Bullies are notorious for abusing their targets, then turning around and discounting their normal, understandable, and justifiable sadness, fear, anger, and depression that result as a direct cause.
But understand the subtext of your bullies’ actions and discounting of your pain-
“Your feelings mean nothing.”
“Your pain and suffering aren’t real and don’t matter.”
“You’re not allowed to be sad, angry, scared, or depressed when we abuse you.”
When bullies discount your pain and suffering, they may make statements such as:
“You’re too sensitive.”
“You’re such a crybaby.”
“Can’t you take a joke?”
“You’re jumping to conclusions.”
“You’re blowing everything out of proportion.”
“You’re always on the defensive.”
“You’re taking stuff too seriously.”
“It’s only in your imagination.”
“You don’t know what you’re talking about.”
“You’re always trying to start something.”
“You’re making a mountain out of a molehill.”
…and the list goes on
The target may wonder why it is that he’s always in the wrong when he doesn’t mean to be. Understand that this is victim-blaming. And the bullies must blame you to keep from having to take responsibility for their behavior.
If nothing else, remember this:
You always know when something doesn’t feel good. So never doubt what you feel. Never second guess what you feel in your gut. Always listen to that jab in the pit of your stomach because your body never lies.
Bullies pour on the charm and have a natural talent at fooling the masses. They put on a façade with fake sincerity and false genuineness. Others think they know the bullies. “Oh, but they would never be so mean! They couldn’t hurt a fly!” You hear it all the time.
But understand that these people love the bullies not for who they are, but who they think they are. It’s only willful blindness at play.
Willful blindness protects people from seeing the ugly, awful truth and from heartbreak and disappointment- or, so we think. Bullies are willfully blind to their own evil selves. All people need to feel like they’re good and decent. But vicious people must fight twice as hard to feel that way.
Deep down inside, bullies know they do wrong, but they convince themselves that there’s justification for their evil behavior and that there are times when the rules don’t apply. Many are under the impression that their wrongdoing is just a means to an end.
Popular bullies think that they’ll get away with bullying their targets. And why not? They’ve had so much success with people, and all their past social endeavors have worked out for them. They think they have some magic formula that others don’t have. Therefore, they believe they are invincible and untouchable.
But understand that their “magic formula” is deception and manipulation. Bullies impress and charm all the right people, say all the right things at just the right times. Also, they purposely charm everyone but the target. The best way to turn others against someone is to put your best foot forward in front of others and show them your best side, all while showing your target your worst side.
But think about it. Domestic abusers do the same thing. There’ve been countless stories and testimonials from survivors of domestic violence. Stories of how everyone outside the family home- neighbors, coworkers, bosses, church leaders, congregation members- everyone thought the abuser was such an incredible person and that you couldn’t find anyone half as great as them. And they’d never in a million years believe that person was an abuser. People are often in shock and disbelief whenever the abuse finally comes to light.
If a person like this bullies you, hold on to hope because people of this nature always end up being exposed. Always. In the meantime, please write it down. Always document! Because without documentation, it didn’t happen.
Keep a written record! I can’t stress this enough!
That’s right. And bullies will do it purposefully and for a reason. They put you on the defense to make you look “defensive” because they know that defensiveness makes a person look guilty. I’ll give you a few scenarios:
You’re a target, and the bullies go around telling others that you’re going to start a fight sooner or later. They also claim to know how you’re going to provoke the brawl and talk about that possibility as well. Even stranger is that these bullies are so confident in saying these things. They’re so sure that what they say is going to happen. It gets back to you, and you can’t understand why they’re making such outrageous and unknowable predictions.
But understand that this shouldn’t sound so strange and shouldn’t be so bewildering to you. No. What it should be is a WARNING to you! Allow me to continue.
Sure enough, one of the bullies slyly baits you and provokes you to fight back in self-defense. When you’re lured into a fight and call it out as it happened, everyone else sees you as too defensive. The bullies then stand back, snicker, and say,
“’ See? What did we tell you? We told you he/she was going to start a fight! And he/she did! We tried to warn you! And now, he/she just revealed how he did in attempting to turn it back on us!”
People then blame you for it and accuse you of being one who won’t take responsibility.
