Cyber-Bullies, Stalkers, and Trolls

Bullies are cowards, but Cyber-bullies are the biggest, most pathetic ones. They sit in the safety of their homes (or their mom’s basements, attics, and backyard sheds), hide behind fake profiles and screen names, and troll the internet and social media in search of victims.

If you’ve ever dealt with a cyber-bully, I knew how you feel, and I understand. Words do have power and it’s easy to be hurt when anyone attacks you, online or off. I, too used to get upset and feel bad back in the early days of the internet when I’d look at my instant messages and find that some idiot had sent me a flamer.

However, today, I’ve learned to see it for what it is and the cyber-bullies for who they are. And that in itself can be a real boost to the self-esteem.

When I think of the term “cyber-bully,” I instantly get a mental picture of one of two types of people:

1. Some broke, unemployed and shirtless fat guy sitting and typing on a computer in his granny’s basement, while stuffing his face with Cheetos and sporting a man-bun.

2. A skinny, pimple-faced, bespectacled geek who only trolls the net to compensate for his lack of sex and a social life in the real world.

Any time I have a cyber-bully who’s hot on my trail, and I occasionally do, one of those pathetic pictures immediately pops up in my mind, and I can’t help but chuckle to myself. Because cyber-bullies often use a fake profile or screen name with either a blank photo or one that’s fake, it only shows that they’re faceless cowards and not to be taken seriously.

These losers talk so big and tough behind that keyboard- oh, yeah! They’re real badasses online, but you can bet that if they ever saw you on the street, they wouldn’t have the sack to step up. So, ask yourself these questions.

Should we take these wusses so seriously?

Should we give these worthless schmucks the power to make us feel bad about ourselves?

Should we value their useless gibberish?

Though I can’t speak for anyone else, I have a hard time valuing the worthless opinions of anyone who doesn’t have a name or face. Any person who’s a Rambo in cyberspace but a George McFly on the street, I can only take with a horselaugh and a grain of salt.

You either have a big, brass pair or you don’t.

It takes a real zero to spend even a few hours a day trolling other users. You just know that the person has no ambition, no prospects, and no life. Understand that when you’re cyber-bullied, often you’re dealing with a poor soul who is bored, lonely, and miserable. And the only way he/she can feel good about themselves and have power is to do what they’re doing now.

Therefore, if any cyber-bully attacks you online, you shouldn’t put a lot of stock into their opinions. Their words don’t carry a lot of weight. Understand that cyber-bullies are often people who flame others because they’re insecure, self-loathing, and have nothing going for them.

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Online is the only way these pathetic people can have a social life, and that alone speaks volumes about the kind of people they are and the crappy lives they lead. So, again, should you take these losers seriously? Are they worth getting angry or depressed over? These idiots can’t make you feel bad about yourself unless you allow them to.

Though words have power, and they can hurt you, you should always consider the source. Because in truth, most cyber-bullies live miserable existences and should only be pitied.

Bullies Always Count on a Target’s Predictability

Being unpredictable can be your best weapon against bullies. Anytime you are predictable in a climate of bullying, you’re a sitting duck. Bullies will soon know what gets you upset, what will get you to fly off the handle and do something irrational and how to sabotage you socially and academically. You must be versatile if you expect to throw the bullies off-kilter.

Predictability is human nature. People are creatures of habit and have a need to see familiarity in the actions of others. If you’re a target of bullying, any predictability on your part will give your bullies the idea that they have control of you.

Understand that the reason bullies have so much power over you is that you’re too darn predictable. You make it too easy for them to predict what you’ll do. Because they’ve studied and picked up on your habits, they have the foreknowledge of what your reaction will be. And they’ll weaponize it every chance they get!

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But when you flip the script and begin deliberately exhibiting behavior that has no consistency and no objectives, you automatically throw your bullies for a loop! Take your unpredictable behavior up several notches and bullies will be intimidated.

Now. Before I go on, let me mention that here’s one good thing about your predictability- you’ve gotten your bullies so used to your patterns that you’ve lulled them off to sleep, which will make any versatility on your part all the more powerful once you start deliberately changing your reactions to their attacks.

