To put it in simplest terms, bullies target someone less powerful, then claim the opposite, that the target is bullying them. It’s a classic move and, gladly, it’s easy to expose if you know the playbook and know what to look for.
Therefore, any time a bully targets you and you call them out for it, you must expect this to happen and prepare for it. Expect them to cry “bully” when you dare to stand up for yourself or to speak out.
Realize that bullies despise resistance to their abuse, and, even worse, they hate it when you expose them. Any time bullies meet resistance to their evil, deceptive manipulations, voila! They suddenly claim that you are bullying them!
Conveniently Reversing the Roles
Bullies very convincingly cast themselves as so marginalized, so fragile, and so oppressed. Moreover, they label anyone who dares to call them out on their shit as “bullies.” They call any criticisms or even questions of their actions and behavior as “bullying.” Convenient, no?
Bullies do this by crying crocodile tears, using trending tropes of the day, and rationalizing their behavior. Therefore, they make everyone believe that they were only defending themselves or reacting to your bullying. And trust me, they’re good at it.
Bullies instinctively know that the best way to silence criticisms and reports of their ugly ways is to self-victimize. And sadly, it works like a charm!
Fortunately, society is just now catching on to this and it’s long overdue. Also, there are names for this that didn’t exist thirty years ago. If they did exist then, they weren’t well-known. So, targets can now call these tactics by name and better describe what’s happening to them.
Every day, society is learning more and more about the bully-target dynamic. This, in itself, is promising to targets.
Believe it or not, there is a method to the bully’s madness. Bullies are master life-chess players. They put a lot of forethought into their attacks against their targets. Always. Here’s how bullies can bully and get away with it.
First, a bully slyly baits her intended target by provoking her for a reaction. If the target blows it off and fails to react, the bully meticulously and subtly intensifies the taunts. They will wear her down, over time, until they achieve the desired reaction. And they often do this in the presence of bystanders and witnesses. A bully is very much aware that everyone has a breaking point.
Once the target reaches his limit and reacts (yelling, telling the bully off, cursing the bully out, punching the bully in the face, etc.), the bully weasels his way into the hearts of bystanders and authority, using superficial charm and charisma to feign victimhood.
The bully bashes the target by using her perfectly normal reaction as proof of the target’s “mental illness” or “meanness.” They very meticulously make it look as though the target is at fault. And bullies do this to distract others from their own evil actions, projecting guilt onto the target.
Once the bully has succeeded in turning everyone against the target, she entices others to join her in shaming the target. Everyone may gang up on the victim, making statements such as, “Aww! You just need to toughen up!” or “Can’t you take a joke?”
Others may accuse the target of “bringing it all on herself” when in reality, the opposite is true. It is the bully who has harassed the target for months, even years. It reality, the target has tried to handle the abuse calmly and objectively. However, after so long, she only succumbs to exhaustion and reach her limit.
Moreover, when the target reports the abuse, the guilt is placed on the her and the bully goes unpunished. Then the bully takes the impunity as a green light for future torment. All the while, others see the target in a very negative light, with no other choice but to endure the torment in silence. The target will often clam up because they know they will only further tarnish her already damaged reputation. And why not? By this point, there’s a strong chance that no one will believe her anyway.
Each time the target makes a report, others who are often in a position to help, blow her off, thinking that the torment is justified. The bully then becomes more emboldened and the victim becomes more devastated and damaged.
The more brazen the bully becomes, the higher the degree to which the harassment escalates. Therefore, the more frequent and intense the attacks become. And it continues until the targete is maimed, is killed, is removed, or transfers schools to escape the torment or commits suicide.
Widening the Imbalance of Power
The bully benefits from the feeling of power and control she gets from mistreating her target and getting away with it. Moreover, this gives the bully a sense that she is invincible and untouchable. The bully also enjoys the sympathy and petting others give her.
This strategy is also used as a means of striking fear into and silencing the target. It discourages any future attempts at speaking out and exposing the bully for what they truly are. And what they are, are cowardly, sniveling pieces of human filth.
If bullies target you for abuse, you already know too well how it feels to be mistreated and then blamed for your own torment. It’s horrible enough to be constantly harassed, but to be blamed for that harassment is downright devastating. It leaves you feeling completely powerless!
Understand that this is just another weapon the bully uses and how she tricks people into allowing her to continue her bad behavior with impunity. And it is nothing new! Bullies have always used this method.
So, remember the 3 ‘B’s- Bait, Bash, and Blame and I believe that you will be better able to explain your situation when you report the harassment. At the same time, be expectant of what bullies are likely to do.
DARVO is just another term for gaslighting but is more in-depth. Bullies will discredit the victim by discrediting the claims.
