Bullies are notorious for sowing discord among other people. They just can’t seem to get enough drama. In fact, they thrive on it. Have you ever wondered why?
It’s to keep the spotlight off themselves and their despicable behavior and dirty dealings. Lots of times, they do it as a distraction. If the bullies can stir the pot and keep others at each other’s throats, they get to look like gods and be untouchable.
Also, bullies get cheap thrills from watching others tear each other down. Trust me, bullies love that stuff!
It also makes the bullies look as if they’re above it all. Bullies use appearances to look better than what they were. And the more they can stir it up and make it stink, the better they smell.
Remember this the next time you see bullies trying to instigate hatred between other people. Remember this the next time bullies try to instigate a fight between you and a former friend, or between another classmate or coworker.
Understand that this is done in politics all the time. In fact, it’s what the media is best at. It is called the Divide and Conquer strategy. And it’s used to sow discord among people. And sadly, it works. And in more ways than one.
The next time someone tries to turn you against a friend or tries to turn a friend against you, ask yourself who the division would benefit most. You, your friend or the instigator?
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!
Bullying can be a big weight and a burden with negative influence – Bullying role and impact symbolized by a heavy prisoner’s weight attached to a person, 3d illustration.
“Your reputation is what others think of you; your character is what you truly are. Reputations can be manipulated; character can only be developed and maintained.”
~ Bohdi Sanders ~
All too often, when a person is bullied, his/her reputation takes a big hit due to the many ugly rumors and lies which are spread by their tormentors. Remember that bullying is a campaign.
Just as a politician would go from house to house and business to business, kissing babies and shaking hands with people on the street while giving a spiel of why they’re the best person for the office they’re running for, bullies do the same. They go from person to person spinning their yarn about why no one should associate with the target.
Bullies/Peer Abusers engage everyone, even friends and family of the victim, pulling false accusations out of thin air and making them sound so convincing that others find the lies difficult not to believe.
Tormentors may also use a “tiny grain of truth,” which may be a simple mistake the victim might have made in the past (possibly an error which anybody could have made at any time), then add their spin to it, making it worse and more significant than what it is to make the story even more believable.
Moreover, harassers may use subtle provocations, taunts, and assaults to bait the victim into a reaction, then turn around and use his/her perfectly normal human response as further proof that he/she is a less than desirable person (crazy, stupid, evil, etc.).
Businessman not listening to nonsense.
You must realize that bullies are sociopaths. They have a wealth of superficial charm at their disposal and are masters in the arts of persuasion and influence. People of this nature are very skilled wordsmiths, which is why they are seemingly able to pull a complete fabrication out of their butts and make it smell sweet and sound plausible.
Because of this oozing charm that most seasoned bullies possess, they can encourage bystanders and sometimes authority (teachers, principals, monitors, etc.) to join in the torment.
After being attacked for so long, it’s too easy for victims to become worn down and go the “eye for an eye” route and return the attacks (physically or verbally). Although defending oneself is a perfectly reasonable response to assaults, victims are forced to be cautious in their counter-attacks and very carefully choose their battles because a well-experienced bully can easily use any reactions to validate any rumors lies about them.
Before long, even those who aren’t normally bullies will either shun or brutalize the selected target. Thus, the reputation of the innocent victim is tarnished and will take years to repair.
With all the above combined, bullies can be a weapon of mass destruction to their victims, ripping them to shreds and destroying any credibility they once had. Right or wrong, once credibility is lost, victims are powerless and have almost zero chance of redeeming themselves, and opportunities can be lost even before they present themselves.
If you are a target of bullying, I want to assure you that your reputation DOES NOT equal your character. You are an intelligent, goodhearted person, and you are worthy of being loved regardless of how others may perceive you.
As difficult as it may be to do so, you must never let your reputation define you. Never let bullies dim your shine! Hold on, with everything you have in you, to your remarkable qualities, even if you have to remind yourself that you are a great person every day! Hold on to your faith and your dignity! Hold on to TRUTH!
As we all know, bullies are convincing liars. But what happens when they finally get called out on their lies and evil deeds. Let’s use scenarios to find out.
