Studio shot of playful disobedient adult son in red t-shirt, covering ears with index finger and saying lalala while wanting mom get mad, standing indifferent to argue, being impolite and childish.
“Get over it!”
“Let it go!”
“Forget about it!”
How many of you have been told to do either of these? As if you could just wiggle your nose and everything is peachy king. When you’ve been abused, you cannot just let it go. Healing takes time.
The emotions you feel won’t just go away. Even if you paint a smile on your face and pretend that nothing’s wrong, these feelings will still be there, simmering under the surface, and the more you try to stuff them down and bury them, the more damage it will cause.
Understand that the emotions you’re feeling are there for a reason. They warn you that something isn’t right. Realize that the anger and hurt doesn’t disappear overnight and the people who give you that kind of response are ignorant and only re-abuse you when they demand that you “get over it.”
In order to heal and get your life back again, you must allow yourself to feel those raw emotions. No, it isn’t comfortable. No one wants to feel pain. But you must go through it to come out on the other side of it. And while you’re moving through the pain, practice self-care.
Give yourself some TLC. Have self-compassion. It’s okay to not be okay and it’s okay to baby yourself.
Take a few days off. Lounge around the house in your pajamas if you want to. Eat your favorite treat or give yourself a good, sweaty workout. Treat yourself to a spa-day, facial, new do, or a beach vacation. Your first priority is self-care, whatever it may be for you.
Last and most important, don’t shut up! Keep speaking out and standing in your truth. Self-care also means being your own advocate and if people don’t like it, too bad.
Many times, bullies will blow up on their targets for absolutely no reason. When they’re later questioned about the blow-up, they can’t remember why they lost their temper. So, they drum up fake memories to fill in the blanks in order to sound plausible instead of ridiculous.
When bullies confabulate, they do it to feel sane when they wouldn’t otherwise. And the way they feel sane is to insert made-up stories into the blanks. I’ve seen this happen many times and even had bullies justify themselves to me by the same method.
Sometimes, confabulations can be mistaken for real memories and the truth to the confabulator.
When bullies confabulate a justifiable reason for their appalling behavior, they believe themselves. So, is it any wonder that most abusers appear to others to be telling the truth when they justify and rationalize away their abusive actions?
When a person believes their own lies, others are more likely to believe them too. It’s a fact.
Confabulations have an incredible effect on witnesses. When people hear lies spoken as truths, it is as if you’ve entered the twilight zone.
No one wants to be under a bully’s influence, but people get sucked under it all the time. Many people have had their lives destroyed, even taken because they were persuaded by bullies. And those who saw through those abusers and spoke out were either silenced or paid a heavy price for daring to open their mouths. This has also happened to entire cultures and populations.
Understand that confabulations can be a powerful weapon because the bullies who confabulate believe themselves so it’s a sure bet that others will believe them too. That’s why we must learn to either properly counter any confabs or let the bully drag them out until others get tired of hearing them squawking about it.
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.
In movies and television, we see scenarios where targets stand up to bullies and automatically either get left alone or become friends with their former tormentors. However, in most cases, this is not reality. Remember that bullies are relentless.
Here are the tactics bullies use when a target stands up for themselves:
If you are a target, you must realize that bullies will not relinquish their power so easily. They will not be good sports and hand your human rights back over to you, nor will they bow out of your life gracefully. Bullies have an insatiable need to wield power over another, and without that power, they feel lost.
Why? Because bullies have no redeemable qualities and they’re losers in life. And since they can’t get power by their own merit, the only way left to get it is by ruining someone else’s life.
Make no mistake about it. When you kick unsavory people out of your life, they will do the following:
1. They will gaslight you- by adding their spin to make you look and feel like the villain and maligning you to others to destroy your good name and credibility.
2. They will lay guilt trips- by trying to convince you that you are at fault or that the abuse is your imagination. Bullies are masters at this, especially female bullies who use feminine charm to deceive bystanders and authority figures.
