Never Believe nor Internalize the Labels Bullies Give You

 

clique bullying

We’ve all heard of self-fulfilling prophecies or the Pygmalion Effect. It’s a phenomenon in which our thoughts become things. People also call it the power of expectation.

” What we believe we also become.”

When people (adults at work AND kids at school) are told they are smart and are going to do well, they usually end up doing just that. Whereas, if a person is told he is stupid and will never amount to anything, he will also live up to what he hears.

High expectations= high performance= high outcomes.

Low expectations= low performance= low outcomes.

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Depression Concept with Word Cloud and a Humanbeing with broken Brain and Heavy Rain

Understand that bullies are brain-washers. They are repetitious in their verbal attacks and if you aren’t careful, after they have repeatedly suggested that you’re stupid, ugly, or no good long enough, they will force you to believe it too. You won’t even know it’s happening until it’s too late.

‘You see? a bully knows that if you tell a person something enough times for long enough, that person is more likely to believe it.

Understand that bullies do this on purpose. Their goal is to derail you, your goals and your future by manipulation, to turn you against yourself.

Because bullies know that once they make you believe you’re worthless and can’t do anything right, you will unwittingly and ultimately live up to their expectations.

You must realize that any name a bully calls you, they want you to be. Anytime a bully tells you that you will never be loved, never be successful, etc, the goal is to crush your self-esteem and any prospect for the future.

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And people want to be right! Bullies want so badly to be right about you so that they can eventually point at you and tell others,

“See? What did I tell you? I told you he was a jackass!”

“I told you she would (screw up, fly off the handle, get into trouble, etc.).

“Uh-huh! What did I tell you? Huh?”

Therefore, should it be any wonder why bullies continuously bombard you with horrible names and accusations? If a person calls you a lowlife, they want you to be a lowlife because they want you to prove them right!

There is a reason why cycles repeat themselves over again! Everything becomes a cycle. What you expect is what you will end up getting. Always! It’s only the Law of Attraction at work, and it never fails.

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It won’t be easy to do. It’s challenging to think positively and to keep loving yourself when you’re continually having horrible names and negative comments hurled at you from every direction. It’s tough to keep your heart open when the hearts of people around you are closed and locked tight. It feels impossible to love yourself when it seems that everyone hates you. I feel your pain because I’ve been right where you are now.

However, you can only break the cycle of abuse and negativity by continuing to love yourself even when it seems that nobody else does, by finding a reason to live when life seems hopeless, and by refusing to lose sight of your goals, your dreams and most of all, your value as a human being.

Be mindful of your thoughts and always replace any negative thinking with a positive outlook.

If a bully calls you stupid, counter his statement by saying something as simple as,

“No! I’m smart! You’re the stupid one!”

You may have to work hard at it, but you can do it.

 

What is Reactive Bullying?

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young beautiful arrogant and moody spanish woman showing negative feeling and contempt facial expression isolated on grey background looking cocky and defiant

Reactive bullying happens when a victim has taken so much abuse for so long that when the pressure builds to the boiling point, the targeted person blows up or
‘snaps,’ lashing out at their tormentors.

In essence, the victim “bullies them back.” But is it the wisest thing for victims to do?

Believe me. I get that people can only take so much. I understand that you’re sick of it, and I’m with you. However, make no mistake. An explosive reaction is precisely what the bullies want.

They want you to snap.

They want you to blow up on them so they can then claim victimhood and make you look like the bully.

Understand that bullies are experts at baiting a target into a reaction, then using the justified response as proof that the targeted person is “mentally unstable,” “crazy,” “a dangerous person,” “too sensitive,” or a “drama queen”!

Bullies also use the victim’s normal reaction to guilt and convince him/her that it’s all their fault.

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Bullying, friendship and people concept. Girl patronizing screaming pointing finger at shy timid nerdy woman who is looking down

Bullies will make statements such as:

“Well? Maybe if you wouldn’t get so overly emotional, you’d have friends!”

“If you didn’t overreact to everything, people would want to be around you more!”

In short, bullies gaslight their targets with statements like these to make excuses for the behavior and deflect the blame back onto the victims. And sadly, it works like a charm, and bystanders and witnesses believe the target is unstable.

