Why It’s Important to Report Bullying When It Happens to You

 I can’t stress enough the importance of reporting the bullying you suffer if you’re a target. Yes, speaking out is scary and yes, it involves taking a huge risk of being retaliated against.

But understand that anytime your bullies retaliate against you for reporting them- anytime they seek to punish you for daring to open your mouth, it only goes to show that they’re only scared to death!

It also shows that they’re desperate, but, more than that, it shows that they’re guilty! Because if they weren’t guilty, they wouldn’t need to retaliate and they wouldn’t need to try and silence you.

Most people still haven’t caught onto this yet, but behind every bully’s retaliation for a target’s reporting their abuse is the fear of being exposed and the knowledge that they’re guilty.

Understand that, though members of authority and bystanders you speak out to may not want to listen to your pleas for help, the truth is that they can never unhear what you’ve told them.

And though they all may cover for the bully and deny they saw any bullying take place, they can still never unsee it. The important thing is for it to reach their eyes and ears.

Think about this. Warplanes always get bombarded with the most flack any time they’re flying over their target- this is when the battle is at it’s absolute worst! You see, the closer the plane gets to the target, the more the enemy will escalate their defensive attacks.

It’s the same with bullies, any time you’re over the target and pegging them on their BS, any time the bullies suspect that you’ve got their number, they will hurl all kinds of insane attacks on you. So, expect it, accept it, and, most importantly, prepare for it.

And if you ever find yourself in this kind of situation, don’t let them shake you. Always remember the warplane analogy and you’ll better withstand the onslaught. Even better, you’ll be able to call it out when it happens.

You’d be surprised how much easier it is to fight against something once you can put a name on it and explain it. A problem that you can put a name on and explain clearly is a problem you can more easily solve.

With knowledge comes empowerment!

Why Many Targets of Bullying Find it Necessary to Lie

I’ve never told one lie in my entire life, and that’s no lie!

Ha! Shyeah, right!

Let’s face it, we’ve all told some big ones in our lives, myself included and yes, even you have. No one is perfect and there are many reasons why people lie- too many to list.

As we all know, bullies and abusers are notorious liars and they do it without even a shred of conscience. The scary thing about it is that they’re good at lying, and their talent for telling such convincing falsehoods is what makes them so dangerous. And why not, bullies and abusers have been telling fibs all their lives.

They’ve had so many years of practice, they’ve gotten deception down to a fine art. In other words, they’ve become masters at it!

We also know why bullies and abusers lie. They don’t only lie to cover their butts and conceal wrongdoings, imperfections, and shortcomings; but also, to discredit their victims, defame others, assassinate people’s character, and ruin their reputations and lives.

However, many targets of bullying also lie. But they lie for totally different reasons.

Targets of bullying don’t like having to tell falsehoods. In fact, they hate it! But they do out of fear and terror. They lie out of desperation. You see, a person who is under the threat of being harmed will do anything to remove that threat. And if they have to lie to save themselves, they’ll do it.

Many targets of bullying must tell lie after lie just to survive! Sadly, most people who are bullied feel like they must lie to protect themselves because they know that truth could get them hurt. Or they lie to make the bullying stop.

Sadly, lying becomes a survival method and, even worse, a terrible habit that’s hard to break.

I must confess that this was me years ago. During the years I was bullied, I felt I also had to lie to ensure my personal safety, and it sucked. A lot of my relationships suffered in the process, and I lost a lot of people.

After years of being bullied, I became a very sneaky and wile person. I used craftiness and cunning to get through a normal school day. I felt I had to use trickery and con games just to survive each day and I’m not proud to admit this today.

If there’s one thing you should remember, it’s this: The people you feel you must lie to have power over you. They control your life. In other words, by lying, you make yourself a subject.

Here’s another thing you should remember:

People with any common sense can tell when they’re being played. And lies have a way of unraveling. Falsehoods are also hard to maintain, and you must tell another lie to cover up the first one. In other words, it’s a lot of work to maintain a lie.

