Handling Gossips, Busybodies and Buttinskies

girl looking at her cellphone while her snooping friend looks over her shoulder

Whether it’s the nosy classmate who’s never short of personal and intimate questions about your private life, the workplace gossip who never shuts up and always seems to know your business before you do, or the spying neighbor across the street who forever peers through her window to spy on the neighbors outside, these kinds of people can be a real hemorrhoid to those of us who only want to be left alone and allowed to live our lives in peace.

Moreover, I even had one woman ask me how much I got paid and how much I paid in rent or mortgage? I know. The nerve! Right?

After the shock wore off, I politely told her that she was getting too personal. I also told her that I didn’t share such private information with anyone, not even my family members. Oooeee! She didn’t like it.

nosy detective looking over his newspaper at you, spying concept

These types often leave you shaking and scratching your head because you just can’t believe anyone would have the chutzpah. Especially if you were raised to mind your own business like I was.

Make no Mistake! Their end goal is power and control!

Understand that these people can be bullies too. Their gossip, butting-in, and having a constant nose stuck in your life can be a form of attempted control. Bullies will often ask you these kinds of questions to embarrass or humiliate you. Therefore, anybody who openly asks you such questions has no respect for your privacy, and you should deal with them accordingly.

However, because they can’t seem to control their own lives, they wish to control yours. And they do it for nothing more than to cause an annoyance or embarrassment.

nosy woman peering through the window blinds

Though the years, there was always that one neighbor who would sit on their porch all day. They would watch not only my house but the other houses in the neighborhood as well. So, on a good note, I can’t say that I was left out. As a matter of fact, I was in good company with most of the other neighbors in my community.

As a result, many of the others in the community weren’t short of complaints about the lady and we had a nickname for her- “Mrs. I-Spy.”

Nosy people are annoying to others.

Nevertheless, although I’d get annoyed by her a few times, I couldn’t get angry with her like many of the others. Mrs. I-Spy was disabled and could barely get around. All I could feel was bad for her because I knew she wasn’t a happy person. Who would be if their health were deteriorating to the point of barely able to perform activities of daily living? And home health was scarce back then.

eavesdropping businessman with huge ears

Also, on the days when she couldn’t get outside, she’d have her grandchildren watch the neighbors. The grands would then go back inside and give her a report of the goings-on in the others’ yards and the traffic in and out of their houses. It’s hilarious when I look back now.

busybodies do have their good points.

I can honestly say that if there were a burglary or trouble nearby, she’d have been the first to see it and call the cops. So, there’s a silver lining to all this. Thank God for nosy neighbors because they do serve a great purpose!

However, my classmates in high school, not so much. I had very little respect for them because most of them were nosy as hell! They would watch me closely and eavesdrop on any of my conversations. They always had an ear cocked. At Oakley High School, the walls had ears!

The walls have eyes, a brick wall with pairs of eyes

Always in my business, questioning me on things that were so trivial yet to them was a huge deal. They would even ask me the most personal and embarrassing questions.

“Have you started your period yet?”
“Are you a virgin?”
“How is your boyfriend in bed?”

some will ask you the most embarrassing questions.

These kinds of questions made me cringe! Naturally, it upset me back then and I’d only storm off. But if one of them had the audacity to do that today, I’d only laugh, make fun of and humiliate them. And I’d enjoy humiliating them.

nosy man with his ear to the wall listening in on the people in the next room

Today, I wish they would and give me the chance to show them I’m not as slow as I used to be and almost nothing shocks me anymore. Understand that when you’ve been bullied, you learn quick wit very quickly because it’s essential for survival. I’ve known other adult survivors of school bullying and we’re the most quick-witted people in the bunch! We have to be!

With that said, realize that even in the adult world, you’re going to have people who have more nerve than a bad tooth. There will be those who will pry into your business and openly ask you personal, even embarrassing questions. You might as well prepare for it now because they’re everywhere!

