Translating the Tactics Bullies Use

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Social Aggression: When Bullies Spread Lies and Rumors About You

The possible underlying messages are:

“I hate you, and I want everyone else to hate you too!”

“I’m jealous of your relationships!”

“I don’t want you to have friends! I don’t want you to be popular with others! I don’t want you to have support or protection because I plan to bully you again later! Any success you have in relationships will only highlight my lack of social graces or my own dysfunctional relationships! So, I’m going to destroy your friendships to punish you and make myself feel and look better than you! I’m going to trash your reputation so I can shine, and so people will pay more attention to your flaws than they will mine!”

Chess board and text “Strategic plan” Business planning concept

“I’m scared you’ll have more friends than me.”

“I’m scared you’ll have allies who will protect you from me and make me look weak.”

“I’m going to use you as a distraction from my own shortcomings. If people are too busy focusing on your flaws, they’re less likely to see mine.”

When Bullies Beat You up

The possible messages are:

“You challenged my authority over you and made me look like a punk! So, I’m going to show you who’s boss and ensure you never defy my power again!”

“I feel weak and powerless! So, I’m going to use my physical strength to hurt you, embarrass you and make you look weaker so I can feel and look strong to others!”

When the Bully Justifies Themselves to You or Others, or When They Blame You for Their Bad Behavior

The possible messages are:

“I’m so scared that you’ll see right through me! So, I’m going to make you doubt your sanity. I’m going to make you feel like everything I do to you is your fault! That way, you’ll be least likely to call attention to my terrible actions and make me look bad or get me in trouble with authority!”

“I’m so afraid you’ll expose my terrible deeds to others and damage the excellent reputation that I’ve falsely kept up for so long! So, I’ve got to make up any excuse that sounds plausible to keep my evils hidden and avoid facing accountability!


“I’m scared that I’ll be found out and punished! So, I’m blaming you so that everyone will think you’re at fault and believe you are the bully! By accusing you, I can avoid responsibility, then get the green light to keep harassing you! Then, I can keep getting the psychological and emotional benefits I’ve been getting at your expense!”

So, you see? The bully’s treatment of you is about them! Not you! Learn to see through the bullies’ facades, and I guarantee that their attacks will have a much lesser effect on you.

With knowledge comes empowerment!

0 thoughts on “Translating the Tactics Bullies Use

  1. Mary Anne says:

    Sounds like some of our politicians who hold our freedom in their hands, restricting it from those they hate. Traditional and Christian people … the healthy minded !

  2. Kym Gordon Moore says:

    It’s sad and pretty pathetic that they take so much time to plan their target’s demise when all they’re doing is digging a hole for themselves! 😣 Thanks Cherie, for sharing all of your informative angles to be aware of and more informed. 🤔🤗😊 Enjoy the rest of your day sweetie!!! 😍💖🥰

  3. RespectAll44 says:

    This kind of ties in with your later blog on popularity. Bullies have a fear of loss status and feel threatened and will use any tactic to keep someone down. A perfect example is the physical stuff. A lot of us were/are scared to fight without knowing if we actually could or not and a lot of bullies we assume would clobber others but no one actually saw them in a fight but will use tactics to make others especially the more timid believe that they can.

  4. robertscribbler says:

    I love this post. So empowering. Also helps me identify bullying in language. I can definitely sympathize being an empathic and dealing with a bully’s first move which is often to slap a label and then run back to try to claim the moral and/or intellectual high ground.

    • cheriewhite says:

      Thank you so much, Robert. This means a lot! 🤗 Amd you’re so right! Bullies will abuse their targets, make them out to be the bad guy, and finally claim thr moral high ground. You nailed it! 💯🎯

  5. BBYCGN says:

    So, one of my followers on WordPress is not who I thought he was, although I sensed the red flags. He did a complete 180, or perhaps just lowered his mask and displayed what was always there.

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