The best defense is to know bullying when it happens to you, and to know how to unveil a bully’s deplorable behavior. Here’s a list of several things you can do to rip the mask off and keep yourself safe.
1. Know your enemy. How you do this is to stand back and observe the people around you, but without looking like you are watching them. Pay close attention to body language, facial expressions, and tone of voice. I can’t stress enough the importance of this.
This is how you find out who the trouble makers are. If you see another student or coworker gossip and make trouble for others, you can be sure that in time, they will do the same to you.
2. Document everything! As it has been said, “if it isn’t documented, it never happened”. Keep a journal and write down everything. I did this in junior high and high school just in case one of my bullies either hurt me bad enough to hospitalize me, or worse- killed me.
You must write down the names of your bullies, the names of any bystanders or authority (teachers, principal, or any member of authority) present at the time the altercation took place, the date, time, place it happened, what happened and if possible, why it happened. Also, record what is said and by whom. Document every… single… detail!
3. Do not reveal any information about yourself that you would not want to be told to anyone. Including your friends! If you do, you’re asking for trouble because if you are the target of a bully, you can be sure that your bullies will, at some point, either try to pry information out of your friends or they will turn your friends against you altogether.
4. Keep a low profile. Don’t do anything that may draw attention to yourself. And stay away from places the bullies may gather. Think, “Out of sight, out of mind.” Just don’t make it obvious to your bullies that you are ducking and dodging them. I avoided several confrontations by simply laying low.
However, be advised that avoidance will not work if you have a determined bully after you. If a person wants to get to you badly enough, they will seek you out until they find you.
5. Save any threatening texts, emails, social media messages/posts, and/or voice mails for evidence. And if possible, hide a digital recorder on you or ease your hand down into your purse and set your cellphone to video during any altercations. Do it covertly so that the bully doesn’t know what you are doing. Just make sure you live in a one-party consent jurisdiction. Screenshot any nasty emails, messages, comments, and posts on social media.
Keep your composure and be sure not to tarnish the recording by yelling or using foul language.
6. NEVER brag about any evidence you have against a bully. Not even to your best friend! Again, bullies have a knack for prying information out of people, even your friends. They can also turn your friends against you, making them more than happy to volunteer the information.
Don’t do it! Anytime you are a target of bullies, you are in no position to trust anyone!
7. Call the bully out in front of an audience. This is risky and could bring retaliation. However, the bully will also know that you are on to them and you just might intimidate them enough that they will leave you alone. It happened to me on a few occasions.
But keep in mind that this doesn’t happen for everyone. Calling the bully out in front of people can also humiliate the bully and make that person more determined to get you. So access the bully’s personality and the situation carefully before you decide to do this.
Ripping the mask off the bully…layer by layer.
Toxic people! They’re the people who are ungrateful, who are notorious gossips, complainers, and whiners- the Negative Nancies and Debbie Downers of the world. Toxic people undermine your accomplishments and successes and stun you with backhanded compliments. In a nutshell, they suck the oxygen out of the room with their negativity and make you want to run for the nearest exit when you see them coming.
I can’t stress enough the importance of giving these happiness thieves the old heave-ho and the things it can do for your self-esteem.
As tweens, teens, even in our twenties, it is only natural that we all want to be liked, be cool, and be accepted by our peers. However, when you are a target of bullying, those wants can be hard to attain due to lies and rumors that bullies may spread to keep their victims isolated and alone.
You see? The last thing a bully wants is for anyone, and I mean ANYONE, to like you or want to be friends with you.
Often, bully targets will become desperate for friends- for any human connection with anyone their age. As a result, they may get involved with the wrong people-people who only tolerate them.
But because these new people in the target’s life are not directly abusing them (hitting, shouting, name-calling), the victim may mistake this as a friendship and latch on. Or they may feel that it’s the best they can do and there’s nothing better out there for them. But targets can do better. They just don’t know it.
And while the targets’ back is turned, his “new buddies” at school or at work are rolling their eyes and talking through their teeth. These people are no better than the bullies. They only feel sorry for the target.
These people are toxic. I understand that being alone is tough. I’ve been there. But wouldn’t you rather be alone than to crawl up behind people who only tolerate you? I know I would.
Be selective of who you call “friend” because a smiling face does not a friend make. And anyone who makes you feel bad does not deserve the privilege of knowing you. So, get rid of them and fast!
