brutality.

Therefore, if you’re a target of bullying, it’s imperative that you find a way out of that environment. Otherwise, you may pay dearly with your health and peace of mind. I realize that it won’t be easy. Nothing worthwhile is easy.

 Change, especially positive change, is never easy.

However, persecuted people have uprooted and left their home countries for the US in order to attain freedom. And they found a better life. So, how much easier would it be to leave a toxic school or workplace? Find an environment where you’re free to be yourself, express different ideas, create, grow, and flourish. Only then will you truly be free!

With knowledge comes empowerment!

Never Conform to a Bully’s Standards

Understand that a bully’s standards are unachievable. No matter what you do, who you are, where you’re from, or what you have; bullies will always- always move the goalposts, change the rules, and find something else to use against you. Bullies will even weaponize your best qualities.

Therefore, you should always be yourself, no matter how difficult it may be. Don’t change for anyone. Realize that anytime you conform to someone else’s standards, you only lower your own.

The way you dress, your interests, etc.

Bullies will often make fun of the way you dress- even if you dress fashionably. Understand that with bullies, it’s not about the way you dress. It’s not about your hair, makeup, your attire, hobbies, favorite music, your family, or anything they make fun of. No!

Its about power and control.

It’s about having the power to make you feel bad about yourself and taking away your confidence, your pride, your happiness, your health, peace of mind, everything that matters.

Your personality.

We all have quirks. Never change your personality. Continue to be yourself. Realize that anything you change to appease a bully today will be ridiculed tomorrow. Again, bullies have a desire to control you to get that ego boost they’re seeking. So, understand that they get their kicks from making you jump through hoops to win their approval.

And you know what? You don’t need their approval.

Just continue to be yourself and calmly blow the bullies off. Eventually, they’ll get bored and find another target.

Only you know what you like and don’t like. Only you can know what feels right to you and what’s best for you, so, don’t sell yourself short by living up to someone else’s expectations. They don’t know you the way you do and you’re a separate person from them. Always remember that.

With knowledge comes empowerment!

Bullies, Groupthink and Fakery

followers sheep

Excessive groupthink was the accepted norm for Oakley High School and at one workplace I was employed in. In high school, most students and a few teachers shared this toxic group behavior. 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. Also, it provides stability for a community. However, excessive groupthink is unhealthy.  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, people who would not typically bully, will. And they’ll do it simply because everyone does it, and 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.

followers

Therefore, from time to time, people you thought were friends would suddenly and without warning turn on you. And they will do it to jump on the bandwagon and join everyone else. Even they want to feel like one of the big guys.

Why Not? Everybody Else is Bullying Her?

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! The student body of Oakley High School, sadly, was one big herd of sheep. They were slaves to the prospect of getting in good with “one of the cool kids” or  “the ‘Good Ole Boy” network.

bootlicker suck-up kiss ass kiss butt

My bullies were nothing but two-faced hypocrites. They talked out both sides of their mouths, holding certain others to a double standard. All the while, they 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.

Hypocrites Abound

bootlicker suck-up kiss ass kiss butt

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 there was a reason behind all the fake sympathy, bogus compliments and, incessant butt-kissing. It was so they could get something from the higher-ups and not because they liked or respected them.

False flattery and opinion conformity in school and at work, made the bullies puffed up and overconfident. Also, it 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!

groupthink

Boot-Licking for Approval

Thirsty for attention and praise, the bullies at the top only surrounded themselves with weak wannabes. They needed bootlickers and yes-people to feed their hungry egos by telling them what they wanted to hear. And everyone, except a few, was more than happy to do so if it awarded them high popularity and favors.

The higher-ups expected you to think like them, dress like them, be like them and agree with them. Conversely, the people who did their own thing, who were happy being themselves, and didn’t act or think like the flock became targets.

But real life did eventually come around to the top dogs in high school. Once we were all graduated, 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 learned the hard way that the real world doesn’t care who you are. Real life isn’t concerned with 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 sadly, 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.

Meeting the Real World

Followers and sheep

Fitting in leads to a life of mediocrity. Standing out, on the other hand, is a prerequisite of greatness!

So, if your classmates or coworkers are bullying you, know that you are the brave one. Why? 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! Wait and see!

With knowledge comes empowerment!

All About Bully Privilege

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.

With knowledge comes empowerment!

Triumphing Over Workplace Bullying (Part 2)

Retro Emoji rage anger boiling woman face pop art retro style

(Continued from Part 1…)

In the last post, I talked about how everything started out great and that I was well-liked by almost everyone. I also mentioned the incident when I responded in kind after Candi, a CNA, caught a bad attitude. Needless to say, I found out that, right or wrong, talking down to her was a no-no because she had connections.

