The Zero-Sum Game

That’s what bullying is, a zero-sum game- where the bullies have all the power, and the target has their personal power stolen from them. Bullies believe that in order for them to attain happiness, their targets mustn’t have it- for them to have joy, their targets must suffer. It’s an unhealthy balance not only for the target, but for the bullies too.

To inflict pain on the target makes the bullies feel like kings and queens, like they’re superior to and better than another person. To rule over someone gives bullies a rush of power and control and to keep getting that rush- that power-high, bullies must keep up the torment and even worst, escalate it. In other words, they must continue to expend effort to keep the target from attaining happiness.

Bullies use the target as their scapegoat to blame all their troubles in life on and unleash all their pinned-up hostilities and aggressions on.

If the bully loses out on an award, the target is suddenly to blame.

If the bullies lose a ballgame, it’s the target’s fault.

If one of the bullies has a falling out with another family member, it’s because of the target.

If the bullies couldn’t get laid the night before, the target gets the blame.

If it rained when the bullies wanted sunshine, blame the target.

If the bully made an F on his report card, or didn’t finish a project in time, it’s the target’s fault because the target didn’t let the bully cheat off him or take credit for his work.

The bullies see the target as their sacrificial lamb. They force the target to take the rap for all their mistakes, screw-ups, flaws, and shortcomings. The target is a convenience to the bullies because he/she is a tool to help the bullies forget all about their insecurities, fears, inhibitions, flaws, and imperfections. In other words, the bullies get to unleash all their issues and feel light as a feather while the target must be weighed down with everyone else’s problems. Hence, the imbalance, or more appropriately, the zero-sum.

Even bullies find themselves in situations where they feel weak, indignant, wronged, and where they feel unimportant and unwanted. And the target is just the villain they need to place all their anger, bitterness, and frustrations on.

The target is forced to take all the blame, all the beatings of their soul and spirit, all the abuse while the bullies ride high on dominance and control.

When a target has their personal power taken from them, he then becomes powerless. The game then becomes zero-sum, because it’s the people with all the power against someone who is powerless.

If you’re that target, know that your true power resides within you and it’s something nobody can take away from you unless you unwillingly allow them to. And your power comes with the realization that you deserve to be treated with respect and that you don’t have to tolerate people or environments that are toxic or harmful.

Tap into that power and you’ll be able to tip the scales and restore balance to power. Even better, you’ll find peace and confidence you never thought possible.

With knowledge comes empowerment!

Toxic Shame in Targets Resulting from Bullying

Bullies ritually beat their victims down to the point that the poor targets have come to view themselves through the eyes of their bullies. Toxic shame is, perhaps, the worst type of shame a person can have. Because once you begin to view yourself through the eyes of your abusers, that’s when you know you’ve hit rock bottom.

Their contempt, disgust, and aversion toward you have rubbed off on you, and you began to hate yourself. But I want you to understand that this is what your bullies want. They want you to hate yourself. Because the bullies know that if they can work on you and finally get you to hate yourself, they know they’ve won.

Your bullies aren’t stupid. They know that you’ll submit to the abuse because when a person hates themselves, they think they deserve abuse.

When a target of bullying suffers from toxic shame, they accuse themselves of sins of which they aren’t guilty. They apologize incessantly over things that aren’t their fault. Ultimately, targets feel guilty for merely existing!

Toxic shame causes one to lose trust in himself and their decisions and judgments, and become afraid to make them. Ultimately, it makes for a miserable life.

The points mentioned above are why we must guard our self-esteem and confidence. But before we can do that, we must educate ourselves on where bullying comes from, the mindsets of bullies, how to spot them before they strike, ways for targets to minimize the effects of bullying, and the damage bullying can do. Only then will we have the knowledge to empower, protect, and take care of ourselves.

This is what this blog is all about, and it’s my wish that targets and potential targets learn these things to defend themselves. Because if we can reduce the number of victims, we can then reduce bullying.

With knowledge comes power!

