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.
A compliment comes from the heart and is truthful. Also, compliments are earned. They’re reserved for people who deserve them. Compliments are given to praise someone for an accomplishment. They are an acknowledgement for a good deed, or a job well done.
Flattery, on the other hand, is used for self-servitude. It is insincere, deceptive, and can be an insult to the recipient. Because, again, it is strictly used for usery and selfish purposes. Flattery and insincere compliments are both the same.
Therefore, bullies never pay sincere compliments, especially to their targets. However, they will use flattery to butter their targets up all for the purpose of manipulating and exploiting them. Bullies may also use flattery as a form of subtle sarcasm. And if the target happens to be gullible, he may confuse it for genuine compliments. Bullies will then watch the target’s face light up with overexcitement, then laugh later.
Remember that many targets of bullying are often thirsty for any sign of approval and praise because they don’t get enough of it, if any at all. Therefore, anything that even looks like approval, they’ll be excited to receive, even overly so.
So, how can you tell the difference between fake flattery and a sincere compliment?
Simple. You can tell by the kind of relationship you have with the person giving you the compliment. In other words, if the person giving you the compliment is a bully who normally mistreats you, then you can be sure that it’s flattery. And the compliment is fake, phony, and false.
I can’t stress this enough. Never take seriously any “compliment” you receive from a bully. When a bully is suddenly nice to you and gives compliments, it is clearly to manipulate you. A bully who gives you a compliment is only flattering you. They are looking for an eventual payoff, be it psychological or otherwise.
In contrast, if the person is a true friend or family member, someone who loves you and has never intentionally harmed you, you know that the compliment is for real. Even if the praise comes from a total stranger, it would be more acceptable than if it came from a bully. Still, even with strangers, you should be gracious, but cautious because they haven’t established a relationship with you yet.
Make Sure Your Own Compliments are Sincere
Just the same, if you are the one making the compliment, make sure the person you compliment is a close friend or family member. In other words, make sure that person damn well deserves it from you and that they’ve done something that warrants it.
Understand that most people know their strengths and weaknesses. And if you give them a false accolade on something they know they aren’t good at, they will know that you’re lying to them. Also, they will wonder what ulterior motives you have in giving them such a fake compliment. Moreover, you can easily lose respect for it.
And last and most importantly, never compliment a bully! Ever!
Bullies get their behinds kissed all the time and it’s exactly how they’ll perceive it.
You will be giving the bully a juicy opportunity to turn it against you and steamroll you with it.
Bullies are the last people who deserve praise. Never give anyone anything they haven’t earned.
Follow these three rules and I promise you that your value will go up tremendously. It may not seem so, but it will.
One thing I’m certain of is that every person, who has ever been a target 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.
2. Bullies often use projection. They project all their 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 target. 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.
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 that can be overwhelming even for the greatest, toughest, strongest, most intelligent 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.
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 regularly 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 have a least gotten into two fights, which sounds perfectly normal.
2. Destroying the target’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.
3. It’s used to silence the target and make him/her afraid to report the bullying or speak out about it.
Schoolboy angel with wings and halo concept for being clever, good, successful in education or smug
Targets get the blame because, sadly, the attitudes of most bystanders and members of authority are these:
“Why would so many kids have it in for her if she’s not provoking them somehow?”
“Nobody likes him, so there has to be a reason that justifies it.”
After all, who will look any further than the child with the worst reputation 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 to bully but also the knowledge of bullies. The first step of defense is knowing the mindsets and intentions of bullies and the tactics they use.
What does it mean when bullies bully openly? When they no longer try to hide their hatred, abuse, and brutality from not only you but everyone else around? When your bullies bully you in plain sight, out in the open, in front of not only your peers, but also your teachers, principal, supervisors, or managers?
It means that you’re seeing a very bad sign- that the people in positions of power- those you would expect to act, have no intentions of holding your bullies accountable. What also means is that they have no intentions of helping or protecting you. Even worse, it means that the abuse has escalated to a very dangerous level.