Nosy dog looking at you

Nosiness can run in families and be generational

Many of these people had parents who were the same way. They had mothers and grandmothers who would tell them to watch others and report back to them. I know this because of watching Mrs. I-Spy do the same many years ago. Therefore, it’s safe to say that nosiness is a generational thing with many. About ninety percent of my classmates also came from nosy and overbearing families. So did many coworkers I’ve worked with down through the years.

And it’s these kinds of people you should blow off and wave away like that pesky little fly that keeps buzzing around your face.

Don’t get angry with them. Just shake your head and pity them. Because it’s those types who really need to get a life and often don’t have one. Or, if you’re a smart-ass like I am, take the opportunity to have a little fun with the person. Just catch it, throw it back at them and shame them with it.

And why not? They asked for it.

With knowledge comes power!

Never Try to Control Others

As we know, bullies are notorious for trying to control other people and bend them to their will. And they do it by using fear-tactics, threats, and force. However, here’s the thing they don’t realize.

When you try to get someone to do something, the more they’ll want to do the opposite.

“Parents are fully aware of this law! If you tell your children not to do something, they want to do it all the more.” (“The Like Switch,” by Jack Schafer PhD and Martin Karlins PhD p.114, para. 3)

Bullies are all about making the statement, “I’m right, you’re wrong.” Remember the line in the movie Matilda, by Matilda’s father, Harry Wormwood, played by Danny DeVito?

Listen, you little wiseacre: I’m smart, you’re dumb; I’m big, you’re little; I’m right, you’re wrong, and there’s nothing you can do about it!”

Just imagine how that made little Matilda feel. It only made her that much more determined to do and say what she wanted.

This I’m right/You’re wrong approach bullies cram down their targets’ throats only puts them on the defensive. It inspires them to push back. In other words, it’s only natural for others to protect their reputations, images, and egos. Therefore, bullies only pit other people against them.

But it’s the same when targets try to get others to accept them.

Bullies have bullied them for so long and rendered targets lonely and friendless. Therefore, some targets will often use every trick in the book to win friends. They’ll tell sob stories, fake being ill, dress in flashy clothing and act like they have more money than they do. Bullies and others see through this and get angry. Why? Because they know the target is attempting to trick them into doing something they aren’t ready to do.

Tricks and fakery are also forms of control. The only difference is that they are the passive kinds of control. And people hate being tricked less than they do blunt force. However, trickery is still a type of force- only it’s force without the other person’s knowledge.

Realize that the only person you can control is you. Other people have minds of their own and they will do whether they wish. There’s no stopping human nature. Sometimes you must go with the flow and once you do, you have a better chance of getting the desired outcomes and results.

With knowledge comes empowerment!

Why Bullies Usually End Up Eating Their Own

Bullies want to have a target or a victim. In fact, they need targets. To feel almighty and powerful, bullies must have people to dominate and subjugate. And having power over is extremely addictive to them. It’s like a drug. It’s why bullies repeatedly bully their targets over a a long period of time, years even. Because that “drug” wears off rather quickly and it won’t be long before your bullies come back for their next “fix.”

However, what happens when you finally realize who your bullies really are behind the tough facades, they put up? What happens when the masks fall off, and your bullies’ cowardice and insecurity come to light? Oooo! This is beginning to sound delicious, isn’t it?

Here’s what happens. Once the target sees these revelations, his confidence will get a big boost. The target will realize that she isn’t and never was the one with the issues. In this, he will find that it was the bullies who had the issues all along. Then, the target will finally have the courage to give the bullies the old proverbial middle finger and tell them all to go eat a fat one.

Moreover, the power dynamic will take a sudden shift and the scales will automatically tip in the target’s favor. In other words, the person will be a target no more. Remember that the best way to disempower bullies is to empower targets.

Because, once the target ceases to be a target, bullies no longer have power over him. Therefore, the bullies must go search for another target.