Translating the Tactics Bullies Use

Social Aggression: When Bullies Spread Lies and Rumors About You

The possible underlying messages are:

“I hate you, and I want everyone else to hate you too!”

“I’m jealous of your relationships!”

“I don’t want you to have friends! I don’t want you to be popular with others! I don’t want you to have support or protection because I plan to bully you again later! Any success you have in relationships will only highlight my lack of social graces or my own dysfunctional relationships! So, I’m going to destroy your friendships to punish you and make myself feel and look better than you! I’m going to trash your reputation so I can shine, and so people will pay more attention to your flaws than they will mine!”

Chess board and text “Strategic plan” Business planning concept

“I’m scared you’ll have more friends than me.”

“I’m scared you’ll have allies who will protect you from me and make me look weak.”

“I’m going to use you as a distraction from my own shortcomings. If people are too busy focusing on your flaws, they’re less likely to see mine.”

When Bullies Beat You up

The possible messages are:

“You challenged my authority over you and made me look like a punk! So, I’m going to show you who’s boss and ensure you never defy my power again!”

“I feel weak and powerless! So, I’m going to use my physical strength to hurt you, embarrass you and make you look weaker so I can feel and look strong to others!”

When the Bully Justifies Themselves to You or Others, or When They Blame You for Their Bad Behavior

The possible messages are:

“I’m so scared that you’ll see right through me! So, I’m going to make you doubt your sanity. I’m going to make you feel like everything I do to you is your fault! That way, you’ll be least likely to call attention to my terrible actions and make me look bad or get me in trouble with authority!”

“I’m so afraid you’ll expose my terrible deeds to others and damage the excellent reputation that I’ve falsely kept up for so long! So, I’ve got to make up any excuse that sounds plausible to keep my evils hidden and avoid facing accountability!

dreamstime_xs_158125381

“I’m scared that I’ll be found out and punished! So, I’m blaming you so that everyone will think you’re at fault and believe you are the bully! By accusing you, I can avoid responsibility, then get the green light to keep harassing you! Then, I can keep getting the psychological and emotional benefits I’ve been getting at your expense!”

So, you see? The bully’s treatment of you is about them! Not you! Learn to see through the bullies’ facades, and I guarantee that their attacks will have a much lesser effect on you.

With knowledge comes empowerment!

The 7 Purposes of Ridicule and Why Bullies Use It

 

Ridicule is indeed one of the most powerful weapons against a target. No one wants to be ridiculed. Many people, in fact, consider death to be a better option. However, we must continue to remind ourselves that there are reasons bullies use it and the number one reason is to contain threats to their status and power.

In other words, anytime your bullies dial up the ridicule, it’s likely because they see you as threat. Maybe they’re on high alert because you somehow give them the impression that you see through their bullshit and that you just might expose them to the rest of the world and cause them to lose respect and topple them from their proverbial thrones.

And now, they must do some damage control. You made trouble for them and now they must jump through hoops to re-enforce their power and control of you. Because, if they can’t have power over you or anyone else, they deem inferior, then who can they have power over? Who else is there to dominate?

Understand that this is how bullies’ minds operate. So, without further ado, here are the 3 purposes of ridicule:

1.To silence you. As I’ve stressed many times before, anytime you report bullying or speak out against it, bullies will turn up the ridicule. They’ll laugh and call you “crazy,” “crybaby,” “whiner,” “wuss,” or other such names. Trust me. It’s all designed to shut you up and give the appearance that you’re weak and they’re still in control and unafraid.

 But they’re very afraid. So, they use something they know is likely to work- and stick.

2. To ruin you in the eyes of others. Ridicule has a powerful contagion effect and bystanders love to join in. And once you get ridiculed a few times, you become an outcast and at the bottom of the pecking order. Once you’ve lost respect, you’ve lost credibility as well.

3. To induce fear of social rejection. As mentioned earlier, many people fear death less than they do social rejection and alienation. Ridicule is the best way to mar a person in the eyes of others. Once a person is ridiculed, people shun them because they fear that if they associate with the target, they may be ridiculed and rejected too.

