20 Effects of Long-Term Bullying on Targets

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Bullying crushes the target’s spirit. It sucks the joy out of life and reprograms the mind.

After a while, the person begins to believe the lies bullies tell him about himself and see himself through his bullies’ eyes. Therefore, he believes that maybe the bullies have a justifiable reason to bully him but can’t figure what it is.

As a result, the target will make extra efforts to explain himself more clearly, but to no avail. He clings to the hope that the bullies will go away through the small reprieves they may give him.

On the occasions bullies act friendly to him, the target’s hopes go up, and he forgets about the past. Next, they blindside the target with another brutal attack.

Understand that the bullies are using the age-old push and pull technique to keep the target trying to make friends out of them and trapped inside the bully/victim dynamic. And they do this to keep him confused- this is how bullies can maintain power over their targets.

Realize that if your bullies can keep your hopes up, it’s likely that you’ll feel compelled to keep jumping through hoops to prove yourself worthy.

Here’s how it goes: Bullies stop bullying you for a while, and once you let your guard down and begin feeling safe and confident again, BAM! Once again, they attack! Realize abusers do this deliberately!

 Over time, bullying can cause these effects on the target:

1.Can no longer trust themselves to act on their own volition and spontaneity or make their own decisions

2. A state of being always on guard- hypervigilance

3. Uncertainty of how they come across to others

4. A loss of their zest for life

5. A false concern that something is wrong with them

6. Constantly replaying and reviewing bullying incidents to try and figure out what went wrong.

7. Increasing self-doubt

8. Loss of confidence

9. Having an internalized inner critic

10. Fear that they’re going crazy

11. A dreadful sense that time is passing and they’re missing out

bullied singled out surrounded

12. A growing sense that they aren’t happy but should be

13. Being extra careful not to be or sound too sensitive

14. Second, guessing themselves

15. An overwhelming desire to escape and get away from the bullying environment

16. A belief that they can’t do anything right

17. Living in the future- “things will be better when I graduate, turn eighteen, get another job, move away, get married, have children,” etc.

18. A distrust in relationships

19. Loss of faith in humanity (the belief that all people are inherently evil and enjoy seeing others suffer)

20. Feeling discombobulated and off-balance

If bullies have you feeling these ways, get out of their element if you can. When you’re so hurt and perplexed that you cannot tell which end is up, you’re living in hell, and it’s no way to live. You deserve peace, happiness, and confidence. Go where you can flourish, and your spirit can get the nourishment it desperately needs.

0 thoughts on “20 Effects of Long-Term Bullying on Targets

  1. writerravenclaw says:

    I understand so many of these points. Bullying travels with you to adult life, and your sense of self worth. I’m very shy with new people, to the point where I either talk to much, or not enough. I think the end part is to learn to love yourself and show yourself kindness.

    • cheriewhite says:

      I couldn’t agree more. And learn confidence and self-belief as well. I’m not shy anymore but around new people, I’m deliberately quiet until I get to know them. My quietness is only me feeling a person out. I feel everyone out that I meet.

  2. Vicky says:

    I have struggled with the lasting effects of bullying my whole life. I have gone through almost all of these and still find myself stuck and old wounds opening up as I have witnessed my kids be victims of bullies. I never learned how to let all of this go when history kept repeating itself. How do you recommend that I start the process of healing? The anger and bitterness that I feel toward my old and new bullies is snowballing out of control. It has become debilitating. I want to confront them but they are stuck in their self bloated beliefs that they are not wrong in their behaviors.

    • cheriewhite says:

      My heart goes out to you and your children, Vicky. 💔 I can’t tell you how sorry I am that people have treated you so horribly. I want you to know that in no way are you responsible for their behavior and that you have just as much value as the next person. You and your kids are enough and you matter.

      As far as how to heal yourself from the bullying and let go, I can only tell you what worked for me. And that was to cease contact from people who brought me drama and negativity. It was hard at first because I had to be friendless for a while. But I eventually attracted much better friends and it was worth it in the end. Also, I began reading about bullying and the dark side of human nature. And the things I learned were that bullying always comes from a place of insecurity and feelings of inadequacy in the bullies, though they’d never in this lifetime admit it. Finally, I had to get to know myself again. And, once you get to know yourself, you’ll get clear on what you will and will not tolerate from people. Know that there’s no law that says you have to put up with shoddy treatment from people. Wishing you the happiness and peace of mind that you so richly deserve!

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