Eventually, I came to realize these important facts. There finally came a time when I began to ask myself these questions:

“Who are these people that I should have to lie?”

 “Why must I work so hard to hide stuff instead of being myself and being free?”

“Who do I have anything to hide from?”

“Why should I give up my power to people who have no business having it?”

That’s when I got sick of it and said, “screw this!”

Lying is too much work and it’s stressful too. And it’s a shame that more don’t learn that lesson. I’m so glad that I now have the confidence to be honest without feeling the need to apologize for it.

Today, I know that I have nothing to hide from anyone, and that means I have nothing to lie about. If they can’t handle the truths of my reality, then screw them. They don’t pay my bills, nor do they sign my paychecks. They have no authority over me and no bearing on my life whatsoever.

And even if they did, I wouldn’t feel the need to lie to them about anything.

Being myself and standing in my truth allow me to relax and live in peace and harmony. There’s no need to scramble to cover up any lies and it’s the life I love and want to continue to live.

With knowledge comes empowerment!

When A Bully Is Physically Attacking You, Should You Hit Back?

It seems to be the question on everyone’s mind these days, especially in the notoriously politically correct climate in which we live. The media and politicians vehemently discourage fighting violence with violence. You’ll hear statements from others, such as:

“Two wrongs don’t make a right.”
“Turn the other cheek.”
“Don’t stoop to the bully’s level.”
And the all-time favorite,
“Be the bigger person and walk away.”

I’ve heard them all.

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Yes, you should try more peaceful ways first, like walking away from the bully or reporting it to someone in power. However, what if the more peaceful solutions don’t work?

If you don’t stand up for yourself, the bully will only continue to come after you and hurt you. You’ll be a punching bag for everyone who knows you at school or elsewhere. Because when word gets around that one person can hit you and get away with it, everyone else will think they can too and you’ll be the school or the community whipping boy. That’s no way to live.

In the middle of a physical attack, the last resort is the only option you have.

So, here it is:

When a bully physically attacks you, you have a God-given, primal, animal right to defend yourself from being harmed. I state this with full conviction!

If a bully hits you first, haul off and knock his block off! And when you do, don’t just give him a love pat. Deck the creep with the strength of your entire body- hit so hard that the bully has difficulty getting back up. Then unleash a hail of hard licks so that he doesn’t get up. Because once the bully gets up, he will charge you!

Yeah. I know it isn’t the “politically correct” thing to do. But when someone is harming you, all that jazz about political correctness and being the bigger person goes out the window, and the gloves are off.

The only thing you should think of at this point is how to disable the bully so or give him such a bad memory that he’ll never even think about coming for you again. You aren’t a troublemaker or a brute for this, folks! It’s called self-defense!

This doesn’t mean bringing a gun or other deadly weapon. Lethal weapons will only get someone killed, and you put behind bars for the rest of your life. Never EVER carry a gun to school! It’s much better to put up your dukes and throw down when you must.

Bully picking on smaller weaker teenager with very agressive behavior shoving his face into the bus

I’ll say again, punch the bully’s lights out! You may get suspended from school, fired from work, or even go to jail for a night or two. However, physical attacks are much more vicious nowadays and if you just let someone smack you around, they’ll only intensify the beatings until they hurt you bad enough to send you to the hospital or worse! And I’d much rather be suspended, lose a job, or spend a night in jail than to spend a month in the hospital or end up six feet under.

I don’t condone fighting. Although I fought many times in school, I hated it each time I had to. I was a 5’4″, 120-pound girl being jumped and most of the time by multiple assailants, a male attacker, or a female much bigger than me. There were times when I was also boxed in where I couldn’t go anywhere.

There was no other choice. It was either fight or risk my bullies possibly maiming or killing me. Sometimes the last resort is the only way to protect yourself and let a bully know that you’re not the one to mess with and that you aren’t afraid to fight back if necessary.

There will be others who may disagree with this post, and that’s okay. I am very thick-skinned now and rarely do I get offended. I can agree to disagree. But I will do what I have to do to protect my well-being and my life if ever I’m in physical danger.