4. To keep you under their thumb. When people ridicule a target, they’re asserting power and dominance over that person. Ridicule is one of the best ways to strip someone of their personal power and lord dominance over them.

5. To punish you for stepping out of your place. Whether you speak out against abuse, you succeed at something, or outshine who perceive themselves to be the “ruling clique,” in the minds of bullies, you’re stepping out of your place, and you must be dealt with, not only as punishment, but to be made an example to others that this could happen to them to if they get out of line.

6. To keep you subdued. Fear keeps most people subdued and and the ruling clique in power. When you’re afraid, you’re more than likely to keep your head down and go along to get along.

7. To shame and humiliate you. Shame and humiliation are also powerful weapons, and they break your self-esteem very easily. Bullies use these to weaken you and take the fight out of you. And once your self-esteem is broken, you’re least likely to defend yourself.

In a nutshell, ridicule is designed to strip you of power. However, if you see the ridicule for what it is and know the reasons behind it, your self-esteem is less likely to take a big hit and you will better be able to stand against it and let the bullies know that you won’t be jerked around. Remember that this knowledge can be a power all its own.

With knowledge comes empowerment!

When People Tell You, “You Can’t Do Anything Right!”

It’s true! When you’re a target of bullying and mobbing, you really can’t do anything right. But understand that bullying does that to targets. It causes them to be extremely nervous and always on edge.

You drop things, trip over stuff, the intense nervousness and fear make you awkward and uncoordinated. It makes you clumsy. The human stress response is, indeed, a tricky little devil!

You become even more afraid, which makes the clumsiness worse- fearful of screwing up, afraid to fail, afraid to be yourself because you know your bullies are watching you closely, and you’re mistakes and failures are precisely what they’re waiting for.

verbal abuse bullying

A bullied girl bakes a cake in Home Economics, only for it to collapse like a souffle. A bullied boy accidentally drops the ball on the basketball court in Physical Education. A company supervisor oversees a project, only for it to fall flat and be ridiculed.

And it seems the harder you try not to screw up, the more you do. You’re confused and don’t know which way to turn, nor which end is up. Making choices is hard and you aren’t sure which decisions are the right ones. No one can think clearly when they don’t feel safe.

bullying victim nervous, walking tight rope

Because when your mind and body are in panic mode- when your brain rewires itself for a hostile environment after people have, for so long, subjugated you to inhumane treatment, the part of your mind that deals with decision-making and emotional regulation automatically shuts down. And you’re at the mercy of your primal instincts!

Again, all this is what bullying does to victims! It’s why most victims of bullying have low grades and performance in school and why their work projects suffer in the workplace. And it’s why they’re looked at by teachers and supervisors as failures and nuisances.

bullying girl physical

But know that you’re not a failure, a loser, or a freak. You must realize that any time you’re bullied, there’s no way to relax and just be. It’s impossible. So, understand that your bullies, in their sadistic abuse, have turned you from a once calm and happy person into one hot mess! Then they’ve taken that and exploited it by calling you things like, “train wreck,” “crazy,” and other such cheap shots.

But there’s hope. When you finally get out of the dangerous environment you’re stuck in, and away from those poisonous people, you’ll be amazed at how quickly the nervousness, clumsiness, and awkwardness will go away!

You will be calm again, finally. You’ll be able just to relax, breathe, and be. And that’s a freedom I can’t describe when I remember how it happened for me.

The relief is such that it’s a feeling of being able to come up for air after having your head held underwater, or of coming home after a long time away. When you’re in a new place and around better people, you can put your best foot forward and start over.

It may be frightening at first because, after all, you just came out of an abusive situation, and you may need time to get used to the new people in your life. You may be afraid of being bullied again. But I promise you that you can make new friends and you can finally enjoy equal treatment.

Because you’ll be a fresh face, and in most cases, everyone loves the new kid because there’s an air of mystery that surrounds them. So, take advantage of that.

And once you’re able to relax and be yourself, you’ll be able to speak and do things more confidently and assuredly. Your actions and movements will be fluid and the clumsiness and confusion will fade away. It happened for me, and it will work for you too!