For example, you’re a target of bullying. You find out that the one friend you thought you could trust has been spreading your deepest secrets and spreading lies behind your back while only pretending to be your best buddy (This can apply to both school and workplace environments). When you confront her, here are her possible reactions.
1. She will deny it or, at the least, try to avoid the subject. How you’ll know she’s dishonest? She will change the subject by talking about a topic irrelevant to the issue while appearing to be busy doing a task. Girls are known for this.
2. She will become irate and go on a tirade. She may even yell and curse at you. She may turn it back on you and accuse you of being paranoid, crazy, a crybaby, etc. But understand that she only looks and sounds desperate when she does this. Know that this is just another dead giveaway, and most bullies get highly defensive when they’re afraid they’re busted.
Understand that most bullies will get loud. They scream, yell, and pound their fists, curse, and swear when they fear exposure. However, don’t let this scare you because the dramatics and theatrics they display only mean that the bullies are desperate!
3. She will lay guilt trips on you.
“Well, if you were my friend, you wouldn’t believe…”
“If you were a true friend to me, you wouldn’t even question my loyalty.”
Don’t buy that garbage. The person is just trying to make you feel guilty or trying to intimidate you into silence. If your so-called friend was the only person you told any secrets to or knows about your life outside of the school, workplace, or organization, it’s a safe bet they’re guilty. And if enough people tell you that she is saying things behind your back, especially people you’ve never met or had any dealings with or people who aren’t a threat to you, she’s guilty!
Example 2: You have a bully on your back, and you’ve finally had enough. You call him/her out on his/her bad behavior and begin speaking out about the abuse she dishes out.
1. She will escalate the harassment to either punish you or intimidate you and shut you down. Understand that the bully is afraid of being exposed, facing accountability, and losing face and will stop at nothing to silence you.
2. He will justify himself with full conviction.
“If you didn’t always make trouble, I wouldn’t have had to hurt you!”
“If you weren’t so stupid, I wouldn’t give you such a hard time!”
“You made me do it because you always do this when you should do that!”
“If you would just do this, I wouldn’t have to do that!”
“You won’t shut up, so you deserve it!”
Again, don’t believe a word of it! Continue to report the harassment. You must protect yourself by speaking just as loud and with just as much conviction as the bully. Make plenty of noise because the wheel that squeaks loudest gets the grease!
3. She will slander you to everyone who will listen to her and try to turn others against you. Again, understand that this bully is afraid of being exposed. So she spreads rumors and lies to discredit you by distracting others from her appalling and embarrassing behavior by making you look like the guilty party.
If the bully can make you look bad and turn everyone else against you, she reaps several benefits.
a. She can intimidate you into silence and avoid any future risks of exposure.
b. She can discredit you, make herself look like the victim, and, therefore, gain attention and sympathy from other people.
c. She can successfully cut you off from any support you might otherwise receive.
d. She gets the green light to bully you again later and with impunity.
e. She gets to move up the social ladder and win more friends and allies.
f. She gets the satisfaction of maintaining power, domination, and control over another person.
As goes the old political quote from World War II, “Accuse the other side of that which you are guilty.”
People pointing a woman hidden behind a computer
Understand that any smear campaign is designed to protect the guilty bullies from being exposed and shift blame onto innocent victims. It’s a tactic used since the beginning of time!
So, don’t shut up no matter what! Continue to call out the bullies’ behavior! And if they react like any of the above, tell them like it is.
“The tirade isn’t going to work anymore” or “Go ahead and lie all you want. Everybody knows this is only retaliation because I had the gall to expose your deplorable behavior! Right,(the bully’s name)? Is that what this is, (Bully’s name)?”
Be sure to say the bully’s name at the end of the above questions because that really shakes a bully when you put his/her name on it!
If the bully says, “No!” Tell her in a fast and short tone, “Oh, yes it is, and you know it, (Bully’s name)!”
Bullies will always have something negative to say. So, instead of thinking, there is something wrong with you, why not look at it from these points of view?
1. When people talk about you, good or bad, at least you know you aren’t boring. And most people would rather be “bad” than boring. Also, you must be doing something right if you’re being mentioned all the time. When they talk about you, they make you relevant.
