Responding to Non-Verbal Bullying

If someone wants to harm you, they don’t have to come out and tell you. Just the same, if they want you gone, they needn’t tell you to “get the hell out.”

All they must do is glare at you and hope they can either intimidate you into leaving, or make you think you’re about to get hurt. In a case like this, the tension is so thick you can cut it with a knife. Worse even, others might feel the animosity between you and personal history may ruin an otherwise good day.

So, you’re a target and you’re at a party or get-together, and suddenly, you see your bully across the room. Your eyes lock and she sends you a threatening glare. She is giving you the message that she intends to make your day a really bad one. You have choices. Either you can turn tail and run, or you can spend the rest of the day avoiding the bully.

Again, how you handle it is your choice.

But wait! Here’s another choice- a better choice! You can smile at the bully, nod your head, then turn your back to her. If you want to be a smart alick, add a wave.

Therefore, you will non-verbally send your own message back to your bully, one that is very clear. You signal that she doesn’t scare you and that you have no intentions of running. Instead, you intend to stay and enjoy yourself with the other people at the shindig. And you will do this whether the bully likes it or not.

Ouch! This is not the response your bully expected!

In that, you’ve responded to the bully without being aggressive or capitulating to their silent demands that you either cower or leave.

Understand that bullies use nonverbal means to not only send you a cruel message, but also to make their bullying less obvious to anyone else but you. Therefore, it’s better not to respond to nonverbal bullying with words. Instead, reflect your own nonverbals back to the bully that signal that you aren’t afraid of her.

Again, nonverbal bullying requires a response that is also nonverbal. And your response should say that you will not cower or run. Instead, you will stick around, ignore the bully, and do your thing.

With knowledge comes empowerment!

Body Language Speaks Louder Than Words

Body Language Speaks Louder Than Words

Words have power, yes. But without the body language that goes with them, they’re only static- empty noise. The best way to ward off bullies is to influence them by transmitting the most appropriate and compelling nonverbal cues.

Around 80% of communication is nonverbal, we’ve often heard, and it’s the truth! Therefore, it’s not only necessary, but wise to pay closer attention to others in terms of body language. In other words, we must pay closer attention to pantomimes, which are their facial expressions, gestures, demeanor, and mannerisms.

Likewise, we should also pay close attention to the way we come off to people through our own nonverbals.

We Often Miss the Subtler Body Language

In other words, we not only need to learn to better read other’s body language but also to better monitor our own physical signals, so we don’t give others the wrong impressions. However, it’s not as easy as it looks. Many forms of body language are so subtle that we can miss them if we’re not careful.

Therefore, we must find ways to learn these micro-signals and what they mean. And once we do, we will gain mastery over our social situations.

If you’re stuck in an environment that’s peppered with bullies, the ability to read even the most subtle cues is a must. Bullies are masters at hiding their imperfections, their motives, and their intentions. Therefore, you must pick up on what they try to conceal, and you can only do it by correctly observing their most subtle cues and pantomimes.

Every movement, even the tiniest, from eye movements to gestures, holds a wealth of information. Moreover, every body position and stance also hold info. Everything people do or don’t do conveys a message. We are forever communicating.

Every Tiny Movement Conveys a Message

Therefore, you must be aware of it. And if you aren’t good at reading these silent subtleties, you must learn how. But here’s good news! The areas of intelligence we weren’t born with are those we can learn.

Even those who have high-functioning autism can study and learn these things to better improve their social lives. I’ve seen a few people on the spectrum do this and it helped them to change their situations and live better lives. As a result, they moved on to better relationships with family and to make good friends. They also went on to get married and have families of their own.

Therefore, we must learn the subtext of not only words, but also nonverbal signals. Subtext can be read in our choices of clothing to wear and in the way we arrange our furniture. Moreover, it can be read in the rise and fall of our voices when we speak. Each of us is a living, breathing open book to those who are expert people-readers.

The Importance of Subtext

Again, it’s imperative that you learn to read what people are thinking and feeling more accurately. This includes learning to pick on up their hidden motivations and intentions. Once you do, you will better be able to distinguish between who’s for real and who’s fake.

