First, to protect ourselves from bullies, we must know bullies’ inner workings- how they think, their backgrounds, and what it is that drives them to bully. We must also know the types of bullies we are dealing with, the tactics they use, and why. So, it doesn’t hurt to find ways of getting intel on your bullies.
Because, when we know what motivates bullies to bully, not only are we better able to defuse the situation, but this knowledge can be a buffer to our self-esteem and lessen the effects of the harassment and attacks on our psyches.
If a classmate or coworker is bullying me, and I know she recently went through a terrible breakup/divorce or is being bullied by other bullies, I know that there’s a strong possibility that she is bullying me because she feels powerless. Therefore, when she justifies her behavior and swears up and down that I “had it coming,” she will be least likely to manipulate me into believing it too.
Why? Because I then know that her bitchiness comes from a place of rejection and feeling abused and powerless. She is trying to make herself feel good by attempting to make me feel bad and that her atrocious behavior has nothing to do with me.
Therefore, although her vitriol may sting a little, I’m assured that I’m okay, and my self-esteem can remain high.
But wait! Here’s another benefit!
It helps to quell any anger or resentment I might otherwise feel toward her. Instead, I can more than likely feel sorry for that she-bully or even vindicated, and her bullying won’t bother me nearly as much. It will make it easier for me to blow her off as only being a blowhard and not as tough or important as she vehemently tries to make herself out to be, which can be a real self-esteem booster in and of itself.
Here’s another example:
If you know your bully’s a narcissist or sociopath, then you know that his ego is puffed up or she’s a spoiled brat who dedicates her life to making others miserable and has been doing it for so long that she’s expert at it. You then know to go grey rock or no-contact.
Here’s the third example:
Maybe you know your bully is jealous of you and wishes she had something you possess- a talent, gift, relationship, etc. That’s when you know you should feel great about yourself as it only goes to show that she admires you or the thing about you that she covets so badly.
The last point may sound strange, even delusional, but think about it. Why else would these bullies go out of their way to belittle you and crush your self-esteem? Jealousy ignites a hateful competition in the hater. When a bully is jealous of you, he wants to beat you at something.
With knowledge comes empowerment!