2. When people talk smack about you, it only means you still consume their minds.
So, who’s really in control here?
education, bullying, social relations and people concept – students gossiping behind classmate back at school
3. You have a lot of power if you can stir resentment or hate in someone without trying or meaning to. It only goes to show that the dummy doing the talking can easily be controlled with little effort.
4. They must really admire you and want to be like you. Otherwise, you wouldn’t even be an afterthought to them.
5. It says more about them than it does about you. It says if that they don’t have lives of their own, they take an interest in yours, which means that your life must be more interesting than theirs!
6. People who consistently talk bad about you really have an obsession with you.
Like the old saying goes, “He who angers you controls you.”
So, why not feel good about it and, even better, take advantage of it by letting them talk. Because some things don’t need a defense, especially if the bullies are known for being gossips and troublemakers.
Just sit back, smile, and be quietly amused by the pettiness. Be your sweet self, and others will see through the gossip too. When I finally wised up and took this approach, I was so surprised at the results! My only regret is that I didn’t realize this earlier.
Attitude is what it’s all about. With the right attitude, you can beat your bullies without ever lifting a finger!
The more you know, the better you will protect yourself!
Mobbing is THE severest form of bullying. Once the bullying reaches the stage of mobbing, this is when the bullying becomes life-threatening! And if you’ve ever been a target of it, you know firsthand how destructive it is.
The reasons that mobbing is so hard to remedy is because not only has it already rendered us so distraught that we’re unable to think clearly, but we aren’t able to name, describe, nor communicate the steps bullies take to destroy us.
A successful smear campaign is started by a bully or bullies who are well-practiced in the arts of persuasion and influence and can last for years.
Here’s something I want you to realize. A smear campaign is nowhere near as tricky as it looks. You’d be amazed at just how simple it is to smear someone. It’s so easy that it shouldn’t be so effective, but it is!
To quote the old Geico commercial, it’s “so easy; a caveman can do it.”
Here’s a chronological, step-by-step recap of how bullies do it and succeed at it:
1. The bullies have a dislike for a specific individual who refuses to conform to their standard of who she should be.
Now all this time, the bullies have been able to influence everyone else and get them to submit to their will and every whim. Then, low and behold, along comes the target (we’ll call her “Cindy”) who’s stubborn and either unable to or won’t submit to the bullies’ control and allow them to change her personality into what they think it should be.
And Cindy may not realize the bullies’ motives and that just by being herself and doing her thing, she’s enraging the bullies. So, she goes on about her business, makes plans for her future, makes achievement after achievement, and maybe she gets loads of positive attention and praise from others because she’s so successful and well-liked.
2. Next, the bullies begin to smear Cindy. To implement their smear campaign, they watch Cindy, studying her behavior carefully until they’re able to anticipate her reactions.
3. The bullies then train their audience (i.e., the other classmates or coworkers to expect a specific type of behavior out of Cindy. They point out these behaviors when they occur. The bullies then associate Cindy’s completely innocent behavior with something bad or evil.
For example, let’s say that Cindy is sweet, playful, and likes to engage in a little banter. The bullies watch as Cindy banters with people in the school or workplace. She playfully calls someone a “dummy” or a “goofball,” but others know that it’s all for harmless jokes and think it’s funny because Cindy is a genuinely kind person.
4. So, the bullies begin making offhand comments. They remark that Cindy’s kindness is only an attempt to kiss ass because she wants something from people and that she thinks the people around her really are dummies, but only disguises it under a veil of fun jokes and playfulness.
The bullies also make statements that Cindy thinks she’s cute and that Cindy thinks she’s smarter than everyone else. Then repeat, repeat, repeat!
To quote a propaganda minister to a well-known dictator in history, “Tell a lie once, and it remains a lie. Tell a lie a thousand times, and it becomes the truth.”
5. The next time others see Cindy being kind to and playfully bantering with someone, she doesn’t look so cute, and the banter isn’t so funny anymore. Now people see a side of Cindy they can’t believe they never noticed before.
6. Now feeling smug with gratification, the bullies look at themselves, then at Cindy with smirks on their crooked faces and try the same thing all over again.
7. And before you know it, everyone wonders what they ever saw in Cindy, to begin with, and begins to have negative feelings toward the poor girl.
