Gradualism and Incrementalism- drop by drop, bullies start off taking teeny-weeny bites out of the target’s self-esteem. They take it up ever so slowly, step by itsy-bitsy step- so slowly and so tiny that it isn’t noticeable. Yet the target feels something is off, that something doesn’t feel too good but can’t quite put a finger on it. It’s that subtle!
But here’s your first clue: Your body will know if you pay attention to it.
When you meet your bullies for the first time, you will pick up some pretty creepy vibes from these people and you’ll feel it in the pit of your stomach. You’ll sense something about these creeps that feels “off.” And sometimes, you’ll feel it before the first words are exchanged.
You’ll sense them watching your every move, scoping you out, studying you like a specimen. Or you may look up from whatever you’re doing or turn around and happen to see, out of the corner of your eye, a few of these people eyeing you from a distance. Then you,ll see them look at each other and smirk and notice that eerie twinkle in their eyes. You might even see a micro-flash or two of contempt.
Don’t ignore this!
Understand that these bullies are sizing you up and probing to see if you respond or how you react.
They’ll then start committing slightly bigger violations. Understand that bullies do this deliberately to soften you up by making the abuse virtually unrecognizable… until it isn’t anymore. By the time it’s recognizable, the abuse is so severe and so out of control that the bullies and their minions can no longer help themselves and don’t even try to hide it anymore. Why continue to put in the work to hide something you’ve gotten away with for so long that there’s no incentive to stop? Right?
By the time the abuse becomes obvious, it’s usually too late because everyone has grown accustomed to bullying the target. In fact, they’ve gotten completely comfortable with doing so.
And once they’ve grown accustomed to harming the target, it’s almost impossible for the target to get them to leave them alone no matter what the poor person does to protect himself.
When the target finally gets fed up and begins asserting themselves, bullies implicitly communicate through their actions that, “we don’t give a damn about your feelings or your pain, you’re a target and we damn well intend for you to stay that way because we get a payoff from it and hell will freeze over before we give up those benefits.”
At this stage, bullies only respond with anger and resentment when the target finally stands up to them. The unwritten message is,
“How dare he!”
Bullies are super offended when someone they deem inferior finally grows a spine and they’ll do everything they can to break the target’s will to keep getting their sick, sadistic jollies.
“How dare he even attempt to take away our fun?”
My point is that conditioning starts out small and you must know how to recognize it when it first begins and is barely recognizable. Because, the longer it goes on and the bigger the abuses get, the harder it is to defend yourself against it and put a stop to it.
I can’t stress this enough.
And the one thing that will help you to recognize it is that your body will feel it and you’ll sense it in the vibes the people you’re dealing with put out. Pay attention.
The more you know…