Both a Blessing and a Curse

When you have a sharp BS detector and are able to see through others’ fakery and behind their douchebaggery, you have a special gift that few people have. That much is true. Moreover, with this gift, you can more easily avoid the many traps and pitfalls bullies, shysters, and con artists set up.

However, having this gift can be a curse. Although being awake and alert to lies, deceit, and bad intentions is both freeing and empowering, it can also be an excruciating and alienating journey. It can be lonely, confusing, and frightening. You often struggle as you try to process the insanity around you.

There is a reality that no one talks about- the darkness that accompanies your having this kind of sight. In fact, you may grieve what you thought, for so many years, was the truth. The realization that everything you once thought you knew turned out to be lies is, perhaps, the most difficult pill to swallow.

Furthermore, the people you once trusted, the principals you were taught, the beliefs you once held, the illusions you once had, and the life you once lived- when they turn out to be lies, it’s the hardest thing!

The Truth Hurts

Having your illusions shattered is never an enjoyable experience. However, with growth comes pain and discomfort and it doesn’t stop there. With these newfound revelations, you will often find yourself grieving again. You’ll grieve the loss of relationships with people you thought were friends and were smarter.

You’ll feel alone. And you’ll be ridiculed not only by acquaintances and passers by but sometimes by friends and family. You’ll realize that you never had nearly as much in common with the people you care about as you originally thought.

When you’re wise to bullshit, people will judge and ridicule you because they either don’t see what you do, or they do see it but are either living in denial or they’re too chicken to call it out.

Moreover, you might grieve the loss of your own ignorance because ignorance is bliss and reality is harsh. You might even find yourself wishing that you were still just as ignorant as they are because, if you were, you’d still fit in with them.

Having the sense to see through all the smoke screens can be a lonely road to travel. There’s no sugarcoating it- getting wise to the realities of the world and of the people around you can be brutal!

Most People Can’t Handle the Truth

Furthermore, the ability to dive down into the deepest, darkest rabbit holes and to remain functioning in daily life is a skill that we don’t talk about enough.

I’ve lost many people I thought were friends. However, I still consider myself one of the lucky few. Why? Because most of my family and my small circle of true friends? They get it and they get me. However, many of you aren’t so lucky. You’re struggling with feeling disconnected from your family and friends and it’s as though they exist in another world.

Just know that you’re not alone. Not only are you not alone, but you also have an entire tribe standing behind you. We may be separated by miles, but we’re deeply connected in purpose and spirit.

So, hold on to your faith and your dignity. Hold onto your truth and stand on it. Continue to be yourself and to press forward. Know that we’re here and we’ve got you! Most importantly, know that God’s here and He’s got you!

With knowledge comes empowerment!

All About Bully Privilege

In most cases, bullies have the benefit of followers and bystanders covering for them when they terrorize and brutalize their targets. Targets, on the other hand, get no leniency whatsoever, so, they must make extra efforts to keep their hands clean because, unlike the bullies, they can’t afford to break any rules. IF targets dare to engage in the same behaviors the bullies do, they’d quickly be fired, expelled, prosecuted, or worse, killed.

What targets are severely punished for bullies get away with. You see it all the time- in the schools, workplaces, and communities. For a target of bullying, there’s no margin for error. Targets don’t have the benefit of a cheering section. And if bullies can’t find anything to hold against the target, they’ll make something up.

Understand that bullies and their enablers don’t play by the same rules. When bullies engage in bad behavior, people are silent, and the bullies are exempt from accountability. While bullies get a pass for the worst behaviors, targets are persecuted for perceived or made up slights or normal human errors that anyone could make.

Realize that this is a clear-cut example of “bully privilege” and it’s real. It’s been around since the beginning of time.

During the Medieval Period, kings had scapegoats who were blamed for mistakes and wrongdoing- scapegoats, who were executed. If targets expect to defend themselves properly, they must stop being so shocked about it and realize that such things exist.

Targets must prepare and stop being blindsided because it will only throw them off balance and hinder their ability to think properly.

Realize that we live in a fallen world and one that isn’t just. Also, understand that nothing is impossible and that we should expect the unexpected.

Only then will you be able to come up with a strategy and protect yourself more effectively.

With knowledge comes empowerment!

Bullying and Confirmation Bias

People will believe what they want to believe, and no amount of solid evidence will convince them if they refuse to believe it. Sadly, the only way confirmation bias has anything to do with truth is when the truth matches the belief.