8. Cindy begins to pick up on the negative vibes around her and withdraws a little. She doesn’t speak to people as much as she did and doesn’t understand what she did or said to bring it all about. The bullies notice that Cindy is more distant than usual, and they point this out to everyone.
“Hey, look! Do you see that? Now, what did we tell you? Cindy really does think we’re all dummies! She really does think she’s smarter than the rest of us!”
“And her ass-kissing (Cindy’s sweet disposition) didn’t work, so now she’s too good to speak to anyone!”
9. Cindy’s withdrawal only inflames everyone’s feelings of dislike and resentment. Although her becoming distant is only out of self-protection, others mistake it for smugness and arrogance.
10. And it only snowballs from there, getting worse and worse over time. Understand that people are human, and they make mistakes. They misjudge innocent others all the time.
And when bullies condition the whole of a group, school, organization, workplace, or community to see any quality in a particular person as a bad thing, a smear campaign is most effective. So everyone, even those who aren’t bullies and are otherwise kind and compassionate, can become extremely cold and cruel to a target. And everyone repeats the same cruelty, over and over again.
Understand that smear campaigns are just too effective because they can quickly become bullying, then escalate to mobbing, which is the most severe kind of bullying. And once it increases to mobbing, it’s unstoppable, and the only way you can take your life back is to leave that toxic, poisonous environment altogether.
If there’s one thing small towns are known for, it’s gossip. If you find yourself unfortunate enough to be a victim of bullies in a small town, gossip about your (perceived) transgressions has reached from city limits to city limits…at light speed.
However, take it from someone who has been there. Bullies get talked about too, only people never talk openly about them. Because the talkers fear becoming the bullies’ next targets, the talk is always in secret.
Believe me, you aren’t the only one being victimized. There are others. But because the others more than likely won’t admit to being bullied and because bullies will never tell you if there are others, you never hear about it and, therefore, mistakenly think that you are the only one they pick on.
If you are a victim of bullies, it would be in your best interest to find out who your bullies’ enemies are and align yourself with them. It’s what I did, and boy, did I find out some really juicy tidbits about their lives…most of which is rather embarrassing information!
I didn’t have to ask. I would only sit or stand quietly, observe, and listen! Bullies may think they’re stars, but scratch the surface, and you’ll discover that they don’t shine so brightly after all.
One of my bullies is now a nurse, and I am good friends with several nurses who’ve had the displeasure of working with her. In their words, “she is as incompetent as they come.”. Also, she has a big family secret, and if you’ve lived in the same town that she lives in long enough, you know what that secret is.
I’ll stop here to protect privacy. For years, this woman has bounced from one job to another, either getting fired or quitting when things didn’t go her way. She has also been through five, maybe six marriages.
Another bully dropped out of high school and ended up working as a waitress. She now owns her own restaurant but barely breaks even. Several others are incarcerated or have been, with one being convicted of murder and another convicted of armed robbery, running guns, and possession of illegal substances.
The bullies I battled in school are only ordinary people. Yet, even today, most of them continue trying like mad to keep up with the Jones’s, making everyone think they have beaten the rat race and failing miserably. Most have never left the small town and still put on the facade of power and a perfect life. It’s hilarious when you really think about it.
Here’s some advice:
1. Befriend your bullies’ enemies. Befriend the other outcasts in your school, workplace, or community. Because I guarantee you that you aren’t the only one they’ve steamrolled. Bullies leave a lot of shattered lives in their wake and make lots of enemies. And strength always comes in numbers.
2. Listen out! You will hear many stories about your bullies from other outcasts and other people who cannot stand them. You will be surprised at what you find out. It may be that your bullies get laughed at too. People are only careful who they do it around and are quieter about it. They must be, or the bullies will target them too.
Bullies aren’t as important or invincible as they put on. It’s only an act! People such as these must work hard to maintain the facades they put on, and the reason they give victims a difficult time is that victims don’t have to work that hard. They simply choose to be themselves.
How do I know this? Because I ingratiated myself into the good graces of the enemies of my bullies and would get an ear-full every time we got together.
Any information you get about your bullies is valuable to you. Always! Because it can then be used as leverage should the bullies come for you.
Make no mistake. Bullies have enemies…LOTS of them! However, they will never in a million years tell you about it. They don’t want you to believe that others disrespect them behind their backs because it would shatter the image of invincibility they’ve set for themselves.