DARVO is an acronym that stands for:
D – Deny – Anytime the target calls out their bullies’ abuse, the bullies will first deny the behavior. Bullies will counter with things like,
“That’s not what I said.”
“That never happened.”
“That’s not what I did.”
Or, they may not necessarily deny it, but may minimize their behavior by saying things like:
“It wasn’t that serious.”
“I didn’t hit you that hard. That was a love-pat compared to what I could’ve done to you.”
“If I was mad, you’d know it.”
A – Attack – Next, the bullies will attack you. They will discredit you by discrediting your claims. Also, bullies will use gaslighting to make you question or doubt yourself. And they will say to you, things like:
“But you’re just looking for a fight.”
“You’re a drama queen.”
“You’re being paranoid.”
“But you’re being difficult.”
“You’re making a mountain out of a molehill.”
“You just won’t leave well enough alone.”
R – Reverse
V – Victim
O – Offender – The bullies will blame you for their behavior. They’ll claim that you did something to them to make them act the way they acted. Therefore, your bullies will make statements such as:
“It’s your fault.”
“You asked for it.”
“But you had it coming.”
“You made me hurt you.”
“You’re the bully, not me!”
I want you to know that DARVO has been around since the beginning of time, only today, it has a name. Down through history, it’s been the most common manipulation tactic of psychological abusers. Only 24 years ago did someone put a name to it! DARVO came from the work of psychologist Jennifer Freyd, PhD, who first introduced the term in late 1997.
When you witness bullying, it can be difficult to know which person is the bully and which is the target. Why? Because most bullies are cunning, clever, and covert. Therefore, not all bullies resort in physical violence, where they leave bruises, cuts, and broken bones that are easy to see. Many bullies use psychological tactics and emotional manipulation to bully and abuse their targets.
Also, they many use psycho/emotional methods to set the target up for physical violence or to get into trouble with authority. Remember that bullies have ways of slyly provoking the target and setting them up to look like the aggressor.
Additionally, bullies have ways of gaslighting you and making you doubt your own sanity. They have a knack for manipulating your emotions and making you feel guilty for things you aren’t guilty of. These people also have ways of brainwashing you over time and turning you against yourself. They know how to make you feel as if you did something to justify their mistreatment and abuse.
And sadly, once they do, you won’t know how to save yourself from those who accuse you of perpetuating the bullying, label you, and penalize you unjustly. You’ll have difficulty identifying and naming the tactics bullies are using against you. Therefore, you won’t know how to explain what is happening to you or report the bullying without sounding like you’re rambling.
And worst, your bullies and the circumstances they force on you will convince you and those in power that you are the culprit. If you happen to be the person who witnesses someone else being bullied, you’re likely to point a finger at the wrong person.
Therefore, if you want to know who the real target of bullying is,
ask yourself who has the least power.
Ask yourself who has the least social capital.
Other questions you should ask are as follows:
Who has the least influence?
Who has the least friends?
Which of these individuals is liked or loved the least.
Which of these people is most hated.
Ask yourself which person people can openly abuse and get away with it.
Bullies, especially school bullies, are notorious tattletales. And they often tattle on their targets for even the tiniest of infractions. If it so happens, they cannot find anything to tell on their targets about, they will make something up. Furthermore, they will make sure it’s something believable.
These bullies watch their targets closely, waiting with bated breath for the target to do or say something- anything that even smacks of being outside the category of right. They then run and tattle to a teacher, principal, supervisor, or manager.
How noble these bullies must feel, sitting on their moral high ground, working as little gestapos. Moreover, they feel entitled to ensure that everyone is good little peasants, following the rules down to the letter! Or, at least, that’s what they want those in authority to think.
The reality is that everyone, other than the target, is free to do as they wish. They only do these things to their targets. Why? To keep them from being able to defend themselves or report bullying.
Therefore, if you are a target of bullying, all your bullies must do is smear your name to any member of staff and you’re marred for good. They then clear the path to bully you in the future without fear of being reported. After all, who’s going to take the word of a troublemaker and rule-breaker?
Also, if enough people tattle on you, those in positions of power are more likely to believe them. Why? Because, “if you aren’t guilty of whatever they accuse you of, then why are so many people pointing the finger at you?” Right?
It’s Like a Game of Chess, Bullies are Setting Everything Up Against You
Besides, in tattling on you or telling lies about you, these bullies are setting up a system where you will be discredited. In that, they’ll render you powerless to stop the bullying or escape it. Tattling is also a way to silence you. Think about it. If you know that no one will believe you anyway, you’re more likely to find it easier and less painful just to keep your mouth shut.
Remember that bullies are master chess players. Therefore, this is how they set the stage beforehand to make you powerless. Because, once you’re completely powerless, they’ll bully you openly and in plain sight.
Besides, who’s going to stop them? After all, you’re a troublemaker, a rebel-rouser, a riffraff! And people aren’t bullying you, they’re only reacting to something you must have done to them. Right?