More importantly, this new knowledge will protect you from sneaky and nefarious people. It will also open you up to limitless opportunities! Also, in learning to transmit the right nonverbal signals, you will repel bullies, abusers, users, and other unsavory types of people. You will be able to bring down social barriers, build rapport with others, and build connections. Ultimately, it will help you become more fruitful in life and have confidence you never thought you’d have!

With knowledge comes empowerment!

When Bullies Give You “The Stink Eye”

It’s the look bullies give you every time you’re in their line of sight- that stare, which makes the hairs stand on the back of your neck! You know the one- that creepy, bone-chilling look bullies give you that makes you stop whatever you are doing or clam up if you’re talking when they do it? Yeah. That one!

They look at you so intensely, making you feel as if you’re under a microscope! What’s even scarier is that the person doing the staring is eerily calm, so still, and doesn’t move a muscle, nor even blink! Those angry, icy-cold eyes relentlessly bore into you like a blow poke, looking as if they could jump out at you and attack you at any moment! It reminds you of a wolf standing ever so still and eyeing an antelope, anticipating it’s next meal! Weird, no?

It happened to me on many occasions in middle and high school. I didn’t know what it was, nor why, and I couldn’t find the words to describe nor explain it. I only knew how it made me feel and I felt as if I was being dissected. To say that it was unnerving would be an understatement! It was downright creepy!

It felt as if my school bullies were studying me, searching for something, scanning the very depths of my soul while staying ever so calm, ever so still, and not saying a word. Not the slightest micro-twitch whatsoever while they were doing it! Ewww! It made me want to run and get as far away from them as I possibly could.

I’m not saying that all staring is necessarily bad because if a person likes you and has feelings for you, they may also stare, with their pupils dilating and crinkles forming around the eyes every time they look at you.

However, the look bullies give you is much different. Their pupils only constrict, becoming tiny black holes in the irises of their eyes, and their stare is a cold, prolonged “I’m going to kill you” look which stops you cold! That is the best way I can describe it.

Now that I’m older and have done years of reading and study, I want to tell you that if ever you notice anyone looking at you this way, you must either return and mirror the glare to intimidate them into taking their eyes off you, or get clear of that person.

Understand that they are studying you, trying to ferret out any weaknesses they can exploit and ways they can attack you with maximum effect! They also display that look to intimidate and dominate you, and if they succeed in doing so, it gives them a sense of power! Realize that bullies are sociopaths and the weird and psychotic looks they give you are covert and serves to shield them from detection and accountability!

Also, know that covert/indirect bullies are cowards at heart, and most of the time, all it takes is you returning the stare to make these people go away.

With knowledge comes empowerment!

Space Invaders: 2 Ways Bullies Invade Your Personal Space

Bullies are notorious for violating others’ personal space. They make it a point to get too close. I want you to understand that bullies do this deliberately to intimidate and challenge targets.

If you are a target of bullying, bullies will get in your face or stand too close behind you, sometimes so close their bodies are touching yours. Bullies purposefully crowd you to either intimidate you, challenge you or provoke you into a reaction. These violations are too blatant!

Different zone distances are practiced based on the relationship we have with the people in the room around us. They are as follows:

Intimate Zone – (6-18 inches) This distance between people is reserved for lovers, family, close friends, and pets. However, unwelcome bullies will move into your intimate zone when they’re feeling hostile toward you and are about to attack.

Girl sitting on the ground and drawing personal space. Selective focus

Anytime someone we don’t know, don’t trust or don’t like moves into this area, they are too close, and our minds and bodies automatically go into fight, flight, or freeze mode. Some bullies may also invade the target’s intimate area only to toy with them and get them to react, then step back and laugh at the reaction. Do not ignore it! Call the bully out and let them know that they are in your personal space and that what they’re doing isn’t acceptable.

Personal Zone – (18-48 inches) We stand this far apart at parties and social gatherings. If bullies stand in the personal zone, they are still too close. Don’t be afraid to tell them in no uncertain terms to back the hell up!

Social Zone – (4-12 feet) These distances, we stand from strangers, clerks, and delivery people. Bullies will easily be able to get away with standing at these distances from their victims, so you might not want to react if you don’t want to look paranoid or unstable. But still, keep a close eye on your bully just in case they try to move closer!