The Sudden Power Shift

When these bullies spot several potential targets, they’ll test the waters by performing several tests on these “potentials.” They will test these potential targets by watching them closely and launching subtle attacks and insults just to see how they react. But! What will the bullies do next, when things don’t go quite the way they expect? What happens when the potentials also give them the double middle finger?

Uh-oh, now they can’t find someone they can target! Curses! Now, what’s a poor bully to do? Simple. They begin eating their own. In other words, they turn on a member of their in-group.

That’s right, ladies and gentlemen! Once the bullying in-group runs out of targets on the outside, they have no choice but to turn their bullying inward and start bullying people within their group.

Remember that bullies need a target victim. They need someone to dominate and subjugate to have power because they can’t get power any other way. Without someone to ride roughshod over, to tell what to do, and to exert control over, bullies feel powerless. And you know what? They are!

With knowledge comes empowerment!

2 Types of Power

Everyone wants to have power. You, me, everyone. It’s human nature to seek power. Because to be completely powerless is hell on earth. That’s why I say, everyone wants power, if only a little of it.

When a person is totally powerless, they live their life on autopilot. In essence, they are as a leaf being blown around in the wind. They’re a sailboat without a sail- being blown on whatever course life dictates for them. And it’s a terrible way to live because, without power, you don’t live. You only exist!

Really stop and think about it for a moment. To have power over nothing! Can you imagine it? It’s hard to, isn’t it? It would be the worst thing that could ever happen to you!

Normal people do not have to hurt others to achieve power. They feel powerful through making accomplishments and achievements. They get power from being able to control their own lives, not someone else’s.

People who aren’t bullies get their sense of power through having success in their jobs, their family life, their talents, their finances, and their physical health.  Therefore, people start their own businesses or do strenuous workouts every day. It’s also why they display their talents and gifts. And it’s why they take pride in their families.

For instance, a mother gets her sense of power from her ability to create a good home for her babies. A writer gets his sense of power through his writing and the ability to achieve readership. A comedian gets his sense of power from doing stand-up comedy and his ability to make people laugh. A singer gets her sense of power from her ability to entertain people with her beautiful voice, through song. An athlete gets his sense of power through competing in and winning at a sport, and a student gets her sense of power through making exceptional grades, getting diplomas/degrees, and winning titles, such as Honor Roll, Summa Cum Laude, or Magna Cum Laude. And they all do it without stepping on others.

Understand that getting power this way doesn’t require hurting others and there are no winners and losers. There’s equality, cooperation, and mutual respect. This kind of power is known as personal power.

In her book, “The Abusive Relationship,” Patricia Evans puts power in two categories- personal power and power over.

Personal power is power over your life’s trajectory. It’s the power to direct your own path- to choose your own wants, having the autonomy to make choices and decisions for yourself, and to do your own thing. There’s no need to harm another person because you are already the director of your own life-movie. Having personal power puts you in the driver’s seat of your life and you are the one who chooses your destination and which route you want to take to get there.

You are the captain of your own ship. The winds may change and blow you off course, but with personal power, you have a rudder to steer your ship back on course. You may have to take detours, and yes, you may have to take the long way to your destination, but you know where you’re going, and you eventually get to where you want to go.

Sadly, bullies cannot achieve personal power. Why? Because most bullies are incompetent fools who have no real intelligence (social or otherwise). They only know how to act intelligent amd fool others. They also have no sense of responsibility, no talent- no redeeming qualities whatsoever. The only way bullies can achieve satisfaction, happiness, success, or self-actualization (power) is to inflict harm on others. The only way they can achieve power in their jobs, families, finances, etc. is by steamrolling people. Bullies are so inept they can’t even survive in this world without hurting others. This kind of power is called power over.