Note: A perfect example is a scene in the movie “Home Alone” when the main character, Kevin McAllister’s older brother Buzz makes a fake apology to his family, then sneakily calls Kevin a trout-sniffer during a family meeting after the fiasco in the kitchen over Kevin’s cheese pizza. Notice how Buzz baits his younger brother Kevin into a reaction!

If you are a target, I want you to understand that there is a name for this. It’s called gaslighting, and it’s a trick to throw you off balance.

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Realize that every single human one of us is capable of losing our cool when we’re under that kind of pressure after we’re attacked and subjected to vile treatment for so long.

This is why teachers, supervisors, and others in authority must learn to distinguish between provocation and a reaction so that they will be able to identify the real bully and victim. And you must also learn to tell the difference between the two so that you can call it out when it happens to you.

Luckily, there are a few sure-fire ways of identifying the real victim who is only reacting to a provocation by a bully.

1. A victim who has only reacted always feels terrible about the way they acted once they’ve calmed down and is usually the first to apologize for it. A real victim will also not be afraid to admit they’ve made a mistake.

A bully, on the other hand, must always be right and will never admit they’ve done anything wrong. A bully will still place blame on the victim and be overly critical of the victim and the reaction. Bullies will also use the tiniest screw-up or imperfection and make it bigger than it is. They are also excessively dramatic.

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2. A victim will also apologize, sometimes nervously and excessively.

A bully will never apologize. Because a bully is never wrong, even feels that it is their right to mistreat their targets.

Please note that if the bully is a smooth talker, he might even admit to a few minor mistakes or wrongdoings. However, they will always follow that with the claim that the victim is at fault.

So, always look for these signs, and you’ll be able to peel the mask off the bully, layer by layer! Moreover, you’ll be able to protect and care for the victim!

“Don’t Associate with Her!” Why Relational Aggression is the Must Insidious Kind of Bullying

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It’s bad enough when bullies mistreat you themselves. But when they set out to prevent you from becoming friends with people besides them, that’s even worse.

Socially and relational bullies are like obsessive exes who won’t allow you to move on from the hurt. They deliberately try to isolate you to wield power over you and make you believe that you need them- that you need their approval to live a happy life.

Another goal is to instill shame in you and make you believe you somehow deserve to be bullied. Bullies also do this to isolate you so that they can more safely continue, even escalate their attacks. If the bullies can turn everyone else against you, then you’re least likely to get support, and they’re least likely to be held responsible for their behavior.

Bullies use socio-relational aggression for many reasons, a couple of which are to get back at you for a perceived slight or intense jealousy of your good relations with others.

Bullies reap other psychological benefits, as well. They get gratification and satisfaction in seeing you alienated from everyone else. Also, your isolation serves them as proof that you’re a terrible person. Bullies always have to be right about you.

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Understand that these types of bullies observe you very carefully. They keep track of you to find out who you associate with, who you date, even who your family members are. They also dig up information about your life.

When they find out who your friends are, they then tell your friends lies about you or will threaten to harm your friends if they catch them having any more to do with you. Bullies will also mistreat your partner and even go after your family. You must realize that bullies thrive on fear, and, as I’ve already mentioned, their goal is to isolate you and make you more vulnerable. They cut you off from any protection or assistance.

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Once they have succeeded in alienating you, they can bully you at will and with impunity. Bullies can also keep you silent about the abuse. If you have no one to talk to- if no one will listen to you, then there’s no way you can speak out about them or their abuse without getting rebuffed or ridiculed.

In short, social and relational bullying reaps the following rewards for bullies:

• Silence of the target
• the freedom to abuse anytime they want
• protection
• confirmation of the target’s unworthiness
• favor with others
• immunity from accountability
• gratification, satisfaction, and, most of all, overall power and domination of the target!

Knowledge is power, so get wise to your bullies. It’s the first step in protecting yourself from them.

 

Seasoned Bullies Prefer Psychological/Emotional Bullying

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Depression Concept with Word Cloud and a Humanbeing with broken Brain and Heavy Rain

Why? Because this type of harassment offers easy deniability.