Public Zone – (Over 12 feet) We stand at these distances when speaking publicly in front of an audience. Bullies can freely stand at these distances from their victims and not look conspicuous or threatening.

too close personal space bullied victim

(Zone distances- “The Definitive Book of Body Language,” Allan and Barbara Pease – pp. 194-195; 2004)

1.Sitting in your chair, leaning on your car, etc. – Any chair we sit in or any object we lean on or touch, we nonverbally lay claim to. Just as a dog will mark his territory by peeing on the spot he claims as his, people mark theirs by sitting, leaning, or touching the place or object they claim as theirs.

Other ways bullies invade their victim’s territory are leaning in the doorway of their office, dorm room, or house. Bullies may also prop their feet on the target’s desk or table or even walk into the victim’s home without knocking or being invited inside!

bullies dog peeing on tree marking territory

Male poodle dog pee on tree trunk to mark his territory

However, here are some less-obvious ways of space violations:

2. Invasion of your privacy – Bullies will very carefully observe you. They will eavesdrop on your conversations and listen for intimate details so they can take the private info and spread it as juicy gossip and make you look bad. They may also read your diary to find out your deepest, darkest secrets so they can spread it around and damage your reputation. They will even follow you to see where you go and who you associate with.

If you are a victim of bullying, understand that bullies do this on purpose. They invade your territory to intimidate, challenge, or dominate you.

You must protect not only your physical and mental health from bullies but also your personal space and territory. Never be afraid to call the bully out if they violate either one!

The more you know, the better you can protect yourself against these personal space invaders.

The Silent Treatment and How You Should Handle It

Nope refuse

It’s not what you say; it’s what you don’t say. When bullies wish to harm someone, the silent treatment can the most effective way of doing so. It is a cruel and sneaky way of control.

Remember that bullies are cowards, and they will find the most effective and least noticeable ways to dig at you
.
Here are the reasons bullies use this tactic:

1. It’s least noticeable by others. It leaves no bruises, cuts or scratches, so there’s no physical evidence. This type of bullying is also hard to prove because it’s not easily seen. Therefore, it isn’t wise to report this type of bullying. Because people may see the target as overly sensitive, paranoid, or mentally unbalanced.

ignore

2. It’s the most effective. Understand that the silent treatment is emotional manipulation. So, you must see it as just that. When you’re able to see it for what it is, the least likely you are to be affected by it. Bullies know that it’s the most covert way to assert control over their targets and make them doubt themselves.

3. For control, dominance, and intimidation– Again, bullies use this dirty trick to control how you feel and to dominate you. People also use the silent treatment to intimidate.

4. To manipulate you into doing what they want you to do– Everyone has a desire for approval. However, if being accepted means they force you to do something you don’t want to do, then you’re more than likely spinning your wheels for nothing. Anyone who doesn’t respect your boundaries and wishes will never accept you anyway because a person who truly approves of you would respect your rights and freedom to choose.

toxic

5. To make you feel guilty– Again. Because you didn’t do or give the bullies what they want, they intend to make you feel as if you did something wrong. You didn’t!

You must realize that if you let it get to you, it will only encourage the bullies to keep doing it anytime you don’t cave in and do their bidding or give them what they want.

So, how can you respond to this type of bullying?

Here’s how:

1. See the silent treatment for what it is: emotional manipulation When you finally recognize it as it is, the least you’ll be bothered by it.

2. Mirror the bullies by returning the silent treatment. When you give it right back to them, you’re not allowing them to control and intimidate you. You’re preserving some sense of power over your life by not allowing the bullies to phase you.

bye goodbye

3. Cut those childish buffoons out of your life. Do it either entirely or have as little to do with them as humanly possible. You don’t need to be around these confidence thieves. Realize that you don’t have to put up with that.

4. Stay calm. Don’t get emotional. Exhibit self-control and don’t get sucked into the bullies’ mind games.

5. Call them out. Tell them, “Look. What you’re doing is called the silent treatment, and that’s not okay. You can’t possibly keep up this childish behavior forever, and it’s not going to work.

6. Enjoy the peace and quiet. There’s a bright side to this. At least the bullies aren’t in your face for the time being. You get a reprieve from hearing them bitch and pitch their hissy fits! Woohoo! Who doesn’t love that!

