Bullying and Cognitive Dissonance

Bullies don’t want to notice anything about you that forces them to remember that you are generally a good person.

They don’t want to remember that you were once respected and very well-liked.

Bullies don’t want to recognize that you’re a kind and thoughtful person and not deserving of brutal treatment.

They don’t want to see that you’re hurting and you’re the one being attacked.

Bullies don’t want to see you as a human being, deserving of the same rights and considerations as everyone else.

And the reason why bullies do NOT want to see these things is that it would only prick at their consciences and make them feel dirty!

Understand that, regardless of the facts, of what you say or do, or of your intentions, everything will be taken out of context, misconstrued, and spun to support the bullies’ narratives, whatever they may be.

Deep down inside, your bullies, their followers, your former friends who have been turned against you- they all know that you’re a great person. Believe me, they are very much aware of your kindness, your big heart, and of your potential, only they would never in this lifetime admit it. Because to admit it would be to convict themselves.

Admission of your positive qualities would be an admission of their guilt! That they were in the wrong and that they are a bunch of cruel monsters!

So, to save face and not feel like total scumbags, they can’t afford to acknowledge the truth. Because, again, to do so would be to demonize themselves.

For instance, any time I happen to run into one or more of my former bullies from school at the supermarket, the gas station, or anywhere else in public, they automatically turn their heads and walk away- fast! But I understand where it all comes from.

I don’t feel rejected. I don’t feel the least bit upset about it because I see it for what it is, and what it is, is guilt! It’s nothing personal.

Each time they see my face, they’re reminded of the horrible things they did years ago, and they feel dirty!

No one wants to feel dirty.

So, when this happens to you, don’t be hurt or offended. Don’t feel rejected because it has nothing to do with you and everything to do with them and the feelings of shame that they’re so desperately trying to avoid.

It’s Not Only in Your Head. You Know When Something Doesn’t Feel Good

One of the saddest things about bullying is the confusion it often brings. Many bullying targets are confused and mislead as to whether or not they are legitimately being bullied or only being paranoid.

Oftentimes, when an individual is bullied, and they defend themselves, others may trivialize the bullying or dismiss it. They tell the target that “it’s only in your mind” or “you’re just paranoid.” Half the time, people convince the target of the above statements, which only forces him to endure the torment in silence. Bullying cannot thrive without silence.

Therefore, the bully is let off the hook and is free to target the same individual again in the future. The bully gets the message loud and clear that it’s okay to target this person simply because they can – and with impunity.

After so long, the target feels as if it is somehow wrong to report and stand up to bullies. He then questions his own sanity, thinking, “Maybe it really is only in my mind.” and often grows silent for fear of being gaslighted and seen as “paranoid,” “crazy,” “overly sensitive,” or other labels that undermine and steal his voice.

Let me enlighten you: It’s not only in your imagination. You are not overly sensitive. You are not a wimp, wuss, crybaby, crazy, or whatever else unsavory people may call you.

Always remember that bullies are very skilled and convincing liars. You always know when something does not feel good because your brain and gut will alert you!

You can see it in the way certain people cut their eyes at you.
You can see and hear them talking through their teeth.
You can hear the short and cold tone in their voices.
You can feel, deep down in your gut, the nasty vibes they exude.


This is why you should always listen to your gut feeling because it is never wrong. Eighty-six those people, pronto!

Anyone who causes you to feel bad does not deserve the time of day from you. It does not matter if they are rich, smart, good-looking, popular, successful, cool, or tough.

If they cause you to feel less than, ditch them! Weed. Them. Out! They are not worthy of even being in your presence. Never allow anyone to violate your boundaries, whether physical or psychological.

Kicked out fired flying people figures, vector illustration color cartoon, horizontal

Self-awareness is key, as is awareness of everyone and everything around you. You must get to know yourself. You must get absolutely clear on what you will and will not accept. Only then will you be able to tell the difference and send your bullies packing.

Bullies and Self-Victimization

To put it in simplest terms, bullies target someone less powerful, then claim to be the ones who are bullied once the target calls out their behavior. It’s a classic move and, gladly, it’s easy to expose if you know the playbook and know what to look for.

Therefore, any time a bully targets you and you call them out for it, I want you to expect this to happen and prepare for it.

Realize that bullies despise resistance to their abuse, and, even worse, they hate it when you expose them. Any time bullies meet resistance to their evil, deceptive manipulations, voila! They suddenly claim that you are bullying them!

Bullies very convincingly cast themselves as so marginalized, so fragile, and so oppressed that anyone who dares to call them out on their shit are labeled “bullies.” Any criticisms or even questions of their actions and behavior is suddenly deemed “bullying.” Convenient, no?