Unlike the physical kind, Psycho/Emotional bullying is less evident to others outside the bully-victim dynamic because it leaves no visible bruises, cuts, or wounds. Therefore, the target has no proof that any bullying ever took place and the bullies can easily deny any incidences in the event the victim becomes fed up and either asserts themselves or reports the harassment to an authority figure.

Afterward, the bullies can brand the target as mentally unstable, destroy his/her credibility, reputation, and relationships, then retaliate against the victim by continuing and escalating the harassment later.

Remember that the most talented bullies are the biggest cowards and the most successful actors and actresses. They have methods of harassment that are well-planned in advance.

They go to great lengths to prevent themselves from being exposed. They’re incredibly crafty, committing their attacks ever so slowly and subtly, undercover and behind a veil of superficial charm, fake playfulness, and deceit.

Narcissist

Positive teenage student boy keeps hands folded, tooth smile imagine himself an angel with fluffy wings behind back and a halo above head. Super power, inner strength and innocence concept.

These types of bullies are often in the Preppy/Popular crowd at school or in the Good Ole’ Boy Clique at work because of their superior social skills, ability to read people and predict others’ reactions, and have a talent for keeping up appearances.

They are usually well-liked by teachers, school staff, supervisors, managers, and CEOs. They excel in studies, join clubs or sororities/fraternities, and make themselves out to be high performers at work by stealing the ideas and work of others.

Because their popularity and extreme likeability serve as a shield from accountability and add a lot of weight to their lies and deceit, they often get away with bullying others.

If you live in a small town, they likely come from families who have powerful connections, which is all the more reason why they must keep up appearances. Many of these kinds of harassers are highly skilled wordsmiths, which is why they are such good liars and seem to have the right answer or justification for anything.

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Bullies of this kind also have followers. They’re too chicken to get their hands dirty, so if they want to cause any physical harm to their target, they will often send one of their sycophants to do it for them, being sure to offer money and social status as possible incentives to get the job done and stay quiet.

But understand that most of their followers don’t like them, they only kiss and cover their butts to get something from them- their approval and the power and social status that comes with it.

Bullies on top of the pecking order will also use their social skills to take advantage of the mentally disabled (kids with Down’s Syndrome, Cerebral Palsy, Traumatic Brain Injury, etc.) and the physically disabled, (kids with Diabetes, Lupus, heart defects and food allergies; kids who are paraplegic, etc).

They also target kids with weight issues (overweight or underweight), those with low self-esteem, or those younger and smaller.

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Businessman with wind up key on his back sitting on chair and using laptop computer on city background. Manipulation concept

And most of the abuse they dish out to these kids is strictly psychological or emotional because they’re such cowards! Otherwise, they wouldn’t select such vulnerable kids to push around in the first place.

Since you have to go to school or work with these types and there is no way to avoid these types of people or to go no-contact, I want you to see through these self-entitled, self-absorbed, and self-satisfied wimps so that you can learn their weaknesses and expose them for your own protection.

You must get into the minds of these bullies. To properly defend yourself, you must think as they do even though it’s not a pleasant place and I’ll tell you! The souls of such people can be downright ugly!

Sometimes it takes getting just as low, just as sneaky and just as nasty as your attacker if you ever want to expose them for what they are before they’ll back off.

The more you know, the more you’re prepared, the better you can protect yourself from such people.

7 Reasons Targets Take the Blame While Bullies Escape Accountability

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One thing I’m certain of is that every person, who has ever been a victim of bullying, has at some point, asked either themselves or another person these questions: “Why am I always to blame?” and “Why do my tormentors often get away with tormenting me?”

Here are the answers and there are many:

1. Bullies are very convincing liars. Bullies have been lying and covering up bad behavior all of their lives. They have been doing this for long enough that they have learned what works and what does not work. They are master manipulators, skilled in the art of deception.

Bullies are also very good at rationalizing and justifying their unacceptable behavior. They are wordsmiths and con artists, who often use charm to deceive those in authority.

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2. Bullies often use projection, which is projecting their own faults and shortcomings onto their targets, making the target look like the bully and themselves look like the victim. When faced with possible accountability for their evil actions, they often cry and feign victimhood. This tactic is usually employed by female bullies.

3. Bullies are very charming to the right people, which can be used as another weapon against a victim. Bullies seem to emit an oozing charm. Because of this, they had a way of winning people over and making them their allies.

