Being a target can be a lonely and terrifying existence. Because of the intense hatred people spew daily, you walk on eggshells because you don’t know what the bullies and their minions will do next. They could physically hurt you, or worse. Also, you feel desperate to correct what is wrong, but you have no clue what it is.
So many targets can relate. With that said, I want to tell you that if you are or have been a target of school bullies, you are not alone, and you will eventually overcome your tormentors just like I did.
So, what are two lesser-known defense strategies targets use?
1. They Dress up for school or work.
To keep their self-esteem from completely tanking, they may dress in flashy clothes, desiring to look like a million bucks for school or work. Clothes from Walmart just aren’t good enough for these targets. They feel they must shop at Maurice’s, or maybe even Nordstrom in order to feel good about themselves. And if they don’t dress to the nines at school, they feel less than. They also resort to this to alleviate some of the shame they feel.
Not that dressing snazzy is a bad thing. It isn’t. However, the reason these target do it is because they’re insecure inside and the clothes help to remedy that insecurity.
This has a lot to do with how poorly people have treated them. So, they then dress even better, only for the bullies and the rest of the student body or coworkers to label them “a poser.” However, the nice clothes and knowing that you look damn good has a way of buffering your self-esteem when bullies go on the attack..
Targets also feel that their attire provides them a sense of not only style but control.
2. They act stuck-up and conceited.
Put plainly, targets may think to themselves or even say out loud, “I don’t care what they say. I’m awesome. They’re just too jealous to admit it.”
Does this sound arrogant? Conceited? Maybe. Does this sound downright narcissistic? Perhaps. Is it the right attitude to have? Both yes and no. Sometimes, a good defense is for the target to act conceited and like they just don’t need any of them.
In other words, their holier-than-thou attitude, however unattractive it might be, helps targets to preserve what little self-esteem and dignity they have left. It helps them to keep going when things were at their worst. Most importantly, it helps them to keep from being totally brainwashed and reprogrammed by evil bullies who would love nothing more than to destroy not only their bodies, and prospects, but also their minds.
A defense Mechanism to keep people away.
Targets may walk around with their noses in the air and refused to speak. Also, they may have a sassy and smart-alicky attitude. Moreover, I say this from experience. I was extremely sarcastic and had a snotty disposition. I even laughed at and bullied others to grab back some power. My attitude stunk – period.
Again, it’s the only way some targets know to stay strong and and maintain a little bit of poise.
Although, it’s only a self-protective behavior, the downside to this is that this attitude can easily get targets hurt or worse. It can also drive away people who otherwise could and would be great friends and allies. Nobody wants to put themselves at risk of being rejected, even people who aren’t targets of bullying. I don’t recommend you bully others like I did. However, if people are bullying you, you have every right not to speak to them and to hold your head high. Just be aware of the circumstances first.
Some targets of bullying can be really sarcastic. This sarcasm gives them a sense of power. In fact, it’s how they survive. But understand that this reaction to others is only out of fear and it’s no way to live. Therefore, I cannot stress enough that, if you’re a target of bullying, don’t let it change your overall attitude for the worse. Pick and choose the times and people you show your snarky attitude to. Sometimes, it can be socially powerful, but at other times, it can get you into serious trouble.
What are your thoughts? Please feel free to comment on your experiences and what you did to cope.