If the truth doesn’t match the person’s beliefs, chances are strong that they’ll only deny it and look elsewhere for evidence that contradicts that truth.

Understand that bullies do the same when it comes to their targets. They seek to justify and explain away their cruelty and abuse and find arguments that support their opinions of the target. Bullies either don’t realize (or refuse to) that this creates problems.

Any time bullies disregard information that contradicts their beliefs, they either don’t realize they’re doing it, or they do know what they’re doing but don’t care.

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.

For instance, bullies abuse the target, they get caught and are standing tall before a member of authority to answer for their abuse. So, the bullies tell the person in authority that there’s a good reason why they beat up the target and make up a cockamamie excuse for their brutality. They blame the target, saying that he instigated the fight by spreading a rumor that could cost them their reputations and they just had to teach him a lesson.

This justification has worked for them before, but this time is different. Instead of convincing the person in power that they had a good reason for bullying the target, and it backfires on them.

This is what confirmation bias is- it’s the tendency to recall, interpret, and favor information in a way that confirms a pre-existing belief.

Bullies commit this type of bias when they desperately search for evidence that supports their pre-existing beliefs of their targets. They will be selective in their stories of the target, either adding to or taking away from the truth, this is how they make their lies so convincing. They rarely tell straight up lies, they mostly take one tiny grain of truth and embellish it.

Bullies either blow it up, water it down, or heavily distort the truth. They are also good at (conveniently) taking things out of context. But understand this: all this is done deliberately. Bullies will distort anything to shoehorn it and make it fit their beliefs and agendas.

Bullies will even cherry-pick different parts of the truth, the parts that fit their beliefs, and then add their own spin to it to glue the pieces together to create their own version of the truth and make it sound believable. This is done so that it can fit the bullies’ existing beliefs.

Think about it. The media does this all the time. A witness may pull out their phone and film something terrible that is happening right before their eyes, they then send it to a news station to be broadcasted.

When the new media gets a hold of the film, they will edit out anything that doesn’t fit their beliefs or agenda and only show the bits and pieces of the film that best fits the story they wish to put out. If they get an audio recording, they will also edit it and create soundbites, only broadcasting fragments of the recording that best fits the story they want to tell the public.

It’s all the same.

Granted, each one of us looks at things from our own perspective, therefore, we all have a tiny bit of confirmation bias in us because everyone looks at the world differently.

However, bullies will take this to a whole different level, and they will twist, distort, embellish, and lie to get the answers they desire. And if it means denying solid evidence- any solid, concrete evidence which is in the target’s favor, then that is what they will do.

Understand that the reason bullies do this is to discredit their targets and skew the perspectives of any bystanders and authority members to create prejudicial and negative views of and attitudes about the target.

And to make it sound even more truthful and further cement the hatred of others against the target, they will repeat and repeat again the same false narrative a million times.

It’s so important that we understand the mindsets of bullies, their tactics, and their intentions behind such tactics. It’s also important that these tactics have names and that we know those names and how to describe them. Only then will we be better able to speak out about them and be our own advocates should we become targets of bullying.

With knowledge comes empowerment!

Bullies, Bystanders, Willful Ignorance, Self-Deceit, and Blind Hatred- How They All Connect

Bullies with “Target Derangement Syndrome” hold extremely biased opinions about their targets- views that aren’t founded or developed from any evidence of facts. No, their judgments of the targets come from intense emotions alone. And no amount of data, substantial evidence, rational thought, or reason will ever change their minds about their target. These people are virtually unpersuadable.

I want you to realize that seeing the target as bad, evil, crazy, mentally imbalanced, weak, and inferior is too familiar to the bullies. It is the status quo. And it often takes someone who’s outside the toxic environment or bully/target dynamic to see the stuff those on the inside are blind to. Why do you think bullies also go out of their way to destroy the target’s reputation with strangers who haven’t yet met the target?

Understand that these bullies have overinflated egos. And the false stories and widely-held assumptions about the target provide the bullies these three benefits: a sense of power, dominance, and social acceptance. And any evidence that exonerates the target only threatens those three benefits.

The target may, in fact, be a great person who would be a great friend to them if they allowed. But bullies will block out that reality because it’s uncomfortable to them and would contradict them. They deliberately eschew any evidence that favors the target- and therefore, any truth to it because anything that proves contrary to their beliefs and opinions of their targeted victim would never fit their narratives.