A good reputation can be used as a weapon against any target because with this good name, the bully has everyone (except the target) fooled. others cannot believe that “this sweet, innocent, pretty little girl” would harm anyone. Take a look at the outgoing guy that everyone loves. No one is going to believe that this “fine young man” would ever beat up a smaller boy unless he was provoked.

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4. Because this person has so many friends who cherish them. Even if these friends did witness them undertake any wrongdoing, they will still more than likely cover-up for the bully out of loyalty and place the blame on the target.

5. There is strength in numbers Most bullies have a large number of friends behind them. And people in large numbers can have a cumulative power which can be overwhelming even for the greatest, toughest, strongest, most intelligent of individuals. To put it plainly, if enough people are against a person, that person is powerless, no matter how strong, smart, beautiful or easy-going they may be.

6. Bullies use gaslighting- adding their own spin to make you look and feel like the villain or by laying guilt trips- trying to convince you that you are at fault or that the abuse is just your imagination. Bullies are masters at this, especially female bullies who use feminine charm to deceive bystanders and authority figures.

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7. Bullies malign you to others to destroy your good name and credibility: They recruit followers and start a campaign of hate and viciousness against you, by way of rumors, lies, and trying to turn your friends against you. This occurred to me on a regular basis in school and it would happen as retaliation for my having the gall to stand up to them and assert my God-given, divine right not to be abused or taken advantage of.

There were several different benefits from the execution of this strategy.

1. It could be used to protect one another from being labeled by a teacher and getting a bad reputation. Most, who have been in school has a least gotten into two fights, which sounds perfectly normal.

2. Destroying the victim’s name with the staff would lessen any chances of him being listened to, should the target run and “tattle” to members of the authority. Again, protecting them from discipline at school and allowing them the freedom to do whatever they want to the target whenever they feel like it.

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Targets get the blame because sadly, the attitude of most bystanders and members of authority is this:

“Why would so many kids have it in for her if she’s not provoking them somehow?” or “Nobody likes him, so there has to be a reason that justifies it.”

After all, who is going to look any further then the child with the worst name anytime a confrontation arises? If people expect trouble to come from a certain place, that is where they’re going to look.

It is all designed to manipulate school staff and save the bullies’ behinds from having to face repercussions and therefore, leaves an opening for further bullying later on.

Targets not only need the confidence to fight bullying but also the knowledge of bullies. The first step of defense is having the knowledge of the mindsets and intentions of bullies and of the tactics they use.

 

 

Bullying and the Innate Fight or Flight Response

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Any time a person has been the object of relentless bullying at work or school, over an extended period of time, that person comes to be in a constant state of high alert. Although useful in short, immediate circumstances, this hyper-vigilance can be unhealthy if the person remains in this state for too long, causing stomach issues, headaches, and fatigue among many other ailments.

Even worse, such a continuous feeling of being under threat can also cause the person to overreact in response to certain occurrences.

Here’s an except from “From Victim to Victor (A Survivor’s True Story of Her Experiences with School Bullying).”

From Victim to Victor

“…Every living creature has an innate and perfectly natural physiological reaction in the event of a threat or attack. Called the Fight or Flight Response, it protects us from harm in dangerous situations in part through the release of adrenaline. When adrenaline is released into the blood, it becomes next to impossible not to do either of two things- fight or flee.

When I was being bullied and abused during school, escape was not an option for me. Usually, I was cornered or surrounded, either backed into a wall or some large object. With flight cut off to me as an option, what did I have left? Fight! I lived on this adrenaline every day, all day long. Just being around my classmates put my body and mind on constant alert. It was a horrible way to live.

Getting on the school bus and walking through the entrance to the school felt like a death march. In the afternoons, I had horrible headaches that triggered violent nausea. For so long, I had managed to keep from vomiting.

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Strict Boss: Angry upset young business woman with blank speech bubble on white on gray background. Vector illustration.

Eventually, my luck ran out. I recall an afternoon in English class when my mouth and eyes began to water. I swallowed hard to control my gag reflexes as I approached the teacher’s desk to ask to be excused to the bathroom.

‘What do you want?’ Mrs. Caraway asked rudely.
‘I don’t feel good.’ I replied.