So, if all else fails, go ahead and whoop that ***!

I’d love to hear your thoughts on the subject!

You Don’t Need to Explain Yourself to a Bully

Why? Because bullies don’t care what your reasons are. The only reason they blame you for something and try to bait you into explaining yourself is the psychological payoff they get from it. The psychological payoffs, being satisfaction, gratification, and a massive rush of power.

While you’re standing there wasting your breath, trying to convince the bully that you aren’t guilty of whatever it is that they’re accusing you or attacking you for, the bullies are mentally smirking and patting themselves (and each other) on the backs over how easily they’ve got you to react, how easily they can scare you and make you nervous, and get you all up in arms. Some things don’t need an explanation.

Here are more reasons why you shouldn’t explain yourself to a bully:

1. No matter what you say, how calm you are when you say it, how convincing you may sound, or how much evidence you may have to support you, bullies will never believe you anyway.

2. Understand that bullies only believe whatever feels right, useful, and convenient for them.

3. They aren’t interested in evidence or facts. Any facts may only deter them for the time being, but believe me when I tell you. Your bullies will only get angrier at you for having the gall to prove them wrong. Then, they’ll regroup, reorganize, then come back at you with a whole new accusation and demand yet another explanation later.

Understand that anytime bullies accuse you of wrongdoing that you neither committed nor know anything about, deep inside, they already know you’re innocent.

They are fully aware that you had nothing to do with the transgression. Realize that it’s only a trap to get you to react and give them that rush of power that you’ve been giving them all along and that they crave and can’t seem to get enough of.

Even when you produce evidence to prove your point, you must work to gather that evidence.

Just knowing they have you jumping through hoops to prove yourself is enough to give them the thrills they’re looking for.

So, instead of letting them bait you into a defense, you should be asking yourself,

1. “Who are these morons?

2. “Who are they that I should have to explain anything?”

3. “Since when do I have to explain anything to these jackholes? They don’t pay my bills!”

Understand that you don’t owe these people a damn thing!

I understand that bullies can be intimidating and threatening. It’s hard to resist an explanation when you’re scared to death and not began rattling off an excuse in nervousness, hoping that a reasonable explanation will make the harassment go away. But trust me, it won’t!

It certainly didn’t make things better for me. If anything, it only got worse because my reaction only made me look like an easy target.

But once I realized what they were doing, I began to get bored with them and walk away because their games no longer affected me. The same will be for you too, and you’ll feel much better. And the icing on the cake will be that you’ll take the wind out of the bullies’ sails, and they’ll finally leave you alone.

With knowledge comes empowerment.

You Aren’t Selfish

To expect fair and humane treatment from others at work or school.

To expect better and more loyal friendships.

To walk away from a job with a boss or coworkers who don’t appreciate your efforts.

To stop putting other’s wants and needs before your own.

To snub people who don’t value you.

To chose not to do anything you don’t want to do.

To say no to things and people you don’t like or just aren’t right for you.

To kick toxic people and life-suckers out of your life.

To refuse to let others take advantage of you.

To walk away from a relationship or friendship that only drains you and leaves you feeling terrible about yourself.

To look out for and take care of yourself.

To put yourself first.

To love yourself and all your imperfections.

You must realize that most people do not care about being fair or reasonable; they only speak of fairness and reason when it suits them.

Understand that you deserve for others to treat you with love and respect. You have a right to say no- to refuse and to walk away when something doesn’t feel right to you.

You deserve the freedom to live your life on your terms, to do things your way, and to be successful, happy, and fulfilled.

Anything less than that is unacceptable. And if any of this constitutes being selfish, then it’s okay to be “selfish.”

Always Love Yourself

When you are a target of bullying, loving yourself can be very difficult when it seems that the only thing you hear from others is negativity. Constantly being bombarded with ugly names, cruel taunts, and attacks over a long period of time can very easily have a cumulative and devastating effect on your self-esteem. If you aren’t careful, you too will begin to believe the cruel falsehoods that mean-spirited others tell you.