And over several months, one by one, many people turned against me. Luckily, several of my real friends knew how Candi was and had no respect for her. They were the people who had my back, so I can say that I did have allies who took care of me.

However, there was a clear division at Shady Grove Living Center. There was the administrator, who I’ll call *Beau, *Cammie, the payroll clerk, the department heads,*Harry (who was Cammie’s husband), one maintenance guy, whose name was *Jules, and two CNAs, *Shelly was one and *Cheryl who were two flying monkeys. On our side were my supervisor Darnell, all of my coworkers (except for one suck up), a charge nurse, and the rest of the CNAs who had my back.

At first, the bullies made false reports about me to Darnell. On the days after my shift (I worked part-time in the evening), the third shift CNAs would complain that I hadn’t stocked the linen closets on each of the halls and that they had no clean bed pads, bedsheets, nor gowns for the residents who soiled their beds during the night.

But because I always thought ahead and could easily predict what these people would do, I had made sure to pull out my cellphone and take pictures of all my finished work at the end of my shift.

Once I was done stocking the linen closets, I took photos of all the  shelves inside, chock full of freshly clean linens. I then took pictures inside all the empty barrels that were marked “dirty laundry,” before clocking out and going home. And, with the time-stamps on each image, there was no question I’d done my job.

I took pictures every night, at the end of the shift. And I had proof to show Darnell every time they lied.

When that didn’t work, the bullies only turned up the harassment, as word quickly spread throughout the nursing home that I’d taken pictures of all finished work.

In a way, it was funny because each of the linen closets was directly across from a nurse’s desk, where the bullies would sit around and gossip. And I remember overhearing them make snide remarks about my camera and my taking pictures, to which I’d only snicker and chuckle to myself.

Harry, the head of maintenance, would talk pretty ugly to me, but I knew I wasn’t the only one because many times, I’d see him talk terrible to several others- even a few who worked for the nursing home. So, I didn’t feel like the Lone Ranger.

And because I’d already been a target of bullying in school, I knew what to expect as all bullies pull pretty much the same tactics, only adult bullies are much more sophisticated with it. Therefore, I was able to prepare, stay a few steps ahead, and outflank them.

During this time, I began to witness a couple of the bullies in this workplace clique commit a few illegal activities. On one instance, I worked a double shift to cover for a coworker who was sick.

Early one Saturday morning, I saw with my own eyes Harry walk into the back door of the nursing home, dressed in camouflage and his bright orange hunting vest. He crept down the hall past the laundry room, then stopped at the time clock and clocked in. Harry then filled out a bogus work order, then left.

He didn’t return until late that evening to clock out and leave again. I’ll never forget the look on his mug when he saw me sitting outside on my last break as he drove by in his shiny new pickup. And when I told a trusted friend at work a day or two later about what I’d seen, she wasn’t at all surprised.

“Girl! He’s been clocking out and going home on the weekends since I’ve been here! And I’ll tell you something else,” *Brenda told me, “Cammie’s been embezzling from this facility, and she’s been ripping off some of the residents who don’t have families- weaseling them into signing papers to leave their assets to her when they leave this world!”

I felt my eyes pop out of my head as Brenda gave me an ear full!

(Continued in Part 3…)

6 Sure Signs Someone is Having Their Strings Pulled

Believe it or not, it’s easy to tell when someone is being controlled. If you pay attention, you’ll always know if a person you know is being told what to say, what not to say, what to do, and what not to do.

If you are a target of bullying, you more than likely suffer at the request of a powerful ringleader. You may have had friends and allies at first, but you’ve found that slowly, those friends and allies have only disappeared and now, you have no one left who will associate with you, much less help you.

Do you know why? It’s because your bullies have gotten to them somehow. They have either threatened to retaliate and harm them if they have any more to do with you, or they may have given them good incentives to turn against you- social and financial perks, promotions, rewards, etc.

So, how can you tell when a person is compromised?

1. They flip-flop back and forth. This person will say whatever they’re told to say and that often means they have to flip-flop. They say one thing, then later say the opposite. They say whatever they think will benefit them, or, at least, keep them out of hot water.

 2. They say anything they think people want to hear no matter how irrational and stupid they may sound. Again, this goes back to flip-flopping and bullies do change narratives often, so, the puppet must change with their puppet-masters and handlers if they want to stay in their good graces.