Let me elaborate:
Any time the bullies make such predictions should serve as a warning to you. It should warn you that something is going on behind the scenes.
It should tell you that what is really happening here is that the bullies are the ones plotting to provoke you into a physical altercation. Yes! You read this correctly! While the bullies are making such wild predictions about you, they’re setting everything up to happen exactly how they’re predicting so they can turn around and say, “See? We told you so! If so and so wasn’t guilty, he/she wouldn’t be denying and explaining it so vehemently!
And the more you plead your innocence and tell the truth that it was the bullies who provoked you, the more they and everyone else scream that you started the fight and that you’re only trying to avoid responsibility. Thus, the guiltier you look.
It shouldn’t be this easy, but it is!
Realize that this kind of deception is so easy to pull off, it shouldn’t work! But it does!
That’s why it pays to recognize when bullies unknowingly give themselves away and to take steps to thwart them somehow. And the best way is to call it out in front of an audience. Or better, you could say this,
“With that statement, you just busted yourselves, and you’re too stupid to realize it.”
And say it without elaborating on it any further. Because you’ll shock the crap out of your bullies and make them wonder how it is that you think they busted themselves. They may even ask you about it, but you don’t have to tell them. You can just smile and say, “I just do,” and keep walking. That reaction alone will throw your bullies off balance and make them a little sweaty!
But do this only if the bullies aren’t your bosses or any member of an authority, of course. In these cases, it’s best to keep your thoughts to yourself and start making an escape plan to get away from these psychos.
Conditioning happens when others brainwash and train you to believe something. It’s how evil and terrible abuses get “normalized.” When you’re a target of bullying, bullies will try to condition you to roll over and take their abuse.
Conditioning doesn’t happen overnight. It’s a slow, incremental, bit-by-tiny-bit process that can also be soft and subtle. So, how do you know your bullies have conditioned you?
You know by the feelings you have.
1. If you feel guilty for speaking out and reporting bullying to authority, your bullies have conditioned you.
2. If you feel that the bullying is your fault, your bullies have conditioned you.
3. If you feel like a mean and cruel person for standing up for yourself, your bullies have conditioned you.
4. If you feel guilty about saying no to anyone, your bullies have conditioned you.
Are you angry yet?
What are the statements bullies use to condition you? And what do those statements condition you to think and feel? Let’s find out:
1.“Bullying is a rite of passage that everyone goes through.”
This statement conditions you to believe that bullying is normal. But it’s anything but! Bullying is sick, perverse, and damaging to the target. So, say, “Oh no, it’s not!” And be very firm when you say it.
2.“You ‘made me’ hit you!”
This statement conditions you to believe that bully’s despicable behavior is your fault- that you somehow caused the bully to get out of line and that you deserved what you got. Again, this is a blatant lie!
No one deserves bullying and abuse. You have a right to feel and be safe. Therefore, you counter the bully’s statement by saying, “No, I did not!” And say it with full conviction!
3.“You had it coming!”
“You asked for it!”
“You bring it all on yourself!”
Again, these statements condition you to believe that you’re to blame for the bullies’ horrid behavior, that their evil actions are your fault, and that you deserved it. NOT true! Remember that bullying is abuse, and no one deserves it. Say, “No, I didn’t!” or “No, I don’t, and you know it!” Be stern!
4. “You’re always trying to start something!”
“You’re always making waves.”
“Don’t rock the boat!”
“You’re always making trouble!”
“You just keep pushing it!”
“Don’t push it!”
Again, these are lies and ways to deceive you into silence. Don’t’ fall for it. Counter the bully’s claims and always, always do it with a tone of conviction.
5. “You’re making a mountain out of a molehill!”
“You’re making something out of nothing!”
“You’re a crybaby!”
“You’re a liar!”
“You don’t know what you’re talking about!”
All lies. Counter with “No, I’m not!” or “I know exactly what I’m talking about! I know what you’re trying to do, and I won’t accept it!”
Understand that you’ll hear these statements anytime you attempt to set boundaries and stand up to bullying and abuse. Bullies hate it when you stand against them. Most would cut off their right arm before they’d ever admit to any wrongdoing.
Don’t let it deter you. Keep standing up. Keep defending yourself. Keep taking care of yourself because no one else will do it for you. All you have is you. In a situation of bullying, all you have is your voice. Use it! Don’t lose it!
