How People Can Believe Lies About You

education, bullying, social relations and people concept – students gossiping behind classmate back at school

If you’re a target of bullying, I almost certain that you’ve had bullies tell the most outrageous and outright ridiculous falsehoods about you- lies which were laughable at best. And shockingly, everyone in the place actually believed that garbage! And you wondered, “How could anyone with even a lick of sense believe such moronic tales!”

It seemed as if everyone around you was smoking crack. They’d have to be to believe such tripe!

Judgemental girls tauting fellow student

Understand that anytime you’re a target of bullying, you’re at your absolute worst!  Anyone would be a total emotional wreck under the extreme pressure that bullying brings. Anytime a person is bullied by everyone, it doesn’t matter how strong they are, how brave they are, how beautiful, how awesome their personalities are. They will eventually be overcome with exhaustion and taken down.

If you’re bullied long enough by enough people, you’ll only be able to stay strong and withstand it for so long. Because we’re all human, and no one can hold up under that kind of stress and adversity forever.

Bullies instinctively know this. So, they increase the abuse until you begin to crack. You will be overwhelmed with so many emotions. You’ll be completely paranoid- and with good reason!

You’ll be furious; you’ll be terrified, shocked, confused, and stressed to the extreme! You’ll have periods of crying. Your appetite will be gone, and you’ll get very little sleep. You’ll have your hair falling out and your stomach will be in knots. You’ll have excruciating headaches. At times, you’ll feel nauseated and even vomit!

Should it be any wonder that people believe everything they hear about you?

They’ve seen you morph from a cheerful, reliable, responsible, and reasonable person to a stressed out, hot mess of a train wreck who’s barely able to function, much less concentrate on schoolwork or job projects.

Here’s another thing:

Joseph Goebbels, who was the minister of propaganda to Adolf Hitler, said it best when he made these statements,

“Tell a lie once, and it remains a lie. Tell a lie a thousand times, and it becomes the truth.”

“The bigger the lie, the more it will be believed.”

Believe it or not, people will believe the big, outlandish lies before they accept the little white lies that make more sense. If we hear something about another person, especially if it’s something huge and horrible and it comes from a person we trust or who has a little bit of power, we may feel shocked and disbelief at first but we will eventually believe it.

And the reason we end up believing it is that the repercussions of severe wrongdoing are so enormous that we don’t want to think that anyone would tell such a big fat lie about someone if there isn’t some truth to it.

We cling to the belief that if a person is audacious enough to make such an accusation about another person, then somewhere, there must be evidence to back it up. Otherwise, they wouldn’t dare make such bold accusations and risk being proven wrong and made to look like a fool!

So, we hold on to the idea that where there’s smoke, there’s fire and allow caution and speculation to supersede any logic. And if we expect trouble to come from a specific place, that’s where we’re going to look.

And when we look for a specific thing, we usually find it.

Also, if a lie goes against the target’s character, we’re more likely to believe it strictly because any story of hypocrisy has a certain amount of shock value and entertainment to it as long as the story is about someone else and not us.

We’re more prone to believe a big fat lie because it frightens the crap out of us. When people hear a lie so big and outrageous, it makes them wonder if they ever really knew the target at all. And the idea that someone they know could do such a horrible thing scares people to death.

Is it all making sense now? Great!

With knowledge comes empowerment!

Bullying and Gossip

Gossip is purely judgmental and includes hasty generalizations about the target’s character and private life, which has nothing to do with the school, community, or workplace. The purpose of gossip is to control the target’s status by demoting the target on the social hierarchy.

Another purpose of gossip is to justify the target’s punishment by promoting a collective view that she doesn’t deserve respect, dignity, or humanity, but only abuse and hostility.

 And once a target is viewed to deserve abuse, others will always escalate it!

Gossip has another benefit. It tightens group connections, gives higher status to the people who are privy to the negative information, and sets expectations and norms in the group as to how they should treat the target.

Through gossip, the group establishes, maintains, or changes social infrastructures. Gossip promotes unity and shared negative perceptions of the target. With the use of it, the group will foster justification for hostility. Therefore, no one in the group considers their actions as bullying. They will only say that the target “deserves it” and say they were reacting to “an evil enemy.”