People are only emboldened and get cocky and full of themselves when they know there’s no accountability for wrongdoing. Therefore, the bullies’ actions and arrogance only send unspoken messages to their targets which are as follows:
“We can do whatever we want and there’s nothing anyone can do.”
“Who’s going to stop us.”
“Who’s going to help you. You’re ours now.”
I can guarantee that if bullies thought they would be held responsible, they would try their level best to hide their evil or avoid doing it altogether. No one wants to have to answer for anything and they definitely don’t want the shame and humiliation that comes with it. So, naturally they either wouldn’t do the bad deeds at all, or they would only do their dirt behind closed doors.
guilt concept – unhappy young sporty man showing his throat with gun-like hands for sign of low self-esteem, textured effects
Whereas, after people have gotten away with hurting another person a few times, they naturally catch on that there are no repercussions, no shame, nor humiliation. And once there’s complete impunity and therefore, immunity, it’s no holds barred. So, if you’re a target of bullying and your bullies are continuously let off the hook, you’re a sitting duck!
Why? Because there are no limits to what your bullies can do to you and bullying always escalates if it’s left unchecked. And when someone bad is left unchecked, there’s no incentive to hide it, much less stop it.
And here’s another thing. It sets a precedent for everyone else, in that it will also encourage people who wouldn’t normally mistreat another person to jump on the bandwagon and bully you too. Naturally, when bystanders and witnesses see that the bullies are getting away with it, they will think that they will be let off the hook too and they will be encouraged to join in on the torment. It’s the science of group behavior.
Know that if you ever find yourself under these circumstances, you’re in a very dangerous situation and you must find a way to remove yourself from the environment before you sustain any further damage. It’s the only way you will ever regain your safety and peace of mind.
You know what I’m talking about. People who treated you like garbage in the past then suddenly, just up and decide that you’re the best thing since sliced bread? Yup! Those!
They’ll gush over you and pour on the compliments, and man! Do they lay it on thick! These people tell you how wonderful you are and that they got you all wrong and misjudged you. They’ll show you excessive attention and laugh at your jokes with their counterfeit laughs. Yet, your internal alarm is going off in the pit of your gut because something feels “off” about these little encounters.
These bullies act so sappy, stand a little too close, and gush over your small wins and accomplishments. They seem to latch on to you like a tick to a dog.
I’ve had bullies do the same to me in the past, and when they did, my first thought was, “Ewww,” “Yuck,” or any other utterance of total disgust. It was downright sickening, and as hard as it was not to look them in the eye and say, “Okay. What do you want,” I only humored them for a while.
But sooner or later, they got careless and stupid. The bullies ended up showing their cards without realizing it until it was too late. I’d say something that rubbed them the wrong way or have a belief they didn’t share. Then, all hell broke loose.
Isn’t it funny when bullies let their emotions tell the truth about them?
The point is that the nice act doesn’t mask evil intentions. Ever. Bullies will try it, but they end up giving themselves away eventually. But there’s more. Before they give themselves away, you can often tell that something isn’t right. You can hear the fakery in their voices, and you know they’re trying a little too hard to sound convincing. It’s as if they aren’t only trying to convince you; they’re also trying to convince themselves!
My advice is to get away from these people. Fast! Because they’re up to something. You might not know what that “something” is, but for your safety, ditch these fools and have nothing to do with them. If something feels wrong, listen closely. Your instinct never lies.
Ha! And they call us hypersensitive. Oh yes! Bullies will accuse their targets of being what they themselves are, “too sensitive.”
But have you noticed how they explode in anger and indignation after the smallest of perceived slights? Or how bullies (particularly female bullies) will be the ones who dissolve into a puddle of tears if someone even looks at them cross-ways, or says something hurtful to them? Or worse, they get held accountable for their bad behavior? I saw this happen at school on several occasions and I’ve got to admit, it was hilarious!
In truth, bullies have the sensitivity of the princess in the classic, “The Princess and the Pea.” They bruise so easily.
The double-standard is clear. Bullies feel intense resentment when targets speak out about their abuse. All the while, bullies feel entitled to do things that are a thousand times worse, not to mention, unspeakable, to the target.
