How Bullying of a Particular Person Can Become Status Quo and Why You Must Assert Yourself (Part 2)

Continued from Part 1…

If a certain student’s bullying is allowed to continue over a certain amount of time, even for as short as a few weeks, it will likely become the status quo with his/her peers at school. Once it becomes the status quo, it’s virtually impossible to assert your rights without encountering a ton of resistance and reprisals.

The trick is to assert yourself immediately before the bully or bullies grow(s) accustomed to tormenting you because once they do, in most cases, it’s too late. Once it is too late, anytime you are brave and refuse to bow down to a bully, expect retaliation…expect to be severely punished for undermining the bully’s perceived authority or power over you.

This is a warning that you absolutely must heed. Any time one certain student is repeatedly bullied over a certain period of time, it becomes a habit…a ritual for any and everyone at the school.

And when you muster up the spunk to say and/or do anything to assert, defend, or stand up for yourself, you are going against a status quo or perceived norm. And once you dare to go against any status quo, you had better prepare yourself for an all-out war!

You are a target! And bullies see you as anything but. As much as it may suck, when a person becomes a target of bullying, people- bullies, bystanders, and yes, sometimes even teachers and staff, consciously or subconsciously expect the person to stay a target.

They expect you to put your head down and take it…to just accept it, and if you even attempt to grow a spine, they will do everything in their power to break it.

Anytime a person, who has been a target of bullies over a long period of time, takes steps to take back their power, the unspoken message of the bully is this:

“No! Wait a minute! You’ve been a lowlife loser all this time, and NOW you decide to better yourself?” or “Whoa! You’ve been a doormat this long, so why NOW do you get uppity and decide to grow a spine?”

All of which translates to an even deeper message that says:

“Holy Crap! We’re not used to him/her being so outspoken! This scares us! We’ve tried A, now we have to do B, and if B doesn’t work, then we will have to resort to C to put this person back in his/her place and do it quickly before we lose our foothold on her and therefore, lose the benefits that we have enjoyed at her expense!”

This is because bullies are extremely frightened by change, especially a change in the power dynamic which has long been set. They and others want you to stay a victim because “it’s just the way things are done at this school.”.  Also, bullies benefit from your victimization, and they do not want to lose those benefits (social status, gratification, satisfaction, etc.)

Your bullies’ degradation of you has become a habit…a ritual…a tradition, so to speak. And your defending your right to be safe from harm poses the threat of change, and most people cannot easily accept change, bullies especially.

Furthermore, bullies believe that it is their right to abuse their target. Yes! They honestly believe that they have a right to mistreat the person because they assume that they have absolute authority over their victim and are entitled to inflict misery on him/her.

In the mind of a bully, you as the target do not have the right to undermine nor question their perceived authority over you. Others believe that you deserve the ill-treatment and that you owe it to them to put your head down and “just shut up and take it.”

If this does not tick you off enough to make you want to snatch your power back, I do not know what will. But before you can do so, you must know the inner workings of these types of individuals. You must be wise to what it is that makes this type of person tick.

You must get abreast on the psychology of the typical school bully, his/her background, motives, how and why the bully seems to escape accountability and a host of other important and possibly life-saving information.

You absolutely MUST address it early on, as soon as you begin to see a pattern forming. Do not make the same mistake I did and let it get so bad that you either fear for or want to end your own life.

How I wish I knew this back then!

Bullying of a Particular Target Can Become Status Quo and Why You Must Assert Your Right to Safety

The torment of a particular classmate or coworker can become a status quo or a habit­ if it’s not properly taken care of in the early stages.

Bullying of a certain individual is like cancer that grows and spreads. A bully scans the environment, seeking whom he can torment. When the bully spots a possible victim, they test the waters by way of small snarky comments, backhanded compliments, or anything which may cause the victim to feel uncomfortable.

The bully does this to see how the other person will react. If the individual on the receiving does nothing to assert their right not to be mistreated, the bully sees this as a green light for future bullying. Therefore, this individual has now become a target!

bullied singled out surrounded

Word soon gets around the entire school or workplace that this target is ripe for bullying, and others will join in. As time goes by, the torment becomes more of a regular, everyday occurrence. More and more people will bully the target, and the taunts and physical attacks become more and more brutal. The attacks then become harder to combat; thus, it becomes more difficult for the victim to either get help or protection.

The target’s victimization has now become the status quo with the student body or employees and the school or workplace. Others refuse to help the target either due to rumors and lies to discredit her or the widespread belief that, “Well, no one likes her anyway, so there has to be some justification to it.”.