People tell others to keep it secret, but they also ask them to inform the group of any new information and updates that concern their target.

Realize that it serves to provide bullies reaffirmations that their perceptions of the target are correct, that the target deserves abuse.

Gossipers will often cover their bad behavior with a slight confession of guilt by beginning their sentences with things like,

“I know I shouldn’t say this, but…”

“Poor thing…”

“Bless her heart…”

 They will acknowledge that the target is a human being, but only because this gives them the green light to talk and helps them feel less like creeps.

It’s true that reputation doesn’t equal character. But understand that though the rumors may be false, and there may be zero credible evidence to back them up, if  pure speculation will best fit the bullies’ goals, that’s what they’ll go along with.

In the late stages of gossip, all bystanders will become willing co-conspirators. Gossip brings scandal, which means to assassinate the target’s character, integrity, mental fitness, and worth as a student, worker, neighbor, and human being.

Anyone who questions or disbelieves the lies will immediately become an object of bullying as well. Nobody wants to be isolated, so this forces others to stay in line with the running narrative.

And if the target attempts to defend himself or speak out against the abuse, it will be used against him.

Unfortunately, at this stage, the only way for the target to ensure his safety and escape the abuse is to leave the toxic environment and go to a new place where he can start anew, establish new connections, and reinvent himself.

Remember the character, Chris Chambers, in the movie “Stand by Me.” Although he was a great kid, he was considered a rogue and a thief. Remember the scene where he was crying to his friend, Gordy, telling him about how he got his bad name, and wishing he could go somewhere where no one knew him.

And sadly, in most cases, targets must leave the school, company, or community to heal and rebuild their lives.

Bullies and Tattling

Bullies, especially school bullies, are notorious tattletales, and they often tattle on their targets for even the tiniest of infractions. If it so happens, they cannot find anything to tell on their targets about, they will make something up and they make sure it’s something believable.

These bullies watch their targets closely, waiting with bated breath for the target to do or say something- anything that even smacks of being outside the category of right. They then run and tattle to a teacher, principal, supervisor, or manager.

How noble these bullies must feel, sitting on their moral high ground, working as little gestapos to ensure that everyone are good little peasants and following the rules down to the letter! Or, at least, that’s what they want those in authority to think.

The reality is that everyone, other than the target, is free to do as they wish. They only do these things to their targets. Why? To keep them from being able to defend themselves or report bullying.

If you are a target of bullying, all your bullies must do is smear your name to any member of staff and you’re marred for good. They’ve clear the path to bully you in the future without fear of being reported because, who’s going to take the word of a troublemaker and rule-breaker?

And if enough people tattle on you, those in positions of power are more likely to believe them because, “if you aren’t guilty of whatever they accuse you of, then why are so many people pointing the finger at you?” Right?

In tattling on you or telling lies about you, these bullies are setting up a system where you will be discredited and rendered powerless to stop the bullying or escape it. Tattling is also a way to silence you because if you know that no one will believe you anyway, you’re more likely to find it easier and less painful to just keep your mouth shut.

Tattling is a technique to eventually block the target from any help they’ll need and otherwise receive.

Remember that bullies are master chess players. If you’re a target of bullying, this is how they set the stage beforehand to make you powerless, and, once you’re completely powerless, they’ll bully you openly and in plain sight.

And who’s going to stop them? After all, you’re a troublemaker, a rebel-rouser, a riffraff! And people aren’t bullying you, they’re only reacting to something you must have done to them.

Bullies and everyone else-good. Target-bad! You’re bad, so you deserve it.

And the tattlers? They’re only “good kids” who want to learn in a clean environment. They’re the extra pairs of eyes that the staff need because the staff can’t be everywhere at once. They’re the little helpers.

So, let’s give them a cookie for their efforts to make our jobs a little easier!

And after the damage is done, the bullies will boast about how they succeeded in taking away your power and ruining your life.

Understand that the tattling is just a veneer bullies use to hide their own bad behavior and project it onto you. If they can slither their way into the good graces of those in power while demonizing you, their plot will work perfectly, and the bullies be virtually untouchable.