But we are not supposed to talk about that. Right?
Actions speak louder than words. And we must learn to rely less on words and more on other’s actions and behavior to get the answers to any questions we have about bullies, abusers, or anyone who does not have our best interests in mind.
Everywhere you go, be it the workplace, the school, the community, anywhere, it seems that the worst, most vile and nastiest people are celebrated and those who just want to live their lives in peace and go about their business are despised.
In a world that thrives mostly on smooth talk and appearances, authentic and good people are demonized by others because people see them as threats and feel they must contain threats. But allow me to break it down a little more.
1. The biggest reason bullies are celebrated, and mentally healthy people are hated is because people place their priorities on the wrong things- power, fame, sex, money, success, and good looks- things they feel would make them feel and seem more important.
Also, too many people think that strength is all about the ability to buffalo others and look tough. Granted, this may have been true back during the caveman days, but not today. Today, strength comes from social intelligence and the ability to keep quiet and listen. Strength comes from mental toughness, not physical.
Genuine strength comes from staying true to yourself and committing to the right thing in an environment of wrong. It’s staying kind and good when you’re surrounded by evil. True strength is standing up to power bullies when you feel at your weakest. It’s having the endurance to take life’s gut punches and having the resolve to get back up.
2. Another reason bullies are celebrated, and good people hated is because bullies are notorious for sucking-up to power in power to win favor and special treatment. Good don’t or won’t kiss booty to get ahead. They prefer to advance on their own merit. Good people are true to themselves and feel they don’t have to lick someone else’s boots to survive and thrive. They mind their own business and don’t get involved in cliques and social politics.
3. Bullies are well-known for making the good people with healthy minds look evil and mentally ill and they do it by provoking them into an argument. Bullies know better than to tell blatant lies, so they take a tiny grain of truth and embellish on it, adding their own personal spin to it and making things and people look worse than what they are. Make no mistake, bullies are good at distortions.
They are like magicians in that they create illusions that are believable. You’ve heard the term, “sleight of hand,” but bullies have a talent for, “sleight of word” – they’re the best wordsmiths in the business of bullying. For example, a good person can make an honest mistake and a bully will take it and make it look like the person didn’t do the thing by accident but deliberately. Bullies are experts and making simple mistakes look like evil sins punishable by death.
4. Again, good people are considered threatening in an environment of evil because they have a flare for exposing truths that bullies would move heaven and earth to keep hidden. Sometimes, these people, just by their authentic and down-to-earth personalities, can expose bullies and the bullies know it, so, they decide that it’s better to mob them (the authentic people) out before they bust them (the bullies) out.
Therefore, anytime you are faced with a bully, and you know you never did anything to provoke the person, it’s because of the four reasons above.
You already know the first three ways bullies use gaslighting. Here are more of their evil tactics and what you can do to keep your self-esteem intact.
4. Isolating the Target (Divide and Conquer)
Bullies often force their targets into isolation through social aggression (spreading rumors and lies about the person or intimidating his/her associates).
In doing this, bullies strategically turn the target’s friends and associates against them to cut him/her off from any support or protection they might otherwise receive. Once the subject is isolated, the bullies then move in for the kill and take the bullying to new heights.
If the target expresses the desire to change schools or workplaces, the bullies may try to discourage him/her by convincing them that they won’t be treated any better in the new environment or attempting to block the targets’ transfer and cut off any means of escape.
5. Bullies Make Themselves Out to be Superior and Cunningly Convince the Target that he/she needs them to get along.
Bullies slyly force their target to believe he/she somehow needs their approval. If the bullies can make the target dependent on them, their power and control only increase.
Bullies do this by convincing to target that they (the bullies) are the only ones who can better his/her (the target’s) situation- that only through them (the bullies) will the person be able to make friends and enjoy positive relationships! And only with their (the bullies’) permission will the target find happiness and fulfillment.