Bullies do this by crying crocodile tears, using trending tropes of the day, and rationalizing their behavior, making everyone believe that they were only defending themselves or reacting to your bullying. And trust me, they’re good at it.

Bullies instinctively know that the best way to silence criticisms and reports of their ugly ways is to self-victimize. And sadly, it works like a charm!

blame point fingers

Fortunately, society is just now catching on to this and it’s long overdue. Also, there are names for this that didn’t exist thirty years ago, and, if they did exist then, they weren’t well-known. So, targets can now call these tactics by name and better describe what’s happening to them.

Every day, society is learning more and more about the bully-target dynamic. This, in itself, is promising to targets.

“Get Over It!”

Studio shot of playful disobedient adult son in red t-shirt, covering ears with index finger and saying lalala while wanting mom get mad, standing indifferent to argue, being impolite and childish.

“Get over it!”

“Let it go!”

“Forget about it!”

How many of you have been told to do either of these? As if you could just wiggle your nose and everything is peachy king. When you’ve been abused, you cannot just let it go. Healing takes time.

The emotions you feel won’t just go away. Even if you paint a smile on your face and pretend that nothing’s wrong, these feelings will still be there, simmering under the surface, and the more you try to stuff them down and bury them, the more damage it will cause.

Understand that the emotions you’re feeling are there for a reason. They warn you that something isn’t right. Realize that the anger and hurt doesn’t disappear overnight and the people who give you that kind of response are ignorant and only re-abuse you when they demand that you “get over it.”

In order to heal and get your life back again, you must allow yourself to feel those raw emotions. No, it isn’t comfortable. No one wants to feel pain. But you must go through it to come out on the other side of it. And while you’re moving through the pain, practice self-care.

Give yourself some TLC. Have self-compassion. It’s okay to not be okay and it’s okay to baby yourself.

Take a few days off. Lounge around the house in your pajamas if you want to. Eat your favorite treat or give yourself a good, sweaty workout. Treat yourself to a spa-day, facial, new do, or a beach vacation. Your first priority is self-care, whatever it may be for you.

Last and most important, don’t shut up! Keep speaking out and standing in your truth. Self-care also means being your own advocate and if people don’t like it, too bad.

Put yourself first!

Who’s the Real Target?

If you want to know who the real target of bullying is,

ask yourself who has the least power.

Ask yourself who has the least social capital.

Ask yourself who has the least influence.

Ask yourself who has the least friends.

Ask yourself who is liked or loved the least.

Ask yourself who is most hated.

Ask yourself which person people can openly abuse and get away with it.

Ask yourself these questions and the answer will be crystal clear.

Who Are the Real Bullies?

If you want to know who the real bully is, ask yourself these questions:

“Who has the most power?”

“Who has the most social capital?”

But most importantly, ask yourself these questions:

“Who are the people no one is allowed to criticize?”

“Who are the people everyone is AFRAID to criticize or even question?”

“Who are the sacred cows- the people who seem to be untouchable and beyond reproach?”

“Who can openly inflict abuse on people and get away with it?”

If you can answer these questions honestly, you know who the bullies are.

5 Things Bullies Tell Others When the Target Puts Their Foot Down

Any time a target gets tired of the abuse and calls a bully’s bluff. The bully will more than likely justify their behavior to others. Here is a list of the most famous statements you’re likely to hear, from most popular to least.

1. “She’s crazy.” or “She’s unstable.”

2. “He’s just mad because I called him out!”

3. “She’s so fake.”

4. “She’s too sensitive.” “She’s overreacting.”

5. “He’s a crybaby.”

6. “She doesn’t want to admit when she’s wrong.”

7. “I was just trying to help you.”

8. “She’s just jealous of me because of…”

Always listen to your gut feeling- it will always tell you the truth. If something doesn’t feel good, your gut will tell you. Remember that the sensations of the body never lie. You should expect bullies to act this way when you finally assert yourself; it only goes to show what kinds of people they are- and who you should avoid.

With knowledge comes empowerment.

7 Reasons Targets Are Blamed While Bullies Escape Accountability

One thing I’m certain of is that every person, who has ever been a target of bullying, has at some point asked either themselves or another person these questions: “Why am I always to blame?” and “Why do my tormentors often get away with tormenting me?”

Here are the answers, and there are many:

1. Bullies are very convincing liars. Bullies have been lying and covering up bad behavior all of their lives. They have been doing this for long enough that they have learned what works and what does not work. They are master manipulators, skilled in the art of deception.

Bullies are also very good at rationalizing and justifying their unacceptable behavior. They are wordsmiths and con artists, who often use charm to deceive those in authority.

2. Bullies often use projection. They project all their faults and shortcomings onto their targets, making the target look like the bully and themselves look like the victim. When faced with possible accountability for their evil actions, they often cry and feign victimhood. This tactic is usually employed by female bullies.