I cannot stress enough the importance of being prepared for this type of thing. And the more you prepare, the better you’ll be able to counter this slick tactic, and the better you’ll protect yourself.

Bullied by Instigation (Part 2)

In the first part, we discussed that bullies soften bully by instigating an argument between the target and someone not normally involved in the bullying.
There are many ways in which bullies instigate and bait others to participate in the bullying unwillingly.

Here are a few examples of baiting strategies:

The Secret Admirer Bait

A bully will use this to bait someone to insult and humiliate the target.
Here’s how it goes:

The bully and a few classmates or coworkers will see the target. The target is nearby and within earshot. If the target is female, the bully will point to a nearby male and say,

“Hey, (target’s name)! John said he was madly in love with you!”
John will then get on the defensive and say,
“Oh, hell, no! I don’t like that ugly thing!” or, “That whore? No freakin’ way!”

By doing this, the bully slyly baits John in a knee-jerk reaction that includes insulting and humiliating the unfortunate target and achieves gratification in seeing the target humiliated and hurt.

The secret admirer bait is mostly used in middle and high school.

The Invitation bait

In this situation, the bullies will, all of a sudden and out of nowhere, become chummy with the target and pretend to have a change of heart. They do this to win the target’s trust.

Once trust is won, the bullies will invite the target to a birthday party, cookout, sleepover, or kegger, then humiliate the target somehow.

This may involve getting the target drunk or high, then manipulating them into compromising situations. This is used by both school-aged and adult bullies.

Here’s how to shut these monsters down:

1. Understand that no one ever becomes true friends overnight. If someone who has bullied you suddenly starts to buddy up to you, and it seems to have come out of nowhere, it’s a red flag, and you should steer clear! You can be sure that this creep is up to no good.

2. Also, if bullies are trying to bait you into anything, they will lay it on thick! They’ll overdo the pleasantries. It will sound so sickeningly sweet, you’ll want to grab a barf bag. You’ll know it’s fake if you’re paying attention.

But remember that bullies are very convincing and if you’re young and still in school, you’re likely to overlook the yuck if you aren’t careful. So don’t fall for it! Don’t go anywhere with those people. Because once you’re alone with them, you’re at their mercy!

3. If you’re a kid in school and a bully uses the secret admirer bait and tricks someone into humiliating you, deal out a good burn for the person baited into insulting you.

For example, you can say:

“No chance. I could never be that desperate, and you could never be that lucky.”

Then keep walking.

Your witty comeback will sting the poor sucker who took the bully’s bait and tried to insult you. But hey! Better them than you. Right?

Let Them Talk All They Want

Gossips are everywhere! Too many people worry needlessly about what people are saying about them. But here’s the thing, people talk. They’re going to have something to say about you until the day you die. Get used to it. Better, yet embrace it! Love it!

Here’s Why:

1. When people talk about you, they make you relevant! Good or bad, it means you’re an exciting topic- you’re not dull. Remember that it’s much better to be good or bad than to be boring.

Businessman not listening to nonsense.

2. When people engage in petty gossip about you, it means that they can’t get you off their minds. Somehow, someway, positive or negative, you’ve made an impact on them. You’ve stirred emotions up in them.

3. When people talk about you, it means they don’t have lives of their own and are obsessed with yours, which means your life must be more exciting than theirs.

4. When people talk behind your back, they reveal much more about themselves than they do you. Remember the old proverb, “Great minds discuss ideas, Average minds discuss events, and Small minds discuss people.”

5. When people can’t shut up about you, you’re the one who’s in control of them. Because you occupy a large amount of space in their minds, you’ve affected them profoundly and with little or no effort.

6. The people who blab about you expend a lot of their energy on you while you get to save yours. They’re thinking of you without getting so much as a thought from you.

7. When you’re the topic of others’ discussions, it means that they’re your fans, only they don’t know it.

8. In a nutshell, when people can’t stop running their mouths about you, it only means that you have a tremendous amount of power over them, and you didn’t have to make an effort to get that power! Yay, you!

So don’t give their talk any validation by reacting. Just sit back and be amused by the talkers. Petty gossip is just that- petty!

With knowledge comes empowerment!

