Bullies and “Target Derangement Syndrome”

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…or “Victim Derangement Syndrome. Whatever you want to call it, it’s extremely toxic and it’s when things begin to become dangerous for a target of bullying.

TDS happens when the lies and bad talk about the target reaches such as pitch that it seems to be the unwritten rule to believe the BS or to, at the very least, act like you do. And too often, the bystander’s safety depends on it!

Bullies, followers and bystanders have TDS when they have such an intense, demented and blind hatred for the target that they’ll believe, without question (and without even blinking!), anything about him, so as long as it’s negative. And the more negative and condemning the rumors, the better and more convenient, and the better it suits the running narrative!

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They’ll also believe it, no matter how ridiculous it may sound. Anytime you hear something about a target that sounds absolutely and utterly absurd to any rational and sane person outside the bullying environment, that’s when you know that Target Derangement Syndrome is at play!

Understand that when you’re a target of bullying and everyone in the environment you feel struck in (and you are stuck in) has TDS, that’s when you know the bullying has taken on a life of it’s own. In essence, you are burned in effigy!

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Here are the signs and symptoms of Target Derangement Syndrome:

1. Others seem to jump at the chance to diminish anything positive about the target. For instance, if you are a target of bullying and you do a good deed that is either visible or gets positive recognition, others in the class, school, workplace, community, or any toxic environment will only disregard it and make statements such as:

a. “He only did that to make himself look good!”

b. “She’s only trying to score brownie points, kiss ass, (etc.).”

c. “Haha! He’s just did that because he thinks it’s going to get him on everyone’s good side!”

When the target reaches a success, others will only rain on it, saying things like:

a. “Oh, God! Anyone could’ve accomplished that!”

b. “He’s trying to show out! He thinks he’s so special!”

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2. People in the environment are wide open with their brutality against the target. Bullies, their followers, and any other bystander who wants to join in the mistreatment won’t even try to hide it anymore. Why?

Because these people know they’re protected from any accountability. They know that their brutality toward you is widely accepted now- even encouraged, or worse, celebrated!

They’ve picked up on the reality that no one will even dare help you (if they know what’s good for them) and won’t utter one word against the open abuse you endure every day. Remember that when others openly abuse you, it’s gotten to a very dangerous level! And you might want to ask yourself this:

“If they can get away with this, what are they likely to do to me next?”

“How much worse will they hurt me later?”

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3. People in the toxic environment are blinded by their own hatred of you. They don’t know why they hate you so intensely. They just do.

If anyone on the outside were to ask them what you did or said to them to make them hate you so much, they either wouldn’t be able to answer them at all, or they would throw just any ridiculous answer out there, without having the goods to back it up.

And they’ll hope to the heavens the person asking is lazy and won’t press the issue further, or worse- (gasp!) challenge them to provide evidence that you’re such a despicable and deplorable person.

They’ll give ad hominem responses such as:

a. “Because she’s just a bitch and I hate her”

b. “Because I just hate the bitch!”

c. “Because he just rubs me the wrong way!”

d. “Because he’s a jerk and a know-it-all!”

And because they can’t come up with anything that makes sense, or, God forbid, produce any evidence to back up their (false) claims against you be prepared for them to fabricate lies out of thin air, or viciously attack the person asking the (very legitimate) questions and in that, pose the threat of making them look like the moronic and brutal monsters they really are!

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4. These people will be intensely angered each time anything positive comes your way. For example, if you win an award, they may not say it to you, but you’ll see it in their faces and body language. They also may talk through their teeth to one another as their eyes blaze at you.

5. They’ll try to destroy your good mood because they’ll hate the possibility that you might be happy and feel good. If you are a target and they see you so much as laugh or crack a smile, here are a few responses you’re likely to hear from them:

a. “What the hell are you laughing about!”

b. “What the @&%# are you smiling about!”

c. “What have you got to be so happy about, bitch!”

d. Shut up, asshole! You laugh like a hyena!”

e. “I don’t see anything funny!”

f. “I wish she’d wipe that stupid smile off her face!”

SHUT UP

SHUT UP rubber stamp over a white background.

6. They’ll shout you down and tell you to shut up, every time you even look like you’re about to open your mouth. Understand that these people don’t think you deserve to be heard, nor to even have the freedom to speak.

7. They’ll all rise against you when you defend yourself. When you have “the audacity” to stand up to them and assert your right not to be abused, they will all gang up on you and gaslight you into believing you asked for the abuse.

If that doesn’t work, expect them to smear you to others. And if that doesn’t silence you, the next step is a brutal physical attack. Always! If they can’t bring you down emotionally, they will do it physically and no one will jump in to help you. I’ve seen this happen and have had it happen to me.

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8. They will watch you like a hawk. Understand they everyone else in the bullying environment will be watching you very closely- waiting for you to screw up even the tiniest bit! They will then beat you down with your mistake and never let you hear the end of it.