But realize that if the bullies resist (and they more than likely will) and don’t respect your commands for them to stop the abuse, go away and leave you alone, it isn’t your fault nor your responsibility.
It isn’t because you weren’t firm enough, and it isn’t because you aren’t any good at standing up for or defending yourself. It’s because your bullies are a bunch of pathetic, self-entitled turds who think the rest of the world should bow down and kiss their asses. Nothing more.
Don’t fall for their power plays. Stand up, stand tall, and stand firm no matter what.
I may have been a target, but I was never a victim. I thought I was during the entire time I was bullied and for a while after it was over. Understand that a victim mentality, when taken to extremes, serves no purpose. It only breeds laziness and entitlement. You feel that the world owes you something. It doesn’t.
I had the same attitude and it got me nowhere!
Also, if you hold on to it and let it define you, you’ll only attract more bullies and abusers in your life. We are what we think, and the universe will provide more of the stuff that matches our thoughts.
That is why it’s so important that you shed this mentality of defeat. Only then will you re-empower yourself and win true peace and happiness!
Myths are often mistaken for fact and obscure people’s judgment. They can also blind us to bullying behavior, even when it’s happening right in front of our faces. Myths can even make it hard for a person to know when someone is abusing them.
Here are a few myths to be aware of:
Myth 1. Targets are weak losers who deserve bullying. People suffering at the hands of bullies are not weak, nor are they losers. In the past decade or so, we have found that bullies target mostly those who are good people with hearts of gold. Bullies are evil people who perceive goodness, kindness, and generosity as weaknesses. Therefore, they target people who have these qualities.
Also, bullies go after those who are multi-talented and star achievers and performers. Understand that bullies perceive these people to be a threat to their power. Why? Because one-upmanship is a way that bullies can feel powerful.
When high-achieving targets outshine bullies, especially bullies who are narcissists, they unwittingly provoke jealousy and narcissistic rage in the bullies, and they will pull out all the stops to make them pay and set them up to fail. If nothing else, understand this! Bullies hate to be outshone, outdone, or beaten at anything!
Nobody deserves bullying. Ever! Bullying is harmful and can destroy someone’s life.
Myth 2. Bullies are brave, strong, cool, exciting, and in control. Ha! Bullies are the opposite of these things. Let me break it down for you:
Bullies are brave. Nope! Bullies are great, big cowards! They’re only good at hiding it. Bullies live by the motto that strength comes in numbers, so they run around in packs- hiding their cowardice behind groups of sycophants or flying monkeys.
You will never catch a bully alone because a bully doesn’t know how to stand alone. The followers of the bullies are there to back them up and do their dirty work. Bullies get their power from an entourage. Without their wing-men to cover them, they would be powerless.
Bullies are strong. ‘Taint so! Bullies are weak, they only high it by aggression, loudness, and false bravado. They instill unnecessary fear into their targets. Understand that bullies draw their power from the fear they instill in others. Bullies are notorious bluffs, blowhards, and windbags. The tough act they put on is a way they hide their weakness.
Bullies are cool. Au contraire! Bullies are pathetic. They bluff, they posture, and they’re notorious one-uppers. They always have to be king of the hill and better than anyone else. All of this is a sign of insecurity and self-loathing. Because if they were secure in themselves, they wouldn’t resort to that buffoonery.
Bullies are exciting. They may seem exciting at first, but they get boring pretty quick. Because they’ll talk incessantly about themselves, brag, and showboat until you’ll want to chew off your own arm just to get away from them. Also, they won’t be so exciting when they turn on you.
Bullies are in control: Really? Is that what you want to call it? Um…not! Bullies can’t even control themselves and their own pathetic lives. So, they seek to control others in order to feel powerful. And in doing that, they not only create targets, but they also create enemies who hate them with a passion.
If you’re a bully, you may only control someone to a certain degree by putting the fear of God in them, but you’ll never control what they think of you and how they feel about you. Because the mind and thoughts are free. And if you run across a person who has a strong sense of self and doesn’t fall for your guff, what are you going to do then?