A Closer Look at Frenemies

Every single one of us has had that one “friend” or that handful of “friends,” if that’s what you prefer to call them. They seem to really like us and want to be around us all the time. They cozy up to us very quickly (too quickly), seemingly mesmerized by us, bombarding us with attention and laying the flattery on super-thick really early in the relationship and wanting so badly to be a part of our lives.

They butter us up with compliments, smile at us, and pat us on the back, making us feel great about ourselves. If you’re being bullied and are feeling insecure like I was years ago, this is such a welcome change!

You’re bullied, lonely, rejected, and this seems to be just the thing you’ve been waiting for, giving you that much-needed shot of dopamine you’ve been craving for so long!

Suddenly you feel great about yourself and think that maybe, the bullying might be coming to an end. Soon, however, you notice subtle signs in the person that doesn’t feel so good, occasionally seeing out of the corner of your eye those split-second flashes of disdain on the faces of your “new friends”…a sneer here, an evil, piercing glance there.

Although your gut begins to sound off, telling you that something is “off” about this person (or these people), you only mentally make excuses for them.

“Maybe he/she is having a rough day.”
“Maybe someone made him/her angry before they came to visit.”
“Maybe they’re just in a bad mood.”

Wanting to believe the very best of the person(s), you mentally explain away the signs that tell you that something just isn’t right. Then, when it happens again, you begin to ask yourself,

“Was it something I said or something I did accidentally to offend this person?”

Next, your new buddy or buddies seem cold toward you. They begin to alternate hot and cold, and you’re left bewildered as to the causation, all the while your sixth sense is telling you to put some distance yourself and these people and to do it fast! But you don’t because this person is a friend. You love them and don’t want to seem like a heel or that you don’t appreciate their friendship.

Also, the bullies have suddenly disappeared, and you want to keep it this way. Even worse and more pathetic, you dread the possibility of going back to square one…eating your lunch alone, walking alone in the halls, and once again, being the target of bullies.

So, you continue to tolerate unacceptable behavior because, deep down, you don’t think that you can find better people to be pals with. You’ve been bullied and shamed for so long that you have actually forgotten what a true friend is and what it’s like to have one.

When you finally work up the nerve to ask the person about his/her behavior, they either lie about the behavior, downplay it, or worse, tell you that you’re imagining things or being too sensitive. However, as time goes by, those tiny micro-expressions of ire, the split-second glares, and subtle, back-handed compliments and coldness only become more frequent!

Now, your Spidey-senses are screaming! Others you thought were decent toward you are now giving you the silent treatment, and you don’t know why.

Suddenly, BAM! It happens! The person lashes out at you for reasons that are so trivial, or worse, reasons which seem to be made up! You know you should tell them to take a hike, but you only blame yourself or give misplaced apologies instead, looking even more pathetic to bystanders and witnesses! Even worse, now, you look like an even bigger target to bullies!

Continued in Part 2…

Bullies, Rumors, and Gossip

Gossip is purely judgmental and includes hasty generalizations about the target’s character and private life, which has nothing to do with the school, community, or workplace. The purpose of gossip is to control the target’s status by demoting the target on the social hierarchy.

Another purpose of gossip is to justify any punishment of the target by promoting a collective view that the victim doesn’t deserve respect, dignity, or humanity, but only abuse and hostility.

 And once a target is viewed to deserve abuse, others will always escalate it!

Gossip has another benefit. It tightens group connections, gives higher status to the people who are privy to the negative information, and sets expectations and norms in the group as to how they should treat the target.

Through gossip, the group establishes, maintains, or changes social infrastructures. Gossip promotes unity and shared negative perceptions of the target. With the use of it, the group will foster justification for hostility. Therefore, no one in the group considers their actions as bullying. They will only say that the target “deserves it” and say they were reacting to “an evil enemy.”

People tell others to keep it secret, but they also ask them to inform the group of any new information and updates that concern their target.

Realize that it serves to provide bullies reaffirmations that their perceptions of the target are correct, that the target deserves abuse.