Also, bullies make the target believe that they must submit to their every whim and wish, no matter how demeaning, before they grant him/her relief from the attacks. But understand that bullies will never leave you alone! It’s is only another tactic to assert domination!
6. Empty Promises
“If you do this, I’ll go away quietly and leave you alone.” “If you do that, I’ll be your friend.” “If you’d only do XYZ, I’ll make things easier for you.”
Don’t buy any of it! You can never appease a bully. They will never go away or stop the harassment. They only make empty promises to keep you under their control. Understand that bullies have an insatiable appetite for power, control, and destruction.
They are like bottomless pits, and no matter what you do to please them, they’ll only continue or increase the torment. You must realize that no amount of bullying is ever enough for a bully. Bullies are power and drama addicts, and harassment of their targets is like a drug to them. They can never get enough! Bullies always come back for more! In short, they become drunk on their own power.
The only way to stop a bully is to either use reverse psychology, put the fear of God into him/her by calling them out publicly, or go no contact if you can. If you can’t, then use the first two suggestions. It may or may not work, but keep it up. Because if you just clam up and say nothing, you’ll feel terrible about yourself later.
There are two things bullies fear most. Losing face and losing power, which would only come from having their evil exposed and and with the target ceasing to care what they say and think altogether. NOTE: When you stop caring (which can only happen after you see the bullies for the pathetic souls they really are), it’ll be so much easier to come back with a witty, one-line counter-dig and keep walking.
Another important note: DOCUMENT EVERYTHING! Write it all down in detail to keep records of this kind of stuff! You may need it!!!!!!
Jot down what happened (in detail), including date and time it happened, where it happened, who the bullies are, names of any bystanders, teachers, supervisors, etc., and if possible, why it happened (was it retaliation?)! EVERYTHING!
Find ways to expose bullies and reclaim your power.
Is there ever a time when you should surrender to a bully? The answer is yes, or at least make it look like you’re surrendering to them. In life, there are times when we should pick and choose our battles- to decide whether to fight back or leave well enough alone. It is a must when your bullies are extremely powerful because it isn’t smart to fight them and give them a chance to defeat you.
Sometimes real power comes with swallowing your pride and giving in to them first. When you do this, you’ll only enrage the bullies and throw them off-kilter because they were looking for a fight and so sure they’d get one but didn’t.
There’s no point in fighting an unwinnable battle. Showing weakness can be a strength if you know how to use it correctly.
When you surrender (or make it look as if you do), you give yourself time to recuperate and time to torture and irritate your bullies subtly. You can sneakily sabotage your bullies in ways they’d never expect nor detect. Maybe you can get what you can out of the surrender, then fight later when your bullies are not so strong. Believe it or not, bullies do eventually lose power.
You don’t surrender because you give up. You do it to humor your bullies and lull them into a false sense of complacency- to fool them into thinking they’ve won. Understand that bullies are continually trying to show dominance and superiority, and if you make it look like you surrender to them, it’ll be so easy to trick them.
Being submissive to them (for the time being) makes them feel satisfied and powerful. In this, the bullies become easier targets for a later countermove or indirect ridicule.
For example, You surrender, and the bullies let you walk away. But as you turn and walk away, you can cut a silent fart in their general direction, and they won’t think it came from you. They’ll only be looking at each other and wondering who dealt it.
People manipulate because they feel powerless inside and can’t get what they want any other way. Therefore, they must resort to indirect means and trickery to get their needs and wants met.
There are many ways, people, especially bullies, manipulate:
1. Guilt Trips – manipulators will make you feel guilty when you don’t let them have their way and continue to violate your boundaries. If you “dare” to stand up to them, they’ll become offended and angry, trying to make you believe you are the bad guy.
Many times, when I was young, I had others tell me that if I didn’t do what they wanted, then I wasn’t a good friend, or I was selfish, stingy, or greedy. The other person would always play the loyalty card.
Manipulators may also attempt to make you feel obligated somehow. They may refer to when they did something for you and imply that you now owe them somehow. For example, if a partner asks a girl for sex and she tells them she’s not ready to take that step yet, the partner will then say something to the tune of, “I just took you out to a five-course dinner and treated you to a great movie…” Blah-b-blah.