Power over is lording it over another person through force, coercion, and trickery. Power over violates boundaries. It shows no respect or regard, and it seeks to oppress and block the target from all the good things in life- love, peace, success, happiness- freedom. In power over there is a winner (the bully) and a loser (the target). Power over is a zero-sum game. Always!

Power over is against personal power and it only takes it away.

If you’re a target of bullying, it’s so important that you begin taking steps to take back your personal power. Only then will you be free. You will finally begin living instead of existing.

With knowledge comes empowerment!

Short List: 15 Forces That Perpetuate Bullying

1.Domination and Control of Another.

2. The Desire to Feel Superior.

3. The Need for a Scapegoat.

4. The Need to Project.

5. To Seek Attention.

6. One-Upmanship.

7. Schadenfreude and Sadistic Pleasure.

8. To Impress Others.

9. The Desire for Social Status.

10. To Contain Threats.

11. To Keep Others Down.

12. For Entertainment.

13. To Keep from Becoming the Next Target of Bullying.

14. To Hide Weaknesses and Shortcomings.

15. To Deflect and Distract Unwanted Attention.

With knowledge comes empowerment!

2 Questions You Must Ask Yourself to Avoid Toxic Conformity

In today’s world, we are beginning to live under the thumb of toxic conformity. Certain people in power desire to control the masses by media lies and misinformation, censorship, ridiculous mandates, and other ridiculous laws, bills, and orders.

In fact, these powers that be don’t even try to hide their lies and sins anymore, which is a sign of real danger. Because if there’s no incentive to hide wrongdoing, and crimes against humanity, then it means that there’s impunity and the freedom to go on committing violations of basic human rights. Worse even, it’s a green light to escalate these abuses.

I believe that most people have forgotten how to think critically and have lost their voices for fear of not only censorship, but social shunning and cancel culture. Be that as it may, instead of taking the words of these, dare I say, tyrants and traitors, as the gospel, people need to start asking themselves these questions:

1. Who are these lies, bits of misinformation, censors, mandates, and laws really benefiting here? Me? Humanity as a whole? Or the people making all the rules?

2. What will our compliance gain us?

I believe that once we answer these questions for ourselves, we’ll know what we must do to preserve our human rights and liberties. It’s time that we each think and do for ourselves and give these powers that be the proverbial middle finger.

With knowledge comes empowerment!

If They Can’t Manipulate You, They’ll Attack Your Mental Health

Businessman with wind up key on his back sitting on chair and using laptop computer on city background. Manipulation concept

It’s the oldest and most used tactic in the book! My classmates were no different. Bullies will always come back at you with the “crazy” or “mentally imbalanced” label to discredit you and control how others see you when they can no longer control you and can’t find anything else to pin on you.

It only goes to show that they see you as a threat and they’re both desperate and afraid. When you refuse to be manipulated, it sends several messages to your bullies- messages that threaten their sense of superiority, positions, and their power.

  1. It tells them that you see through their smokescreens.
  2. It tells them that you’re not afraid to tell them to go kick rocks.
  3. It tells them the opposite of what they think of you- that you’re strong and intelligent, not weak and dumb.
  4. It puts them in their place.
  5. It tells them that they can’t make you do anything you don’t want to do.
  6. It tells them that you don’t give a crap about what they say or think about you.
  7. It tells them you could care less about impressing them.
  8. It tells them they don’t matter to you and that you don’t value their insults or do you accept their definitions of you.

Understand that bullies have an over-inflated sense of their own importance and thus, feel entitled. They despise being told no and they loathe anyone who will not be controlled. And if they can’t manipulate you, they’ll manipulate your relationships, and the way others perceive you.

Always remember that.

Reasons Bullies Need Targets to Depend on Their Approval

Sadly, bullies successfully convince targets that they must depend on them for something. It’s true.

“Depend on bullies? For what?” You may ask.