Gossipers will often cover their bad behavior with a slight confession of guilt by beginning their sentences with things like,

“I know I shouldn’t say this, but…”

“Poor thing…”

“Bless her heart…”

 They will acknowledge that the target is a human being, but only because this gives them the green light to go on talking and helps them to feel less like the creeps they are.

gossip rumors lies talk

It’s true that reputation doesn’t equal character. But it can effect life. Understand that the rumors may, in fact, be false and there may be zero credible evidence to back them up. But if pure speculation best fits the bullies’ goals, that’s what they will go along with.

In the late stages of gossip, all bystanders will become willing co-conspirators. Gossip brings scandal, which means to assassinate the target’s character, integrity, mental fitness, and worth as a student, worker, neighbor, or human being.

Anyone who questions or disbelieves the lies will immediately become an object of bullying as well. Nobody wants to be isolated, so this forces others to stay in line with the running narrative.

And if the target attempts to defend himself or speak out against the abuse, it will be used against him.

Unfortunately, at this stage, the only way for the target to ensure his safety and escape the abuse is to leave the toxic environment and go to a new place where he can start anew, establish new connections, and reinvent himself.

Remember the character, Chris Chambers, in the movie “Stand by Me.” Although he was a great kid, he was considered a rogue and a thief. Remember the scene where he was crying to his friend, Gordy, telling him about how he got his bad name and wishing he could go somewhere where no one knew him.

During the conversation, the character of Chris Chambers, played by River Phoenix, tearfully tells Gordy that a member of staff took the lunch money out of the teal but he got blamed for it solely because of his family name. It was heartbreaking to watch.

And sadly, that happens a lot. In a majority of cases, targets must leave the school, company, or community to heal and to rebuild their lives.

Reputation Does Not Equal Character

Bullying can be a big weight and a burden with negative influence – Bullying role and impact symbolized by a heavy prisoner’s weight attached to a person, 3d illustration.

“Your reputation is what others think of you; your character is what you truly are. Reputations can be manipulated; character can only be developed and maintained.”

~ Bohdi Sanders ~

All too often, when a person is bullied, his/her reputation takes a big hit due to the many ugly rumors and lies which are spread by their tormentors. Remember that bullying is a campaign.

Just as a politician would go from house to house and business to business, kissing babies and shaking hands with people on the street while giving a spiel of why they’re the best person for the office they’re running for, bullies do the same. They go from person to person spinning their yarn about why no one should associate with the target.

Bullies/Peer Abusers engage everyone, even friends and family of the victim, pulling false accusations out of thin air and making them sound so convincing that others find the lies difficult not to believe.

Tormentors may also use a “tiny grain of truth,” which may be a simple mistake the victim might have made in the past (possibly an error which anybody could have made at any time), then add their spin to it, making it worse and more significant than what it is to make the story even more believable.

Moreover, harassers may use subtle provocations, taunts, and assaults to bait the victim into a reaction, then turn around and use his/her perfectly normal human response as further proof that he/she is a less than desirable person (crazy, stupid, evil, etc.).

Businessman not listening to nonsense.

You must realize that bullies are sociopaths. They have a wealth of superficial charm at their disposal and are masters in the arts of persuasion and influence. People of this nature are very skilled wordsmiths, which is why they are seemingly able to pull a complete fabrication out of their butts and make it smell sweet and sound plausible.

Because of this oozing charm that most seasoned bullies possess, they can encourage bystanders and sometimes authority (teachers, principals, monitors, etc.) to join in the torment.

After being attacked for so long, it’s too easy for victims to become worn down and go the “eye for an eye” route and return the attacks (physically or verbally). Although defending oneself is a perfectly reasonable response to assaults, victims are forced to be cautious in their counter-attacks and very carefully choose their battles because a well-experienced bully can easily use any reactions to validate any rumors lies about them.

Before long, even those who aren’t normally bullies will either shun or brutalize the selected target. Thus, the reputation of the innocent victim is tarnished and will take years to repair.

With all the above combined, bullies can be a weapon of mass destruction to their victims, ripping them to shreds and destroying any credibility they once had. Right or wrong, once credibility is lost, victims are powerless and have almost zero chance of redeeming themselves, and opportunities can be lost even before they present themselves.