3. They may recruit followers and start a smear campaign- by recruiting followers to spread rumors and lies. They will also try to turn your friends against you. It happened to me many times and it would come as retaliation for my having the gall to stand up to them and assert my God-given, divine right not to be abused or taken advantage of.
4. They will turn your friends against you- Females, although becoming more and more physically violent with time, commit much of their bullying by Dividing and Conquering- attacking the targets’ relationships to turn everyone against the target to isolate them. Think about it. The chances are that your friends know your deepest, darkest secrets. They would know the most intimate details about your life. Friends are a GOLDMINE of information to bullies.
5. They will project their shortcomings onto you– Bullies have flaws and their greatest fear is having them exposed. What better way to keep their imperfections hidden than to either project them onto the target?
6. They will distract others’ attention away from their flaws by pointing out yours– What better way is there to hide their own shortcomings than putting the spotlight on yours? It shouldn’t be so easy but it is!
If bullies can’t control you, they will control how others see you.
They use the above strategies not only to cover their backsides and to punish you for daring to grow a spine and defend yourself, but also to close you off from any possible help or protection.
Once the target is isolated, the bullies move in for the kill. Now, they can do with you whatever they choose to do, freely and with impunity because if everyone is against you, the least likely they are to report or stop the abuse. In the minds of others, you deserve what’s happening to you.
Bullies want to, figuratively, hold the target hostage, and they will resort to any means necessary to keep him/her on emotional lock down and “in their place.”
They will do it with physical violence when exclusion, subtle digs, verbal assaults, gaslighting, and other forms of psychological abuse no longer have an impact. Bullies will commit their violence either by committing bodily harm themselves or sending someone else to do their savagery for them.
This does not mean that you should not stand up for yourself because you should. However, when you do, be prepared. The torment will get worse before it gets better. Be strong. Be brave and know that none of it is your fault.
The more you know.
Have you noticed how bullies always seem to make “you” statements? You this, and you that; “you always” this, and “you never” that. You, you, you! The thing is, these statements are so transparent and so telling. They speak volumes about the bullies and nothing about the target because they are hallmarks of the typical abuser- accusation, and blame.
Here are a few common you-statements bullies make.
“You lie all the time!”
“You always bitch and complain about everything!”
“You’re (stupid, ugly, crazy, a liar, a wuss, etc.)!”
“You can’t leave well enough alone!”
“You’re a chicken!”
“You couldn’t find your ass with both hands!”
“You’ll never amount to anything!”
“You just keep pushing it!”
“You’re always trying to start something!”
“You always blow everything out of proportion!”
“You bring it all on yourself!”
“You always have to screw everything up!”
And the list is endless.
Know that these you-statements are designed to tear you down and keep you there. They’re meant to strip you of your rights as a human being, your dignity, your autonomy, your joy, your pride, all of which is your personal power.
You must counter them, then turn them around on the bully. How to do this is by simply saying, “No I’m not, YOU are!” or “No I don’t! YOU do!” Then dismiss the bully and walk away.
The bully might argue back but the important thing is that you’ve made your point. And you walk away and leave the bully standing there running their mouth and looking desperate and stupid.
Bullies are notorious for abusing their targets, then turning around and discounting their normal, understandable, and justifiable sadness, fear, anger, and depression that result as a direct cause.
But understand the subtext of your bullies’ actions and discounting of your pain-
“Your feelings mean nothing.”
“Your pain and suffering aren’t real and don’t matter.”
“You’re not allowed to be sad, angry, scared, or depressed when we abuse you.”
When bullies discount your pain and suffering, they may make statements such as:
“You’re too sensitive.”
“You’re such a crybaby.”
“Can’t you take a joke?”
“You’re jumping to conclusions.”
“You’re blowing everything out of proportion.”
“You’re always on the defensive.”
“You’re taking stuff too seriously.”
“It’s only in your imagination.”
“You don’t know what you’re talking about.”