Without a word, she gave me the hall pass and I scurried my way to the girls’ room, barely making it to the first stall before launching a stream of the bitterest, most horrible tasting green liquid into the toilet.

This was followed by a long series of dry heaves which were quite painful. Instead of making me feel better, the vomiting made me feel worse and my headache became next to unbearable.

I’ll never forget the sound of the bathroom door as it flung open and the teacher stormed in, demanding to know why I was taking so long. I began to cry and in between gags and wretches, pleaded with her to let me go to the office and call my grandmother….”

She accused me of making myself vomit so I could go home early

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When you’re a bullied kid, even a few teachers, having heard the rumors and falsehoods being spread about you, begin to bully you too. It’s a very lonely and heartbreaking position to be in.

As time went on, the fear of going to school and having to face my classmates grew in me. It was like an infected tumor getting bigger and bigger with each passing day. My stomach would draw up every morning when I set foot on that school bus. The next eight hours was like walking through a minefield, never knowing when my next step could mean BOOM! and I would be hit, shoved, kicked, or bombarded with a torrent of taunts, insults and names. It was a situation I saw no end to, and to say that I was afraid would be an understatement. I was petrified.”

Most never think of the magnitude of fear the victim must live with or the health consequences of living in that perpetual state of fight or flight. And sadly, although the impact to the physical health of the victim may not show up right away, it may rear its ugly head later in life.

But this doesn’t only happen in school, it happens in the workplace also. What was believed to only happen to school-aged people also happens to adults in the workplace. Bullying knows no age group.

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Many bullied victims get into serious trouble when the bullying finally escalates and becomes physical. Every day, innocent targets are unjustly suspended and expelled from school or fired from work because they were forced into fight mode to defend themselves.

Bullies have a real flair for charming and seducing supervisors, managers, teachers, and staff, lying very convincingly and making the target look like the aggressor. Victims are often severely punished for nothing more than trying to protect themselves, while the bullies are either given a slap on the wrist or escape with complete impunity.

However, school staff and workplace management should know well that, just like all God’s creatures, targets of bullying have this fight or flight instinct.

It’s only natural that if you corner a dog and kick it enough times, sooner or later, you’ll get bit!

5 Things Bullies Tell Others When a Target Stands Up to Them

Young girl bending down covering her face with her hands trying to protect herself from mens' fists, finger guns and hands pointing at her.

Any time a target gets tired of the abuse and calls a bully’s bluff. The bully will more than likely justify their behavior to others. Here is a list of the most famous statements you’re likely to hear, from most popular to least.

1. “She’s crazy.” or “She’s unstable.”

2. “He’s just mad because I called him out!”

3. “She’s so fake.”

4. “She’s too sensitive.” “She’s overreacting.”

5. “He’s a crybaby.”

6. “She doesn’t want to admit when she’s wrong.”

7. “I was just trying to help you.”

8. “She’s just jealous of me because of…”

The better you’re prepared…

Excuses Bullies Make for Bullying Their Victims

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The excuses bullies make for their rotten behavior are endless. Here are the most common excuses bullies make.

“Just because.”

“Because he’s annoying.”

“She brings it on herself.”

“I was only joking.”

“Because he’s a nerd.”

“Because she’s a loser.”

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“Because he’s so stupid.”

“Because you deserve it.”

“Because you have a crooked nose (or funny ears, etc.).”

“Because he’s a wimp (wuss, geek, etc.).”

“Because she’s crazy (mentally unstable, cuckoo, loony, etc.)”

“Because he dresses weird.”

“Because he stinks (smells funny, etc.).”

“Because he needs to toughen up.”

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“Because he’s black.”

“Because she’s white.”

“Because you have a big mouth.”

“Because he’s too skinny.”

“Because he has four-eyes (wears eye-glasses).

“Because she’s a metal-mouth (wears braces).

“You’re too different.”

Young girl bending down covering her face with her hands trying to protect herself from mens' fists, finger guns and hands pointing at her.

Young girl bending down covering her face with her hands trying to protect herself from mens’ fists, finger guns and hands pointing at her. Women’s rights. Violence against women. Domestic violence.

