Dealing with Bullying Differently Today Than in The Past

Bullies have been around since the beginning of time and bullying is a dark part of human nature. However, that doesn’t mean that we should put up with it.

I’ve dealt with bullies at different times my whole life and it has led me to evaluate the way I dealt with bullying in the past. It has also led to a passion for learning more about bullying and what makes bullies tick.

Here’s what I’ve learned.

Bullies are highly insecure, egotistical, know-it-all creeps with god complexes, and they feel they must always be the center of attention. Therefore, they feel entitled to waste your precious time by telling you how they think you should behave, what clothes, accessories, and hairstyles they think you should wear, trying to teach you things that you already know and most likely learned when you were five, and being passive-aggressive (or overtly aggressive). They do this to impress others by making you look inferior.

This is how bullies get the attention they crave.

And the best way to deal with a bully is to refuse them the attention they want. And when we deny bullies attention, we don’t value their opinions of us or anything that comes out of their mouths. We deny them that supply- that ego trip they seek, and in that, we cease to be victims. We might still be targets, but never victims.

In the past, I’ve had bullies force me to justify myself over the most harmless and trivial things, compel me to do things I never wanted to do, and attack me with stealthy put-downs disguised as “teachable moments” and “friendly advice.”

Back then, I over-apologized for just being me, or for things I had nothing to do with. I apologized for other people’s bad behavior, which were things I had absolutely no control over. I bought into their lies and gaslighting and apologized any time a bully let me know that my interpretation of what they would say to me wasn’t meant the way it came across and that they’d never say such terrible things to another person. Then I’d feel bad for taking them the wrong way. All the while, they’d continue and even escalate the abuse.

I’d let bullies push me into losing my temper and returning fire with the same verbal attacks they launched against me. I would then feel terrible when the bullies would whine, cry, and moan about how much I’d hurt their little feelings and how I had “overreacted.”

It’s funny how bullies can always dish it out but can never take it when the crap gets kicked back their way.

What I didn’t realize was that by my reactions, I was giving these bullies the attention they were looking for. I was giving them the green light to push my buttons, to question my mental stability and jerk me around. I was making myself their play-toy. I was allowing them to tear me down in order to build up their own fragile egos.

It was all a load of tripe, and I fell for it- hook, line, and sinker.

But no more. Since then, I’ve learned to spot a bully by observing the same types of behavior. I’ve also learned not to play their games. A person may bully me once. But trust me, they’ll only do it one time because I know bullying and abuse when I see it. And I also know what it looks like in the early stages.

I make it a point to treat others how I’d like to be treated and to listen to other people’s opinions and takes on things. However, bullies and abusers are the exceptions here. And when I see the signs and realize that someone is starting to bully me, they automatically lose a target. And when I’m done with a person, I’m done and there’s no looking back. I won’t continue to stroke a bully’s ego.

If the person is someone in a high position, I’ll withdraw my support. If the person is a coworker, I’ll find another job or I’ll expose them by simply giving them plenty of rope,  then sit back and bide my time until the person hangs themselves and gets fired. If the person is someone related, any future contact will be on my terms.

And when I go no-contact, I won’t bother to explain to the person why I’m done with them because I owe them no explanations. Neither will I smack them across the head and let them know when they are about to cross the line. If they don’t have the self-awareness to realize that their evil actions and behavior are the problems, that’s on them and they’re the one who must deal with the consequences.

And no. I won’t have as much as a shred of guilt over it because self-care is nothing to feel guilty over. I value my sanity and peace of mind more than I ever will others’ opinions of me. For me, the knowledge gained from the lessons I had to learn gives me self-acceptance, self-love, confidence, and personal power.

How I Dealt with Bullying in the Past v/s How I Deal with It Today

Bullies have been around since the beginning of time and bullying is a dark part of human nature. However, that doesn’t mean that we should put up with it.

I’ve dealt with bullies at different times my whole life and it has led me to evaluate the way I dealt with bullying in the past. It has also led to a passion for learning more about bullying and what makes bullies tick.

Here’s what I’ve learned.

Bullies are highly insecure, egotistical, know-it-all creeps with god complexes, and they feel they must always be the center of attention. Therefore, they feel entitled to waste your precious time by telling you how they think you should behave, what clothes, accessories, and hairstyles they think you should wear, trying to teach you things that you already know and most likely learned when you were five, and being passive-aggressive (or overtly aggressive). They do this to impress others by making you look inferior.

This is how bullies get the attention they crave.

And the best way to deal with a bully is to refuse them the attention they want. And when we deny bullies attention, we don’t value their opinions of us or anything that comes out of their mouths. We deny them that supply- that ego trip they seek, and in that, we cease to be victims. We might still be targets, but never victims.

In the past, I’ve had bullies force me to justify myself over the most harmless and trivial things, compel me to do things I never wanted to do, and attack me with stealthy put-downs disguised as “teachable moments” and “friendly advice.”