 3. They go with whatever the prevailing narrative or belief is. These people will fall in line quick. You can always tell a follower because they stay in lock step with your bullies. They quote whatever quote is popular, say whatever is popular, wear whatever the bullies are wearing, and act however they must, in order to stay on the bandwagon. In short, they’re a bunch of wannabes trying haplessly to fit into the bullies’ world of morals and standards.

 4. They’re a chameleon. This person will behave one way around this person and another way around that person. Understand that this person has no personality of their own. They change personalities like a model changes clothes.

 5. They can’t think for themselves. Again, these people never think for themselves. They only flex and bend to anything others tell them. They’ve been sucked into the group-think. God help them if they ever had an original thought. Or worse, took a stand (gasp!).

 6. They’re easily led and influenced. Life must really suck if you need someone to hold your hand in order to make decisions and choices. But some people would rather be controlled than to go out on a limb and choose for themselves.

They’re under the belief that it’s better to have security than to have freedom. That freedom and independence are too risky because they just might fail!

It’s true that being your own person involves a lot of risk. To be independent and have your own thoughts and opinions will invite the risk of failure and the enmity of a few others. But understand that anyone who doesn’t like you because you prefer to be yourself is more than likely a controlling person- an abuser, a bully, a narcissist. That’s right. Only people who like to control others hate those who are independent and who think for themselves.

stupid idiot

So, why would you want to please those types of people? Why would you want to have a puppet-master? Understand that only objects have owners. And you’re not an object, you’re a person with your own thoughts, feelings, opinions and beliefs. Keep it that way!

If you’re a target of bullying and your friends and allies have turned their backs on you, it’s best that you have nothing more to do with them and find new friends outside of the bullying environment.

You don’t want friends who are sheep and too weak to have your back when the chips are down. Trust me on that one. You want strong friends and allies- people who aren’t too chicken to have your back and are more than happy to go to bat for you. That’s what real friends do!

You want the types of friends who are hard to find, not those who are a dime a dozen. Know that you deserve better!

With knowledge comes empowerment!

A Few More Reasons I Won’t Go to My High School Reunion

“Madness is the exception in individuals but the rule in groups.” – Nietzche

It’s because of a thing called “group behavior.”

It’s a fact that school bullies rarely get over the passionate hatred of their targets once they graduate and meet them again in the real world later. My old bullies are no exception. They may not admit it to anyone other than each other, but it’s still there- simmering under the surface. Not that I’m concerned about how they feel because I could care less. As long as they stay away from me, they can feel, think, and say whatever and however, they want. It’s of no concern to me.

What would concern me is that going to the next reunion would put me in physical danger. And let’s face it. People act much differently in large groups than they do on their own. In groups, humans will do things they usually wouldn’t do, and they’ll do it for the sole purpose of conforming.

Understand that a high school reunion will have at least fifty to a hundred people in attendance. And the bigger the group, the more compelled the people in it will be to conform.

For example: If twenty out of a hundred classmates attending this reunion decide to jump me, or even kill me, you can bet that for obvious reasons, none of those who stand by and watch would do a thing to help me. They probably wouldn’t so much as run and call for help.

Out of their loyalty for each other and hatred for me, the attendees would, more than likely, let me die. I wouldn’t put it past them. No way would they risk conflict and the possibility of being ostracized by the rest of the class. To be another, “usurper” like me. No way they would.

They’re  didn’t years ago, and they wouldn’t do it today. It doesn’t matter how much older we are. They would value their status within the class more than they would the life of a person they never deemed a human being.

And people like them figure that if no one stops them, it can’t be wrong. Bystanders have a ton of influence. So, when they turn a blind eye to wrongdoing, they’ll likely become participants in it at some point. My classmates like each other and have a lot in common. And the one thing they share is their collective resentment and hate of certain people they decided weren’t worthy of human dignity. Therefore, this would only cement their collusion.

So, why would I even consider going? Going to this reunion would be suicide, and I value myself and my life way too much to put myself in that kind of danger.

The more people present when an emergency strikes, the more likely they’ll only ignore it. Any altruism they have will, more than likely, fly out the window when a person is a part of a large group. Even if cellphones have made it easier to call for help, we’ve seen video after video of vicious beatings and other crimes against fellow humans, where bystanders only stood around, laughed, and filmed the attack rather than use their phones to call for help.

Given the feelings of anger and resentment my classmates still have thirty years later, I wouldn’t put it past them to pull out their phones and begin filming in the event some of them attacked me. It’s precisely the mentality the majority of them still have, and it’s sad.

