Bullying Can Cause Toxic Shame

Bullies ritually beat their victims down to the point that the poor targets have come to view themselves through the eyes of their bullies. Toxic shame is, perhaps, the worst type of shame a person can have. Because once you begin to view yourself through the eyes of your abusers, that’s when you know you’ve hit rock bottom.

Their contempt, disgust, and aversion toward you have rubbed off on you, and you began to hate yourself. But I want you to understand that this is what your bullies want. They want you to hate yourself. Because the bullies know that if they can work on you and finally get you to hate yourself, they know they’ve won.

Your bullies aren’t stupid. They know that you’ll submit to the abuse because when a person hates themselves, they think they deserve abuse.

When a target of bullying suffers from toxic shame, they accuse themselves of sins of which they aren’t guilty. They apologize incessantly over things that aren’t their fault. Ultimately, targets feel guilty for merely existing!

Toxic shame causes one to lose trust in himself and their decisions and judgments, and become afraid to make them. Ultimately, it makes for a miserable life.

The points mentioned above are why we must guard our self-esteem and confidence. But before we can do that, we must educate ourselves on where bullying comes from, the mindsets of bullies, how to spot them before they strike, ways for targets to minimize the effects of bullying, and the damage bullying can do. Only then will we have the knowledge to empower, protect, and take care of ourselves.

This is what this blog is all about, and it’s my wish that targets and potential targets learn these things to defend themselves. Because if we can reduce the number of victims, we can then reduce bullying.

Humiliation: The Bully’s Strongest Weapon

Humiliation and exile

Humiliation, unlike embarrassment or shame, leave’s a mark on the person who suffers it, and the stigma which surrounds the person can follow them for the rest of their lives. Why? Because people who’ve been publicly humiliated are always thought of and remembered by their humiliation. Think, Harvey Weinstein and the sex scandals which broke a year or so ago.

Although ol’ Harvey’s humiliation is well-deserved, not so for victims of bullying. Innocent victims are often humiliated by their bullies and stuck in an uncomfortable and degrading position while others gather around excitedly to taunt and abuse them.

Humiliation has been used down through the ages. Tarring and feathering was a technique used back in olden times, which involved covering people with hot tar and feathers and parading them through the crowded streets on a horse-drawn cart. Think of Chuck Connors’ character, Jason McCord, in the old western series, “Branded”.

To humiliate someone is to assert power over them by denying and destroying their personal dignity. Through history, humiliation has been the most common and effective means of punishment, abuse, and oppression. It’s not the threat of imprisonment or even death that is a deterrent of crime; it is the dread of humiliation.

It’s a fact! People fear losing face worse than they do a violent death!
Humiliation is also used to maintain a social hierarchy and to emphasize that the group, alumni, organization, or community as a whole supersedes the individual. It is designed to defuse any threat to a particular order or someone’s esteemed position.

A crowd of people surrounded the red man. Accusation of crime, mob law over a person, lynch court. The leader in the center of the crowd, the leader, an example for diving. Angry crowd

In student hierarchies in schools, bullies at the top of the pecking order go to great lengths to protect their often ill-gotten status and uphold their positions while the other kids are forced to submit to different kinds of debasement. And it’s the same in the workplace too.

Anytime a target of bullying defends himself against harassment and abuse; the bullies will often use humiliation to retaliate and subdue the victim by way of jokes, pranks or setting the target up to get in trouble with the staff or a horrific beating by other kids. Bullies at the top will also spread vicious rumors and lies against their object.

Most forms of humiliation involve invading the victim’s privacy and sneakily taking videos of him/her in compromising positions.

Example 1:
A targeted girl is taking a shower in the locker room or undressing in the privacy of her bedroom, and the bullies hide behind a corner or just outside her bedroom window at night and take videos of her with their smartphones. They then spread the videos to other classmates. Or worse, a girl naively sends her boyfriend a nude selfie. They break up. He then shares it on social media and the photo goes viral!

shame humiliate banish

Example 2:
A targeted boy is standing in front of a urinal using the bathroom and a bully hides in the stall next to him, peering through the crack and the lense of the camera on his smartphone, taking videos of his manly areas. He then sends the video to all his buddies, and they laugh and joke about how small, crooked, his package is (or it could be the mole, anything different about it). Remember the suicides of Tyler Clementi and Amanda Todd and the circumstances surrounding each case.

Example 3: A bright worker is set up to fail in the workplace. And when he does, it follows him the rest of his working life.

Humiliation is horrible for anyone. The reason it is so devastating is that it involves negative things with which the victim will always be associated, and there will be no getting away from it! Embarrassment and shame are only temporary. Humiliation, however, can follow a person for the rest of their lives!

So, if you are a victim of bullying, protect yourself. Also, I cannot stress this advice enough! No matter how much your boyfriend/girlfriend may claim he/she loves you! No matter how much the person begs and pleads for you to do it, nor what they threaten you with if you don’t! Never, ever, ever let anyone talk you into sending a nude pic! Ever!

And if anyone ever films you in an indecent position without your knowing it, know that what they did is against the law! Speak out about it and file not only criminal charges but a civil suit for damages!

The more you know, the better you protect yourself!