Word of warning though. Make sure you don’t give your bullies clues that you’re enjoying the peace a little too much. Otherwise, they’ll be back on your tail before you can say, “oops.”

Do all the above, and the bullies might leave you alone and move on to an easier target.

You’ll feel much better about yourself knowing you stood up to them and asserted your rights not to be manipulated.

You Don’t Need to Explain Yourself to a Bully

Why? Because bullies don’t care what your reasons are. The only reason they blame you for something and try to bait you into explaining yourself is the psychological payoff they get from it. The psychological payoffs, being satisfaction, gratification, and a massive rush of power.

While you’re standing there wasting your breath, trying to convince the bully that you aren’t guilty of whatever it is that they’re accusing you or attacking you for, the bullies are mentally smirking and patting themselves (and each other) on the backs over how easily they’ve got you to react, how easily they can scare you and make you nervous, and get you all up in arms. Some things don’t need an explanation.

Here are more reasons why you shouldn’t explain yourself to a bully:

1. No matter what you say, how calm you are when you say it, how convincing you may sound, or how much evidence you may have to support you, bullies will never believe you anyway.

2. Understand that bullies only believe whatever feels right, useful, and convenient for them.

3. They aren’t interested in evidence or facts. Any facts may only deter them for the time being, but believe me when I tell you. Your bullies will only get angrier at you for having the gall to prove them wrong. Then, they’ll regroup, reorganize, then come back at you with a whole new accusation and demand yet another explanation later.

Understand that anytime bullies accuse you of wrongdoing that you neither committed nor know anything about, deep inside, they already know you’re innocent.

They are fully aware that you had nothing to do with the transgression. Realize that it’s only a trap to get you to react and give them that rush of power that you’ve been giving them all along and that they crave and can’t seem to get enough of.

Even when you produce evidence to prove your point, you must work to gather that evidence.

Just knowing they have you jumping through hoops to prove yourself is enough to give them the thrills they’re looking for.

So, instead of letting them bait you into a defense, you should be asking yourself,

1. “Who are these morons?

2. “Who are they that I should have to explain anything?”

3. “Since when do I have to explain anything to these jackholes? They don’t pay my bills!”

Understand that you don’t owe these people a damn thing!

I understand that bullies can be intimidating and threatening. It’s hard to resist an explanation when you’re scared to death and not began rattling off an excuse in nervousness, hoping that a reasonable explanation will make the harassment go away. But trust me, it won’t!

It certainly didn’t make things better for me. If anything, it only got worse because my reaction only made me look like an easy target.

But once I realized what they were doing, I began to get bored with them and walk away because their games no longer affected me. The same will be for you too, and you’ll feel much better. And the icing on the cake will be that you’ll take the wind out of the bullies’ sails, and they’ll finally leave you alone.

With knowledge comes empowerment.

Beady Eyes of a Bully

The beady eyes of a bully watch you closely
Piercing through your body and soul
As She stalks and follows you morosely
Seeking sneaky ways to keep you from your goals

She desires to scare you
She’ll snare you
And stare you down
She feeds on your fears
Laughs at your tears
She’s hungry for power
Because inside she cowers

Bullies are weak
It’s why they seek
Only the meek
To beat down and to break
The beady eyes of a bully
Your name, she will sully

Beware the eyes of a bully

Deep Inside the Bully’s Psyche (The “I” in Bullying)

Anytime you are the object of a bully’s hostility, it really isn’t about you. It’s about them. Here are things bullies tell their targets and the real meaning behind it.

“You’re fat! You’re ugly! You’re weird, stupid,” etc.

What is the meaning behind it? It depends on the circumstances. If the target is overweight, the bully is only pointing it out to make themselves feel better. What the bully is really saying is,

“I have flaws that I’m afraid are worse and more noticeable than yours. So, I’m going to point out your flaws to distract everyone’s attention from my own.”

“You Snitched on me! Now You’re Going to Pay!”

Here’s what the bully is actually saying.

“You exposed me and got me into trouble! You made me look like the bully that I really am! You outted my true personality and humiliated me! So, I’m going to get back at you for it!”

“You think you’re so smart, cute, cool, pretty,” etc.

Here’s the meaning behind it.