If you are a target of bullying, I want to assure you that your reputation DOES NOT equal your character. You are an intelligent, goodhearted person, and you are worthy of being loved regardless of how others may perceive you.

As difficult as it may be to do so, you must never let your reputation define you. Never let bullies dim your shine! Hold on, with everything you have in you, to your remarkable qualities, even if you have to remind yourself that you are a great person every day! Hold on to your faith and your dignity! Hold on to TRUTH!

When a Target is Verbally Bullied

When bullies carry out a barrage of verbal attacks against a target, they attack the person’s character, mental stability, and abilities. Therefore, if the target doesn’t maintain his/her sense of self and confidence, the bullies will eventually brainwash them and crush their spirit.

Verbal bullying can be done openly through bursts of rage, overt personal attacks, name-calling, and physical violence threats. Open verbal bullying aims to strike fear in the target.

It also seeks to let the target know in no uncertain terms that the bully is controlling them and that they’d better acquiesce or the bully will hurt them. It also dares the target to protest against it or defend themselves. In open bullying, bullies instill terror in bystanders as well by making an example of the target.

Examples of open verbal bullying include but aren’t limited to:

“You’re such a moron!”

“I’ll kick your butt if you say anything back to me!”

“You’re completely hopeless! Can’t you do anything right?”

It can also be subtle through tiny digs, zingers, offhand comments, and backhanded compliments. Subtle bullying aims to control and dominate its target without them realizing it.

In being subtle, bullies may act like they’re sincerely and genuinely concerned for the target.

Examples of subtle verbal bullying include:

“I’m concerned about you. You need help because you’re always so defensive every time we tell you what you’re doing wrong.”

“We’re telling you to help you.”

There’s a difference between constructive and destructive criticism, and bullies only give you the latter.

This type of verbal aggression aims to manipulate the target. Again, in most cases, the person doesn’t realize the bullies are using them. However, they will notice that they’re not as happy as before and don’t feel as good about themselves as they did once. The target will also sense that something is off.

Bullies use words to discourage, disrespect, and devalue the target, and they do it to diminish the target’s confidence and self-esteem. Targets may consciously or unconsciously try and change their behavior and personality to avoid agitating the bullies and protect themselves from any future bullying. But in doing this, targets only allow bullies to brainwash them into suppressing their authenticity, good natures, talents, and gifts.

Understand that you’ll never know people are bullying based on what outsiders see and tell you. When the bullying is subtle, it’s vague and almost unnoticeable not only by you but especially to others. Over time, the target becomes conditioned to take the abuse.

verbal abuse bullying

This kind of bullying can be unpredictable. The target may think he’s doing quite well until suddenly and out of the blue, bullies blindside him with another barrage of insults. The sudden onslaught only renders the target shocked, stunned, and thrown off-kilter by the bullies’ sarcasm, angry jab, put down, or ridicule.

It won’t matter how intelligent and socially aware you are; you’ll never expect the next attack, and you’ll never know why they attacked you nor how to keep them from attacking you.

Verbal bullies will send conflicting messages to confuse you:

They’ll say there’s nothing wrong, but their body language and the vibes they put out will tell you otherwise. Bullies may say that they don’t care what the target says, does, or thinks, yet they continuously watch her, eavesdropping on her conversations and invading her privacy.

What’s terrible about verbal bullying is that it always escalates. In the early stages of bullying, bullies disguise their insults and ridicule as jokes and fake concern. Over time, they turn it up and dish out their verbal abuse more openly. They do this deliberately to soften the target up for worse abuse later.

Even worse, verbal abuse usually escalates to physical assaults and beatings.

That’s why it’s so important to know when someone is verbally abusing you and put a stop to it as early as possible!

If you’re not sure people are verbally bullying you, listen to what your body tells you. Pay attention to your senses and intuition. If something said to you doesn’t feel right, call it out! I can’t express enough how important this is. Counter with something like,

“I know what you’re trying to do, and I don’t like it! So, I’d suggest that you back off right now!”

“Stop being foolish!”

“I don’t want to hear that garbage!”

Or you can tell them to shut up and walk away like you don’t have time to listen to their boring nonsense.

If you do this in the early stages, the chances are that you’ll stop them dead in their tracks, and they go away and find another target.