Any evidence that disproves the bullies’ false narratives put the bullies at risk of being proven wrong and looking like the utter fools they are. Bullies won’t have that! Because it would be a massive blow to their fragile egos. Any facts in favor of the target, the bullies will either explain away, ignore, or destroy. Simply put. Not knowing the truth feels much better to them.

It’s why bullies purposefully keep themselves unaware of any proof that would be in favor of the target. Bullies go to great lengths to avoid being informed because they don’t want to be informed. If the target is such a great guy, the bullies don’t want to know about it! It’s much more convenient (and less painful) to hold onto their opinions- even if those opinions are false.

And if they hear much to the contrary, the bullies will then go hunt for evidence and information that supports their opinions.

They aren’t willing to engage in any thoughtful or intelligent discussion on it. If you try and hold such a discussion, you’re only wasting your time and energy, because if the opinions they hold come strictly from their negative emotions, you won’t change their minds. And it’s not your job to do so!

Deep down inside, your bullies know your potential and your worth. They already know how intelligent and creative you are. They’ve seen that you’re a team player, and you get along with a few others. They’ve seen how loving and caring you are. They know that you’re a great person; only they refuse to acknowledge it. So, is there a need to defend your honor in their presence? Everything about you speaks for itself.

If you’re a target of bullying, it’s tempting to defend yourself because it’s so hard to believe that anyone could be this deaf, dumb, and blind. So, you ask yourself, “Can anyone be this stupid?”

I hate to tell you. But, yes, they can. And they are!

The best thing you can do is to give these people the old heave-ho! Don’t even engage with them. They aren’t worth it! They’re only a waste of space.

Understand that getting rid of these people will save you so much time, energy, and mental stress. It will allow you to be so much happier and more confident in yourself than you ever thought possible!

With knowledge comes empowerment!

The Silence, Inaction, and, Dare I Say, Cowardice of Bystanders

bystander effect

How responsible are bystanders of bullying when they may not necessarily participate in the bullying but see it happening and choose to turn a blind eye to it? When they could’ve helped stop it but decided not to?

The truth is that they’re just as responsible as the bullies themselves. Anyone who watches evil and does nothing about it is guilty!

“Judge Lake was applying the legal principle of willful blindness. ‘You are responsible if you could have known, and should have known, something that instead you strove not to see.’ In this case, Skilling and Lay could have known and had the opportunity to know just how rotten their company was. Their claim not to know was no excuse under the law. Since they could’ve known, they were responsible.” (Margaret Hefferman – “Willful Blindness: Why We Ignore the Obvious at Our Peril” 2012, pp. 1-2)

In the book cited above, the author referred to the trial which followed the Enron Scandal, in which Chairmen Jeffrey Skilling and Kenneth Lay were both found guilty and sentenced to federal prison.

The same can be said for bullying as well, although bullying and embezzlement are two different things. In bullying, a person may or may not go to prison, but the principle is still the same. If bystanders could’ve or should’ve known, and in a vast majority of bullying incidents, they know but decide not to do the right thing, these bystanders are also guilty.

Willful blindness happens all the time and has down through history.

It was the same in Hitler’s Nazi Germany, Mussolini’s Fascist Italy, the Stalinist Soviet Union, Castro’s Cuba. And yes, even right here in America, our very own media ignores Antifa’s destruction of our cities and terrorizing everyday citizens- mainly citizens who are elderly and can’t protect themselves. Willful blindness has always been alive and well.

It even happens at home. A businessman is working late every single night, yet his dutiful wife doesn’t entertain the probability that he might be having an affair. And why would she if she’s invested her entire life in her marriage, family, and home?

When bullies prey on those perceived to have the least power to fight back, those who see it, hear of it, and who can put a stop to it, only close their eyes to it, or worse, join in. And the sad thing is that in most bullying situations, people feel complete apathy, indifference, even hatred toward the target. And where there are apathy and indifference, bullying isn’t hidden but done in plain sight- in full view of many people who only choose to look the other way and not even to question it, much less call it out.

Willful blindness is all around us. It seems that only a few souls want to address the fact that certain extremist and terrorist groups wish to bring Communism to America through The Great Reset and a pandemic that is real but being used to promote the agenda of arrogant, power hungry, and evil elites.