The power dynamic has now been firmly put in place, and the status quo is maintained.
Finally, the victim feels trapped and is in constant misery and fear for their own safety.

Continued in Part 2…

Mirror the Bully to Disarm and Intimidate Them into Leaving You Alone

If a bully cuts their eyes at you, return the gesture. If she tries to stare you down, never look away because she will only take that as fear, and from then on, you’ll be her new source of power. Always glare back without blinking and stand with your feet apart and arms akimbo to take up some space. This is known as a “power pose.”

You may have to stand that way and stare for a while if she sees your response as a challenge, but if you hold your position long enough, she’ll finally get tired and move on.

Understand that any time a person uses this type of body language toward you without provocation, they are clearly saying that they’re superior to you and attempting to dominate you. So always, always reciprocate any dirty looks and dominate or intimidating body language. Assert your power this way, and soon, the bully will get the message that you’re confident, fearless, and not one she should mess with.

independent 20s girl with threatening body language

It’s not what you say. It’s what you do. Nonverbal communication is over eighty percent of communication. Talk is cheap, and if your words don’t match your body language, bullies will pick up on it, and they will eat you alive!

If you’re the timid type, there are plenty of books you can read to learn confident body language and power pose. Once you read, practice, and learn what nonverbal cues convey power, you must practice those poses until they become comfortable to you.

Remember that bullies always target someone they perceive to be unconfident, timid, and insecure because that person is least likely to fight back. To look confident, fearless, and secure, practice open body language.

Stand with your feet apart and arms uncrossed (crossed arms are closed body language and make you look insecure and untrustworthy). When a bully confronts you, never look down or away. Always look the bully in the eye, and she will see that you aren’t afraid and likely move on to someone else.

The more you know, the better you protect yourself.

Sometimes, there’s a Good Reason to Fight

Many times throughout my life, I’ve heard people preach against fighting- and yes, even in self-defense. When I was being bullied- even physically so, I was often told by teachers and even the bullies themselves, “Violence doesn’t solve anything.”  Or, my personal favorite, “fighting isn’t lady-like.”

I’ve got news for these people- neither is getting your face beat in every day.

Be that as it may, fighting back was better than just standing there and taking the beatings. When you’re a target of bullying and you decide to stand up for yourself, there will be people who will climb up on their soapbox and insert their two cents where it doesn’t belong, telling you that “violence doesn’t solve anything,” and that “you shouldn’t stoop to their (the bullies’) level.”

You’ve heard the term, “All up in your Kool-Aid, and don’t know the flavor.” Yep! That’s where they’ll will be when you get enough of bullying and decide once and for all to take care of business.

However, what else do you do if you’re a kid at school getting their brains beat out every other day? Just stand there and allow yourself to be harmed over and over again?

All the time, targets get suspended or expelled from school when they finally defend themselves against a bully. After six months, eight months, two years, or even five years of being mercilessly bullied and trying to handle it through nonviolent means, only to be called a wuss and beat up more, the target finally gets fed up and beats the living crap out of a bully.

Now everyone’s surprised and outraged! Not at the bully, but at the target! But where was their outrage when the target was getting their body pummeled without provocation? Where was their outrage when the shoe was on the other foot? Where was their humanity when the target cried out for help?

If you’re in school and you’re a target of bully. These questions are those you should ask the school authorities, bystanders, and anyone who gets offended by your defending yourself. Know that you’re just as good as the next person. Know that you have the same rights as anyone else- including your bullies. And know that you have the right to defend yourself anytime you’re threatened with physical harm.

Understand that this is a part of self-care. It’s true that fighting isn’t always the answer but sometimes, bullies will leave you no other choice.

So, if you’ve tried everything else, know that you must do what you must to keep yourself safe. And if it means putting up your dukes and getting froggy, so be it.

It’s sad when a target must fight all the time to keep themselves from being harmed but I don’t hold it against anyone who fights back under those circumstances because you have to take care of yourself or no one else will.

With knowledge comes empowerment!

Looking Out for Number One

One thing I learned the hard way: If you don’t start looking out for number one, you’ll only continue playing second fiddle to others. Or worse, you might end up playing last fiddle! I cannot stress this enough. It’s not selfish to make yourself numero uno! Especially around bullies and people who don’t value you.

Now, don’t get me wrong. If you’re a parent raising children, or you have an ailing mother who depends on you, it’s only natural that you would put your family ahead of yourself- that’s a given. We all have an obligation to our families.