“Your good qualities overshadow mine! I’m living in your shadow! Your talents and natural gifts are better than mine, and you’re getting more attention than I am! You make me feel inferior to you! So I’m going to put you in your place by crushing your self-worth! I’m going to convince you that you’re not that important and make you too afraid to show your good qualities! Then I can shine!”

“You make me want to…”

Anytime a bully mistreats you and says that you make them do it, they’re only telling you,

“ I’m afraid of being unmasked and being held responsible for my horrid behavior, so I’ve got to blame you so I can be let off the hook and leave you holding the bag! If I can make you look like the bully, I can keep on screwing with you anytime I want in the future because no one will believe you if you snitch on me again!”

“Nobody Likes You!”

What the bully is really saying:

“Nobody likes me either. They only pretend to. So I’m going to make you think Nobody wants you to crush your confidence! Then hopefully, you’ll withdraw from people and self-sabotage your own relationships!”

“I don’t like you!” or “I hate you!”

Here’s what the bully is really saying:

“You make me feel inferior! You intimidate me! You outshine me in some way! You have what I want and can never have! So, I’m going to hoodwink you into believing you did something to cause me to dislike or hate you and, hopefully, ruin your self-esteem!”

workplace bullying bully draws back to hit physical

Bullies have big egos. It always goes back to them. Bullies are all about “Me,” “Myself,” and “I.”

Understand that anytime a bully says these things to you without being provoked? The most likely reason is jealousy, and that they see you as a threat to their popularity.

Always remember that if this happens and leaves you bewildered, wondering what you did to deserve it!

Bewilderment is always your first clue!

Why Bullies Give the Silent Treatment and How You Should Handle It

Nope refuse

It’s not what you say; it’s what you don’t say. When bullies wish to harm someone, the silent treatment can the most effective way of doing so. It is a cruel and sneaky way of control.

Remember that bullies are cowards, and they will find the most effective and least noticeable ways to dig at you
.
Here are the reasons bullies use this tactic:

1. It’s least noticeable by others. It leaves no bruises, cuts or scratches, so there’s no physical evidence. This type of bullying is also hard to prove because it’s not easily seen. Therefore, it isn’t wise to report this type of bullying. Because people may see the target as overly sensitive, paranoid, or mentally unbalanced.

ignore

2. It’s the most effective. Understand that the silent treatment is emotional manipulation. So, you must see it as just that. When you’re able to see it for what it is, the least likely you are to be affected by it. Bullies know that it’s the most covert way to assert control over their targets and make them doubt themselves.

3. For control, dominance, and intimidation– Again, bullies use this dirty trick to control how you feel and to dominate you. People also use the silent treatment to intimidate.

4. To manipulate you into doing what they want you to do– Everyone has a desire for approval. However, if being accepted means they force you to do something you don’t want to do, then you’re more than likely spinning your wheels for nothing. Anyone who doesn’t respect your boundaries and wishes will never accept you anyway because a person who truly approves of you would respect your rights and freedom to choose.

toxic

5. To make you feel guilty– Again. Because you didn’t do or give the bullies what they want, they intend to make you feel as if you did something wrong. You didn’t!

You must realize that if you let it get to you, it will only encourage the bullies to keep doing it anytime you don’t cave in and do their bidding or give them what they want.

So, how can you respond to this type of bullying?

Here’s how:

1. See the silent treatment for what it is: emotional manipulation When you finally recognize it as it is, the least you’ll be bothered by it.

2. Mirror the bullies by returning the silent treatment. When you give it right back to them, you’re not allowing them to control and intimidate you. You’re preserving some sense of power over your life by not allowing the bullies to phase you.

bye goodbye

3. Cut those childish buffoons out of your life. Do it either entirely or have as little to do with them as humanly possible. You don’t need to be around these confidence thieves. Realize that you don’t have to put up with that.

4. Stay calm. Don’t get emotional. Exhibit self-control and don’t get sucked into the bullies’ mind games.

5. Call them out. Tell them, “Look. What you’re doing is called the silent treatment, and that’s not okay. You can’t possibly keep up this childish behavior forever, and it’s not going to work.”

Do the above, and the bullies will either leave you alone, or they just might respect you a little better.

Either way, you’ll feel much better about yourself knowing you stood up to them and asserted your rights not to be manipulated.