However, no matter how viciously others may treat you, you must do everything possible to hold on to self-love! Even if you have to look at yourself in the mirror every day and make positive affirmations.

“I AM an awesome person.”
“I AM beautiful.”
“I AM worthy of being loved.”

You must maintain your self-esteem and never let anyone brainwash you into thinking that you are less than.

You must love and respect yourself before anyone else can love and respect you. You must take care of yourself. You must command respect and love from others, including a few family members you love dearly, and be willing to make some tough decisions to receive that love and respect.

Sometimes, you have to walk away, knowing full well that there is always a chance that the person may never see your worth. And this means coming to a place where you no longer care even the slightest about the outcome.

However, there is a strong chance that your value will go up in that person’s eyes, and they will eventually see your worth and treat you better than you ever thought possible. It may not happen overnight. In fact, it may take up to several years, but it can happen.

If, by chance, it does not happen, realize that you did not turn your back on the person because you did not love them, but only because they did not love you enough to treat you with the love and respect that you know in your heart of hearts that you deserve.

You must love yourself, or nobody will love you. Never look outside of yourself for love and validation. Never depend on others for assurance of your value. Let love come from within your heart!

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…

7 Ways to Expose a Bully

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The best defense is to know bullying when it happens to you, and to know how to unveil a bully’s deplorable behavior. Here’s a list of several things you can do to rip the mask off and keep yourself safe.

1. Know your enemy. How you do this is to stand back and observe the people around you, but without looking like you are watching them. Pay close attention to body language, facial expressions, and tone of voice. I can’t stress enough the importance of this.

This is how you find out who the trouble makers are. If you see another student or coworker gossip and make trouble for others, you can be sure that in time, they will do the same to you.

2. Document everything! As it has been said, “if it isn’t documented, it never happened”. Keep a journal and write down everything. I did this in junior high and high school just in case one of my bullies either hurt me bad enough to hospitalize me, or worse- killed me.

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You must write down the names of your bullies, the names of any bystanders or authority (teachers, principal, or any member of authority) present at the time the altercation took place, the date, time, place it happened, what happened and if possible, why it happened. Also, record what is said and by whom. Document every… single… detail!

3. Do not reveal any information about yourself that you would not want to be told to anyone. Including your friends! If you do, you’re asking for trouble because if you are the target of a bully, you can be sure that your bullies will, at some point, either try to pry information out of your friends or they will turn your friends against you altogether.

4. Keep a low profile. Don’t do anything that may draw attention to yourself. And stay away from places the bullies may gather. Think, “Out of sight, out of mind.” Just don’t make it obvious to your bullies that you are ducking and dodging them. I avoided several confrontations by simply laying low.

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However, be advised that avoidance will not work if you have a determined bully after you. If a person wants to get to you badly enough, they will seek you out until they find you.

5. Save any threatening texts, emails, social media messages/posts, and/or voice mails for evidence. And if possible, hide a digital recorder on you or ease your hand down into your purse and set your cellphone to video during any altercations. Do it covertly so that the bully doesn’t know what you are doing. Just make sure you live in a one-party consent jurisdiction. Screenshot any nasty emails, messages, comments, and posts on social media.

Keep your composure and be sure not to tarnish the recording by yelling or using foul language.

6. NEVER brag about any evidence you have against a bully. Not even to your best friend! Again, bullies have a knack for prying information out of people, even your friends. They can also turn your friends against you, making them more than happy to volunteer the information.

gavel and soundblock of justice law and lawyer working on wooden

gavel and soundblock of justice law and lawyer working on wooden desk background

Don’t do it! Anytime you are a target of bullies, you are in no position to trust anyone!

7. Call the bully out in front of an audience. This is risky and could bring retaliation. However, the bully will also know that you are on to them and you just might intimidate them enough that they will leave you alone. It happened to me on a few occasions.

But keep in mind that this doesn’t happen for everyone. Calling the bully out in front of people can also humiliate the bully and make that person more determined to get you. So access the bully’s personality and the situation carefully before you decide to do this.

Ripping the mask off the bully…layer by layer.

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.