It’s also a given (or should be) that you always put God ahead of everyone else, including yourself. Again, that’s completely understandable, and more than that, it’s expected.

But when you’re in a toxic environment, around people who want to use and take you for granted, understand that you are top priority and to hell with them if they don’t like it.

Understand that when you’re being bullied in school or the workplace, the only person you have is you! So, be good to yourself. How you do this is to set firm boundaries and say no- and do it early-on and often!

You have to look out for number one, because, if you don’t, no one else will. In fact, they just might use you as a rug.

I know many, many people who were conditioned to think that putting yourself first is selfish or greedy- that taking care of yourself only means that you’re self-centered. They were raised being told that self-centeredness is a huge turnoff to others and in some cases, that’s true.

However, I’ve also noticed that bullies and abusers also tell their targets and victims those things only to shame them into staying around, taking their abuse silently, and accepting their inferiority to them (the bully/abuser).

Know that there’s a difference in being self-centeredness and self-care.

Self-centeredness means that you think you’re better than everyone else and that you think that any rules don’t apply to you. It means that you’re entitled- that you think everyone else is inferior to you and they should bow down and let you treat them however you deem them worthy because they have no boundaries.

Self-centeredness is one of the roots of bullying and abuse!

Self-care, on the other hand, means that you know that you’re no better than anyone else, but you’re just as good as the next person. Self-care means that you know that you’re equal to the next person and that you don’t deserve to be bullied or abused. Therefore, you know your rights and you’re not afraid to stand up for those rights.

It means that you hold yourself in high regard, just as you hold your family, friends, and the people you love and that you treat yourself just as well as you would another human being deserving of dignity.

It’s funny how quick bullies are to call us selfish or self-centered if we dare to stand up to their abuse. In fact, it’s part of the bully’s (or abuser’s) playbook. Accuse the target of that which you are guilty of yourself. Right?

If you have bullies or abusers who abuse you, always know that if they accuse you of anything- anything at all, you can bet that they are doing it themselves.

So, continue to look out for number one, even if you must find a way to do it on the sly. Don’t you think you’re worth it? I do.

With knowledge comes power!

Doxxing- When Cyber-Bullying Goes Too Far

scared and sad female teenager with computer laptop suffering cyberbullying and harassment being online abused by stalker or gossip feeling desperate and humiliated in cyber bullying.

 

Not long ago, I wrote a post entitled, “Cyber-Bullies, Stalkers, and Trolls.” In it I mentioned the importance of not letting faceless cowards get to you. I also mentioned that most of the above were a bunch of losers who were living in their mom’s basements and were bored and miserable with their existences and were to be laughed at or pitied.

And that’s most certainly true with most keyboard warriors. But!

What happens when online bullying goes too far? What happens when you encounter a more sinister troll- one who doxxes you and finds out your address, cellphone number, where you work, go to school, hang out- or, even scarier, who your family members are?

Then, it’s no laughing matter! This is a situation you must take seriously because things can get dangerous fast. If a troll doxxes you and finds out all this information, who’s to say the cyber-stalking bully won’t show up at your door and try to break in? Who’s to say the creep won’t go after your spouse and kids?

Anytime you have a doxxer on your tail, you’re dealing with a very vindictive, diabolical, and mentally disturbed individual(s) and you don’t know what the person is capable of!

In recent years, we’ve heard many, many stories of people being doxxed and creeps showing up on their doorsteps wanting to deal with them personally. Some people have had to go into hiding and a few have even had to go underground. It’s terrifying!

This is not paranoia; these are real and legitimate fears. And it’s plain to see that the law isn’t doing enough to protect innocent, law-abiding citizens when it comes to cyber-bullying and doxxing.

I believe the reason why people aren’t protected, and laws aren’t passed to crack down on trolling, cyber-bullying, cyber-stalking, and doxxing is because neither Big Tech nor the government takes it seriously, and may even condone the behavior.

Big Tech is too powerful. Also, many of our lawmakers, especially ones of the Far Radical Left, secretly encourage this kind of behavior. How else could they keep track of, instill fear in, and censor those who do not go along with their narratives and who don’t live their lives the way the Far Radical Left thinks they should?

So, why would they regulate their own minions and tools who’ve been working for them and risk Big Tech de-funding their causes and campaigns?

Sadly, I don’t expect any laws to be passed to protect private citizens against doxxing anytime soon. In fact, if certain wealthy people on the Far Radical Left (like George Soros, for instance) actually hire people to cyber-bully, troll, and dox “dissenters,” it’s a given that nothing will be done to protect the innocent.