You may be friendless for a time, but I promise you will meet new people and make friends. You are worth it! For now, just spend time with family and do the things you enjoy. Better people will be placed in your life when you least expect it.
It pays to be your own best friend.
If you are a target of bullying, never share anything with anyone- not even your best friend. Because, in a situation like this, you cannot afford to trust anyone. I don’t care how close you and your friends seem to be. It’s still not a smart move because you never know when your bullies will succeed in turning your friends against you and those friends become willing participants in bullying you. If you share intimate and private details about your life with anyone, it’s not a question of if but when they spread your business far and wide once the bullies win them over.
So, never divulge any info that’s private or personal- anything you wouldn’t want to be known.
Examples of things better kept private are as follows (Some of these are no-brainers):
1. Your sex life, or lack of.
2. A drug addict in your family.
3. Any medical conditions or diseases.
4. Any mental illnesses.
5. Any legal troubles- even as minor as traffic tickets.
6. Family issues- divorce, child custody, births, deaths, etc.
7. Your past (if you’re old enough to have one).
8. Past abuse you may have suffered.
9. Your personal info.
10. Email and passwords to social media accounts.
11. Names of your family members.
12. Never brag about your daughter’s beauty pageant or your son’s perfect grades.
13. Your views about the recent scandal at school or work.
14. Your hobbies and interests.
15. The TV show you watched last night, especially if it’s a slasher show or filled with hot-buttered sex.
16. Never talk about politics! Ever! That’s a no-no subject!
Bullies are already looking for dirty laundry. So, why air yours? When you’re a target of bullying, the less they know about you and your life, the better.
Hey, everyone! I thought I’d share something positive today!
During the Easter weekend, my sweet hubby bought the swing and picnic table I’ve been asking for and we got the swing put together a few weeks ago, we have applied the finish to the picnic table, and we now have a place outside where we can chill!
No more staying inside to write and polish my blog posts (I always write my posts by hand first)! This is the perfect time of year to get outside! There’s nothing like being outdoors on a beautiful day that lifts the mood and makes for a better day!
I am counting my blessings, one of which is the blessing of having a wonderful husband who loves me and treats me well. I couldn’t be more grateful!
Just like any married couple, we’ve had our trials. But, all in all, he’s a great man who works hard and I couldn’t be more grateful to have him beside me. During the years I was bullied, I never thought I’d ever attain true love. So, if you’re a target of bullying and haven’t had a date, a relationship, or been married yet, don’t listen to the lies of your bullies. I want you to know that this can happen for you too. The one you’re meant to be with is out there and they will find you. Just wait! Life gets better- much better!
I’m living proof!
My fellow bloggers,
I’m very excited to tell you that the Chateau Cherie Blog is featured in Feedspot as part of “The Top Bullying Websites, Blogs, & Influencers To Follow in 2021!” I got the notice via email last night and was very pleasantly surprised.
I’m both honored and humbled.
Although I know very little about Feedspot, it’s nice to get noticed and certainly a chance for more exposure, and more exposure equals more bullied people I can help bring hope to. And I can browse them for more articles to read and bloggers to read about.
I especially want to thank my family: my husband, my children, my mom, brother, sister, and aunt! I love you all so very much!
You can visit the page why clicking on the link below:
Most people who become targets of bullying are genuinely good-hearted, pure, and sweet-natured and would never dream of hurting another human being in any way.
On the other hand, bullies are consistently thinking up newer and more sophisticated ways to inflict harm on others. Their hunger for power is such that they have left a long line of victims in their wake and are always looking for new targets.
Most good-natured people become targets of bullying because bullies are notorious for taking kindness for weakness. Sadly, to protect yourself from becoming the next target requires that you adapt the bully mindset. You must think as they do to predict their next move, but NEVER act as they do.
I realize this can be difficult because a bully’s mind isn’t a pleasant place to be. It’s downright ugly!
Another sad truth is that to think as a bully takes a certain degree of identifying with the person- that’s what really sucks. And if you can figure out what their next move will be, you can stay a few steps ahead of the bully and protect yourself and others.
Though it won’t be easy, as the mind of a bully can be a real cesspool, sometimes you must wade through a ton of crap to keep yourself safe and your name and reputation clean.