Humiliation: The Bully’s Most Dangerous Weapon

Humiliation, unlike embarrassment or shame, leaves a mark on the person who suffers it, and the stigma surrounding the person can follow them for the rest of their lives. Why? Because people who’ve been publicly humiliated are always thought of and remembered for their humiliation. Think, Harvey Weinstein and the sex scandals which broke a few years ago.

Although ol’ Harvey’s humiliation is well-deserved, not so for victims of bullying. Innocent victims are often humiliated by their bullies and stuck in an uncomfortable and degrading position while others gather around excitedly to taunt and abuse them.

Humiliation has been used down through the ages. Tarring and feathering was a technique used in the Old West, which involved covering people with hot tar and feathers and parading them through the crowded streets on a horse-drawn cart. Think of Chuck Connors’ character, Jason McCord, in the old western series, “Branded.”

To humiliate someone is to assert power over them by denying and destroying their personal dignity. Throughout history, humiliation has been the most common and effective means of punishment, abuse, and oppression. It’s not the threat of imprisonment or even death that is a deterrent of crime; it is the dread of humiliation.

It’s a fact! People fear losing face worse than they do a violent death!

Humiliation is also used to maintain a social hierarchy and to emphasize that the group, alumni, organization, or community as a whole supersedes the individual. It is designed to defuse any threat to a particular order or someone’s esteemed position.

Think of today’s cancel culture.

In student hierarchies in schools, bullies at the top of the pecking order go to great lengths to protect their often ill-gotten status and uphold their positions. At the same time, the other kids are forced to submit to different kinds of debasement. And it’s the same in the workplace too.

Anytime a target of bullying defends himself against harassment and abuse, the bullies will often use humiliation to retaliate and subdue the victim by way of jokes, pranks, or setting the target up to get in trouble with the staff or a horrific beating by other kids. Bullies at the top will also spread vicious rumors and lies against their object.

Most forms of humiliation involve invading the victim’s privacy and sneakily taking videos of him/her in compromising positions.

Example 1:
A targeted girl is taking a shower in the locker room or undressing in the privacy of her bedroom, and the bullies hide behind a corner or just outside her bedroom window at night and take videos of her with their smartphones. They then spread the videos to other classmates. Or worse, a girl naively sends her boyfriend a nude selfie. They break up. He then shares it on social media, and the photo goes viral!

Humiliation and exile. A crowd of people chases a sad person.

Example 2:
A targeted boy is standing in front of a urinal using the bathroom, and a bully hides in the stall next to him, peering through the crack and the camera lens on his smartphone, taking videos of his manly areas. He then sends the video to all his buddies, and they laugh and joke about how small, crooked his package is (or it could be the mole, anything different about it). Remember the suicides of Tyler Clementi and Amanda Todd and the circumstances surrounding each case.

Example 3: A bright worker is set up to fail in the workplace. And when he does, it follows him the rest of his working life.

Humiliation is horrible for anyone. It is so devastating that it involves negative things with which the victim will always be associated, and there will be no getting away from it! Embarrassment and shame are only temporary. Humiliation, however, can follow a person for the rest of their lives!

So, if you are a victim of bullying, protect yourself. Also, I cannot stress this advice enough! No matter how much your boyfriend/girlfriend may claim he/she loves you! No matter how much the person begs and pleads for you to do it, nor what they threaten you with if you don’t! Never, ever, ever let anyone talk you into sending a nude pic! Ever!

And if anyone ever films you in an indecent position without you knowing it, know that what they did is against the law! Speak out about it and file criminal charges and a civil suit for damages!

The more you know, the better you protect yourself!

A Zero-Sum Game

That’s what bullying is, a zero-sum game- where the bullies have all the power, and the target has their personal power stolen from them. Bullies believe that in order for them to attain happiness, their targets mustn’t have it- for them to have joy, their targets must suffer. It’s an unhealthy balance not only for the target, but for the bullies too.