For acceptance and approval. For the ability to make friends and establish relationships. Yes, many targets of bullying have been hoodwinked into thinking that they should depend on bullies to have these things. This is how bullies keep targets essentially begging for it- by dangling carrots of the possibilities of having them. And the reasons why bullies do this is to keep their targets under their control and to force them to do what they want them to do.

Think about it. Domestic abusers, who are also bullies, do basically the same to their partners- keep them dependent in order to keep control of them. Only domestic abusers keep their partners dependent mostly on financial resources by keeping a tight grip on any money that come into the household.

Domestic abusers also close their partners off from any job opportunities and cutting them off from their friends and family who may see through them and convince their partner to leave.

Abuse is abuse, whether it comes in the form of bullying or domestic violence and psychological manipulation.

Oh! But wait!

Socialist and Communist governments (again, also bullies) always do this to their peoples- make and keep them dependent on them to keep control of them, their behavior, and their thoughts. These tyrannical governments keep their citizenry dependent by controlling all the resources- food, the water supply, energy distribution, income and wealth distribution.

Because, if you can keep someone dependent, you can make the rules and tell them what they can and cannot do. Even worse, you can force them to put up with horrible conditions and treatment- things that they wouldn’t, under normal circumstances, tolerate. You can control every aspect of a person’s life if you can make them depend on you for their very survival!

When bullies do this, they keep you afraid to be your own person, to exercise your autonomy, speak freely, be creative, and to flourish. They keep you fearful of standing up to them, calling them out of their atrocious behavior and abuse, and of asserting your God-given right not to be controlled and abused.

Understand that bullies, domestic abusers, and oppressive governments/regimes have the same in common- to control everyone and destroy their targets. It’s how they keep everyone dependent and obligated, and, therefore preserve dominance and power over.

Realize that in the minds of bullies, other people are only there for their convenience, their purpose, and their agenda. Nothing more!

With knowledge comes power!

An Explanation of What Happens When Bullies Fear Losing Power and Control over Their Targets

I look back now and realize that my bullies were in constant fear of losing control and dominance over anyone they deemed inferior. I say this because I remember that anytime I or any other target at Oakley High, countered their insults, or had our own opinion about anything, the bullies and their followers would be quick to shout us down.

They would demand that we “shut up,” or “sit down and be quiet.” They would also threaten bodily harm or instigate violent arguments to intimidate and shut down anyone who dared to exercise their rights to speak freely, therefore, asserting their dominance.

Targets were highly discouraged from having their own thoughts, opinions, or views. I also remember during a class discussion, when a teacher asked me what my thoughts were on the subject we were discussing, I only had time to get the words, “I think…” out of my mouth when another girl shouted, “You think nothing! Shut up!”

Naturally, the teacher reamed her out for the outburst. However, the others only laughed at the teacher, the teacher went silent, then continued on with the discussion and allowed me to finish my answer.

There was nothing a target could speak about that one of the bullies wouldn’t shout down and attack them with. For example:

1. Target: “I don’t feel so good. I think I need to call home.”

Bullies and classmates: “You ‘ain’t’ sick! You’re just trying to get out of coming to school when your dumb ass needs to learn something useful!”

2. Target: “I’m afraid that…”

Bullies and classmates: “Shut up! You don’t have nothin’ to be afraid of! You’re just a big chicken!”

3. Target to target: “I need the hall pass to go use the restroom.”

Bullies and classmates: “You ‘ain’t’ goin’ nowhere! Shut up and sit down!”

Or…

If a target put up their hand and walked away from a confrontation, one of the bullies would either physically step in front of him/her and block them from leaving, grab the target by the back of his shirt and pull him back, or follow close behind them while shoving them forward while screaming, “Don’t turn your back and walk away from me, (expletive),” or “Turn around and look at me when I talk to you!” And If a target ignored a group of bullies, those bullies would then want to fight him.

It was as if the bullies had grown desperate and were panicking. And now that I know better, I realize that that’s exactly what they were doing- feeling desperate and panicking. And they were doing it out of fear.

