When Bullies Bully 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!”

Moreover, 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.

Furthermore, 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. Therefore, 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.

However, 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?

With knowledge comes empowerment!

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. Although hurtful, 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.”

Remember, Haters Make You Famous

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!

Give ’em something to talk about

With knowledge comes empowerment!

Bullies Who Tattle on Their Targets

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. Furthermore, they will 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. Moreover, they feel entitled to ensure that everyone is good little peasants, 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.

Therefore, 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 then clear the path to bully you in the future without fear of being reported. After all, who’s going to take the word of a troublemaker and rule-breaker?

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

It’s Like a Game of Chess, Bullies are Setting Everything Up Against You

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

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

Besides, 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. Right?

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 serve as 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!

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

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

Moreover, bullies use tattling as a veneer 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.

With knowledge comes empowerment!

Bullying for Increased Social Status

Bullying is not only used to maintain power and control over the target. It is also used as a vehicle to achieve higher social status. And sadly, it works like a charm. The reason it works so well is that the social status of the bully is increased, while that of the target is reduced.

For many people, having the respect and admiration of their peers is of more value to their sense of self-worth than money and material wealth. Although one can achieve elevated social status through wealth and material things, it can also be attainable though bullying if the bully doesn’t have the former. On the other hand, if the bully does have money and material wealth, the social status he gets from bullying is just icing on the cake.

In other words, it’s not something he feels he must do. It’s something he wants to do because he thinks it’s fun.

A Zero Sum Game

A selfish man walks the heads of people as on the steps to the highest post behind the crown. Conceptual scene is a narcissistic and selfish person

But most bullies don’t have a lot of money. And these are the types who achieve social status through exploitation of other mistakes, flaws, and shortcomings.

Bullying is not a healthy way to achieve social status. A healthy way of increasing one’s social ranking requires some type of achievement, such as joining a positive movement or donating to a charity. However, one tiny mistake can instantly tarnish one’s reputation and all the good they’ve done.

The world is, sadly, quick to blame a person for any negative qualities or actions while slow to forgive or to give credit for good deeds. And bullies instinctively know this and take full advantage of it.

The only way they can excel up the social hierarchy is by demeaning others. And they do it by taking the tiniest mistake you make, adding to it, and blowing it up to decrease your social ranking.

The Only Way for Most Bullies to Have Power

Bullying, friendship and people concept. Girl patronizing screaming pointing finger at shy timid nerdy woman who is looking down

In doing this, bullies garner support from others who are just like them and who share the same values. After all, bullying is most effective in group situations, where people unite to serve a certain objective. Bullies never work alone. They always have people backing them.

Group bullying not only gives talentless bullies a sense of belonging, but it also tightens the bonds among members of the group. Furthermore, this collective bullying gives them not only anonymity, but also makes them more successful in bringing the target down than if the bullies worked alone.

Another advantage to group bullying is the mob mentality it produces. It’s a dark part of human nature that people conform and imitate the behaviors of other members of the group. Therefore, in groups, bullies have much more impact and can make a much bigger impact.

Bullies Never Work Alone, They’re Too Cowardly

However, understand that people who rely on their ability to bully others out of existence to achieve social gain can never achieve it any other way.

These types of people are the talentless, the lazy, and the incompetent. They have no redeemable qualities, no personalities, and no real intelligence. You must see these bullies exactly as they are- empty suits with zero substance. And, once you see them clearly, your confidence won’t take such a big hit when they come for you.

With knowledge comes empowerment!

When Bullies Label You “Mentally Ill”

When people label you “mentally ill,” “crazy,” “unhinged,” take your pick, based on the lies of bullies; no one has to take you seriously ever again. People will automatically doubt everything you do, good or bad. Anytime society sticks a person with the “mentally imbalanced” label, it can be worse than if they deemed them a criminal. Because at least people take criminals, even murderers and rapists more seriously. What a crying shame!

Therefore, when bullies can con an entire community into deeming you crazy, they can make you disappear and become irrelevant. And they can do it even after you’re dead.

The most insidious thing about this label is that it can make the labelled person doubt their own sanity. In other words, it’s not so much that they think you’re crazy, it’s that they want you to believe it. Why? Because, if they can make you believe it, then you’re more likely to live up to it.

Further, the crazy card is the easiest for bullies to play. Although they can never prove you’re a basket case, there’s no way you can prove that you aren’t one.

The label, “crazy” is worse than the label, “criminal.”

This is why the crazy label is the most widely used among bullies and society as a whole. Also, it’s the most common form of gaslighting. “Crazy” can be used as a last resort when bullies run out of options and can’t pin anything else on you.

Think about it. They can’t as easily label you a whore if you haven’t slept around. Just the same, they can’t as easily label you a criminal if you don’t have a police record to prove it. And they can’t easily label you a thief if you never took anything that wasn’t yours.

Whereas, you can’t as easily disprove crazy.

Therefore, the more we understand the ins, outs, and reasons behind the use of this label, the better we can defend against it.

The best thing you can do in this situation is to keep your head and continue showing them up. It may take a while, but eventually, the label does get old and wear itself out. And when that happens, it will lose it’s effect.