So many targets today can easily relate to my story. With that said, I want to tell you that if you are or have been a target of school bullies, you are not alone and, with a little inner work, you will eventually overcome your tormentors just like I did.
I was one of those targets who rebelled against the bullies and fought back. To keep my self-esteem from completely tanking, I dressed my absolute best, but still it was not good enough for me. I wanted to dress like a million bucks for school. Clothes from Walmart weren’t good enough. I had to go to the mall, Cato, Tempo, Maurice’s, or Hollywood’s before I was satisfied. I wasn’t happy unless I was dressed to the nines at school.
I felt I had to be well dressed because I was still quite a bit insecure inside. I didn’t feel like I was worth anything unless I was dressed to impress. One of the thoughts which consumed me all during high school was how to dress like a fashionista.
It had a lot to do with how poorly I was being treated and I continued to believe that the better I dressed, the better I would be treated although, the exact opposite would occur. It seemed that my attire was arousing even further hatred and contempt.
Nevertheless, I absolutely had to be dressed in the hottest fashions or I just didn’t feel adequate. The more they put me down, the more I would dress up. I felt that my attire provided me with not only a sense of style but also control.
Some mornings, I’d dress up, look at myself in the mirror and think,
“So they think I am trash? They must be blind. Does this look like trash? I think not! I know I’m hot and they are not going to convince me otherwise!”
Does this sound arrogant? Conceited? Maybe. Does this sound downright narcissistic? Perhaps. Was it the right attitude to have? Both yes and no. My defense was to act conceited, like I didn’t need any of them.
This holier-than-thou attitude, however unattractive it might have been, helped me preserve what little self-esteem and dignity I had. It helped me to keep going when things were at their worst. It helped me to keep from being totally brainwashed and reprogrammed by my evil classmates, unlike a good majority of other bullied targets, who, sadly, weren’t that fortunate!
I walked around with my nose in the air and refused to speak to any of them. I had a sassy and smart alicky attitude. I was extremely sarcastic and had a snotty disposition. I even laughed at and bullied others to grab back some power. My attitude stunk – period.
Sure. This attitude could’ve easily gotten me hurt or worse had my bullies known for certain about it. A lot of those girls carried knives, especially those who were from families of criminals and ex-cons, families who were dirt poor or just plain loco. Sadly, that was over half of the student body.
I have no doubt that they would not have thought twice about whipping a blade out and slicing my face with it if they could have gotten me in the right place and I would have had to wear it for life.
However, this arrogance I often displayed was the only way I knew to stay strong and to maintain a little bit of power. I was only a teenager and had not yet fully developed the concrete thinking skills nor the processing ability to handle my situation more objectively. Back then, I was a slave to my emotions and I let them guide me in how I handled people and situations.
Also, I was under a tremendous amount of stress and had been for the last three years. And when anyone, even the most logical and rational person is under a large amount of stress that lasts over a long period of time; memory, emotional regulation, and ability to maintain positive relationships are negatively affected. Therefore, neurologically, I had two strikes against me- a double-whammy.
From the sixth grade, up until I left Oakley, I was constantly in survival mode due to being bullied and had to be in order to protect my personal well-being. To even make it to graduation, I had to be hyper-vigilant to be safe. You must understand that when you are a target of vicious bullies, it is as if you constantly have a target on your back. You are a marked person and you learn very quickly to grow eyes in the back of your head.
And it’s no way to live. Please feel free to comment on your experiences and what you did to cope.
Shelly (not her real name) had been one of my most vicious of bullies during school. Every time we passed one another in the halls, at a ballgame, anywhere and we would not hesitate to exchange nasty sentiments as we passed, “Bitch!”, “Whore!” “Skank!”. Thinking up ways to degrade and slut-shame each other was always a top priority during these little meetings.
Fast-forward twenty years, in late 2007, I went to a karaoke show, which was held in the Moose Lodge club on the outskirts of town to celebrate my recently having the courage to break off what had been a 2 1/2 year-long abusive relationship. I hadn’t known my own strength until this point, and I was ready for a fun girl’s night out.
When I arrived at the Moose Lodge with a few friends in tow, the first word I heard was, “Oh my God! Not that bitch!” Honestly, I thought the verbal assault was directed at someone else until I looked up and saw her. There Shelly stood, pool cue in one hand, the other hand resting on her boyfriend’s back as her eyes and brows narrowed into little slits in her face and bore into me like a sharp object.
