Bullying By Instigation (Part 2)

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In the first part, we discussed one of the ways bullies bully by instigation- by instigating an argument between the target and someone not normally involved in the bullying.
There are many ways in which bullies instigate and bait others to participate in the bullying unwillingly.

Here are a few more baiting strategies:

The Secret Admirer Bait

A bully will use this to bait someone to insult and humiliate the target.
Here’s how it goes:

The bully and a few classmates or coworkers will see the target. The target is nearby and within earshot. If the target is female, the bully will point to a nearby male and say,

“Hey, (target’s name)! John said he was madly in love with you!”
John will then get on the defensive and say,
“Oh, hell, no! I don’t like that ugly thing!” or, “That whore? No freakin’ way!”

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By doing this, the bully slyly baits John in a knee-jerk reaction that includes insulting and humiliating the unfortunate target and achieves gratification in seeing the target humiliated and hurt.

The secret admirer bait is mostly used in middle and high school.

The Invitation bait

In this situation, the bullies will, all of a sudden, out of the blue, becomes chummy with the target and pretends to have a change of heart to win the target’s trust.

Once trust is won, the bullies will invite the target to a birthday party, cookout, sleepover, or kegger, then humiliate the target somehow.

This may involve getting the target drunk or high, then manipulating them into compromising situations. This is used by both school-aged and adult bullies.

Here’s how to shut these monsters down:

1. Understand that no one ever becomes true friends overnight. If someone who has bullied you suddenly starts to buddy up to you and it seems to have come out of nowhere, it’s a red flag and you should steer clear! You can be sure that this creep is up to no good.

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2. Also, if bullies are trying to bait you into anything. They will lay it on thick! They’ll overdo the pleasantries. It will sound so sickeningly sweet, you’ll want to grab a barf bag. You’ll know it’s fake if you’re paying attention.

But remember that bullies are very convincing and if you’re young and still in school, you’re likely to overlook the yuck if you aren’t careful. So don’t fall for it! Don’t go anywhere with those people. Because once you’re alone with them, you’re at their mercy!

3. If you’re a kid in school and a bully uses the secret admirer bait and tricks someone into humiliating you, deal out a good burn for the person baited into insulting you.

For example, you can say:

“No chance. I could never be that desperate and you could never be that lucky.”

Then keep walking.

Your witty comeback will sting the poor sucker who took the bully’s bait and tried to insult you. But hey! Better them than you. Right?

Mobbing: The Most Severe Kind of Bullying

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Mobbing is bullying by large groups- it is a form of violence where either a vast majority of or whole of an alumni in a school, a workforce in a workplace, a(n) entire organization, or community collectively harass and attack a single targeted individual.

The mob often act under the influence of a ringleader or someone in a position of power. Mobbing almost always happens out of retaliation against a long-bullied target who became fed-up with the disrespect and cruelty and finally spoke out about or did something about it.

Mobbing has other names as well: Collective Bullying or Mass Bullying.

Remember that bullies and their followers expect the target to stay quiet about the abuse- even demand that he bow down to and submit to it. And when a targeted individual finally has enough and asserts his right to be treated as a human being, the bullies will punish him with mobbing.

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Here’s a description of mobbing:

A large group of people (or mob) targets a person who opened his mouth about the bullying and abuse, and they become increasingly aggressive, and the number of attackers against the target grows until the targeted person is completely stripped of power.

Group aggression, or collective bullying, serves to reinforce a shared negative view of the targeted person regardless of the victim’s prior value or reputation. As vicious gossip circulates throughout the environment about the target, destructive labels and damaging accusations will ensue and only isolate the target.

The mob will expand to include several teachers and school staff, or managers on many levels and large numbers of students or coworkers. People who are often peaceful and kind are encouraged to avoid, resent, or hate the targeted person. A bully in power directs them to gossip about the person and to mistreat and bully him. Even the kindest, sweetest, most compassionate people can suddenly become vicious and nasty.

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And, one by one, the entire student body, workplace, or community avoids, slanders and accuses the target of one thing after another, and after another.

Understand that, in these cases, those who are generally good, kind people won’t see themselves as mean or as participants in bullying but rather, as defenders against an (alleged) evil enemy. They view their own atrocious behavior as justified and necessary because to see themselves as bullying participants goes against their sense of morality and identity.

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Understand that people will always act differently when they’re in a group. Always! Because they feel they must conform. Also, understand that once bullying escalates to mobbing, it’s nearly impossible to stop.

And the reason why it’s the most damaging to a target is that he quickly loses support as more and more people jump on the hate bandwagon, until everyone avoids, defames and blames the mark for any tiny thing that goes wrong.

School staff, the management, or community authorities then close ranks, thereby eliminating any help or escape from the abuse.

Sadly, there isn’t much you can do once the violence has escalated to this point. But in the next post, I will talk about mobbing in more detail. I’ll talk about the steps, stages, and signs that bullying is heading toward mobbing and how you can name it, describe it and raise your chances of heading the bullying off before it gets that far.