So, anytime bullies yell and scream at you because you spoke or because you showed any form of opposition to their abuse, realize that it’s because they fear losing their dominance. Bullies instinctively know that if they lose control over a target, they lose face and look weak in front of the others around them. They also realize that if their target has the guts to challenge their power, then it just might encourage others to follow suit and bullies can’t have that.

Bullies must have their targets, not only to get sick pleasure and entertainment from, or to wield dominance over. They must also have them as examples to show everyone else that there will be brutal consequences if they show any form of dissent. Targets are used to keep everyone else in line too.

So, always remember this, and look for a way to use the bullies’ fear to your advantage. You have more power than you know.

With knowledge comes empowerment!

You Should Never Try to Prove Yourself to a Bully

Bullies don’t deserve for you to expend so much effort to prove anything to them. Why? Because they’re not worthy of your best. Only the people who truly love you, uplift you and are proud of the person you’re becoming deserve that. Only the people who have your back and are in your cheering section are worthy of the kind of work you put in.

‘You see? Bullies are the type of people who must have a target. They must have power over someone, anyone, or they end up feeling inadequate and useless (but aren’t they already?).

Bullies have an insatiable hunger for power. If they don’t have it, they feel as if they’ll go insane (Again, aren’t they anyway?)

If you’re a target of bullying and you try to prove yourself to those who could care less either way and whose only wish is to keep you down, you’ll be on an endless and futile quest. You’ll end up wasting precious time, which is time better spent focusing and working on you.

Understand that no one can prove themselves to a bully. It’s impossible because bullies only see the negative in others. They never have anything positive to credit anyone but themselves. In fact, the better, stronger, smarter, braver, and more awesome you are, the more threatened your bullies feel, and the more they attack you to tighten their grip on your life and keep you under their control and domination.

Bullies hate strength, they hate smarts, and they hate any positive quality in anyone else but them, especially if the other person’s good points surpass theirs. To a bully, control isn’t just about forcing you to do what they want, it’s about controlling your mind- your thoughts, attitudes, and preferences. It’s about controlling your life and having the power to ruin it.

It’s about having the power to break you and wear you down. Bullies get off on that power. And when you consistently bend over backward to prove yourself to them, all it does is show them that they still have power over you.

Because, if they didn’t already have it, you wouldn’t be trying so hard. In fact, you wouldn’t try at all because you wouldn’t give a crap what they thought.

Remember! You have nothing to prove to anyone other than yourself.

The more you know, the more empowered you are!

Believe It or Not, You Have the Power to Choose Whether to Accept or Reject the Labels

 

If you’re a target of bullying, I want you to know that you have more power than you realize. You have a choice- a choice of whether to accept or reject your bullies’ labels and definitions of you.

I want to drum into your head this single truth: You have nothing to prove to anyone but yourself!

Bullying hurts, no doubt about it. And you may have to suffer the pain of not being accepted. However, if you have the inner strength to reject the insults and name-calling, you’re already ahead of the game and least likely to be controlled by your bullies.

Understand that when bullies take it upon themselves to define you, what they’re doing is playing God because they’re claiming to know the unknowable. All they’re doing is pretending to know you better than you know yourself. The underlying message of the bullies is that they can read your mind and that they know your inner reality, when, in truth, no one knows that information but you and you alone.

Realize that when bullies define you, they purposely try to create a role of their own making in which to cast you. I can remember several roles my bullies handpicked for me and there were four of them.

  1. Crazy/mentally imbalanced
  2. A promiscuous whore
  3. An arrogant and uppity snob
  4. A lying, manipulative con-artist

Bullies desire to create your reality for you. But the truth is that they don’t have the power to do it. Only you possess that power. They may make you think they have that power, but they don’t and never will. They’re only fantasizing and creating a world of make-believe without realizing it. And the reason they do this is to wrest control and domination over you.