To inflict pain on the target makes the bullies feel like kings and queens, like they’re superior to and better than another person. To rule over someone gives bullies a rush of power and control and to keep getting that rush- that power-high, bullies must keep up the torment and even worst, escalate it. In other words, they must continue to expend effort to keep the target from attaining happiness.

Bullies use the target as their scapegoat to blame all their troubles in life on and unleash all their pinned-up hostilities and aggressions on.

If the bully loses out on an award, the target is suddenly to blame.

If the bullies lose a ballgame, it’s the target’s fault.

If one of the bullies has a falling out with another family member, it’s because of the target.

If the bullies couldn’t get laid the night before, the target gets the blame.

If it rained when the bullies wanted sunshine, blame the target.

If the bully made an F on his report card, or didn’t finish a project in time, it’s the target’s fault because the target didn’t let the bully cheat off him or take credit for his work.

The bullies see the target as their sacrificial lamb. They force the target to take the rap for all their mistakes, screw-ups, flaws, and shortcomings. The target is a convenience to the bullies because he/she is a tool to help the bullies forget all about their insecurities, fears, inhibitions, flaws, and imperfections. In other words, the bullies get to unleash all their issues and feel light as a feather while the target must be weighed down with everyone else’s problems. Hence, the imbalance, or more appropriately, the zero-sum.

Even bullies find themselves in situations where they feel weak, indignant, wronged, and where they feel unimportant and unwanted. And the target is just the villain they need to place all their anger, bitterness, and frustrations on.

The target is forced to take all the blame, all the beatings of their soul and spirit, all the abuse while the bullies ride high on dominance and control.

When a target has their personal power taken from them, he then becomes powerless. The game then becomes zero-sum, because it’s the people with all the power against someone who is powerless.

If you’re that target, know that your true power resides within you and it’s something nobody can take away from you unless you unwillingly allow them to. And your power comes with the realization that you deserve to be treated with respect and that you don’t have to tolerate people or environments that are toxic or harmful.

Tap into that power and you’ll be able to tip the scales and restore balance to power. Even better, you’ll find peace and confidence you never thought possible.

Bullying Can Cause Toxic Shame

Bullies ritually beat their victims down to the point that the poor targets have come to view themselves through the eyes of their bullies. Toxic shame is, perhaps, the worst type of shame a person can have. Because once you begin to view yourself through the eyes of your abusers, that’s when you know you’ve hit rock bottom.

Their contempt, disgust, and aversion toward you have rubbed off on you, and you began to hate yourself. But I want you to understand that this is what your bullies want. They want you to hate yourself. Because the bullies know that if they can work on you and finally get you to hate yourself, they know they’ve won.

Your bullies aren’t stupid. They know that you’ll submit to the abuse because when a person hates themselves, they think they deserve abuse.

When a target of bullying suffers from toxic shame, they accuse themselves of sins of which they aren’t guilty. They apologize incessantly over things that aren’t their fault. Ultimately, targets feel guilty for merely existing!

Toxic shame causes one to lose trust in himself and their decisions and judgments, and become afraid to make them. Ultimately, it makes for a miserable life.

The points mentioned above are why we must guard our self-esteem and confidence. But before we can do that, we must educate ourselves on where bullying comes from, the mindsets of bullies, how to spot them before they strike, ways for targets to minimize the effects of bullying, and the damage bullying can do. Only then will we have the knowledge to empower, protect, and take care of ourselves.

This is what this blog is all about, and it’s my wish that targets and potential targets learn these things to defend themselves. Because if we can reduce the number of victims, we can then reduce bullying.

Why You Should NEVER Hate Yourself

In today’s backwards culture, we are continuously encouraged to hate ourselves, especially if we fall under certain criteria. You know what I’m talking about.

Also, we’re being brainwashed into believing that if we hate ourselves because of some kind of “privilege,” or because we’re Americans, or Westerners, or middle class, or because we own a business, whatever, then it shows that we’re “woke.” It’s virtue signaling at its finest, and it’s all a bunch of hogwash!