And most adults aren’t mature adults in this day and age. Adults today aren’t the adults of the ’70s, ’80s, or ’90s. Many of today’s adults, 55 and younger, have no morals nor integrity. The world today is much more evil, and many people have let hatred and immaturity overtake them because, in the current climate, it’s easier to survive in today’s world if you go along.

It’s hard to go high when everyone else goes low. Few people want to be the square peg in a group of round ones because it’s much too risky.

And many of my classmates may not think they’d stand back and watch another human being getting pulverized. After all, we all want to believe we’d do the right thing. But human nature is a fickle thing, and the compulsion to conform to a group is more potent than we realize.

Be good enough to forgive someone, but don't be stupid enough to trust them again. forgiveness

This kind of stuff has happened too many times down through history- others looked the other way while the most brutal of atrocities were being committed.

This is not to say for absolute certain that they would resort to physically harming or killing another person because they may not. But there’s no way I can know for sure. And given all this, especially their past behavior, I’m not willing to take that chance. So, the best thing to do is to ensure my safety by avoiding them altogether.

So, if you were a target of bullying in school and you know for a fact that your classmates never resolved their hatred of you, it probably wouldn’t be a good idea to go to any reunions, much less bring your spouse and kids to one. Sometimes distance is the safest bet.

With knowledge comes empowerment!

Toxic Conformity: The 15 Characteristics of Sheople

Sheople, sheeple, however you chose to spell the word, are, in short, people who are blind followers who are willing to be led to their own slaughter. You often hear the word in toxic government politics, but you also have them in office and school politics too. Not only do politicians have their sheople, but bullies in the workplace and at school have them too.

And most people are, in fact, toxic conformists. Rare is the person who thinks for themselves, especially during the last few years, and, I’ll bet you’ve wondered why most people have become a bunch of submissive sheople. I know I certainly have.

None of us are born followers, we become that way over time through our upbringing, through the messages we receive from others, and through watching and reading all sorts of media.

However, it’s up to us to dig deep and sort out the crap from the facts. Moreover, it’s also up to us whether to follow society’s standards or to follow our own path in life.

At the end of the day, we choose whether to live free or remain shackled to the whims of evil politicians, crooked managers and supervisors, authoritarian school officials, and to bullies and peer-pressure.

So, how do people who are born free and independent become sheople? And how do people who were once confident and self-assured become insecure and fearful? Most are bullied into it.

So, what are the characteristics of sheople? Find out below:

1. Sheople don’t trust themselves to make their own decisions – they’re insecure and lack the confidence needed to make decisions for themselves. So they take the easy way out and allow others to make decisions for them. These types of people lack direction and are either easily bullied, think they know it all, or both. In doing this, they allow themselves to be controlled and manipulated. In essence, they are slaves to the whims of others.

2. They are lazy – Sheople don’t want to have to work for anything but want everything done for them. They’ll do anything to keep from having to work for anything. So, they rely on other people or the system to provide for them instead of providing for themselves. But what they don’t realize is that they open themselves up to being ordered around and told what to do. They accept being told how they should live their lives. Even worse, they open themselves up to be abused and taken advantage of. Understand that even free stuff has a price, and that price is often your independence and autonomy. No one will give you anything free and if you can’t repay them with cash or material goods, you will repay them with services or with your personal freedom.

3.Sheople need someone to hold their hand – They’re little five-year-olds in adult bodies. Again, they don’t trust themselves to make good decisions because they fear they’ll fail. Therefore, they feel they must have someone else guide them through the maze of life. In short, what they don’t understand is that by giving up their responsibility for their own lives, they also give away their power to another person and end up allowing that person to lead them…right off a cliff!

4. They are gullible – They will believe anything people in power feed them. They base their judgements only on how high a position the person telling them what to do is holding and they erroneously think that the people in power care about them and want to do what’s best for them when, in most cases, the people in power are acting in their own best interests and not those of the sheople.

They can’t think for themselves, so they adopt other’s beliefs just to fit in and be accepted. They’ll go with any narrative you give them. They allow themselves to be lied to and used for someone else’s purposes.

5. Sheople are dependent. They either can’t, think they can’t, or don’t know how to do anything for themselves, so they reply on an authority to provide all their wants and needs for them. And, in order to keep getting those wants and needs meet, sheople will bow down and submit to the will of the person supplying them even if they must unnecessarily sacrifice themselves to do it.