But understand that these people are only looking for the slightest infraction to maximize and use against you. They will twist, spin, or add to the most trivial thing you do that’s not quite right to make it bigger and more severe. Something as minuscule as knocking over a glass of milk will be made into a Federal case and they’ll swear you did it deliberately.

If they see you talking to a member of the opposite sex, they’ll swear up and down you’re trying to get laid. But if you happen to be saving yourself for your wedding night, they’ll only call you a prude.

If you take one sip of wine, they’ll call you a sloppy, fall-down drunk. But if you don’t drink, they’ll call you a party pooper, boring, or a stick in the mud. They ‘ll make statements like, “Well, he just doesn’t know how to have a good time!”

You will be damned if you do and damned if you don’t.

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You must realize that when the bullying and mass degradation of you gets this bad and seems to permeate the whole of the environment, the hatred and contempt for you has reached such a crescendo that it’s has turned into mass mental illness in those around you. At this point, it more than likely won’t get better. It will only get worse until either one of them murders you or forces you to do it yourself.

At this juncture, the best thing you can do for yourself is to run! These people are dangerous and you must get as far away from them and stay away!

However you decide to do it, get these people out of your life and keep them out because these are people you will never be safe around!

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Why It’s Never Good to Over Apologize

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From the time we’re toddlers, we’re taught to apologize when we do something wrong. Although this is a good thing, if it’s overdone, it can backfire.

After having been bullied and abused for so long, targets of bullying tend to apologize way too much. Sadly, what often goes with being targeted for bullying is constantly getting blamed for virtually everything that goes wrong, which is why targets are often programmed to apologize for things that don’t need an apology.

With targets of bullying, the apologies are often a knee-jerk reaction that comes from extreme fear. The incessant apologies are ways to appease the bullies and make them go away and leave him alone. And bullies know this.

They know that the apology isn’t heartfelt and that the target is only trying to keep them from harming him again, which either gives the bullies a rush of power or makes them angrier and more determined to hurt the target.

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When you’re a target of bullying, you’re often forced to take accountability for things you had nothing to do with or that were beyond your control. So, you get into the self-defeating habit of apologizing, thinking that it will protect you from further abuse. But even if it does save you from being brutalized, it will eat away at your self-esteem.

If you’re a target of bullying, I want you to understand that not everything that happens is your burden to carry.

Anytime you make unnecessary apologies, you’re taking responsibility for things that aren’t your fault. And when you give bullies apologies that are undeserved, you take accountability for their deplorable behavior.

Also, you only make others around you believe that you really are in the wrong when, in fact, the bullies are the guilty ones. You only make it so much easier for your bullies to shirk responsibility for their evil deeds. It gives the bullies the impression that they have power and control over you and that you will always surrender to them.

Even worse, people lose respect for you because it conveys a lack of confidence and gives these bullies the okay to continue bullying you. You unknowingly decrease your value and look pathetic. You send the unspoken message that you’d rather be agreeable than honest.

And whenever a situation arises that warrants a sincere apology, others will only take your apology with a grain of salt.

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But when you refuse to apologize where an apology isn’t needed, it’s a sign of greater self-esteem and increased feelings of power. It also shows that you have more dignity and integrity.

It pays to know when you should and shouldn’t apologize.

And for Pete’s sake! Never apologize for feeling hurt or angry at someone else’s abuse! Never! In these situations, you have a right to feel the way you do! Let no one tell you how you should feel when you’re being treated unfairly!

What Happens When You’re “Too Nice?”

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Too much sugar is never good because it doesn’t only eat away at your teeth, it eats away at your self-esteem and your life. In a world with so many evil people, it isn’t wise to be a pushover because too nice equals no backbone and no boundaries.

And there will be many people who’ll take your kindness for being a fool. And don’t think they won’t take advantage of you.

Here are signs that you’re too danged nice:

1. You tolerate crappy behavior from people. And because of it, others think you’re pathetic.

2. You over apologize. You apologize for things that aren’t your fault and that you have nothing to do with. Keep this up and others will find it too easy to lay guilt trips on you whenever it is that you can’t give them what they want. They will blame you for the tiniest of things because they know that you’ll bow down and take the blame.

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3. You end up a slave to the whims of others. You bend over backward to take care of everyone else and often, they don’t appreciate it. They only demand more of you. You always feel tired and exhausted because you’re so busy pleasing others that you don’t have time to take care of yourself.

4. You say yes when you really want to say no. You don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings or piss anyone off, so against your better judgment, you say yes rather than no. You may be dog tired and want to go to bed, then someone shows up at your door at eleven o’clock at night with a problem! You agree to help them with or solve their problem when you should tell them to take a walk and never to darken your doorstep at such a ridiculous hour! You’ll also rescue people from bad situations that are self-inflicted. You’re an enabler.