With knowledge comes empowerment.

What Happens When You Call a Bully’s Bluff

As we all know, bullies are convincing liars. But what happens when they finally get called out on their lies and evil deeds. Let’s use scenarios to find out.

For example, you’re a target of bullying. You find out that the one friend you thought you could trust has been spreading your deepest secrets and spreading lies behind your back while only pretending to be your best buddy (This can apply to both school and workplace environments). When you confront her, here are her possible reactions.

1. She will deny it or, at the least, try to avoid the subject. How you’ll know she’s dishonest? She will change the subject by talking about a topic irrelevant to the issue while appearing to be busy doing a task. Girls are known for this.

2. She will become irate and go on a tirade. She may even yell and curse at you. She may turn it back on you and accuse you of being paranoid, crazy, a crybaby, etc. But understand that she only looks and sounds desperate when she does this. Know that this is just another dead giveaway, and most bullies get highly defensive when they’re afraid they’re busted.

Understand that most bullies will get loud. They scream, yell, and pound their fists, curse, and swear when they fear exposure. However, don’t let this scare you because the dramatics and theatrics they display only mean that the bullies are desperate!

3. She will lay guilt trips on you.

“Well, if you were my friend, you wouldn’t believe…”

“If you were a true friend to me, you wouldn’t even question my loyalty.”

Don’t buy that garbage. The person is just trying to make you feel guilty or trying to intimidate you into silence. If your so-called friend was the only person you told any secrets to or knows about your life outside of the school, workplace, or organization, it’s a safe bet they’re guilty. And if enough people tell you that she is saying things behind your back, especially people you’ve never met or had any dealings with or people who aren’t a threat to you, she’s guilty!

Example 2: You have a bully on your back, and you’ve finally had enough. You call him/her out on his/her bad behavior and begin speaking out about the abuse she dishes out.

1. She will escalate the harassment to either punish you or intimidate you and shut you down. Understand that the bully is afraid of being exposed, facing accountability, and losing face and will stop at nothing to silence you.

2. He will justify himself with full conviction.

“If you didn’t always make trouble, I wouldn’t have had to hurt you!”

“If you weren’t so stupid, I wouldn’t give you such a hard time!”

“You made me do it because you always do this when you should do that!”

“If you would just do this, I wouldn’t have to do that!”

“You won’t shut up, so you deserve it!”

Again, don’t believe a word of it! Continue to report the harassment. You must protect yourself by speaking just as loud and with just as much conviction as the bully. Make plenty of noise because the wheel that squeaks loudest gets the grease!

3. She will slander you to everyone who will listen to her and try to turn others against you. Again, understand that this bully is afraid of being exposed. So she spreads rumors and lies to discredit you by distracting others from her appalling and embarrassing behavior by making you look like the guilty party.

If the bully can make you look bad and turn everyone else against you, she reaps several benefits.

a. She can intimidate you into silence and avoid any future risks of exposure.

b. She can discredit you, make herself look like the victim, and, therefore, gain attention and sympathy from other people.

c. She can successfully cut you off from any support you might otherwise receive.

d. She gets the green light to bully you again later and with impunity.

e. She gets to move up the social ladder and win more friends and allies.

f. She gets the satisfaction of maintaining power, domination, and control over another person.

As goes the old political quote from World War II, “Accuse the other side of that which you are guilty.”

People pointing a woman hidden behind a computer

Understand that any smear campaign is designed to protect the guilty bullies from being exposed and shift blame onto innocent victims. It’s a tactic used since the beginning of time!

So, don’t shut up no matter what! Continue to call out the bullies’ behavior! And if they react like any of the above, tell them like it is.

Say this:

“The tirade isn’t going to work anymore” or “Go ahead and lie all you want. Everybody knows this is only retaliation because I had the gall to expose your deplorable behavior! Right,(the bully’s name)? Is that what this is, (Bully’s name)?”

Be sure to say the bully’s name at the end of the above questions because that really shakes a bully when you put his/her name on it!

If the bully says, “No!” Tell her in a fast and short tone, “Oh, yes it is, and you know it, (Bully’s name)!”

Counter. Everything. She. Comes. Back with!