“You’re always trying to start something.”
“You’re making a mountain out of a molehill.”
…and the list goes on
The target may wonder why it is that he’s always in the wrong when he doesn’t mean to be. Understand that this is victim-blaming. And the bullies must blame you to keep from having to take responsibility for their behavior.
If nothing else, remember this:
You always know when something doesn’t feel good. So never doubt what you feel. Never second guess what you feel in your gut. Always listen to that jab in the pit of your stomach because your body never lies.
Bullies may think they know you, and they may attempt to define who you are, but only you know the definition of who you are. By having the audacity to tell us who we are, not only to bullies attempt to force us to replace our thoughts of ourselves with theirs, they also try to play God.
In doing this, bullies also want to force us to deny our beliefs and convictions, and ultimately, deny ourselves. They want us to tell ourselves that what they did to us was all in our minds and only make-believe when it is they who are in a world of make-believe.
Understand that to accept someone else’s definition of you; you must discard your own. When we allow bullies to dictate our inner reality, we lose bits and pieces of ourselves. Also, little by little, we lose awareness of our emotions each time we allow them to do it and eventually grow numb.
For example, when we cry about a legitimate hurt that cuts us to the core, bullies will often invalidate the pain we feel and replace it with their perceptions of it.
They do it by making these biting statements:
“It isn’t that serious!”
“You’re too sensitive!”
“Oh, boo-friggin-hoo! You’re just a little cry baby trying to get attention!”
“Put your big-girl panties on!”
“Get over it!”
Understand that when you feel sadness, you feel sadness, and when you’re angry, you’re angry, and you should allow yourself and be allowed to feel those emotions. No one has a right to tell you how to feel. Ever!
In making these types of statements and accusations, bullies cause many targets to feel guilty for being a human being- for being a person. But realize that bullies don’t see you as a person with thoughts, feelings, beliefs, and convictions of your own. They see you as an abject- a robot they can control.
Bullies don’t see you as an independent and separate being. They see you as a subject who’s only here for their purpose, pleasure, and entertainment. In their minds, your sole purpose on earth is to make them feel powerful. Nothing more. So, instead of allowing you to own your truth, bullies will tell you what your truth is- or should be. And they’ll force-feed it to you and cram it down your throat.
Therefore, this is the kind of response you should expect from bullies.
And if you’re not careful, you’ll allow their statements to overtake you and, in that, allow their perceptions to replace yours. You’ll begin to see yourself through their eyes until you let them blind you to your true nature. You’ll slowly lose sight of yourself until you don’t know who you are anymore.
Even worse, you’ll lose the intuition that they’re abusing you and will no longer know when to protect yourself- you’ll grow numb to the abuse. Realize that this is how bullies and abusers train you not to defend yourself, and once they succeed, they then have you right where they want you- this is how bullies slowly and subtly take the fight out of targets and render them pacifists.
Understand that you must muster the strength to withstand your bullies’ attacks, do all you can to maintain your sense of self, and refuse to accept your bullies’ opinions and definitions of you. Never allow others to trick you into believing that they know you better than you know yourself. The truth is that you know yourself better than anyone else in the entire world because you’re the only one other than God who lives inside you.
Realize that bullies are persistent, so targets must maintain their sense of self and their clarity of who they are. Your beliefs, convictions, likes, dislikes, preferences, authenticity, autonomy, and your ability to decide when something doesn’t feel good add up to equal your definition and your truth.
Your self-definition, sense of self, self-belief, autonomy, confidence, self-esteem are like precious gems, and you must guard them against thieves who wish to take them.
Humiliation, unlike embarrassment or shame, leave’s a mark on the person who suffers it, and the stigma which surrounds 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 by their humiliation. Think, Harvey Weinstein and the sex scandals which broke a year or so 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 back in olden times, 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. Through 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.
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 while 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.
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!
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 lense of the camera 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. The reason it is so devastating is 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 your knowing it, know that what they did is against the law! Speak out about it and file not only criminal charges but a civil suit for damages!