5. You take on others’ moods. Instead of refusing to let some Negative Nancy get you down, you let their funky moods rub off on you. Not good!

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Understand that the reason some people are too nice is that they feel they’re not enough. They feel they have no right to say no to anything- that they don’t deserve to take care of themselves. And it’s because they’re terrified of conflict.

They want to be approved of, liked and loved and feel that the only way to do it is to bust ass for others. Sadly, the opposite usually results because people lose respect for you! No one respects a pushover!

Unfortunately, most don’t realize all of this until they reach your limit and get fed up! But you don’t have to waste years of your life being a doormat if you follow the guidelines below:

1. Never put up with shabby treatment. Life’s too short for that. You must stand up for yourself when someone violates a boundary, whether it be physical or psychological. Realize you deserve to be treated well and you deserve it just as much as the next person. Always speak up for yourself.

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2. Stop apologizing so much. Realize that some things don’t warrant an apology. And standing up for yourself and saying no are only two of those things.

3. It’s okay to put yourself first. Take care of yourself first. Only then will you have enough energy to take care of others.

4. Again. Say no if you don’t want to or don’t feel like fulfilling a request. Don’t be afraid to say no if you don’t want to do something or don’t feel like doing it.

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5. As difficult as it might be, don’t let the moods of others around you affect your mood. If you have a Debbie Downer who is always negative, there’s nothing wrong with calling them out on it or staying away from them. Whatever you do, don’t try to rescue them or argue with them. It won’t work.

Sometimes, taking care of yourself means facing conflict because some people will be selfish and demanding. They won’t be able to see past their own needs and desires.

Never be afraid to stand up for your rights. It’s okay to take care of others. But don’t forget to take a little back for yourself. Only then will people respect you and recognize that you also have feelings and rights.

Neediness is BAD!

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Neediness is not a good look on anyone. It’s unattractive and off-putting. To be blunt, it’s downright gross! It’s the equivalent of a bad smell one must hold their nose and run away from to keep from getting sick.

When a target is bullied, they often become needy. Because they’re shunned and rejected for so long, they become ravenously hungry for any morsel of approval and will lap up anything that even looks like it. But they often see acceptance when it’s really only tolerance.

Anytime a target becomes needy, some people might include them in their groups, but not because they like them or want to be around them. They’ll only pretend to like the target because they feel sorry for him. And the last thing the target should want is someone’s pity. Yuck!

Who in their right mind would want to settle for that?

But wait! It gets worse!

Closeup portrait unhappy woman giving loser sign on forehead, looking at you with anger and hatred on face isolated on gray background.

Closeup portrait unhappy woman giving loser sign on forehead, looking at you with anger and hatred on face isolated on gray background.

After a while, the pity that his (the target’s) so-called friends have for him may wear thin.

Here are a few reasons why neediness is not only unattractive and humiliating but downright dangerous:

1. Any time you’re a target of bullying by everyone- the group of so-called friends who pretend to like you put themselves at risk of being made targets themselves. And they know it. In the minds of the bullies and others, they’re guilty by association. Instead of being an asset to the group, you become a liability!

2. The group is having to pretend to like having you around because they don’t want to hurt your feelings. But their real feelings about you will only seep out in ways that are not so obvious. It’ll be so subtle that you may not even know it’s happening. And you can bet that if you make the slightest mistake or they perceive the tiniest slight from you, the floodgates will open and their real feelings of dislike and hatred will come rushing out like a raging torrent. And they’ll look for any reason to make you go away even if they must treat you with blatant brutality.

3. Your so-called friends will never have your back. They’ll disappear at the first sign of trouble. When your bullies come calling, your fake friends will throw you under the bus, then get behind the wheel and run you over a few times. Understand that these people will not value you as a person.

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4. You’ll only draw people who are predators. Users and abusers are drawn to the needy like vultures to a carcass. They seek out people who are desperate to exploit their needs and weaknesses to get what they want from them. And once they’ve gotten all they want out of the person, they discard them like a dirty piece of toilet paper. You make not realize it, but you can do better than a bunch of scavengers!

Wouldn’t you rather be alone than to have friends like those? I wound hope you would.

Real courage and real self-worth sometimes require that you be alone for a while. But let me assure you that it won’t always be this way. Be patient and eventually, the right people will find you. It may not happen quickly, but it will happen. I guarantee it.

It happened for me and it will happen for you too!

Are You Being Accepted or Only Tolerated?

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When people talk of tolerance, I immediately cringe. I don’t find the word very attractive because let’s be real here. The word itself has an ugly ring to it. To put it bluntly, it sounds downright gross!

Sadly, many targets of bullying are so afraid of being alone that they settle for friends who aren’t friends at all. And the people the target associates with may keep the target under the impression that he’s being accepted when, in fact, they may only be tolerating him. And you can tolerate someone without accepting them.