With knowledge comes empowerment!

Step-by-Step Description of Mobbing in Progress

Mobbing is THE severest form of bullying. Once the bullying reaches the stage of mobbing, this is when the bullying becomes life-threatening! And if you’ve ever been a target of it, you know firsthand how destructive it is.

The reason that mobbing is so hard to remedy is that not only has it already rendered us so distraught that we’re unable to think clearly, but we aren’t able to name, describe, nor communicate the steps bullies take to destroy us.

A successful smear campaign is started by a bully or bullies who are well-practiced in the arts of persuasion and influence and can last for years.

Here’s something I want you to realize. A smear campaign is nowhere near as tricky as it looks. You’d be amazed at just how simple it is to smear someone. It’s so easy that it shouldn’t be so effective, but it is!

To quote the old Geico commercial, it’s “so easy; a caveman can do it.”

Here’s a chronological, step-by-step recap of how bullies do it and succeed at it:

1. The bullies have a dislike for a specific individual who refuses to conform to their standard of who she should be.

Now all this time, the bullies have been able to influence everyone else and get them to submit to their will and every whim. Then, low and behold, along comes the target (we’ll call her “Cindy”) who’s stubborn and either unable to or won’t submit to the bullies’ control and allow them to change her personality into what they think it should be.

And Cindy may not realize the bullies’ motives and that just by doing her thing, she’s enraging the bullies. So, she goes on about her business, makes plans for her future, makes achievement after achievement, and maybe she gets loads of positive attention and praise from others because she’s so successful and well-liked.

2. Next, the bullies begin to smear Cindy. To implement their smear campaign, they watch Cindy, studying her behavior carefully until they’re able to anticipate her reactions.

3. The bullies then train their audience (i.e., the other classmates or coworkers to expect a specific type of behavior out of Cindy. They point out these behaviors when they occur. The bullies then associate Cindy’s completely innocent behavior with something bad or evil.

For example, let’s say that Cindy is sweet, playful, and likes to engage in a little banter. The bullies watch as Cindy banters with people in the school or workplace. She playfully calls someone a “dummy” or a “goofball,” but others know that it’s all for harmless jokes and think it’s funny because Cindy is a genuinely kind person.

4. So, the bullies begin making offhand comments. They remark that Cindy’s kindness is only an attempt to kiss ass because she wants something from people and that she thinks the people around her really are dummies, but only disguises it under a veil of fun jokes and playfulness.

The bullies also make statements that Cindy thinks she’s cute and that Cindy thinks she’s smarter than everyone else. Then repeat, repeat, repeat!

To quote a propaganda minister to a well-known dictator in history, “Tell a lie once, and it remains a lie. Tell a lie a thousand times, and it becomes the truth.”

5. The next time others see Cindy being kind to and playfully bantering with someone, she doesn’t look so cute, and the banter isn’t so funny anymore. Now people see a side of Cindy they can’t believe they never noticed before.

6. Now feeling smug with gratification, the bullies look at themselves, then at Cindy with smirks on their crooked faces and try the same thing all over again.

7. And before you know it, everyone wonders what they ever saw in Cindy, to begin with. They start having negative feelings toward the poor girl.

8. Cindy begins to pick up on the negative vibes around her and withdraws a little. She doesn’t speak to people as much as she did and doesn’t understand what she did or said to bring it all about. The bullies notice that Cindy is more distant than usual, and they point this out to everyone.

“Hey, look! Do you see that? Now, what did we tell you? Cindy really does think we’re all dummies! She really does think she’s smarter than the rest of us!”

“And her ass-kissing (Cindy’s sweet disposition) didn’t work, so now she’s too good to speak to anyone!”

9. Cindy’s withdrawal only inflames everyone’s feelings of dislike and resentment. Although her becoming distant is only out of self-protection, others mistake it for smugness and arrogance.

10. And it only snowballs from there, getting worse and worse over time. Understand that people are human, and they make mistakes. They misjudge innocent others all the time.

And when bullies condition the whole of a group, school, organization, workplace, or community to see any quality in a particular person as a bad thing, a smear campaign is most effective. So everyone, even those who aren’t bullies and are otherwise kind and compassionate, can become extremely cold and cruel to a target. And everyone repeats the same cruelty, over and over again.

Understand that smear campaigns are just too effective because they can quickly become bullying, then escalate to mobbing, which is the most severe kind of bullying. And once it increases to mobbing, it’s unstoppable, and the only way you can take your life back is to leave that toxic, poisonous environment altogether.

With knowledge comes empowerment!

The Persistence of Bullies: They Will Not Be Deterred

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.

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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.

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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!

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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.

With knowledge comes empowerment!

Bullies, Rumors, Gossip, and Smears

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.

With knowledge comes empowerment!

An Explanation of Verbal Bullying and How to Stand Up to It

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.

verbal abuse bullying

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.

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 scoff or roll your eyes and tell them to shut up. Then walk away like you don’t have time to listen to their boring nonsense. It’s a fact that mocking and derision work wonders against bullying.

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.

Your Reputation Is Not Your 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!

With knowledge comes empowerment!