Bullies and everyone else-good. Target-bad! You’re bad, so you deserve it.
And the tattlers? They’re only “good kids” who want to learn in a clean environment. They serve as the extra pairs of eyes that the staff need because the staff can’t be everywhere at once. They’re the little helpers.
So, let’s give them a cookie for their efforts to make our jobs a little easier!
Tattling is a technique to eventually block the target from any help they’ll need and otherwise receive.
Afterwards, when the damage is done, the bullies will boast about how they succeeded in taking away your power and ruining your life.
Moreover, bullies use tattling as a veneer to hide their own bad behavior, and project it onto you. If they can slither their way into the good graces of those in power while demonizing you, their plot will work perfectly, and the bullies be virtually untouchable.
I cannot stress enough the importance of being prepared for this type of thing. And the more you prepare, the better you’ll be able to counter this slick tactic, and the better you’ll protect yourself.
When people label you “mentally ill,” “crazy,” “unhinged,” take your pick, based on the lies of bullies; no one has to take you seriously ever again. People will automatically doubt everything you do, good or bad. Anytime society sticks a person with the “mentally imbalanced” label, it can be worse than if they deemed them a criminal. Because at least people take criminals, even murderers and rapists more seriously. What a crying shame!
Therefore, when bullies can con an entire community into deeming you crazy, they can make you disappear and become irrelevant. And they can do it even after you’re dead.
The most insidious thing about this label is that it can make the labelled person doubt their own sanity. In other words, it’s not so much that they think you’re crazy, it’s that they want you to believe it. Why? Because, if they can make you believe it, then you’re more likely to live up to it.
Further, the crazy card is the easiest for bullies to play. Although they can never prove you’re a basket case, there’s no way you can prove that you aren’t one.
The label, “crazy” is worse than the label, “criminal.”
This is why the crazy label is the most widely used among bullies and society as a whole. Also, it’s the most common form of gaslighting. “Crazy” can be used as a last resort when bullies run out of options and can’t pin anything else on you.
Think about it. They can’t as easily label you a whore if you haven’t slept around. Just the same, they can’t as easily label you a criminal if you don’t have a police record to prove it. And they can’t easily label you a thief if you never took anything that wasn’t yours.
Whereas, you can’t as easily disprove crazy.
Therefore, the more we understand the ins, outs, and reasons behind the use of this label, the better we can defend against it.
The best thing you can do in this situation is to keep your head and continue showing them up. It may take a while, but eventually, the label does get old and wear itself out. And when that happens, it will lose it’s effect.
Conditioning happens when others brainwash and train you to believe something. Therefore, evil and terrible abuses get “normalized.” When you’re a target of bullying, bullies will try to condition you to roll over and take their abuse.
Conditioning doesn’t happen overnight. It’s a slow, incremental, bit-by-tiny-bit process that can also be soft and subtle. So, how do you know your bullies have conditioned you?
You know by the feelings you have.
1. If you feel guilty for speaking out and reporting bullying to authority, your bullies have conditioned you.
2. When you feel that the bullying is your fault, your bullies have conditioned you.
3. Anytime you feel like a mean and cruel person for standing up for yourself, your bullies have conditioned you.
4. If you feel guilty about saying no to anyone, your bullies have conditioned you.
Are you angry yet?
What are the statements bullies use to condition you? And what do those statements condition you to think and feel? Let’s find out:
1.“Bullying is a rite of passage that everyone goes through.”
This statement conditions you to believe that bullying is normal. But it’s anything but! Bullying is sick, perverse, and damaging to the target. So, say, “Oh no, it’s not!” And be very firm when you say it.
2.“You ‘made me’ hit you!”
This statement conditions you to believe that bully’s despicable behavior is your fault- that you somehow caused the bully to get out of line and that you deserved what you got. Again, this is a blatant lie!
No one deserves bullying and abuse. You have a right to feel and be safe. Therefore, you counter the bully’s statement by saying, “No, I did not!” And say it with full conviction!
3.“You had it coming!”
“You asked for it!”
“You bring it all on yourself!”
Again, these statements condition you to believe that you’re to blame for the bullies’ horrid behavior.
They hoodwink you into thinking their evil actions are your fault, and that you deserved it. NOT true! Remember that bullying is abuse, and no one deserves it. Say, “No, I didn’t!” or “No, I don’t, and you know it!” Be stern!
4. “You’re always trying to start something!”
“You’re always making waves.”
“Don’t rock the boat!”
“You’re always making trouble!”
“You just keep pushing it!”
“Don’t push it!”
Again, these are lies and ways to deceive you into silence.
Don’t’ fall for it. Counter the bully’s claims and always, always do it with a tone of conviction.