So, here goes:

If you’re a target of bullying, you want to make it look you have no clear strategy. You must scramble your behavior patterns and your reactions to confuse the bullies if you want them to back off. And when you do, not only will it confuse them, it’ll scare the stupid out of them!

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I’ll use a scenario with one of my old classmates as an example:

Just two years ago, Carol, one of my old classmates, attacked me online after she found out that I was collaborating with a producer out of New York on a screenplay adaptation of my first published book.

Let me start by saying that we hadn’t seen each other since high school. Back then, I was quiet, shy and timid girl, but with a hair-trigger temper when I was pushed too far. That’s how Carol had remembered me.

And had she verbally attacked me back then, I either would’ve walked away from her without saying anything back to her, or, on a bad day, I would’ve fought fire with fire- screaming back at her, cursing her out and calling her every name but a child of God.

This time, I did neither. As you’ll see in the screenshots below, I reacted in a way she never expected me to.

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Carol expected me to fly off the handle, have a moment of sheer stupidity, and counter-attack with the same vitriol and craziness she dished out to me first. Then she could have used my counter-attack against me and made me look like the instigator. That’s exactly what she had plans to do, and I knew it.

However!

Instead of reacting, I responded.

I remained calm and told her how it was without name-calling, without cursing, and without using all caps. And boy! Did it throw her into a hissy fit! Carol literally FREAKED! ‘Had a complete meltdown online as she sent me hateful message after hateful message. I happily took screenshots and outed her all over social media before finally blocking her.

By reacting in a way I knew she never expected, I threw her off balance and not only instilled fear, but induced panic and rage in her. I shook her up so much so that she couldn’t think clearly nor rationally. She stumbled, making blunder after blunder.

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In being unpredictable, I forced her to give me the goods I needed to expose her with. She fell face-first into the trap I calmly laid for her, and I have to admit. Outsmarting her felt soooo good! Carol played right into my hands and didn’t realize her mistake until after she’d calmed down. But by then, it was too late. Carol had made herself look like a complete lunatic and had I acted as she had, I would’ve looked just as nutty as she did.

‘You see? When you deliberately respond in ways your bullies don’t expect, you throw them off-kilter and force them to react out of fear, confusion, even anger. And when a person reacts out of pure emotion, they make a truckload of mistakes, blunders, and gaffes, then end up making a colossal fool of themselves.

Even better, after I exposed Carol online, many other old classmates, out of loyalty to her, came to her defense and attacked me the same way she had. Although they knew that she was in the wrong and that she’d attacked me without provocation, their loyalty to their old high school buddy was much stronger than their sense of right and wrong.

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Carol’s, brother, sister and son also joined in the vitriol. They even went to the pages of my husband and my son and attacked them too. Carol’s allies didn’t private message them but went to their public pages where all could see. In doing this, they also exposed themselves for the idiots they were while we sat back and laughed.

That’s what reacting out of emotion does. It causes us to make dumb mistakes.

Needless to say, after I exposed them (or they exposed themselves) those people backed off quickly and I never heard from them again. Neither did my family. They now stay far away because they were surprised to find that I’m nowhere near as naïve as I was in high school. I stayed calm and was smart enough to deflect their attacks and use them against them.

Again. Understand that by doing something unexpected, you gain a huge advantage over your bullies. And when bullies can’t figure out what you’re going to do, it scares them to death and they’ll almost always react out of fear!

Nothing is more frightening than when you make a move nobody would ever expect. It’s the reason natural disasters are so scary because no one knows when and where they’ll hit next. It’s why deer hunters can track down their prey and kill them. They know the habits and patterns of behavior of the deer they hunt.

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Realize that habits and patterns are the worst things that go against a target of bullying because bullies pick up on your routines and use them against you.

In closing, you must learn to unsettle your bullies by allowing them to see you do things they’d never expect. If a bully launches an attack, you should counter-attack suddenly, without warning, in a way they’d wouldn’t expect you to, and when they least expect it.