I had not seen her in so many years and wondered how it was that she’d managed to drag around so much hate for so many years when I had completely forgotten about her amid juggling bills, a job and family, and other adult priorities. But I also discovered that maybe I too had some unresolved hate as well only it was a case of out of sight, out of mind.
I’d soon learn that that night, Shelly was going through the lowest point in her life. Life hadn’t been kind to her.
It seemed that on her part, even twenty years, marriages and children hadn’t been enough to erase the teenage animosity she still held. We lived in a small Southern town, and in small Southern towns, very few people ever forget the past, and it’s very easy for the reputation you once had in your teens to follow you for the rest of your life. Sadly, this is how it is in a small town.
Having always loved music and had vocal talent, I got up and sang one of my favorite songs, and everyone cheered once I was finished. After I sat down, Shelly sat down beside me and was very impressed with my performance. She told me that she admired my voice and that she’d always known I could sing but didn’t know I was that good. At first, I was flabbergasted. This was the first positive remark I’d heard from her, but nevertheless, I was grateful.
I smiled and gave her a gracious “Thank you. It’s good to see you again after all these years.”
We continued to talk, and she took some pictures out of her purse to show me. Pictures of what was her talent- woodwork and paintings, the most beautiful work I’d ever seen. This lady was very talented, and I couldn’t or wouldn’t deny it. I truly loved her work and could not stop looking at those pictures and complimenting her. She truly was an expert at woodworking and oil painting.
It was at that point that the dynamics of our relationship changed for the better. We exchanged phone numbers and soon began calling each other and texting cute little funnies back and forth. Then we began to invite each other to family outings, cookouts, and meetings in town for lunch.
We soon became the greatest of friends, and I grew to truly love this lady. We often talked about how we missed out on what could have been a wonderful friendship years ago.
“Boy! We were stupid back then, weren’t we?” Shelly laughed.
I laughed and readily agreed. She was right. We were dumb kids with big mouths and bad attitudes.
Knowing the past couldn’t be changed, we were content to go from the present and make our friendship as fun and drama-free as possible.
This story’s moral is this: It is always possible to turn a bully or enemy into a friend. Nothing is impossible. All it takes is to break down that wall and show the other person genuine interest. Everybody loves it when you are interested in them, their likes, and how things are going in their lives—even the coldest and meanest of people.
As humans, we all have a certain degree of selfishness. We all want the same things- to be loved, appreciated, and respected. Everybody has a void waiting to be filled. If we can fill the void- whether it’s by making the person feel loved and respected or giving the person some sense of who they are and where they belong, it can be the difference between gaining a friend or keeping an enemy.
Through our many talks, I found out that this poor lady I thought was so cruel yet totally in control and didn’t need anyone was really a girl who didn’t feel loved by anyone. She was just as sad as I was but had put on a tough exterior. Also, she had suffered incidences of bullying herself; though not as severe as I did, it still hurt her immensely.
Sadly, my beautiful friend Shelly passed away two years ago from cancer. There’s not a day that goes by that I don’t miss her and think of her. I’ll never forget that night at the karaoke club, the night Shelly and I became close friends. And we remained like sisters until the day she died.
By showing her genuine interest, without fakery, I was able to turn one of my most resistant bullies into one of my best friends.
Fly high, Shelly! Until we meet again on those golden streets!
1.Domination and Control of Another.
2. The Desire to Feel Superior.
3. The Need for a Scapegoat.
4. The Need to Project.
5. To Seek Attention.
7. Schadenfreude and Sadistic Pleasure.
8. To Impress Others.
9. The Desire for Social Status.
10. To Contain Threats.
11. To Keep Others Down.
12. For Entertainment.
13. To Keep from Becoming the Next Target of Bullying.
14. To Hide Weaknesses and Shortcomings.
15. To Deflect and Distract Unwanted Attention.
For the life of me, I cannot understand why these things are allowed to go on. Why doesn’t the law do anything about terroristic threats like the ones above? Before the internet, if you stalked someone and threatened to kill them, you were arrested. You were charged with Terroristic Threatening, Stalking, or both and you went to jail. And back then, if you slandered or libeled someone without any evidence to back up your claims, you got your pants sued off.