I could go on and on! The excuses bullies make are endless. However, know that these so-called reasons have nothing to do with you if you’re a target of bullying. Understand that bullying is about power and the need to feel better than. Your bullies are trying to meet their needs for validation or superiority in a hateful and hurtful manner.

When you’re being mistreated, it’s normal to want to figure out why. And the reason we want to know why is so we can fix whatever’s wrong and make the bullying stop. But just because we correct whatever’s wrong doesn’t mean the bullying will go away, and most of the time, it doesn’t.

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It only gets worse when you try to change yourself because people lose respect for you when you’re not yourself.

You may try to change yourself; you may hide, wear fancier clothes, even buy a new flashier car. But the truth is there was never anything wrong with you in the first place. Understand that bullies are targeting you not because there’s anything wrong with you or because you’ve done anything wrong. They’re only using you to meet their needs, and those needs are to feel better about themselves, to feel powerful, superior, or better than you.

I even know adults- ADULTS, who should know better but are under the misguided impression that if people bully you, that you’re causing them to do so- that there’s something wrong with you, that there has to be something you’re not doing right, that you’re somehow annoying people and rubbing everyone the wrong way. No! This is a falsehood you should dismiss immediately!

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Don’t accept it! Know in your heart that you did nothing wrong and that you’re great just the way you are! Here are things you can do to help your self-esteem and restore confidence.

Avoid these bullies like the plague.

Keep company with only those who uplift you and make you feel good about yourself.

Befriend other targets.

Do the things you enjoy and always show off your talents and gifts.

Do all of these and your self-esteem will thank you for it!

The Difference Between Playful Banter and Bullying

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“Can’t you take a joke!”

Bullies are notorious for that line when targets speak out and call them out on their abuse. It’s the most manipulative and dangerous and most popular excuse for crappy behavior because it uses social pressure to make the target out to be a party pooper who doesn’t know how to relax and have a good time.

Understand that bullies use this old, worn-out comeback to cover themselves and dupe bystanders and witnesses into believing that the abuse was just playful banter while making the victim look and feel like some dysfunctional whiner who’s just too sensitive and needs to lighten up.

But how do you know the difference between playful banter and bullying? Here are your answers:

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1. There’s no power imbalance- With bullying, there’s always a power imbalance and harm is intended. Also, the relationship is always harmful and abusive. Banter is done strictly among friends, family members- people with equal power. There’s no harm intended and people who exchange banter have a positive and fulfilling relationship.

2. In banter, people respect you enough to stay away from your “no-go zones”- Your “no-go zones” are often called your hot buttons or triggers. These are things that you’re insecure about- something you’re embarrassed about, ashamed of, or can be any adverse experiences you’ve had in the past. In banter, people know to stay away from those areas and won’t bring them up.

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Bullies, on the other hand, will deliberately zero in on things they know you’re insecure about and will only continue to bring them up in front of an audience when they see that you’re upset.

3. In a nutshell, it all comes down to how it makes you feel and the relationship you have with the other person! If the person is not a friend or family member- anyone you have a negative or hostile relationship with, they do NOT get the privilege to banter or joke with you! Ever!

Understand that banter is reserved for the people you feel good about (Close friends and family members)! Because they know your triggers and remember never to go near those tender areas!

4. Always read the person’s nonverbal body language- If the person is smirking and snickering instead of genuinely smiling and laughing out loud, that’s a sign of contempt, and it’s more than likely bullying instead of banter.

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Sadly, anytime the bully plays the “Can’t-You-Take-A-Joke card, many targets are caught off guard and left speechless or paralyzed by humiliation. They’re left so upset they walk away feeling indignant because it’s sometimes difficult to adequately address the bully’s comeback without being made to look and feel even lower.

So, here is the perfect way to clap back at a bully who claims to be playing or joking and walk away feeling great about yourself and that you handled it like a boss!

You can shut him/her down by saying something to the tune of:

“Only my friends can joke with me like that! You’re not my friend, so you need to back off!”

Or,

“Newsflash! I don’t like you! You’re not my friend! So, you don’t get to say that, I don’t give a __ if you’re playing or not!”

And say it like you mean it! Then watch the bully pathetically slink away with their tail tucked between their legs! It has worked for me and it’ll work for you too!