You must purposefully mislead your bullies to trick them into an emotional reaction!

If you’re going to be predictable, don’t stay that way. Do it for long enough that your bullies get used to your patterns and are lulled into a false sense of security, then strike suddenly with something unexpected! And that’s how you get them to leave you alone!

Cyber-Bullying: Bullying of The Most Devastating Kind

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I’m fortunate enough to have grown up in a time when cyber-bullying was unheard of. When I was in school, “Street Bullying” or “Playground Bullying” was the type of bullying targets of my generation endured.

“Street Bullying” happens face to face. It happens on the playground, in the hallways, the bathrooms and locker rooms at school. Years ago, a student could escape it and have some form of refuge once the dismissal bell rang and school was over for the day. And when it got too much to endure, the victim simply changed schools and the problem was solved.

Sadly, those days are long gone. With today’s technology, bullies have unlimited access to their targets by way of “Cyber-bullying”. During the last twenty years, the advancement of technology has introduced email, text and social media. These new vehicles of communication have their benefits. However, they also have their pitfalls.

A bully can nowadays get online and torment their targets for as long as they want without ceasing nor accountability. They can, in essence, reach into the target’s own home and torment them from afar.

Cyber-bullying, or online bullying, is harassment of another person with the use of social media, text messages, voice mail, email, and instant messages. It is, in my opinion, the worst kind of bullying there has ever been. Here are the reasons:

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  1. Bullies are COWARDS!
    Your attackers have the ability to hide behind a fake screen name or they may create fake social media accounts to conceal their identities. They do this to avoid detection and the risk of accountability for their evil actions. With a cyberbully, you do not know who is attacking you. Also, they can use several different screen names to make it look like a multitude of people agree with them and are attacking you, when it may be, in fact, only one poster committing the harassment. This is done to further intimidate the target.
  2. Gone are the days when bullying only occurred on the playground or in the locker room. In the days of old, before technology took off, a target could finally escape their tormentors with the ringing of the dismissal bell at school.

Back then, you could go home to your family and not have to worry about being bullied again until the next school day. You could at least get a break from the torment. However, not so anymore. Technology has a lot of good qualities, one of which is convenience. Unfortunately, nothing is 100% foolproof. With the rise of social media, text, voice mail, and email, bullies can now pursue their targets 24-7. There is no longer an escape!

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  1. The third reason why cyber-bullying is much worse than traditional or street bullying is because the taunts, insults, threats, rumors, and lies can be read by a much wider audience, causing loss of relationships, family, friends, businesses, finances, and opportunities.
    On the emotional side, the target may experience feelings of shock, bewilderment, anger, sadness, despair, depression, hopelessness, and thoughts of suicide.

Traditional bullying is terrible and causes those feelings as well. However, it is something that you can get away from. On the other hand, you can never escape cyber-bullying. This alone is what makes this type of bullying so sinister and so devastating!

If you are a victim of cyber-bullying, it is imperative that you do not respond to the incendiary posts of cyber-bullies, no matter how tempting it may be. However, I realize that some attacks, especially those, which hit you in the jugular, can cause you to respond out of emotion.

This does not mean that you are a bad person for responding to attacks. It does not mean that you are stupid. It only means that you are a human being with feelings and our first instinct is always to defend ourselves and our loved ones when threatened. It is completely understandable.

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But no matter what our circumstances may be, we must try to never respond to the ignorance and stupidity of bullies or cyber-bullies. As difficult as this may be, it is better to never give internet trolls what they want. And what they want is a response, any response.

They want to kick you while you are already down and inflict even more pain. If you respond in any way, shape or form, they will know that they have reached their goal. But if they never hear from you, it’s going to disappoint them and they just might give up and move on to someone else.

4. Instead of responding, out them! Take screenshots and expose them!

Cyber-bullying can happen to people of any age. Not only children and teens, but adults can also be cyber-bullied. Although as an adult, I have gotten along with mostly everyone, there have been a few times that I have been cyber-bullied, one instance being right after the death of my husband. I can tell you that after refusing to respond to any of it, the harassment died and the thread was eventually removed. No one has bothered me since.