Myth 3. “Bullying is a normal rite of passage that all kids endure.” Not so. There’s nothing normal about bullying. It’s perverse, twisted, and sick. Bullying only speaks volumes of the mental imbalance and lack of character of the bully and is never a reflection of the target. Bullying is always a reflection of the bully’s arrogance, cowardice, insecurity, jealousy, and hidden rage. And the more we learn about the issue of bullying, the more evidence we seem to get that supports this.
Myth 4. Bullying builds character. No, it doesn’t. It tears it down or suppresses it, rendering targets afraid to relax, be themselves, and feel safe.
It’s important to dispel and not to fall for these myths. Never blame yourself for other people’s crappy behavior. Hold on to your truth. And if anyone rattles off any of the above lines to you when you speak out against bullying, counter them and do it with conviction.
Bullies may think they know you, and they may attempt to define who you are, but only you know the definition of who you are. By having the audacity to tell us who we are, not only to bullies attempt to force us to replace our thoughts of ourselves with theirs, they also try to play God.
In doing this, bullies also want to force us to deny our beliefs and convictions, and ultimately, deny ourselves. They want us to tell ourselves that what they did to us was all in our minds and only make-believe when it is they who are in a world of make-believe.
Understand that to accept someone else’s definition of you; you must discard your own. When we allow bullies to dictate our inner reality, we lose bits and pieces of ourselves. Also, little by little, we lose awareness of our emotions each time we allow them to do it and eventually grow numb.
For example, when we cry about a legitimate hurt that cuts us to the core, bullies will often invalidate the pain we feel and replace it with their perceptions of it.
They do it by making these biting statements:
“It isn’t that serious!”
“You’re too sensitive!”
“Oh, boo-friggin-hoo! You’re just a little cry baby trying to get attention!”
“Put your big-girl panties on!”
“Get over it!”
Understand that when you feel sadness, you feel sadness, and when you’re angry, you’re angry, and you should allow yourself and be allowed to feel those emotions. No one has a right to tell you how to feel. Ever!
In making these types of statements and accusations, bullies cause many targets to feel guilty for being a human being- for being a person. But realize that bullies don’t see you as a person with thoughts, feelings, beliefs, and convictions of your own. They see you as an abject- a robot they can control.
Bullies don’t see you as an independent and separate being. They see you as a subject who’s only here for their purpose, pleasure, and entertainment. In their minds, your sole purpose on earth is to make them feel powerful. Nothing more. So, instead of allowing you to own your truth, bullies will tell you what your truth is- or should be. And they’ll force-feed it to you and cram it down your throat.
Therefore, this is the kind of response you should expect from bullies.
And if you’re not careful, you’ll allow their statements to overtake you and, in that, allow their perceptions to replace yours. You’ll begin to see yourself through their eyes until you let them blind you to your true nature. You’ll slowly lose sight of yourself until you don’t know who you are anymore.
Even worse, you’ll lose the intuition that they’re abusing you and will no longer know when to protect yourself- you’ll grow numb to the abuse. Realize that this is how bullies and abusers train you not to defend yourself, and once they succeed, they then have you right where they want you- this is how bullies slowly and subtly take the fight out of targets and render them pacifists.
Understand that you must muster the strength to withstand your bullies’ attacks, do all you can to maintain your sense of self, and refuse to accept your bullies’ opinions and definitions of you. Never allow others to trick you into believing that they know you better than you know yourself. The truth is that you know yourself better than anyone else in the entire world because you’re the only one other than God who lives inside you.
Realize that bullies are persistent, so targets must maintain their sense of self and their clarity of who they are. Your beliefs, convictions, likes, dislikes, preferences, authenticity, autonomy, and your ability to decide when something doesn’t feel good add up to equal your definition and your truth.
Your self-definition, sense of self, self-belief, autonomy, confidence, self-esteem are like precious gems, and you must guard them against thieves who wish to take them.
It’s because they somehow appeal to the self-interest of the school and school district. So, how do bullies do this, you might ask?
There are several ways:
1.Many bullies are stars of the school’s sports teams. Let’s face it. Schools have an interest in their sports teams. They want to win games and to win in regional, state, and national championships. Why? Because it bolsters the school’s image. And what school board member or principal wouldn’t want these things?
And if the school has a great reputation, the larger number of attending students they’re likely to have, and the more parents they’re likely to have to want their kids to attend. And the more students they have, the more funding the school gets from their state. Understand that schools have a vested interest in keeping their images in a positive light.
