Why Bullies Need a Hated Enemy to Unite Against

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In Robert Greene’s book entitled, “The Laws of Human Nature,” I once read that everyone needs a hated enemy and that there’s a positive side to having one. I’ve found that with packs of bullies, this is true.

Bullies in groups need an enemy, whether real or imagined, that they can band together and fight against- an “us-versus-them” object. Why? Because the presence of an enemy has always served to strengthen group cohesion and unite and tighten members. Groups reflexively focus on their hated target as a means of bringing it together as one and for further solidarity.

And if they can get any member of the authority and with a little power (teacher, principal, supervisor, manager or HR) to join in the hatred, all the better to ensure that the group align themselves to one another and oust the “enemy.”

Not even love, respect, or friendship unite people as much as the shared hatred of something or someone. Remember that there’s strength in numbers, and bullies must always have an entourage around them. You will never see a bully alone because the thought of being on their own scares them to death. And the stronger the solidarity, the less likely it is of the group disbanding. Hatred is the glue that binds the members together.

The victim provides the bullies the assurance that their group always stays together as one. Without the victim, the group is weak; things get boring real fast, and it won’t be long before they split up and go their separate ways.

Bullies also need victims for entertainment and as victory trophies to collect and display. They need victims as guinea pigs to test their (perceived) strength and power and then show proof thereof to bystanders and witnesses.

Therefore, the target serves many purposes. And once they’ve served their purpose, they’re neatly and quietly disposed of, and a new victim is selected.

Always remember this. The more we know about bullies’ inner workings, the better we can defend ourselves against them.

With knowledge comes empowerment!

45 thoughts on “Why Bullies Need a Hated Enemy to Unite Against

        • cheriewhite says:

          Yes. Women are sneakier because they use mostly passive-aggressive techniques. Yes, there are an increasing amount of physically violent women but passive-aggressive tactics are still the norm. Guys mostly use overt and physical aggression. Sure, there are guys who use passive-aggressive tactics as well but physical and verbal aggression are the norm for guys.

          • Steven Sharma says:

            Women being bully is quite new to me. Guys surely are agreesive.
            In India, these bully thing is not very common. Personally, i never heard people doing this intentionally.
            But if you consider rape as bully then India is maybe somewhere at top.
            But it’s good to see your efforts and felt sad in your case.🙂🙂🙂

          • cheriewhite says:

            She would bully any female competitors to the guy she’s vying for. If a guy so much as looks at another girl, the girlfriend won’t say anything to the boyfriend or husband with the roving eye. No. She’ll want to go after the girl he was looking at even if she did nothing to provoke the lustful stares and even if she didn’t know about it. I don’t know what country you live in. But in the USA, UK, and Australia, bullying is an epidemic.

          • Steven Sharma says:

            Then Mrs Cherie, It will be endless. You can teach people, how to handle bullies, but it will not end until the mindset of bully change. They must understand, bullying is not the solution of every problem, they should learn how to handle their emotions, stress and live a loving and peaceful life. The root need to be addressed.

            And, Unfortunately I am from a country who wants to live like west. They sees western lifestyle as success. They are getting highly influenced by America, loosing their own cultural identity.
            I RESPECT other countries but what’s the need to lose your identity and culture.
            I am from INDIA, spiritual capital of the world. 🙂☺️🙂

          • cheriewhite says:

            India is a beautiful country, Steven. I know many people who have immigrated to America from India and they are wonderful people with awesome stories to tell of their homeland. Please keep your identity and culture, even the people from India who live here do not lose theirs. And you’re right, bullying will never end because we live in a fallen world. However, we can still teach targets confidence and how to stand up to bullies. And that alone will help their self-esteem. But no, we won’t stop bullying because a target can stand up for themselves and the bullies may leave them alone but they’ll go find someone else to bully who’s an easier target.

          • Steven Sharma says:

            And, you are standing to help those people!
            Incredibly appreciable!
            A life with a mission, worth living.
            Because the foundation is already laid, we cannot do much more in it but we can do what’s possible.
            Lots of love and respect for you, Cherie😇
            And.. I do wonder, people living outside India, knows much about their country then people living in India. Maybe they realise it’s importance there.

        • RespectAll44 says:

          Actually Steven here in the United States females probably bully as much or almost as much as guys. Often times it is girls bullying girls but there is a growing number of girls who bully boys. Society is changing and it is wrong regardless of who is doing it. Put it another way, here in the United States females are not always damsels in distress. The fastest growing prison population..female prisons.

      • CareTrain says:

        I like this discussion. I like what you and others have added here. We do tend to overlook the sensitive male and there are more of those than I think we realize. We make assumptions that all males are basically emotionless and not overly sensitive. We also make assumptions that all males are physically strong, not all of them are. I know a few great guys that are weaklings. And by the same token I know a few women that aren’t overly emotional or sensitive and physically are powerhouses. We should never assume anything.

        • cheriewhite says:

          You’re absolutely right with everything you mentioned here. I’ve just started hand writing a future post that deals with the very things you’ve mentioned. I’ll definitely post it when it’s complete. 💖

    • RespectAll44 says:

      Mrs.White is a social advocate who educates and is trying to increase awareness to stop bullying. This appears to be her life’s work and that is amazing. She shares her own life story and others affected by a very serious issue and I know has written books on the subject and public speaking. This blog is about bullying. Every blogger has a cause, this is hers and it is amazing.

    • CareTrain says:

      I am glad to see some other comments here. I think the mistake we have made in generalizations and stereotypes in this society. Males often bully, females often bully. Males can be physically and emotionally abusive and females can be physically and emotionally abusive. Male on Male, female on female, or mixed bullying (girls and boys) all can happen and we don’t need to sweep any of it under the carpet.

  1. Mimu says:

    “The more we know about bullies’ inner workings, the better we can defend ourselves against them” I am taking this back with me and spreading the word. You write amazing!

  2. RespectAll44 says:

    Bullies do need a hated enemy because it is how they “keep their reputation” and false sense of power. I have never seen a true bully not have his/her share of followers even if they are just following out of fear. When there is an enemy the bully can try and execute his/her power for others to see and often times they will join in. One it shows “loyalty” to the instigator but also they are trying to establish their own reputation and by joining in or with strength in numbers, they can appear more powerful too. I always think of it like this. In sports usually teams have a few dominant players everyone looks up too and then there are a few that are on a team but not some of the better players and probably don’t play much. The sort of athletic kid knows they aren’t a star but not one of the lower players either so they want to be just good enough to hang with the Stars and sometimes increase their own perception though they actually are only a so-so player but boosting themselves and holding a lesser play down

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