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In their weak attempts to put me down, my cyber-bullies unwittingly made me so many new friends and I received so much support from all over the country. It is amazing how the actions of a bully can sometimes turn into something wonderful.

I will be forever grateful to the people (even strangers) who stood beside me during this tragic time. I hope this helps you in the event that you are cyber-attacked. And I want to assure you that there is always hope, no matter how hopeless a situation may be.

Cyber-bullying can be stressful enough on adults, but devastating for minors. Adults are emotionally better equipped and therefore, more adept at handling themselves in bullying situations, whereas children and teens have yet to fully develop good coping mechanisms.

Children do not have the cognitive thinking skills, nor the processing ability that adults possess. Adults can be hurt by online bullying because they are human and have feelings also. However, any well-rounded adult is better able to look at the situation and see the lies posted online for exactly what they are…LIES. And they have the ability to analyze the bully and see the person as he/she is- useless trash who is in desperate need of a life.

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And that in itself can actually be a boost to the bullied adult’s self-esteem…just knowing what a bottom-of-the-barrel, miserable piece of garbage the bully really is. In most cases, an adult can usually laugh it off and go on about their business, provided it doesn’t affect his/her family, marriage, business, opportunities, or way of life. An adult can refuse to accept the lies of another bullying adult and tell them to go blow it out their ear.

A child has not learned to do that yet. Children and teenagers have totally different values than adults. While most “mature” adults place the most value on family, career, and home and less value on popularity; children and teens place the most value on popularity…their friends and being accepted. Most children and teens place emphasis on how others (mainly their peers) see them.

They want to fit in, be liked, and be “cool”. And when those things are threatened, as they always are when he/she is cyber-attacked, it can have devastating effects on self-esteem.

As parents and grandparents, we need to teach our children confidence as confidence is the best weapon against a bully. In my opinion, teaching confidence is the most effective way to protect them because bullies are cowards and they always seek out kids who are insecure, self-conscious, and have low self-esteem. And they do this because they know that a child with low self-esteem is less likely to stand up to them.

7 Common Tricks of the Cyberbully

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Cyberbullying can be bullying of the most devastating kind and for anyone- children, teens, and adults alike. This is because attacks are seen by a much wider audience and there’s a high degree of anonymity as cyberbullies are cowards and hide behind fake screen names and profiles to avoid exposure.

Here are 7 common tricks they use to cover their own behinds and make you look like the perpetrator.

1. They will inbox you with a barrage of insidious messages. Again, cyberbullies are cowards and fear being detected for the sick creeps they are. So, they use the inbox to unleash their vitriol onto their victims. Even if you delete the person from your friends’ list, they can still send messages through the inbox. Just as the woman above did.

2. They will tag you in a post, then claim you’re stalking their page. This happened to me once. Although this is rather obvious (or should be) to others and used by dumber and maybe drunk cyberbullies, it does happen.

3. They rally their friends to troll your page. Once you hit the “Block” button, watch for an influx of friend requests from people you don’t know or who would otherwise never in a million years “friend” you. This almost always happens just after you’ve blocked a cyberbully.

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4. They troll the pages of your spouse, family, and friends. Cyberbullies do this to seek and gather information about you and those you’re closest to, which is then used as either ammunition to defame you, make fun of you, or to attack those you love.

5. They create hurtful, degrading, and humiliating memes of you. Cyberbullies do this to intimidate, embarrass you, and to bait others to harass you.

6. They have others (or they do it themselves) to insert images of porn and other disgusting materials onto your timeline. All designed to cause embarrassment.

7. They copy your profile photo and create duplicate and fake profiles in your name, claiming to be you. They then send requests to all your family, friends, and associates to bait them to accept. Once the requests have been accepted, the cyberbully then sends your associates deplorable messages or tags them and posts flaming or lewd posts to their timelines in hopes of causing friction between you and the people you care about.

And sadly, there isn’t much anyone can do until better technology is introduced to track down these vile bullies and more robust laws are passed against this practice.