2. Many bullies excel academically. Schools are also rated by the grades their students make. If a school can keep the dropout rate low and crank out more graduates, particularly those who are students with high honors and candidates for colleges, the better their reputations and the higher the school is rated. And sadly, because of bullying, many targets drop out.
So, right or wrong, why would the school side with anyone other than its brightest stars and highest achievers?
It’s because schools are afraid that if they suspended a lot of bullies, the bullies’ grades will drop. Then, their parents, who are more than likely adult bullies, would show up demanding to know why their little darlings were suspended? And, this brings me to number three.
3. Many of these parents mentioned in number two are boosters. People who help fund the school’s programs. And trust me when I say that schools won’t risk losing these funders!
Therefore, schools will always side with the bullies and blame the target because appealing to the self-interest of any person or entity equals POWER! And most targets of bullying, I’m sorry to tell you, either don’t have the power that bullies have, or they don’t think they do.
I want you to realize that in most cases of bullying, it’s not about who’s right or wrong, it’s about who is perceived to have the most power. Again, most people care less about right and wrong. What they care about is power and how you can benefit them in some way, shape, or form.
“What’s in it for me?”
If you can find a way to appeal to the school’s self-interest, then you have an ace in the hole.
Here are ways you can do this:
1. Excel and keep your grades up. I realize that this can be hard to do when you’re a target of relentless bullying because it breaks your concentration. Instead of focusing on schoolwork, you naturally focus on ways to be safe. That’s completely understandable. But make your bullies your motivation to excel.
There’s nothing wrong with compensating. And sometimes you must compensate to buffer your self-esteem and protect your mental health. So, compensate for your lack of friends and social connections with stellar grades and class performance. It will pay huge dividends. And you’ll feel so much better about yourself.
School boy angel with wings and halo concept for being clever, good, success in education or smug
3. Find ways to benefit the school with your talents and gifts. If you can use your talents to bolster the school’s image, that’s a win for you, and the school will more likely support and protect you from bullies.
If you can sing, join the school choir and win in the all-state championships. Not only will you look good, but your school will also look good too!
It’s because bullies need scapegoats. The use of a scapegoat is nothing new. People have used them for many millennia! During the Medieval Period, scapegoats were often used by kings to make sure the monarch’s hands stayed clean- or at least looked clean.
Back then, it was common practice to execute scapegoats for the wrongdoings of kings. Blaming them, then putting them to death kept the scapegoats quiet and the kings above reproach, unquestioned, and smelling like roses. Bullies do the same today, only in different ways.
Bullying and scapegoating go hand in hand.
The purpose of scapegoating is to force another person to accept blame for sins, which you, yourself, are guilty. Sadly, the person blamed is often innocent. Even sadder is the fact that he’s usually the one least likely to fight back. The person is then punished and sacrificed.
Bullies are notorious for refusing to accept blame for any wrongdoing or mistake. So, they search for the most convenient person to lay blame on- their target. And what’s the victim going to do about it?
The ability to transfer guilt to their victims gives bullies immense power. Understand that bullies depend on appearances to maintain their fake facades of gleaming-white perfection. Well-seasoned bullies must appear to be god-like at all times.
They’re very much afraid that if they don’t keep up this pathetic charade, they’ll lose their power and with it, the foothold on their targets. What better way to maintain that power than to scapegoat the target?
“Blame so-and-so for my shortcomings by pointing out his!”
“Blame so-and-so for my imperfections by distracting others’ attention to his!”
“Blame so-and-so for my despicable behavior by claiming he did something to deserve it!”
“Blame Joe Blow for my pathetic incompetence and stupidity by saying that he caused me to screw up!”
“Blame so-and-so for any tiny thing that goes wrong, and I get to hitch a ride on his back to move up!”
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
“Because I’m number one, and Hell will freeze over before I give that up! And blaming so-and-so is so easy it shouldn’t work!”
I want you to realize that bullies, bystanders, and friends will scapegoat a target of bullying for one reason and one reason only: He has the least power to fight back!
