Why Bullies “Need” Their Targets

It’s because bullies need scapegoats. The use of a scapegoat is nothing new. People have used them for many millennia! During the Medieval Period, scapegoats were often used by kings to make sure the monarch’s hands stayed clean- or at least looked clean.

Back then, it was common practice to execute scapegoats for the wrongdoings of kings. Blaming them, then putting them to death kept the scapegoats quiet and the kings above reproach, unquestioned, and smelling like roses. Bullies do the same today, only in different ways.

Bullying and scapegoating go hand in hand.

The purpose of scapegoating is to force another person to accept blame for sins, which you, yourself, are guilty. Sadly, the person blamed is often innocent. Even sadder is the fact that he’s usually the one least likely to fight back. The person is then punished and sacrificed.

Bullies are notorious for refusing to accept blame for any wrongdoing or mistake. So, they search for the most convenient person to lay blame on- their target. And what’s the victim going to do about it?

The ability to transfer guilt to their victims gives bullies immense power. Understand that bullies depend on appearances to maintain their fake facades of gleaming-white perfection. Well-seasoned bullies must appear to be god-like at all times.

They’re very much afraid that if they don’t keep up this pathetic charade, they’ll lose their power and with it, the foothold on their targets. What better way to maintain that power than to scapegoat the target?

“Blame so-and-so for my shortcomings by pointing out his!”

“Blame so-and-so for my imperfections by distracting others’ attention to his!”

“Blame so-and-so for my despicable behavior by claiming he did something to deserve it!”

“Blame Joe Blow for my pathetic incompetence and stupidity by saying that he caused me to screw up!”

“Blame so-and-so for any tiny thing that goes wrong, and I get to hitch a ride on his back to move up!”

A selfish man walks the heads of people as on the steps to the highest post behind the crown. Conceptual scene is a narcissistic and selfish person

“Because I’m number one, and Hell will freeze over before I give that up! And blaming so-and-so is so easy it shouldn’t work!”

I want you to realize that bullies, bystanders, and friends will scapegoat a target of bullying for one reason and one reason only: He has the least power to fight back!

Targets are often either naïve or exceptionally intelligent and pose the biggest threat to the bullies’ positions. If the victim is naïve, bullies will exploit his naivete to the fullest because they know that naïve people aren’t taken seriously. Also, the naïve tend to overdo their claims of innocence. And people often mistake it as a sign of guilt.

Intelligent targets, bullies will undermine and wear down with constant smear campaigns, exclusion, and personal attacks. Also, smart victims will often overdo being calm, and relaxed, which can also be mistaken for guilt, because people will assume that his keeping it together is only an act and that he’s hiding something.

blame point fingers

Here’s another reason bullies need targets. They need someone to make responsible for their negative feelings- feelings of inadequacy, insecurity, and hurt. And when they make the victim responsible for their bad feelings, the target becomes the offender who must be punished and eliminated.

To combat their negative emotions, bullies demand that their targets show them respect at all times- even while they’re abusing them. They also have the attitude that the victim should do whatever they tell them to do and make them feel powerful.

In short, bullies need the target to use as a dumping ground for all their mental and emotional issues.

Here’s a third reason, bullies and bystanders need a bottom rat to ensure that they themselves don’t end up on the bottom. If you’re a target of bullying, they need you to stay on the bottom and will go out of their way to keep you there. Any pecking order needs whipping boys (or girls) – easy victories for the higher-ups to collect.

If you are a target of bullying, I want you to understand that bullies consider it to be of the utmost importance that you stay on the bottom and you make them look good and like the innocent party. When they brutalize you, everything must appear as if you had it coming – that they were wronged or betrayed by your stupidity, incompetence, or evil.

If people are using you as a scapegoat, the best you can do is to get out of the environment. Just pick up and leave. Only then will you be able to preserve your dignity, your sanity, and your life.

Emotions That Targets of Bullying Feel

cry tears

Targets of bullying endure a hell that no one can comprehend unless they themselves have experienced bullying. It’s the same with the range of resulting emotions they feel. Unless you’ve been there, you can’t imagine the intense stress and the wide array of powerful emotions that come with it.

  1. Grief- Once you become an object of bullying or mobbing, life as you know it changes. You mourn for the way your life used to be and long to get your former life back. You also grieve the loss of your respect, dignity, reputation, good standing, and your identity. You mourn the loss of your friends and in some cases, your spouse and family.
  2. Bewilderment- You don’t understand why this is happening to you- why you’re being bullied and why people you love and thought loved you have turned against you. You’re also at a loss as to what you did to bring about such hatred. In your heart, you know that you’re a great person and that you never intentionally slighted nor hurt anyone. So, what gives?

  1. Confusion- You’re at a loss as to which way to turn and who to turn to. And you don’t know what to do to remedy the situation because each time you try, only makes the bullying worse. You feel stuck!
  2. Terror – Anytime you’re targeted, the fear can be paralyzing. You’re afraid to speak but afraid not to speak. You’re afraid of the people around you. You’re afraid to make any moves or decisions because you know that anything you do will be scrutinized and made to look bad, crazy, or evil. You’re afraid to come to school or work because you know they’re all out to get you and you know that if you show, they’ll only blindside you with another attack.

  1. Sadness- You cry in your car to and from your school or workplace. You cry in your pillow at night when you go to bed. It seems that no one will give you a chance and you’re isolated and alone. When you try to make new friends, the bullies always seem to intervene and turn the new people against you too. The type of sadness a target feels is the kind that is deep, dark, and overwhelming.
  2. Depression- This comes with being rendered powerless. It seems that there’s nothing you can do to change the situation. You have the feeling of being bound and gagged. You feel trapped like a rat and there’s nowhere to go where the bullies and participants won’t find you. And you feel that there’s no hope that things will ever get better.

  1. Ohhhh, the rage! This is, by far, THE most powerful emotion targets can have. With each physical or psychological attack, the fury grows until you’d give anything just to have the power to rip their heads off and shoved them up their you-know-whats. Oh, yes! Rage does that to you and gives you such evil thoughts!

I remember the rage I felt in middle and high school when I was a target of bullying and it grew to a level until, at one point, I felt homicidal! I loathed them so intensely that I just wanted all of them to drop dead.

I used my brain. I didn’t allow myself to snap and take any lives. I thought about my future and how doing something horribly violent would ruin it, I then decided that none of my classmates were worth ruining my future and causing my family heartache over and eventually, a door opened for me and I was able to transfer to a new school where things got better.

  1. Suicidal thoughts. It’s not that you want to die. You just want the torment to stop and when it gets to a certain level, death seems to be the only escape for it. These thoughts happen when you feel you’ve exhausted every possible option to make things better. But don’t give up. Because as long as you’re alive, there’s always a good chance that things will change for the better and you can come out victorious on the other side of it.

 I want you to know that if you’re a target of bullying, things may seem hopeless, but they aren’t. Things change for the better all the time and when you least expect them to.