Let’s be clear, you don’t owe them anything, especially if it’s a date trying to get in your britches, or someone trying to talk you into joining them in doing something illegal. If something doesn’t feel right and you get the feeling you’re better off not going along, trust your instincts. And say no, then tell them to either beat it or take you home right then!
2. Pretending not to understand – “I don’t know what you’re talking about!” We have all heard that line many times. people will claim they don’t understand when, in fact, they know darn well what you’re saying but don’t want to know. Do not fall for this! Either walk away, or tell the person, “don’t give me that crap. You know exactly what I’m talking about.” Then, walk away.
3. Being friendly only when they (the manipulator) expect something in return – Every single one of us has dealt with those types- you know the ones. You never hear from these people and they may even treat you cold when they see you out and about. Then, suddenly, magically, out of the blue, they call you up or start being friendly. Next, they ask you for a favor, some help with a problem they are dealing with, or maybe they need a little cash. And so, you help the person and once they’ve gotten what they wanted, it’s back to true blue.
Ditch this person because you don’t need them in your life.
4. The silent treatment – This is one of the most common tactics manipulators use and it’s done to exploit the natural and very strong human need for social acceptance and community. And let’s face it. We are all hardwired for social connection. Furthermore, it’s natural to go silent on someone when they’ve done us wrong. However, the silent treatment can also be abused by manipulators when they don’t get their way and can be damaging to the target when used against them.
If a bully or anyone else tries to get you to do something you don’t want to do, no law says that you have to do it. And how you protect yourself and your self-esteem against this childish behavior is to mirror it. In other words, when someone gives you the silent treatment, you give it back to them. Always remember that two can play that game!
5. Acting as if an agreement has been made when there’s been no agreement at all – This can be the most infuriating to a target. These people will often go ahead with their plans before you’ve made an agreement or they’ll tell you something like, “Remember? We agreed to so-and-so last week,” knowing darn well you never agreed to anything. Manipulators will try to put words in your mouth to strong arm you into giving them their way.
Don’t go along with this. Give this person their walking papers. Pronto!
6. Suggesting negative outcomes to the target’s plans – Anytime you have plans, there will be people who will try to break your confidence by giving you words of discouragement. For example, if you plan to record a CD, they might say things like, “I’m not trying to disappoint you, but chances are your CD will never chart.” Or “I hate to say this, but it’s no guarantee a producer will ever sign you to a record level.”
If you’re planning to publish a book, someone might ask you, “How do you know your book will even sell?” Or they might ask, “Do you really think you’re that good of a writer? You need to be honest with yourself.”
They may also ridicule and belittle your goals and dreams to make you feel like your dreams are stupid, or something to be ashamed of.
Trust me, I had people do the same to me but it never discouraged me, it only ticked me off and made me double down on my plans to publish my books. And the best part is, I finally did it!
I advise you to do the same if a shady character tries to discourage you from pursuing your plans, goals, and dreams. Realize that the reason people discourage you is because they’re so afraid that you just might succeed. In fact, the very possibility of you succeeding scares them to death! Why? Because your success would force these jerks to take a long look at themselves and their own pathetic lives.
7. Distracting the target from goals – If a jealous manipulator knows that you’re striving toward a goal, they will deliberately try to distract you. Again, the reason people do this is because, deep down, they’re afraid that you might succeed and force them to compare your life to theirs.
Point blank, these people want so badly for you to fail. And they want you to stay on the same level as them so they won’t be left in the gutter alone and feel so bad about themselves. For example, people might be real sneaky about it and begin inviting you to parties or trying to get you drunk.
When they do this, they can claim that they only want you to have a good time instead of sitting at the house studying all the time. Or they may be more overt and interrupt you while you’re working or play loud music while you’re trying to concentrate. Again, these people are scared to death of your success and they will very slyly put out all the stops to distract your attention. So, beware.
How you combat this is to politely decline any invites or go to a place where you can work quietly and not be interrupted or distracted.