I want you to realize that no one can have power over you unless you give it to them.

  1. They cannot tell you what to do, say, feel, or believe.
  2. They cannot know your motivations and intentions unless you speak them aloud.
  3. They cannot know your wants, needs, and thoughts.

Those things are impossible for them because they’re not you!

When bullies attempt any of these “impossibles,” they may say things like:

  1. “You’re only trying to get attention.”
  2. “You’re just trying to make trouble.”
  3. “You’re just lying to keep from getting hurt.”
  4. “You’re only covering your ass.”
  5. “You’re just trying to kiss up and score brownie points.”
  6. “You’re only trying to get on everyone’s good side.”
  7. “You’re just jealous because no one likes you.”

Understand that when they tell you things like these, they are second guessing you and your feelings, thoughts, motives, and intentions. Again, they’re playing God because they are claiming to know your inner world, which is impossible for anyone who isn’t you to know. And they’re doing it to intimidate, control, and dominate you.

I’ll say again.

You choose whether to accept or reject this nonsense! Know that the only person who can truly define you is you. You are the sole owner of your self-definition.

And you don’t have to explain that power or prove it. It’s there. Remember my friend’s quote I cited in one of my earlier posts a few months back:

“To be insulted by you, I must first value your opinion.”

– T-Ronn Hicks –

If you don’t value your bullies’ opinions, or, in this case, their definitions of you, then you’ll choose to reject them and they’ll have no power nor control over how you feel about yourself, nor over your emotions. And you’ll be able to take the wind out of their sails!

So, roll your eyes and blow your bullies off with disdain and a scoff. And if the bully happens to be your boss, do it in your mind (LOL) because your thoughts are free. Make fun of their ridiculous definitions because they only show just how delusional they are. You can even walk off twirling your finger next to your temple.

And before long, they just might get bored, go away, and leave you alone.

With knowledge comes empowerment!

It’s No Use Trying to Change Other People

Many targets of bullying try so hard to get others to like them, only to drive them further away instead. It all boils down to this: You are trying to change them.

Don’t. Because you can’t. I say this because anytime you try to change someone, they will sense that and only double down. Stop thinking about them because they aren’t worth the extra time and energy.

And why would you want the approval of people who only use and abuse you? Why do you even want those people in your life? I want you to realize that anyone who bullies you is the last person who deserves a spot in your life.

Or you could look at it another way: Would you want another person to try and change you? How would you feel if the roles were reversed? You’d feel even more resentment toward the other person, wouldn’t you? I would.

No one wants to be force or made to feel compelled. Including you. Besides, your bullies are already trying to force you to feel bad about yourself. They’re already trying to exert control over you. Do you really want to crawl behind people like them? Yuck!

Instead of focusing on them, focus on yourself and your goals and dreams. Get busy doing you. Be a little selfish. This is the time when you should make it all about you.

With knowledge comes empowerment!

In Depth: The Opinions of Bullies and How They Can Affect Our Lives

Indifferent.

Recently, I wrote a blog post entitled, “Should the Opinions of Bullies Matter?” In it, I stated the reasons why they shouldn’t and that the only opinions that should were those of the people who love us and want the best for us.

And it’s true. Bullies’ opinions shouldn’t concern us and for some targets, they don’t. but the more I thought about it, the clearer it became that maybe I should’ve added more to the post.

So, here goes!

Though bullies’ thoughts and feelings of you shouldn’t matter, it doesn’t mean they can’t affect us, or even hinder us.

dreamstime_xs_27648516

The reality is that the bullies’ opinions of their target can have a huge impact on the target’s life. Their thoughts and feelings of the target can determine whether other people outside the bully/target conflict feel comfortable associating with the target.

Although we don’t want to admit it and, no, it isn’t fair, the personal opinions of other people often are the deciding factor or whether we’re well-liked or lonely and hated.