Targets are often either naïve or exceptionally intelligent and pose the biggest threat to the bullies’ positions. If the victim is naïve, bullies will exploit his naivete to the fullest because they know that naïve people aren’t taken seriously. Also, the naïve tend to overdo their claims of innocence. And people often mistake it as a sign of guilt.
Intelligent targets, bullies will undermine and wear down with constant smear campaigns, exclusion, and personal attacks. Also, smart victims will often overdo being calm, and relaxed, which can also be mistaken for guilt, because people will assume that his keeping it together is only an act and that he’s hiding something.
Here’s another reason bullies need targets. They need someone to make responsible for their negative feelings- feelings of inadequacy, insecurity, and hurt. And when they make the victim responsible for their bad feelings, the target becomes the offender who must be punished and eliminated.
To combat their negative emotions, bullies demand that their targets show them respect at all times- even while they’re abusing them. They also have the attitude that the victim should do whatever they tell them to do and make them feel powerful.
In short, bullies need the target to use as a dumping ground for all their mental and emotional issues.
Here’s a third reason, bullies and bystanders need a bottom rat to ensure that they themselves don’t end up on the bottom. If you’re a target of bullying, they need you to stay on the bottom and will go out of their way to keep you there. Any pecking order needs whipping boys (or girls) – easy victories for the higher-ups to collect.
If you are a target of bullying, I want you to understand that bullies consider it to be of the utmost importance that you stay on the bottom and you make them look good and like the innocent party. When they brutalize you, everything must appear as if you had it coming – that they were wronged or betrayed by your stupidity, incompetence, or evil.
If people are using you as a scapegoat, the best you can do is to get out of the environment. Just pick up and leave. Only then will you be able to preserve your dignity, your sanity, and your life.
First, a bully slyly baits her intended victim by provoking her for a reaction. If the victim blows it off and fails to react, the bully meticulously and subtly intensifies the taunts over time, wearing her down until achieving the desired reaction, often making sure that bystanders and authority are present. A bully is very much aware that everyone has a breaking point.
Once the target reaches his limit and reacts (yelling, telling the bully off, cursing the bully out, punching the bully in the face, etc.), the bully weasels his way into the hearts of bystanders and authority, using superficial charm and charisma to feign victimhood.
He bashes the victim by using the perfectly normal reaction as proof of the victim’s “mental illness” or “meanness”, making it look as though the victim is at fault, to distract others from the bully’s own evil actions and project guilt onto the victim.
Once the bully has succeeded in turning everyone against the victim, she entices others to join her in shaming the target. Everyone may gang up on the victim, making statements such as, “Aww! You just need to toughen up!” or “Can’t you take a joke?”.
The victim may be accused of “bringing it all on herself” when in reality, the opposite is true- it is the victim who has been harassed for months, even years while having tried to handle the abuse calmly and objectively, only to succumb to exhaustion and reach her limit.
Moreover, when the victim reports the abuse, the guilt is placed on the victim and the bully goes unpunished, taking the impunity as a green light for future torment. All the while, the victim is seen in a very negative light, with no other choice but to endure the torment in silence to keep from further tarnishing her already damaged reputation.
Each time a report is made, others who are often in a position to help, blow the victim off, thinking that the torment is justified. The bully then becomes more emboldened and the victim becomes more devastated and damaged.
The more brazen the bully becomes, the higher the degree to which the harassment escalates and the more frequent and intense the attacks become until the victim is maimed, is killed, is removed, transfers schools to escape the torment or commits suicide.
The bully benefits from the feeling of power and control she gets from mistreating her victim and getting away with it, having a sense that she is invincible and untouchable. The bully also enjoys the sympathy and petting received from others.
This strategy is also used as a means of striking fear into and silencing the victim, discouraging any future attempts at speaking out and exposing the bully for what she truly is…a cowardly, sniveling piece of human filth.
If you are a victim of bullying, you already know too well how it feels to be mistreated and then blamed for your own torment. It’s horrible enough to be constantly harassed, but to be blamed for that harassment is downright devastating and leaves you feeling completely powerless!
Understand that this is just another weapon the bully uses and how he/she is allowed to continue their bad behavior with impunity. And it is nothing new! Bullies have always used this method.
So, remember the 3 ‘B’s- Bait, Bash, and Blame and I believe that you will be better able to explain your situation when you report the harassment.