I know a few who assume that acceptance and tolerance mean the same but they don’t. The difference between the two is huge.

For example, you’re in polite company and the man sitting next to you, (who happened to scarf three huge bean burritos for supper last night, then put away three eggs for breakfast this morning) covertly eases forth a silent but deadly fart. You catch the first nauseating whiff but can’t hold your nose nor leave the room without seeming rude to everyone else in the room. Instead, you only sit there, trying to keep a poker face, and nonchalantly hold your breath until you’re sure the smell has dissipated. That’s what tolerance is.

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Tolerance means that people allow the target to be around but secretly wish he’d go the hell away. And it has a way of seeping through in how they think of the person, how they act around him and how they behave toward him.

So, how is the target to know if he’s being tolerated?

Here are the signs:

1. The target will be excluded from any events or social gatherings.
If you’re the target, you’ll often hear the rest of the group talking about the barbeque or sleepover they had over the weekend. You know, the one that none of them thought to invite you to? Show these morons you have a modicum of self-respect and walk away. You don’t need them.

2. The target will feel left out because the other members of the group will be communicating with all other members except the target.
You’d much rather be alone than to be lonely. Alone is when you’re physically by yourself. Lonely is when you’re among people, yet you’re still alone because to them, you don’t exist. You can be alone but not be lonely. Realize that if you ever feel lonely and you’re in a group, that’s the time to tell them to go kick rocks and be on your way.

3. The target will feel as if he’s tagging behind the group.
Again, if they seem to always leave you behind, eighty-six them and bid them goodbye.

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4. Other members of the group will voice their hatred of the target anytime he isn’t around to hear it. The target will then hear about it later. If they stab you in the back, it’s time to ditch them. You’d much rather be by yourself and keep your dignity rather than stay among those who strip you of it.

5. There’s always that sickening “elephant in the room” feeling.
Feeling awkward around these people is a sure sign that they don’t deserve your friendship. Understand that this is only your gut trying to warn you about these people. Listen to it!

If people tolerate a person, they only permit having them around when there’s no other choice. And they’ll take every chance of voicing their seething hatred of the person when he isn’t around to defend themselves. They allow the person to be around because there’s no way they can make them go away or say anything without looking like a heel. When the tolerated person is present, you just grin and bear it.

Here’s why the target should drop these people:

1. By continuing to be around people who tolerate him, the target decreases his value as a person. That’s right. Anytime you must crawl behind people who don’t give a crap about you, you make yourself look like you have no other options. People who see this lose all respect for you and think you’re weak. Therefore, your value will drop like a meteor!

2. You’ll risk being used and abused. Any time you’re desperate to have friends, you’ll settle for any crumb of human connection that you’ll be willing to put up with shabby treatment just to keep from being alone. Users and abusers will take notice of this and hang around only to get something from you. And those who are decent people and would otherwise be good friends will want nothing to do with you because desperation is so off-putting and will only repel them.

3. You’ll only embarrass yourself and further erode your self-esteem. If you don’t have respect for yourself, no one else will either. No one respects anyone who’s pathetic. You need to muster up some pride and stay away from people who make you feel bad about yourself! Begin rejecting them and have nothing more to do with them. Then watch your value rise again and see how much better you feel about yourself afterward.

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Tolerance just plain sucks! For both parties! It sucks for the others because they don’t want to be around the target but don’t know how to get rid of them. It sucks for the tolerated person because they’re in a place they’re not welcome and in a situation in which they’re mistreated and even abused. It sucks for everyone involved because the overall mood is bad.

Anytime a person in a group of people is only tolerated, everyone feels it.

Tolerance includes resentment. It’s gritting your teeth, sitting there with contempt on your face and drumming your fingers until the person finally leaves. Tolerance makes the tolerated person feel crappy because it’s begrudging and there’s suffering on the part of the tolerator. We tolerate people we find disgusting and abhorrent.

Acceptance is a much better term. With acceptance, people are at least willing to see the value the disliked person brings to the table although he’s a person they wouldn’t have chosen. It’s receiving the person and allowing them a degree of freedom and respect despite differences.

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Acceptance is sitting quietly and letting the person just be. It’s embracing their good qualities regardless of your dislike of him.

With that said, understand that you don’t deserve to be around the people who only tolerate you. Better yet, they don’t deserve the privilege of even being in your presence. It’s much better, not to mention healthier, to be by yourself until you meet people who will not only accept you but celebrate you.

I can’t stress this enough! You deserve to be among those who love you and who care deeply about you. Never, ever settle for people who only tolerate you just to keep from being alone.

Sometimes life tests us and we must be alone for a while before it finally rewards us with people who are meant to be in our lives. In the meantime, use this time of solitude for a deep self-evaluation and for getting to know yourself again. You just may discover strengths and qualities you never knew you had!