Here’s why you shouldn’t hate yourself no matter what anyone, including your bullies, the media, and certain politicians tell you:

If they can get you to hate yourself, then they can make you self-destruct. Understand that if you hate yourself, it isn’t to your own benefit, it’s only to theirs (bullies, media, politicians, the elite, etc.) Also, if they can get you to hate yourself, they can talk you into doing the most degrading and demeaning things- like bow down and kneel before other people.

Anyone who can get you to hate yourself can make you feel guilty for things that you had nothing to do with and that aren’t your fault, get you to subjugate yourself, and make you feel that you must “atone” for that guilt.

Depression Concept with Word Cloud and a Humanbeing with broken Brain and Heavy Rain

Understand that people who hate themselves are easily led because they are yes-people too eager to please. They try so hard to show the rest of the world, they’re morally good- that they’re above certain things. These people will jump through hoops to prove they’re decent people.

But folks, if you already know yourself and know without a doubt that you’re a good, moral, and decent person, why then would you feel you must bend over backwards and make such a concerted effort to prove that?

You wouldn’t. Because you know that the goodness, morals, and decency are already there whether others know it or not. Your conscience is clear, and you know that you’ve done nothing wrong. Therefore, you instinctively know that anything the media, politicians, or anyone on the street might put out does not apply to you.

Anyone who virtue signals- who has to work so hard and put on a show to prove something to others can’t have a clear conscience- so they must pander, virtue signal, and really strain themselves not only to prove to the rest of the world that they’re on top of the moral mountain, but to ease their guilty conscience.

On the other hand, if your conscience is clear and you know that none of the narratives apply to you, you wouldn’t waste your time and energy trying to prove it.

‘Know where I’m going with this? Great! I thought that you would!

No matter where you come from,  it’s best to love yourself just the way God made you and turn a deaf ear to the lies of The Enemy!

Tactics Bullies Use

Social Aggression: When Bullies Spread Lies and Rumors About You

The possible underlying messages are:

“I hate you, and I want everyone else to hate you too!”

“I’m jealous of your relationships!”

“I don’t want you to have friends! I don’t want you to be popular with others! I don’t want you to have support or protection because I plan to bully you again later! Any success you have in relationships will only highlight my lack of social graces or my own dysfunctional relationships! So, I’m going to destroy your friendships to punish you and make myself feel and look better than you! I’m going to trash your reputation so I can shine, and so people will pay more attention to your flaws than they will mine!”

Chess board and text “Strategic plan” Business planning concept

“I’m scared you’ll have more friends than me.”

“I’m scared you’ll have allies who will protect you from me and make me look weak.”

“I’m going to use you as a distraction from my own shortcomings. If people are too busy focusing on your flaws, they’re less likely to see mine.”

When Bullies Beat You up

The possible messages are:

“You challenged my authority over you and made me look like a punk! So, I’m going to show you who’s boss and ensure you never defy my power again!”

“I feel weak and powerless! So, I’m going to use my physical strength to hurt you, embarrass you and make you look weaker so I can feel and look strong to others!”

When the Bully Justifies Themselves to You or Others, or When They Blame You for Their Bad Behavior

The possible messages are:

“I’m so scared that you’ll see right through me! So, I’m going to make you feel like everything is your fault and doubt your sanity! That way, you’ll be least likely to call attention to my terrible actions and make me look bad or get me in trouble with authority!”

“I’m so afraid you’ll expose my terrible deeds to others and damage the excellent reputation that I’ve falsely kept up for so long! So, I’ve got to make up any excuse that sounds plausible to keep my evils hidden and avoid facing accountability!

dreamstime_xs_158125381

“I’m scared that I’ll be found out and punished! So, I’m blaming you so that everyone will think you’re at fault and believe you are the bully! By accusing you, I can avoid responsibility, then get the green light to keep harassing you! Then, I can keep getting the psychological and emotional benefits I’ve been getting at your expense!”

So, you see? The bully’s treatment of you is about them! Not you! Learn to see through the bullies’ facades, and I guarantee that their attacks will have a much lesser effect on you.