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Here are ways you can deal with a cyberbully.

1. Out them. Expose them by taking screenshots of their profiles and of the nasty messages they send you. Screenshot every message or vile comment. Then plaster them all over the internet. Hey, they asked for it. So, put them on blast. Exposure is the best way to shut these idiots down.

2. Unfriend and BLOCK them. You don’t need them in your life- or stalking your page. Get rid of them! Also, the sooner you block the creep, the less likely they are to send you a virus or get access to any sensitive information.

3. Delete the incendiary posts or comments but keep the screenshots stored in a folder. Always take screenshots and save any evidence of online bullying because you never know when you might need them for litigation.

By being vigilant, I was able to save myself a lot of headaches.

If there are other tricks that have been used against you and that I have left out, please feel free to comment.

 

 

Cyber-Bullies, Cyber-Stalkers, and Trolls: Should We Take Them So Seriously?

sad and scared female teenager with computer laptop suffering cyberbullying and harassment being online abused by stalker or gossip feeling desperate and humiliated in cyber bullying

scared and sad female teenager with computer laptop suffering cyberbullying and harassment being online abused by stalker or gossip feeling desperate and humiliated in cyber bullying.

Bullies are cowards, but Cyber-bullies are the biggest, most pathetic ones. They sit in the safety of their homes (or their mom’s basements, attics, and backyard sheds), hide behind fake profiles and screen names, and troll the internet and social media in search of victims.

If you’ve ever dealt with a cyber-bully, I knew how you feel, and I understand. Words do have power and it’s easy to be hurt when anyone attacks you, online or off. I, too used to get upset and feel bad back in the early days of the internet when I’d look at my instant messages and find that some plonker had sent me a flamer.

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However, today, I’ve learned to see it for what it is and the cyber-bullies for who they are. And that in itself can be a real boost to the self-esteem.

When I think of the term “cyber-bully,” I instantly get a mental picture of one of two types of people:

1. Some broke, unemployed and shirtless fat guy sitting and typing on a computer in his granny’s basement, while stuffing his face with Cheetos and sporting a man-bun.

2. A skinny, pimple-faced, bespectacled geek who only trolls the net to compensate for the lack of sex and a social life in the real world.

Any time I have a cyber-bully who’s hot on my trail, and I occasionally do, one of those pathetic pictures immediately pops up in my mind, and I can’t help but chuckle to myself. Because cyber-bullies often use a fake profile or screen name with either a blank photo or one that’s fake, it only shows that they’re faceless cowards and not to be taken seriously.

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These losers talk so big and tough behind that keyboard- oh, yeah! They’re real badasses online, but you can bet that if they ever saw you on the street, they wouldn’t have the sack to step up. So, ask yourself these questions.

Should we take these wusses so seriously?

Should we give these worthless schmucks the power to make us feel bad about ourselves?

Should we value their useless gibberish?

Though I can’t speak for anyone else, I have a hard time valuing the worthless opinions of anyone who doesn’t have a name or face. Any person who’s a Rambo in cyberspace but a George McFly on the street, I can only take with a horselaugh and a grain of salt.

You either have a big, brass pair or you don’t.

It takes a real zero to spend even a few hours a day trolling other users. You just know that the person has no ambition, no prospects, and no life. Understand that when you’re cyber-bullied, often you’re dealing with a poor soul who is bored, lonely, and miserable. And the only way he/she can feel good about themselves is to do what they’re doing now.

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Therefore, if any cyber-bully attacks you online, you shouldn’t put a lot of stock into their opinions. Their words don’t carry a lot of weight. Understand that cyber-bullies are often people who flame others because they’re insecure, self-loathing, and have nothing going for them.

Online is the only way these pathetic people can have a social life, and that alone speaks volumes about the kind of people they are and the crappy lives they lead. So, again, should you take these losers seriously? Are they worth getting angry or depressed over? These idiots can’t make you feel bad about yourself unless you allow them to.

Though words have power, and they can hurt you, you should always consider the source. Because in truth, most cyber-bullies live miserable existences and should only be pitied.