When you are or were bullied, did your bully ever justify their horrific treatment by making statements such as, “You ‘made me’ do it!”? I’ll bet that you have. Bullies often make the following statements to their targets to justify their behavior and intimidate the poor targets into keeping silent.
“You ‘made me’ or ‘make me’ hit you!”
“You ‘make’ people want to hurt you!”
“Don’t ‘make me’ hurt you!”
“Don’t ‘make me’ mad!”
“You make people want to yell at you!”
“You make me hate you!”
Bullying, friendship, and people concept. Girl patronizing screaming pointing the finger at the shy timid nerdy woman who is looking down
You get the point.
These are all statements bullies use to gaslight targets and to brainwash them into believing that it’s their (the target’s)fault. That the target made them (the bullies) lash out.
I can’t count the times I heard these from my classmates, and I must admit, it was very hurtful and intimidating. However, I look back now and realize that this was only my bullies’ way of shifting the blame my way because they were so afraid that I would call them out on their terrible behavior and expose them for the trash they truly were. They also wanted to maintain the upper hand.
The keywords in these sentences are either “made” or “make,” and they are very telling if you really stop and think about it.
If you are a victim of bullying, expect those kinds of remarks. But understand that these are classic statements bullies make to shift the blame your way and to avoid losing their power over you, being caught, and the possibility of facing the consequences.
There’s always a way to bust the bullies who try to shift blame onto you this way:
Simply counter the bully’s statement and say this:
“No! I didn’t make you do a damn thing! You did that all on your own!”
Say it point-blank and with conviction. If possible, say it in front of an audience. Call the bully out, and more than likely, the bully will think twice before saying anything else.
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.
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.
It’s not easy for people to distinguish between the real bully and the victim. Bullies are good at making victims look guilty, showing only the victim the worst, most brutal, and evil sides of themselves while showing everyone else their best, sweetest, and most loving halves of their personalities.
The bully may feign sympathy and compassion for her victim by making statements such as, “I feel so terrible for (victim’s name). I sincerely hope she gets the help she needs before it’s too late.”
Bullies accuse their victims of attacking them when it’s the over way around, and people can quickly either get confused and not know who did what to who or blame the wrong person altogether.
Many times, if you’re a target of such torment, whether people believe you or not depends on their relationship with ou and with the bully. If the bully is someone they either like or love, they will, out of loyalty, take the bully’s word over yours. It won’t matter that the bully is in the wrong.
People tend to believe those they care about and disbelieve those they don’t care about or don’t know. Even worse, they may know that the person is, in fact, an abuser but still side with them against you if they like them even a little more than they do you.
Bullies aren’t stupid. They know what they’re doing. Often, they will act as a great person around everyone else. In public, they present as fine, exemplary, upstanding, and respectable human beings. But only the poor, demonized victim knows the truth.
Victims are usually stressed and worn down. If the bully has gaslighted them for long enough, he has persuaded they victim himself that it’s all his fault. Many targets of bullying have had their realities distorted over time, and it’s the worst thing to happen to them.
Many victims believe themselves to be horrible people and deserving of the torture inflicted upon them because many times, they’re blamed and made responsible for their suffering. That’s what bullying and gaslighting do after so long. They brainwash you!
That’s why Bullying and Gaslighting are such a deadly combination. Bullies and their allies force victims to believe that they’re so inherently evil that the only thing they can do is cause anger, hurt, and hatred.
Here’s what life is like for a target of such atrociousness:
You try. You try so hard to be the best person you can be. Yet you’re tortured and tormented by bullies every day. Deep inside, you know you’re a great person, but no one else can see inside you to make that determination.
Because your reputation is in the toilet, others consistently attack you because bullies have defamed you for so long that everyone believes the lies. And no one will tell you what you did wrong, nor will they tell you how to fix it.
And because of the constant attacks, you live in continuous fight-or-flight mode. You can’t help but stay on the defense, and you’re a mess of emotions.
Because bullying leaves you so emotional, you cry, even sob- sometimes uncontrollably! You lash out at the bullies who attack you and at the bystanders who join them after they’ve all pushed you so far.
Although your emotional reaction is entirely normal and natural under the circumstances, they all have the nerve, the audacity, the chutzpah- to get angry at you! That’s right! They get pissed at you for the emotional outburst and use it against you.
Even worse, they use any signs of self-defense against you. And they use it as their confirmations that you’re the bad guy, you’re too sensitive, too emotional, or that you’re crazy.
So, they punish you by escalating the bullying. How can a target- one who’s bullied to pieces and to the point of exhaustion- possibly defend himself against such forces if they don’t have any knowledge about how bullies operate and what they can do to counter them?
Understand that this is the plight of the target.
In bully-speak, targets are not allowed to be themselves. They’re not allowed to stand up for themselves nor speak out against the abuse. In the minds of bullies and bystanders, targets should take it, because they’re beneath everyone else and they deserve it. Bullies expect them to eat crap and enjoy it- just take it with a smile and a yes sir/ma’am, then ask for seconds.
Here’s another scenario to be aware of:
In some cases, you’re so marginalized and have so many people after you that when you’re in a crowded hallway and someone sneaks up behind you and wallops you between the shoulder blades hard enough to knock the wind out of you, and you look behind you to see who it was that hit you, no one points them out. The person who hit you only cowardly fades in the sea of people.
As you look around for your attacker, everyone in the crowd is eyeing you with a mixture of hostility, hilarity, and contempt. And you know what they’re thinking just by the way their eyes seem to shoot firey bullets at you.
They all look at you as if to say,
“Ha! Yeah! We know who hit you! Like we’ll ever tell you!” or
“So? Whadaya gonna do? Accuse all of us? Right! Like you’d have even a chance of making it home in one piece if you did!”
Maybe someone steals from you or keys your car. Again, you don’t know who to suspect because there are so many people out to hurt you. There’s no way you can pinpoint a specific person.
Understand that this is what it’s like once the bullying reaches a certain point. It’s as if the bullying has now taken on a life of its own. Because the idea of tormenting you seems to be so ingrained in everyone around you- bullies, bystanders, even authority figures- that they can no longer help themselves.
Anytime things have reached such a fever pitch, they’re signs that you’re in grave danger! In a situation like this, the bullying has escalated to a hazardous level, and it likely won’t get better but only worse. Your only recourse is to leave the environment and make a new start somewhere else.
Leave now while you still have your health- and maybe your life! Because if the bullies or their minions don’t kill you first, the stress of it will!