Willful blindness has other names as well- willful ignorance and cognitive dissonance. Put plainly, people don’t want to know and, therefore, act like they don’t. In willful blindness, we only acknowledge what makes us feel good, confirms our beliefs, and soothes our delicate egos. We never take the time to ask questions, investigate, nor do our research because we’re either too lazy or so afraid that what we found out might prove us to be wrong! And that’s especially true with bullying.

When we hate someone, we want to believe the absolute worst of them. When a target is bullied, bullies and bystanders don’t want to think that the person might be an excellent person with a heart of gold. They don’t want to get to know the target first because they’re afraid that they just might end up liking the person (gasp!). It sure makes you wonder how much proof to the contrary bullies and bystanders are willing to ignore.

Many factors contribute to willful blindness- fear of conflict, fear of change, a compulsion to go along with the crowd, money, and material gain. Also, it provides social safety- an example would be keeping your mouth shut to your best friend when you know her husband has a chick on the side. It’s much easier to act like you don’t know about it because you’re afraid of what it might do to your friendship if you told her.

There are many reasons for willful blindness. And no, those reasons aren’t excuses. But watching someone get bullied and pounded to a pulp without helping the person or running to get help is just wrong on so many levels, especially if the person getting bullied is supposed to be a friend.

So, know that if you have trouble with a bully and your friends and others around you see it but don’t lift a finger to help you, it only shows what kind of people they are- and who you should drop from your life. It shows you that it’s time to pick new friends.

With knowledge comes empowerment.

The 1 Reason Why Former Bullies Always Deny the Abuse They Inflicted

It’s because they feel dirty. That’s right! Any time bullies and abusers must face the reality of any past abuse they may have inflicted on someone else, deep down inside, though they would never admit it to themselves much less you or anyone else, they feel like a piece of scum. And in order to not feel dirty, they must live in denial of what they did. It’s the only way they can bury their sins and still feel good about themselves.

My former classmates who bullied me, are no different. Denial is a useful psychological defense, and it does have benefits.

Many bullies deny their abuse because of their hatred for the victim, and they wish to reduce sympathy and support for the victim. They will claim that the violence a victim speaks of is either invented or exaggerated to either get attention or to make others feel sorry for him/her.

Sometimes, even bystanders and witnesses will side with the bullies and deny the abuse to keep from being bullied themselves or because they too have a secret hatred for the victim. Bystanders and witnesses may also want the bullying of the victim to continue for entertainment purposes. Believe it or not, many witnesses to the abuse enjoy seeing the victim get bullied because, to them, it is a source of entertainment and makes them feel superior to somebody.

Also, bystanders may feel dirty as well because they know they didn’t speak out for the victim when they should have, or the bullying may be something they would like to have done to the victim themselves but didn’t have the guts.

Understand that the psyches and egos of humans are very fragile, even those of bullies. So, any time your abuser denies any abuse they know they dished out to you in the past, you don’t have to feel angry or insulted. You don’t have to try and force them to fess up. Because just knowing why they deny it and the nastiness they feel inside when they see you should be enough satisfaction.

So, if you’re a survivor of bullying and anytime you’re out shopping, and see one of the people who bullied you in the past; and you immediately notice how they turn and walk away or avoid looking at you. Know why they do that and feel good about it.

I can tell you that most of my classmates can’t face me today. They cannot bear to look at me because they know what they did, and they feel so dirty. I am a reminder of what they never want to see in themselves, and I always provoke feelings of shame in them. Therefore, I can’t get angry at them, nor feel insulted. There’s no need for revenge, nor to hate them because, in the end, they are the ones who must live with what they did.

Always remember that!

Target Derangement Syndrome: 8 Signs Your Bullies and Peers Have it

…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!

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 its own. In essence, you are burned in effigy!

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 doing 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!”

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?”

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!

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!”

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.

8. They will watch you like a hawk. Understand that they and 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.

Realize 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.

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 reaches 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!

With knowledge comes empowerment!

Bullies Are Well-Known for Making Snap Judgements

If you’re a target of bullying, you often wonder why bullies and their followers make snap judgments about you before getting to know you or before seeing any evidence and getting the facts. You may also wonder why your classmates, coworkers, or neighbors automatically believe rumors and lies about you, especially rumors and lies that sound completely ridiculous.

I know how you feel. Some of the accusations my classmates accused me of were so absurd and ludicrous, that any sane person would’ve dismissed them outright. If you find yourself asking why your peers fall for such foolishness, here’s your answer.

