“Reputation is the cornerstone of power.” – Robert Greene
Simply put, bullies attack your reputation to strip you of power. Once your reputation is gone, you’re defenseless and extremely vulnerable to attack. Bullies can freely attack you from all directions. Even worse, you’re at the mercy of virtually everyone around you.
Bullies know that if they can poke holes in your reputation, they won’t have to work so hard to bring you down because now, they have public opinion on their side. They can then stand back and watch with glee as widely held perceptions of you finish you off.
To start, bullies will plant seeds of doubt about your character in the minds of others. Doubt is a powerful tool.
Next, they spread rumors and lies.
Bullies are proof that offense is the best defense. Drawing first blood is always best because the target can only respond in either one of two ways.
1. He could deny the rumors, even produce evidence that proves his innocence of the accusations. Or,
2. He could ignore the lies and blow his accusers off with a “whatever” and walk away laughing.
Either way, people will still look at the target with suspicion.
1. If the target defends himself and produces evidence to the contrary, the prevailing thought will be,
“There must be some truth to the rumors, otherwise he wouldn’t be defending himself so vehemently.”
2. If he ignores the lies and waves his accusers away with a laugh, others will be even more suspicious of him because they’ll think that he has something to hide and is only playing it cool.
Bullies know that if they instigate rumors the right way, there’s a possibility that they can get the target so enraged and rattled that while defending himself, he ends up making a truckload of mistakes.
And if the target hasn’t yet established a reputation, the smear campaign will only work all the more in the bullies’ favor.
And the sad fact is this:
Two different people can do the exact same thing the exact same way. And each person’s reputation will decide whether the action is brilliant or terrible.
Put simpler. It’s not what you do. It’s who you are when you do it. It’s not the action itself, but who the person is that does it.
A person who’s well-liked and has a stellar reputation can write an essay, and others will deem it a brilliant piece.
But let a person who’s despised by everyone and has a lousy reputation write the exact same essay, and others will only view it as a worthless piece of garbage that’s not even worth reading, which brings me to the final conclusion:
Reputation can affect all areas of your life. It can be the difference between having success or failure- in everything!
But there’s hope.
Although extremely difficult, you can still salvage your reputation and change your life for the better. Here’s how.
1. Move to a different area. Sometimes you must go somewhere else and start over again. It may be difficult to leave your family behind, but if you stay in the town where people judge you unfavorably, you’ll never have the chance to move forward and will always be stuck right where you are. Why not pack your things and leave for greener pastures.
2. Find a good cause to fight for and that you’re passionate about. Any time you fight for a good cause, you will meet like-minded people who are fighting for the same purpose.
The cause could be “The Me Too Movement,” “The Victim’s Rights Movement,” or even “The Anti-Bullying Movement.” Whatever the cause, you will attract those who are fighting for the same things. And you’ll easily make positive connections with them and become life-long friends.
Although many doors get slammed shut and locked, there’s always a way out if you look for it. I guarantee it!