Doxxing cyber bullying

With that said, if you’re ever in a situation where you’ve been cyber-stalked and doxxed by a cyber-bully, you must do what you must do to protect your privacy (or what little of it we all have left). Be aware of your surroundings and if anyone approaches you or breaks into your home, do what you’ve got to do to stay safe!

You have a  God-given, primal, and Constitutional right to protect yourself and the people you love. Yeah! You know what I’m saying. If someone inters your home uninvited and has clear intentions to hurt you and your family, you know what to do!

I may get some heat from the PC “woke” crowd over this post, but I don’t care. When it comes to safety and protection of human lives, any feelings and opinions automatically take a back seat. Period. Full stop!

Because, if some creep ever invades my house and it comes down to the lives of myself and my family, it’s no holds barred!

And I’d much rather be judged by twelve than carried by six- or worse, one of my family members get carried by six.

How to Know You’re Being Gaslighted

Bullies are notorious for gaslighting their targets. As we know, when a target speaks out about the abuse and begins defending themselves, bullies are quick to paint the targets as crazy, try to reverse the roles to make the target look like the bully, or try to convince the target that what happened didn’t really happen- that it was all in the target’s imagination, or they’re being overly sensitive, overreacting, etc.

If you’re a target, understand that bullies will gaslight you to shut you up, so that they can keep their moral high ground. They do it to make you doubt your sanity because they know that if you doubt your own sanity, it’s a sure bet that others will doubt it too.

It’s tough to know when someone is gaslighting you because when others agree with them, you’ll feel even more compelled to just shut up and go along with it. The reason for this compulsion is fear. You know that, more than likely, if you don’t just clam up and go along, you’ll only suffer more abuse as punishment for daring to open your mouth.

So, how do you know that someone is gaslighting you?

Simple. You know just by how it makes you feel. Here are the symptoms:

1. You’ll constantly second guess yourself – It’s a brutal cycle. You say something, make a judgement call, maybe a decision, and then you turn right around and begin wondering if you said or did the right thing. This is bad because second-guessing ourselves can cause us to feel stuck in life, and there are few worse things than feeling stuck.

 You’re hyper-self-aware, self-conscious, and always on guard to make sure you do and say the right thing all the time. Also, too much second guessing can cause us to do and say the wrong things out of nervousness and that is no way to live life!

How you solve this problem is to stop worrying about what others think and to realize that your first instinct will usually be the correct one.

 2. You wonder if you’re imagining things or being too sensitive and you do it several times a day- They don’t call it “crazy-making” for nothing because it can drive you crazy. When people are constantly taking pot shots at you, you hesitate to make any comebacks because, again, you’re too busy doubting yourself and putting too much value on the opinions of others.

Again, the best way to solve this problem is to trust what you feel and go with it. You may get bullied harder for it, but wouldn’t you feel better about yourself later, knowing that you stood up to those creeps?

3. You over-apologize- You apologize for trivial stuff that anyone else could do and probably get away with. You apologize for other people’s behavior. You even apologize for having to go to the bathroom! In short, you apologize for everything!

4. You’re confused all the time- Should you do this or that, say this or that? You live in constant confusion.

5. You’re never happy but you feel you should be- that’s a dead ringer that you’re being gaslighted. Because when people gaslight you even for feeling a certain way, this is what happens. And your feelings are right. You should be happier. Only you have a bullying gaslighter in your life holding you back from the happiness you so richly deserve.

6. You make excuses for other people’s behavior- this especially happens when you have fake friends who only use and abuse you. You don’t want others to know what they’re doing to you because you already know, and you’re riddled with shame over it. And it can be embarrassing when the people you call friends disrespect you because you end up looking pathetic to others. Therefore, you make excuses for them not only to hide the shame of being abused, but to keep your abusers from being angry and making you pay for it later.

But the only way to stop this is to face the truth and, even better, ditching these fakers. Because if you must make excuses for someone who’s bullying and abusing you, they can’t be a friend.

7. You lie to avoid being ridiculed or put down, even about things you should have nothing to worry about- when you feel you must lie about things that are not a big deal, that’s definitely a red flag!

Here are a few more symptoms to be aware of:

8. You feel that you’ve changed- that you’re no longer the confident and outgoing person you used to be.

9. You feel like you can’t do anything right.

10.  You feel hopeless.

11. You wonder if you’re good enough.

 12. You know something’s wrong, but you can’t put your finger on it.

Realize that being gaslighted day in and day out causes you to eventually lose yourself- to lose sight of who you are and once that happens, bullies and abusers will have you exactly where they want you.