Bullies don’t care what the facts are. Never are they concerned with the truth. Understand that these quick judgments are judgments that fit their agendas. The only agendas they have are to hurt you! Nothing else! And they will look for any justification and opportunity to do so.

People, especially bullies, don’t believe facts. They only think whatever feels good to them. It doesn’t matter if it’s a fact, opinion, or a complete falsehood.

Here’s an example: A wife has a husband she loves dearly. The wife’s best friend sees the husband out with another woman and kissing her one Saturday night. So, the best friend informs the wife that her husband is cheating, only for the wife to get angry at the best friend and throw her out.

Even though the husband is, in fact, guilty of cheating and the BFF did witness him kissing the mistress, the wife doesn’t believe it because she doesn’t want to believe it. Therefore, it feels much better to assume that the BFF is jealous of her happy marriage and is trying to break them apart.

Here’s another example: Lori hates Veronica. Lori is best friends with Cindy. Cindy befriends Veronica and finds out what a sweet and genuine person Veronica is. Later, she tells Lori that Veronica is not such a bad person, that she’s, in fact, a lovely and caring lady. Lori refuses to believe Cindy and only wants to believe the worst about Veronica.

Lori gets angry at Cindy for having anything to do with Veronica and accuses Cindy of betraying her (Lori). Lori now refuses to talk to Cindy.

But understand that Lori only stops talking to Cindy to manipulate her into cutting ties with Veronica. Because of Lori’s blind hatred for Veronica, she refuses to believe that Veronica may, in fact, be a great friend if Lori ever got to know her.

Lori has VDS- Veronica Derangement Syndrome.

Again, bullies don’t care about facts or evidence. They want to believe the lies, and even worse, they want the lies to be true! Self-deception and willful blindness always feel better to bullies.

Ignorance is bliss, and unfortunately, bullies are some of the most blissful people on earth.

If you are a target of such people, my advice would be NOT to try and convince them because you’d only be wasting your time and energy. Instead, continue to love and accept yourself regardless. Also realize that these people aren’t good for you and shouldn’t be in your life. You’re better off without them.

With knowledge comes empowerment!

Triumphing Over Workplace Bullying and Mobbing- How I Did It (Part 4)

(Continued from Part 3…)

I remember a night when one of the flying monkeys, Shelly, a CNA, approached me in the hall, from behind and began screaming, cursing, and threatening to jump me over a rumor that had it that I was stabbing her in the back.

She threatened to attack me there on the spot physically, and there were bystanders!
When I turned around, faced her, and called her out for being unprofessional, Shelly became twice as angry.

Later, I was afraid that I might face termination because Shelly had escalated the confrontation to an unprecedented level. Also, I’d seen so many others whom these people had pulled the same tactic on getting fired left and right!

I remember thinking,

“Well, if I do get canned, they won’t be able to say they didn’t have to work hard at achieving that goal! At the very least, I’ll leave here knowing I put up one hell of a fight!”

One of the bystanders was Deb, the charge nurse, and Shelly’s supervisor and buddy. Therefore, I knew that Deb would sweep Shelly’s behavior under the rug and paint me as the instigator.

Sure enough, she did. These people had a way of turning everything around to fit their narrative and getting others to agree with it.

The other guy was always to blame.
It was always the other guy’s fault.
It was never their fault, and they were never wrong.

They reported the incident to Darnell and suggested that he terminate me right then and there. When he talked to me about it, I calmly explained that Shelly had approached me from behind in a very threatening manner, that I feared for my physical safety, and didn’t know what she would do had I not faced her down.

And by this time, I’d worked under Darnell long enough that he knew the kind of person I was and that I was only taking care of myself.

A crowd of people surrounded the red man. Accusation of crime, mob law over a person, lynch court. The leader in the center of the crowd, the leader, an example for diving. Angry crowd

So, again, Darnell had my back and went to bat for me. Also, I had made an awesome friend out of Jane, who was another charge nurse at the nursing home. She, too, went to bat for me as did several of my coworkers.

Each time nothing happened to me, the bullies only became angrier and crazier, until they were all out for blood!

It was then that I starting noticing Jules hovering around in the hall just outside the door to the laundry room. Later, I’d see him milling around nearby anytime I’d stop in the hallway to greet and talk to friends. And I’ve got to tell you! He gave me such a creepy vibe!

Next, I began seeing him standing across the street from my apartment, smoking a cigarette. And I could tell he was watching my apartment. Now that freaked me out!