3. Bullies are very charming to the right people, which can be used as another weapon against a target. Bullies seem to emit an oozing charm. Because of this, they had a way of winning people over and making them their allies.

A good reputation can be used as a weapon against any target because, with this good name, the bully has everyone (except the target) fooled. Others cannot believe that “this sweet, innocent, pretty little girl” would harm anyone. Take a look at the outgoing guy that everyone loves.

No one is going to believe that this “fine young man” would ever beat up a smaller boy unless he was provoked.

4. Because this person has so many friends who cherish them. Even if these friends did witness them undertake any wrongdoing, they will still more than likely cover-up for the bully out of loyalty and place the blame on the target.

5. There is strength in numbers Most bullies have a large number of friends behind them. And people in large numbers can have a cumulative power that can be overwhelming even for the greatest, toughest, strongest, most intelligent individuals. To put it plainly, if enough people are against a person, that person is powerless, no matter how strong, smart, beautiful, or easy-going they may be.

6. Bullies use gaslighting- adding their own spin to make you look and feel like the villain or by laying guilt trips- trying to convince you that you are at fault or that the abuse is just your imagination. Bullies are masters at this, especially female bullies who use feminine charm to deceive bystanders and authority figures.

7. Bullies malign you to others to destroy your good name and credibility: They recruit followers and start a campaign of hate and viciousness against you by way of rumors, lies, and trying to turn your friends against you. This occurred to me regularly in school, and it would happen 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.

There were several different benefits from the execution of this strategy.

1. It could be used to protect one another from being labeled by a teacher and getting a bad reputation. Most who have been in school have a least gotten into two fights, which sounds perfectly normal.

2. Destroying the target’s name with the staff would lessen any chances of him being listened to, should the target run and “tattle” to members of the authority. Again, protecting them from discipline at school and allowing them the freedom to do whatever they want to the target whenever they feel like it.

3. It’s used to silence the target and make him/her afraid to report the bullying or speak out about it.

Schoolboy angel with wings and halo concept for being clever, good, successful in education or smug

Targets get the blame because, sadly, the attitudes of most bystanders and members of authority are these:

“Why would so many kids have it in for her if she’s not provoking them somehow?”

“Nobody likes him, so there has to be a reason that justifies it.”

After all, who will look any further than the child with the worst reputation anytime a confrontation arises? If people expect trouble to come from a certain place, that is where they’re going to look.

It is all designed to manipulate school staff and save the bullies’ behinds from having to face repercussions and, therefore, leaves an opening for further bullying later on.

Targets not only need the confidence to fight to bully but also the knowledge of bullies. The first step of defense is knowing the mindsets and intentions of bullies and the tactics they use.

Bullies and Confabulations

Many times, bullies will blow up on their targets for absolutely no reason. When they’re later questioned about the blow-up, they can’t remember why they lost their temper. So, they drum up fake memories to fill in the blanks in order to sound plausible instead of ridiculous.

When bullies confabulate, they do it to feel sane when they wouldn’t otherwise. And the way they feel sane is to insert made-up stories into the blanks. I’ve seen this happen many times and even had bullies justify themselves to me by the same method.

Sometimes, confabulations can be mistaken for real memories and the truth to the confabulator.

When bullies confabulate a justifiable reason for their appalling behavior, they believe themselves. So, is it any wonder that most abusers appear to others to be telling the truth when they justify and rationalize away their abusive actions?

When a person believes their own lies, others are more likely to believe them too. It’s a fact.

Confabulations have an incredible effect on witnesses. When people hear lies spoken as truths, it is as if you’ve entered the twilight zone.

No one wants to be under a bully’s influence, but people get sucked under it all the time. Many people have had their lives destroyed, even taken because they were persuaded by bullies. And those who saw through those abusers and spoke out were either silenced or paid a heavy price for daring to open their mouths. This has also happened to entire cultures and populations.

Understand that confabulations can be a powerful weapon because the bullies who confabulate believe themselves so it’s a sure bet that others will believe them too. That’s why we must learn to either properly counter any confabs or let the bully drag them out until others get tired of hearing them squawking about it.

Why Bullies Need Targets

They want you to think that you need them! You don’t. In fact, it’s just the opposite. They need you! Let me explain further:

Bullies need targets as guinea pigs on which, to demonstrate their perceived power and might.

They need victims to feel better about themselves.

Bullies need targets to blame their stupidity and bad behavior on.

Bullies need victims to scapegoat and to be a dumping ground for all their problems and shortcomings.

If you’re a target, Your bullies need you as a shield to cover their own cowardice.

They need you to entertain and get laughs from their audiences.

And they need you to look cool and in control in front of everyone else.

Understand that bullies need you more than you will ever need them!