Understand that some things are not so clear and that there are situations that we won’t get direct and easy answers to. That is why it’s so important to go with how you feel. Listen to your body- listen to your gut.

“Trust your feelings, Luke.” – Yoda (Star Wars)

There are times when the way you feel will be all the answers you need.

And once you go with your feelings, find a way to rid yourself of the life-leeches in your life (if possible). It’s the only way you’ll be able to heal, get yourself back, and live a peaceful, happy, and purposeful life.

With knowledge comes empowerment!

How to Use Your Bullies’ Attacks Against Them

You drag them out.

What do I mean by this?

When they attack you with insults, you simply say, “That’s your opinion,” or “Opinions vary.” When you do this, you will only force the bullies to repeat the attacks over and over again- drag them out until they become boring and redundant.

I won’t kid you; this technique won’t be an easy thing to do. Any time we are attacked, our first instinct is to jab back with attacks of our own. But sadly, this usually proves ineffective as it only pulls us down to the bully’s level.

Also, although this method can be effective in the workplace, it’s much harder and usually takes much longer to have an effect as adults are more tenacious and stealthier with their bullying. This strategy works much better in the school environment.

Respond, yes. But react, no.

And how you respond is with short comebacks like those above, then walk away and leave the bullies standing there, running their mouths and looking stupid. Because, when you don’t give them the response they want (which is for you to attack them back by name-calling, yelling, screaming, or cursing), their natural reactions will be to repeat, repeat, repeat like a broken record.

In other words, you force the bullies to repeat the same attacks until it gets so old and stale that others outside the bully/target dynamic get thoroughly sick of hearing the bullies that they no longer pay attention to it.

In deploying this neat little method, you expose the bullies’ fakery and the childishness of their attacks. You also expose the weakness of the bullies’ position, which they thought was their strength. Instead of turning their “audience” against you, they end up alienating them because bystanders become bored after a while.

Sadly, I didn’t know this at the time I was a target.

You Should Never Be Afraid of Conflict

Let’s face it. Conflict is a part of life and something we all encounter at many points in our lives. Many targets and survivors of bullying are deathly afraid of conflict. Why? Because they’ve had so much of it forced on them in the past by bullies who just refused to let them be. Also, many targets and survivors are traumatized by the bullying they presently suffer or from past bullying.

Understand that these poor souls haven’t yet dealt with the hurts they still have, and they don’t yet know their worth and the good they deserve. Many targets and survivors of bullying suffer from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. Because of this, they’re still stuck in survival mode.

As a result, target’s cave in and give in to bullies to appease them just so they’ll shut the hell up and go away. And people do get tired of hearing self-entitled and self-indulgent bullies bitch, rant, and beat their chests when they don’t get their way.

So, the unspoken message is, “Look! Just take what you want and get lost!”

I can understand why targets and survivors end up being this way. It’s because a person gets exhausted when they’re constantly have to battle and struggle to take back their autonomy, their self-determination, their personal power, their safety, their dignity, and their right to exist. They get worn down, they get weary, and all they want is for people to leave them alone and let them have some peace.

However, this can become a problem. If you go out of your way to avoid conflict, people will soon mistake you for being weak and they’ll walk all over you. You must set boundaries. There are times when you must say no. There are even times when you may have to show your ugly side to get your point across and let people know that no means no and enough is enough.

Understand that this requires guts. It means you must step out of your comfort zone and take risks. You must risk hurting others’ feelings and making people angry. You must risk being lashed out at and retaliated against. Moreover, you must also risk losing relationships and no, none of it feels good.

In short, you must stand up for yourself and that means facing conflict.

Think of it this way, if you’re a target of bullying, you’re going to face conflict no matter what because people will bring the conflict to you. Hiding from it does no good because it will eventually find you. When you are a target of bullying, conflict is unavoidable and certain.

In other words, run from conflict and you’ll end up running from it for the rest of your life!

So, why not face it head on, better yet embrace it and stand up to people, then you can feel better about yourself later knowing that you finally grew a spine and told them where to shove it. You may face retaliation for it, but you would face it anyway because, right or wrong, bullies will always find some justification for attacking you.

Faking a Surrender to Bullies to Trick Them into Leaving You Alone

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.

Silent ridicule works wonders for self-esteem!