Instead, they want you to believe that everyone loves them and thinks they are the best things since the wheel’s invention. And they want you to believe it because they want you to feel bad about yourself.
Put another way, if bullies can make you think that everyone loves them, then you’re more likely to believe the lie they drum into your head every day. That you’re just plain garbage. Because a bully’s popularity and greatness (perceived or not) only serves to re-enforce any dislike the target has for themselves after they’ve been bullied for so long.
Please don’t let this happen to you. Befriend your bullies’ enemies. Open your eyes not only to your great value and worth but also to the facades your bullies hide behind and the acts they put on. I guarantee that your self-esteem will skyrocket.
Social Aggression: When Bullies Spread Lies and Rumors About You
The possible underlying messages are:
“I hate you, and I want everyone else to hate you too!”
“I’m jealous of your relationships!”
“I don’t want you to have friends! I don’t want you to be popular with others! I don’t want you to have support or protection because I plan to bully you again later! Any success you have in relationships will only highlight my lack of social graces or my own dysfunctional relationships! So, I’m going to destroy your friendships to punish you and make myself feel and look better than you! I’m going to trash your reputation so I can shine, and so people will pay more attention to your flaws than they will mine!”
Chess board and text “Strategic plan” Business planning concept
“I’m scared you’ll have more friends than me.”
“I’m scared you’ll have allies who will protect you from me and make me look weak.”
“I’m going to use you as a distraction from my own shortcomings. If people are too busy focusing on your flaws, they’re less likely to see mine.”
When Bullies Beat You up
The possible messages are:
“You challenged my authority over you and made me look like a punk! So, I’m going to show you who’s boss and ensure you never defy my power again!”
“I feel weak and powerless! So, I’m going to use my physical strength to hurt you, embarrass you and make you look weaker so I can feel and look strong to others!”
When the Bully Justifies Themselves to You or Others, or When They Blame You for Their Bad Behavior
The possible messages are:
“I’m so scared that you’ll see right through me! So, I’m going to make you feel like everything is your fault and doubt your sanity! That way, you’ll be least likely to call attention to my terrible actions and make me look bad or get me in trouble with authority!”
“I’m so afraid you’ll expose my terrible deeds to others and damage the excellent reputation that I’ve falsely kept up for so long! So, I’ve got to make up any excuse that sounds plausible to keep my evils hidden and avoid facing accountability!
“I’m scared that I’ll be found out and punished! So, I’m blaming you so that everyone will think you’re at fault and believe you are the bully! By accusing you, I can avoid responsibility, then get the green light to keep harassing you! Then, I can keep getting the psychological and emotional benefits I’ve been getting at your expense!”
So, you see? The bully’s treatment of you is about them! Not you! Learn to see through the bullies’ facades, and I guarantee that their attacks will have a much lesser effect on you.
The most insidious thing about being a victim of bullying is the loss of opportunities to meet new people and the inability to move on with new friends. When bullies and their drones have unjustly slandered or libeled you, even total strangers will no doubt hear of you, and chances are, they will automatically have their minds made up about you before they get a chance to meet you. Sadly, this is one feature of bullying that crosses very few people’s minds.
What’s even scarier is that you are left completely defenseless against any attack these strangers may bring because you haven’t the slightest idea who they are. How do you know who to watch out for? How do you know who to avoid? It’s impossible to protect yourself from invisible enemies.
It is a situation in which you are walking blind, which is very dangerous! You cannot see the enemy. Someone could walk right up to you on the street, in broad daylight, with a weapon hidden on them and you would never know of their intent to hurt or kill you until it was too late.
Remember. We lost the Vietnam War because we didn’t know who the enemy was. We didn’t know exactly who was or wasn’t on our side!
It’s the same when you are a victim of bullying, especially if you live in a rural area where everyone knows everyone. Once your tarnished reputation reaches far and wide, there will be times when you won’t know who is coming for you and it will be as if you are fighting ghosts.
Sadly, in these cases, the bullying has for so long gone on that your reputation in the community has become ironclad, and there isn’t much you can do to change it. Therefore, the best you can do to better your life is to move away and get a fresh start in a new town. It may be the only way you will find happiness and stability.