I found out that he and the neighbor across the street had begun dating and that he was there to see her. She didn’t allow smoking in her house, so he had no choice but to smoke outside. Still, I didn’t feel any better. I felt as if I was being stalked!

I knew why he was hanging around so close. Jules was an eavesdropper for Cammie and her group, listening in on our convos in the laundry room and my discussions with friends in the hallway. Everybody knew it because he’d eavesdropped on many others.

My instinct also told me they’d enlisted him to watch my house. He was watching to see what company I had over- looking for any information with which to report back to Cammie.

The fact that Jules’ girlfriend lived across the street from me was a convenient cover for him and they knew it. Although I knew what was going on, I didn’t speak of it because I knew I couldn’t without sounding completely nuts. I did the best thing by keeping it to myself but filing it in the back of my mind. The only people I told were my closest family and they knew I wasn’t kidding.

Luckily, his girlfriend was a good friend of mine and I knew she only kept him around because she was lonely. So, I used it to my advantage, and cozied up to her a little bit more so she would volunteer to tell me little tidbits about what he was doing. Sure enough, she confirmed my suspicions.

Not much later, Darnell, having himself become a target of the vitriol that inflected the workplace, announced to us that he had put in his two-week notice of resignation and was moving on to a better job and a better work environment.

Although we were happy that he’d finally found something better and was getting out of that hellhole, we were also deeply saddened because we’d miss him so much. We saw Darnell as our fearless leader, our Captain Ahab, and our hero!

What kind of leader would the new supervisor be? And would they protect us from those devils down the hall as Darnell had?

Choosing not to leave anything to chance, I decided that I’d put in my notice as well. Being the type of woman who would always think ahead, I knew that once Darnell was gone, I’d be totally at their mercy. I had a sickening feeling that the next supervisor would toady up to the bullies in the upper echelons of management and the social order.

Strict Boss: Angry upset young business woman with blank speech bubble on white on gray background. Vector illustration.

I knew that Cammie had long waited, with bated breath, for the day when Darnell would either quit or get fired. Then, she could begin working on the new supervisor, ingratiate herself in them, and turn them against us.

Sure enough, my closest coworker told me she’d overheard Cammie saying precisely that, and she was recommending that the new supervisor terminate three of us. Knowing I was one of the three, I quickly filled out my two weeks notice of resignation and gave it to Darnell.

Darnell introduced us to the new supervisor. She was a short, dumpy woman in her forties and by her facial expression, which was hard and cold, I made the conclusion that putting in my notice was the smartest thing to do and gave myself a pat on the back.

Off and on during the last two weeks, I’d catch those tiny micro flashes of suspicion and contempt the new supervisor would flash toward me and a few others. And the bullies were completely enraged once word of my pending exit reached their ears. But once I was out of there, I breathed a sigh of relief.

I was quite proud of myself for having escaped that toxic place and walked away from the job with confidence and my self-esteem still intact.

But the best and juiciest part is yet to be told!

(Continued in Part 5…)

Bully Privilege

In most cases, bullies have the benefit of followers and bystanders covering for them when they terrorize and brutalize their targets. Targets, on the other hand, get no leniency whatsoever, so, they must make extra efforts to keep their hands clean because, unlike the bullies, they can’t afford to break any rules. IF targets dare to engage in the same behaviors the bullies do, they’d quickly be fired, expelled, prosecuted, or worse, killed.

What targets are severely punished for bullies get away with. You see it all the time- in the schools, workplaces, and communities. For a target of bullying, there’s no margin for error. Targets don’t have the benefit of a cheering section. And if bullies can’t find anything to hold against the target, they’ll make something up.

Understand that bullies and their enablers don’t play by the same rules. When bullies engage in bad behavior, people are silent, and the bullies are exempt from accountability. While bullies get a pass for the worst behaviors, targets are persecuted for perceived or made up slights or normal human errors that anyone could make.

Realize that this is a clear-cut example of “bully privilege” and it’s real. It’s been around since the beginning of time.

During the Medieval Period, kings had scapegoats who were blamed for mistakes and wrongdoing- scapegoats, who were executed. If targets expect to defend themselves properly, they must stop being so shocked about it and realize that such things exist.

Targets must prepare and stop being blindsided because it will only throw them off balance and hinder their ability to think properly.

Realize that we live in a fallen world and one that isn’t just. Also, understand that nothing is impossible and that we should expect the unexpected.

Only then will you be able to come up with a strategy and protect yourself more effectively.