Mobbing is bullying by large groups- it is a form of violence where either a vast majority of or whole of alumni in a school, a workforce in a workplace, a(n) entire organization, or community collectively harass and attack a single targeted individual. The mob often act under the influence of a ringleader or someone in a position of power. Mobbing almost always happens out of retaliation against a long-bullied target who became fed-up with the disrespect and cruelty and finally spoke out about or did something about it.
Mobbing has other names as well: Collective Bullying or Mass Bullying.
Remember that bullies and their followers expect the target to stay quiet about the abuse- even demand that he bow down to and submit to it. And when a targeted individual finally has enough and asserts his right to be treated as a human being, the bullies will punish him with mobbing.
Here’s a description of mobbing:
A large group of people (or mob) targets a person who opened his mouth about the bullying and abuse, and they become increasingly aggressive, and the number of attackers against the target grows until the targeted person is completely alone and stripped of power.
Group aggression, or collective bullying, serves to reinforce a shared negative view of the targeted person regardless of the victim’s prior value or reputation. As vicious gossip circulates throughout the environment about the target, destructive labels and damaging accusations will ensue and only isolate the target.
The mob will expand to include several teachers and school staff, or managers on many levels and large numbers of students or coworkers. People who are often peaceful and kind are encouraged to resent or hate the targeted person. A bully in power directs them to gossip about the person and to mistreat and bully him. Even the sweetest, most compassionate people can suddenly become mean and nasty.
And, one by one, the entire student body, workplace, or community judges, slanders, and accuses the target of one thing after another, and after another.
Understand that, in these cases, those who are generally good, kind people won’t see themselves as mean or as participants in bullying but rather, as defenders against an (alleged) evil enemy. They view their own atrocious behavior as justified and necessary because to see themselves as bullying participants goes against their sense of decency.
Understand that people will always act differently when they’re in a group. Always! Because they feel they must conform. Also, understand that once bullying escalates to mobbing, it’s nearly impossible to stop.
And the reason why it’s the most damaging to a target is that he quickly loses support as more and more people jump on the hate bandwagon, until everyone avoids, defames, and blames the mark for any tiny thing that goes wrong.
School staff, the management, or community authorities then close ranks, thereby eliminating any help or escape from the abuse.
Sadly, there isn’t much you can do once the violence has escalated to this point. But in the next post, I will talk about mobbing in more detail. I’ll talk about the steps, stages, and signs that bullying is heading toward mobbing and how you can name it, describe it and raise your chances of heading the bullying off before it gets that far.