Back then, I over-apologized for just being me, or for things I had nothing to do with. I apologized for other people’s bad behavior, which were things I had absolutely no control over. I bought into their lies and gaslighting and apologized any time a bully let me know that my interpretation of what they would say to me wasn’t meant the way it came across and that they’d never say such terrible things to another person. Then I’d feel bad for taking them the wrong way. All the while, they’d continue and even escalate the abuse.

I’d let bullies push me into losing my temper and returning fire with the same verbal attacks they launched against me. I would then feel terrible when the bullies would whine, cry, and moan about how much I’d hurt their little feelings and how I had “overreacted.”

It’s funny how bullies can always dish it out but can never take it when the crap gets kicked back their way.

What I didn’t realize was that by my reactions, I was giving these bullies the attention they were looking for. I was giving them the green light to push my buttons, to question my mental stability and jerk me around. I was making myself their play-toy. I was allowing them to tear me down in order to build up their own fragile egos.

It was all a load of tripe, and I fell for it- hook, line, and sinker.

But no more. Since then, I’ve learned to spot a bully by observing the same types of behavior. I’ve also learned not to play their games. A person may bully me once. But trust me, they’ll only do it one time because I know bullying and abuse when I see it. And I also know what it looks like in the early stages.

I make it a point to treat others how I’d like to be treated and to listen to other people’s opinions and takes on things. However, bullies and abusers are the exceptions here. And when I see the signs and realize that someone is starting to bully me, they automatically lose a target. And when I’m done with a person, I’m done and there’s no looking back. I won’t continue to stroke a bully’s ego.

If the person is someone in a high position, I’ll withdraw my support. If the person is a coworker, I’ll find another job or I’ll expose them by simply giving them plenty of rope,  then sit back and bide my time until the person hangs themselves and gets fired. If the person is someone related, any future contact will be on my terms.

And when I go no-contact, I won’t bother to explain to the person why I’m done with them because I owe them no explanations. Neither will I smack them across the head and let them know when they are about to cross the line. If they don’t have the self-awareness to realize that their evil actions and behavior are the problems, that’s on them and they’re the one who must deal with the consequences.

And no. I won’t have as much as a shred of guilt over it because self-care is nothing to feel guilty over. I value my sanity and peace of mind more than I ever will others’ opinions of me.

9 Ways for Target’s of Bullying to Reclaim Their Power

nope refuse boundaries

Bullying can seem like the fight of your life and an unwinnable battle. But it doesn’t have to be this way.

Here are 9 ways to reclaim your power and keep the bullies at bay:

1. Document incidences of bullying. I can’t stress this enough! You must keep a record of the intimidation you suffer. When you document, use what I call the 5W Rule: What, When, Who, Where, and Why.

Write down every incident in detail! Include the date and time it happened (when), what happened, who was involved, the names of any bystanders and authority members (students, teachers, coworkers, supervisors, managers, etc.), where it happened and why it happened.

When you document, not only will you discover a pattern, you will have evidence to take to the principal’s office, school board, Human Resources, EEOC, the police, or to court.

bullying fart

2. If you live in a one-party consent state, wear a body camera, or hid a digital recorder somewhere on you. Coupled with documentation, this can give you a slam dunk case! By recording the bullying, the people who can stop it might as well have been there to see it.

3. Counter the bullies’ negative statements. If you counter the comments instead of ignoring them, you’ll feel so much better about yourself, knowing you took a stand. If the bully calls you a name, just come back with, “Oh, I see you have a nose for your own,” or, ”It takes one to know one.”

Any comeback is better than none at all, and it shows you have confidence and that you value yourself enough not to take the abuse.

4. Say, “NO.” If you don’t want to do something, no law says you have to. Never be afraid to say “no.” And when you do, say it with a strong, confident voice and walk away. Setting boundaries is crucial when bullies come calling.

butterfly

5. Take care of yourself. Self-care is of the utmost importance when you’re a target of bullies. Do the things that you enjoy most. Keep company with only the people who value you. Practice and display your God-given talents and gifts. Doing these things will buffer the hits to your confidence and self-esteem and minimize any damage.

6. Befriend other targets. I promise you. You’re not the only one who gets bullied. There are always a few others who share your pain. Find them, get to know them, and befriend them. Then, band together and make sure you all have each other’s backs. Make double-sure that they have yours!

7. Look your best. Because when you look good, you feel good! Looking good can also buffer your self-esteem from the attacks of bullies.

bullying looking your best workplace

8. Practice good posture. Posture is important! Stand up straight and with your shoulders back. Walk with a purpose and with confidence. Never look down! Never hunch!

Looking down and hunching shows a lack of confidence and low self-esteem, which will only make you a bully-magnet.

9. Speak confidently. Always speak with a strong tone, never in one that’s low and timid.

You may need a little practice at first. But the more you practice and the longer you do it, the more it will become like second nature.