You can’t tell me that this can’t still be done with the robust cyber-security agencies that we have today. You cannot tell me that the law hasn’t caught up with technology and can’t find the criminals who are destroying the lives of innocent people. How hard is it to ping an IP address? Even if the cyber-bully is hiding behind a proxy and cloaking their IP address, we have cyber-security teams who could still find ways to track them.
And you don’t see many pedophiles and child sex traffickers being cancelled, which is pretty odd (and suspicious) to me. But I’ll save that for a future post.
Most of the time, cancel culture isn’t even justifiable. Cyber-bullies in the age of cancel culture attack people and publicly shame them for the most absurd, ludicrous, and ridiculous reasons! All it takes is for a person to say something, anything that someone else takes the wrong way, or for the wrong person to see an old high school photograph of a guy in drag at a Halloween party back in the 70’s. And back then, a lot of men dressed as women on Halloween, and no one thought anything of it. It was just a Halloween costume and some crazy kids out having fun. Yet the guy gets cancelled over it 40 years later. It’s ridiculous!
Alas, despite the deaths from suicide and murder that have arisen from cancel culture, people still allow this scourge on humanity to persist. And it’s so widespread that it will come knocking on your door sooner or later. Being a blogger, I already know that it could show up on my doorstep too! Cancel culture doesn’t discriminate, anyone can be cyber-bullied and cancelled. It can happen to you, me, anyone!
In fact, three years ago, I got attacked online for “walking on the wrong side of the street” during my power walk. Walking with traffic has always seemed like a death wish to me. I’ve always walked toward traffic just in case there’s a distracted driver on the road. And if a driver is going to veer off the road toward me, I want to see them coming so I can get the hell out of the way and avoid being hit.
Granted, I never got cancelled for it, but I was told that I was the most despicable person in the world- for walking toward traffic instead of with it. Sadly, I’ve heard of many other people getting cancelled over silly stuff like that.
People go so far as to dig up their target’s personal lives and find out where they work, where their spouses or their mothers work and get them all fired from their jobs. And for what? Some stupid Halloween costume they wore forty plus years ago? Over something stupid they may have said while drunk at a kegger thirty years ago? Or because they worked at a company or for a person that is now on the cancel culture hit list twenty year ago, ten years ago, or five years ago?
It seems that cancel culture cyber-bullies must search, and search far and wide for something- anything- even the tiniest little social infraction to get the pleasure of cancelling someone. And these people will find one even if they must invent it.
It only shows that the cyber-bullies who do these kinds of things have entirely too much time on their hands. Cancel culture does nothing to make people better or teach them a lesson. What it does is make cyber-bullies that much more brazen and much more dangerous.
It gives these bullies exactly the power they need to completely obliterate the lives of innocent people who are just trying to make a living, take care of their families, and live in peace- these targets are mostly people who mind their own business, go on about their lives, and just want to be left alone.
You may disagree with me and you have every right to your opinion. But I think cancel culture should be against the law. I think it should be a Class A Felony at that! No one should be given carte blanche to screw around with someone else’s livelihood and personal life just because they don’t like them- or don’t like what they say, how they do things, the way they live their lives, or who they associate with. If that person isn’t committing a crime, their livelihoods and personal life should be off limits!
Just by the very nature of cancel culture, the cyber-bullies that go to these lengths to destroy their targets may say that they want to “teach them a thing or two” but, they’re not trying to teach any lessons here. They’re only using that as an excuse to deliberately cause trouble and ruin someone’s life strictly for the satisfaction of having the power to do so.
This is how they get the rush of power they so crave because they certainly can’t get it any other way. Understand that these people are life-losers. They’re zeroes trying to look like heroes. And the sad part of it is, they know they’re zeroes. They can’t get self-actualization, power, respect, nor notoriety through creativity and hard work because they’ve got no skills nor redeemable qualities to survive on merit.
Engaging in cyber-bullying and cancel culture is the only way these people can get those things and they will attain them even if it means destroying many lives and breaking laws to do so. And the power that cancel culture gives these people is dangerous and terrifying to those of us law-abiding citizens who only want to work, come home, enjoy the love of our families, and live our lives in peace.
My fellow bloggers, I’d like to know if you’ve had this experience:
I had to re-follow a blogger I highly valued and who I never unfollowed in the first place, and I’d like to know if this has happened to any of you. Is this some kind of glitch? Because it’s annoying and it isn’t the first time this has happened. Thank you for your help.