The more you know, the better you protect yourself!
Here is something which does not get mentioned enough. Often, when a girl is singled out for bullying, she is left wide open for sexual harassment. The harassment can range from inappropriate and embarrassing comments to unwanted physical touching. Though I’m female and am mainly writing this post from a female perspective, I do realize that this can happen to bullied young men as well.
I cannot tell you how many stories I’ve heard from other female victims and survivors of bullying, nor can I tell you how many times I was subjected to this type of behavior myself when I was in junior high and high school.
Young creeps on the bus, in the halls or the lunch line, would sneakily run a hand up my skirt, put their hands on my behind and other such disgusting acts.
As any woman or girl knows, having sexual comments hurled at you and being groped or felt up leaves you feeling cheap and violated. And your first thought is to blame yourself. You wonder what you did to bring it about.
“Was my dress too short?” “Were my jeans too tight?” “Did I have on too much makeup?”
Even worse is when other girls blame you, assuming that you “must have done something to make him do it”- that somehow, you “asked for it.”
Such incidences can attract the ire of the guys’ jealous girlfriends, and these girlfriends will accuse you of trying to steal their boyfriends while the pig who violated you walks away Scot free. This only doubles the victimization! It’s no different from what a rape victim goes through!
Bullied girls can also be sexually harassed by other girls as well, only in different ways. Girls harass other girls by verbal means, making statements such as,
“Nobody will $%#! you.”
“I’ll bet you’re still a virgin, aren’t you?”
”You’d $%&# anything that moved!”
These are only a few. I’ve heard of worse. Sometimes, the other girls will encourage the boys to harass the victim sexually, then turn it around on her, calling her a whore, slut, floozy, take your pick.
In school, I even knew another bullied girl during school who others referred to as “Tuna Fish.” I’ll say no more.
Understand that any time a female is the object of bullying, she has comments and remarks directed at her which are unspeakable- so horrible and explicit that you don’t dare repeat them by mouth, much less write it in a book or article.
There is no limit to the low that bullies won’t sink. They can be inventive to the raunchiest, raciest, dirtiest, most vile, hurtful and demeaning comments and actions and anyone who hasn’t been on the receiving end of such would be shocked if they heard or saw some of the things a bullied girl has.
Understand that bullies show a side to their targets they would never in a million years show to anyone else.
Objects of bullying witness firsthand the shocking evil and cruelty of which people are capable, and they see the absolute darkest sides of the human character.
Bullies are experts at fooling bystanders and authority. They are highly skilled at manipulating social infrastructure.
Bullies are also very aware that if the victim reports such abuse, others will not believe her because the same bullies have meticulously ruined her once good reputation. And who’s going to take the word of someone with a notoriously bad name?
Understand that bullies will only show the worst sides of their characters to their victims and no one else. Why? Because to bullies, the victim is both inferior and powerless.
When a person believes that you are inferior and powerless, they could care less about what you think of them. As far as they’re concerned, any opinions you have are irrelevant. Whereas, anyone the bullies see as equals or superiors will only see the best sides of their character.
With that said, if you are a bullied female, I want you to know with every fiber of your being that it isn’t your fault. Know that you never asked for that kind of behavior, nor brought any of it on yourself.
So if you are bullied and endure sexual harassment, do not take any blame for it and for goodness sake, don’t be afraid to report it!
Know that bullying will not last forever. When I became an adult, the bullying stopped, and I am now very well-liked, loved, and respected.
I want you to know that this is only one chapter in your life, not the entire book. You too can overcome and move on to love, happiness, and success. Just don’t give up!
You are beautiful! You are a great person despite what others may tell you or how they may treat you.
You are worth fighting for! You are worth living for!
Any time a target gets tired of the abuse and calls a bully’s bluff. The bully will more than likely justify their behavior to others. Here is a list of the most famous statements you’re likely to hear, from most popular to least.