5. You’ll also be accused of:
“Making a mountain out of a molehill!”
“Making something out of nothing!”
“Acting like a crybaby!”
“Being a liar!”
“Not knowing what you’re talking about!”
All lies. Counter with “No, I’m not!” or “I know exactly what I’m talking about! I know what you’re trying to do, and I won’t accept it!”
Understand that you’ll hear these statements anytime you attempt to set boundaries and stand up to bullying and abuse. Realize that bullies hate it when you stand against them. Most would cut off their right arm before they’d ever admit to any wrongdoing.
Don’t let it deter you. Keep standing up. Continue defending yourself. Don’t stop taking care of yourself. Because, if you don’t, no one else will either. Therefore, all you have is you. In a situation of bullying, all you have is your voice. Use it! Don’t lose it!
But realize that if the bullies resist (and they more than likely will). If they don’t respect your commands for them to stop the abuse, it isn’t your fault nor your responsibility.
It isn’t because you weren’t firm enough. And don’t think it was because you aren’t any good at standing up for or defending yourself. It’s because your bullies are a bunch of pathetic, self-entitled turds. Realize that bullies are abusers. Therefore, abusers expect the rest of the world should bow down and kiss their asses. Nothing more.
Don’t fall for their power plays. Stand up, stand tall, and stand firm no matter what.
crazymaking – a form of psychological attack on someone by offering contradictory alternatives, then criticizing the person for choosing either. (Dictionary.com)
When a bully uses the crazymaking tactic to attack the target, he/she puts the person in a lose-lose situation. It’s a case of damned if you do and damned if you don’t.
For example, a bully may tell a woman she wears too much makeup, looks like a slut, and needs to tone it down a bit. So, the woman goes lighter on the makeup the next day, only to be told by the bully that she’s too barefaced and looks like a nun.
No wonder it’s called “crazymaking” because it can make you crazy if you let it. Understand the bullies do this to jerk you around and maintain their power over you. They have you jumping through hoops to win their approval because they have you feeling that you can’t do anything right.
Depression Concept with Word Cloud and a Humanbeing with broken Brain and Heavy Rain
Understand that crazymaking is covert verbal abuse. To protect yourself from it, you must first learn to recognize it when it happens to you.
A surefire way of identifying crazymaking is by noticing how it makes you feel. Crazymaking can:
Make you feel off-kilter and unsure of how to defend yourself
Make you feel lost and confused
Make you feel blindsided
Make you feel discombobulated or disoriented
Give you mixed signals and messages but make you too afraid to ask for clarification
Make you feel extreme discomfort around the bully
Make you feel jerked around and toyed with
Make you want to walk away from the bully but only leave you frozen
Make you feel bewilderment
Make you feel that something is “off”
Make no mistake. This is how your bullies get their kicks. They enjoy this because, again, it gives them a huge rush of power and makes them feel superior to have some sucker bending over backward to win their approval. Understand that this is a game! And your efforts to conform to a bully’s standards are pointless because bullies will only continue changing the rules and moving the goalposts. After all, bullies are notorious megalomaniacs who quickly get drunk on their power.
So, you must know your worth. That means knowing that you don’t have to live up to anyone’s standards but yours. You are the only person who knows your likes and dislikes. You are the only person who has the authority to choose what you want, how you want it, what you do, how you do it, and so forth.
Who are they to criticize you? Your life is your life, and you have the right to live it on your terms. Do what makes you happy, and to hell with anyone who has a problem with it.
The only way you’ll be able to battle crazymaking successfully is to have confidence and a strong sense of self. You must know yourself and be secure in yourself. Only then will you have no tolerance for this type of behavior, and therefore, crazymaking bullies have no power over you.
Don’t apologize for being who you are. You’re just the way God made you.
Don’t be sorry for being a woman, a man, your race, nor having brown hair, blonde hair, blue or brown eyes. For those are the things that make you you. Be happy and secure with it.
Don’t apologize for being a Christian, Muslim, Buddhist, nor for holding certain values- for valuing your god and family. For those are the things you hold dear.
Refuse to be sorry for wrongdoings committed by others. You cannot control others’ actions, nor should you be expected to pay for their sins. That is between them and God, and they’ll be judged for it one day.
You’re not responsible for any sins other than your own.
Too many people self-loathe and feel guilty for things they haven’t done, which only strips away their happiness and peace of mind. And if you allow others to heap false guilt on your head unjustly, what do you think they will do next?
Take charge of your happiness and your life. And know that anyone who tries to force you to feel something you shouldn’t feel or do something that is either degrading to you or that you don’t want to do, you should have no more to do with them.
Continue to love yourself. Apologize only for what you’re guilty of and to the person you transgressed against. And if that person doesn’t accept your apology, that’s on them, and you should love yourself enough to get on with it.