6. Sheople are hopeless. Many sheople are incompetent and ineffective people. They don’t believe in themselves and, deep down inside, feel powerless and that they can’t do anything right. Many sheople feel that they’re failures and sadly, many of them are. So, they look to a so-called leader to do everything for them. What they don’t realize is that by looking to this person, they only give up their power and make themselves subjects to that person. I don’t know about you, but I refuse to make myself obligated to anyone other than God, my family, and my closest friends.

7. Sheople are slaves. In exchanging their freedom for security, they make themselves servants, subjects, Because to have someone else do everything and provide everything for you means to be obligated to them. Totally obligated! And because they’re completely useless and can’t take care of themselves, they must have someone else to keep them up. And anything the other person tells them to do, they will do because they know that if they don’t obey the person, the benefits they’ve been enjoying will stop. But who’s to say that they won’t stop anyway? What if the person decides to cut the sheople off once they’ve served their purpose? Then what?

 8. Sheople are fearful. They are believers of fearmongers. They’re also afraid that they might have to work for something. Thirdly, they’re afraid that if they don’t conform, the benefits they enjoy will be cut off. They are easily intimidated by those in power so they do everything they’re told to stay in the good graces of the person or people at the top. Everything the they do is out of fear!

(Continued in Part 2…)

4 Harsh Truths about Bystanders and Witnesses of Bullying

bystander effect

You not only never forget the bullies, but you also remember the people who were there- the people who had the power to help you but did nothing. Many times, the bystanders who saw it never tried to intervene and stop the attacks, nor did they speak up on my behalf.

As much as I hate to say it, I was guilty of the same thing. When I watched a few others get bullied, I said and did nothing, thinking that my voice wouldn’t make a difference if I did speak up. Other times, I was just damn glad that, for a change, I wasn’t the one targeted and that it was someone else taking heat for a change.

For this, I am very remorseful and would like to apologize to all the other targets I left to fend for themselves. I’m truly sorry.

Bullying Poster Concept Illustration bystanders

Here are the reasons bystanders do nothing to help a target of bullying:

1. They’re afraid of arousing the bullies’ anger and becoming the next target. No one wants to be a target of bullying. I get that. Many bystanders fear getting involved, and for good reasons. However, many bystanders do have some power because they’re high on the social hierarchy.

And the higher you are in the pecking order, the more weight your actions and words carry. So, why not use your power to help the target? Because if you’re extremely popular, the chances are that other bystanders will follow your lead and join you, and the bully will leave the victim alone. There’s strength in numbers.

2. The bystanders see the bullies’ torment of the target as entertainment. Bullies always bully in front of an audience to humiliate the target. During altercations between bullies and targets, bystanders immediately gather around to watch it go down.

Most bystanders then stand around, laughing and pointing fingers. Many of them cheer and egg the bully on, stirring it up to get more entertainment, all of which only encourages the bully to continue and even escalate the abuse.

As long as it isn’t them getting dogged out or having their brains beat in, most bystanders think it’s funny to see it happen to someone else.

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

It’s the reason that instead of helping the target, bystanders will automatically whip out their smartphones and record the confrontation. They can then watch it later, send the film to their friends, and have another big laugh over it.

But! It’s not the least bit funny to the target. It’s painful and humiliating. It can be devastating to a victim who has already been a target of bullying for an extended time and can drive them over the edge.

3. The bystanders themselves either dislike or hate the target. In many cases, bullies have run vicious smear campaigns and turned everyone against their victims. When an altercation finally breaks out, the bystanders refuse to help the target because they think she deserves the abuse. Many times, these bystanders secretly or openly take pleasure in seeing the target suffer.

They may stand around snickering or join the bullies in tormenting the target. Often, the bullies are only doing to the victim what many bystanders wish they had the stones to do themselves. So, they get complete satisfaction in seeing someone else attack the target. Bystanders often hate the victim so much that they would defend a total stranger before protecting the victim they hate so intensely.

4. They don’t want to get involved. Many bystanders figure that it’s none of their business and choose not to get involved. These bystanders are so indifferent that they won’t even stop and watch. They will only pass by and keep going. They don’t care. Period.

Understand that bullies always perform in front of an audience to show their superiority, strength, and power. Bystanders who do nothing to stop the attacks only silently support and encourage the bullies. These bystanders are just as guilty as the psycho bullies who perpetuate the attacks.

Often, bystanders either don’t understand or underestimate the power they have, especially in large numbers. When witnesses speak up for the target, the bullies will likely stop and leave the target alone.

With knowledge comes empowerment!

How “Good People” Become Willing Participants in Bullying

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.

With knowledge comes empowerment!