Bullies influence the attitudes of others who otherwise either wouldn’t have an issue with us or would be great friends under different circumstances. The opinions of bullies have a way of spreading far and wide- making bullies out of those who, under normal circumstances, would never resort to mistreating another human being.

It’s amazing what a contagion effect bullying has on schools, companies, organizations, and communities.

We must learn about bullying from all angles. Because the more we know, the better we will be able to salvage our good names and counter some of the effects it may have on our lives.

With knowledge comes empowerment!

Attitudes You Deal with When You Encounter Bullying Behavior

When a target encounters bullies and their unacceptable behavior, he/she often feels dehumanized. They also feel canceled- erased- blotted out! To the bullies, the target’s feelings don’t matter because the target isn’t human to them. Understand that once the target is successfully dehumanized, it becomes much easier for bullies and others to brutalize them.

To the bullies, the target shouldn’t exist. And trying to defend themselves against the brutality only leaves the target exhausted and run down. He/she also goes through severe mental anguish and intense emotional pain. Fear grips the target like a vice because there’s always a risk of a brutal physical assault.

Understand that bullies don’t want to hear or understand the target. They only want to hurt him/her and control their life- every aspect of it. All bullying behavior, whether subtle (such as a micro flash of contempt), or obvious (such as a fit of rage heavily sprinkled with horrible names and expletives) only attempts to harm and control.

It doesn’t matter if the behavior is ridiculous and complete nonsense. When bullies have an outburst, they don’t see themselves as being ridiculous and irrational, even if others do. They see themselves as justified and right and the target deserving of persecution and being controlled.

With that said, I want you to see it for what it is- an attempt by the bullies to control, dominate, and harm. It’s an effort to take away your power, autonomy, freedom, and happiness.

And once you see this, it’s imperative that you walk away from these people and not give them one nanosecond of your time. You must do what you have to do to keep yourself safe. As far as you’re concerned, they are dead to you.

With knowledge comes empowerment!

Unnecessary Fear: 4 Ways Bullies Use It to Control Their Targets

Fear is the strongest of all emotions. While fear is an excellent asset in a genuinely hazardous situation where there’s the threat of immediate harm, it can be the most dangerous and paralyzing emotion when it unnecessary.

Unnecessary fear is THE number one tool in the bully’s toolbox. Bullies use this fear as a means to manipulate their targets and to control many aspects of their lives.

Realize that the power of fear is the only power bullies hold, and they don’t use it sparingly. Bullies instinctively know that real or perceived fear will shut down a person’s rational and cognitive thinking abilities. As a result, they can manipulate the target into doing what they want by making empty promises of safety and security.

Fear strips away your power. It takes apart the ability to reason, to be proactive, and to make good choices- hence to defend and protect yourself. Bullies have long understood the power of deliberately inducing fear in their victims to control and dominate them.

Understand that a fearful person is easier for bullies to control than a fearless one.

Bullies maintain their oppressive grip on their victims by invoking fear in them, then claim that only they have the power to decide whether the targets can live in peace and be safe from harm. The bullies send the message that if the victim does what they want and says what they want to hear willingly and without getting mouthy and catching a funky attitude, they will leave him alone and permit him to live in peace.

But we all know how this usually ends. Bullies don’t keep promises. They only keep you hanging.

If you’re a target of bullying, I want you to understand that your bullies greatly benefit from your fear, and they won’t give those benefits up without a fight.

So, how do bullies exploit targets through inducing fear? There are many ways.

1. Rumor spreading and gossip – bullies have a knack for making even the most ridiculous lies sound like the truth and the most insidious abuse respectable, even admired. They slander the target to keep him silent and ensure that he doesn’t speak out about the abuse. If they can turn everyone against the victim, then who’s going to believe him when he finally does open up about the violence?

Bullies will also use fear to turn others against the target and recruit them to become willing participants. Even the kindest of people can become willing co-conspirators because humans behave much differently in groups, then they do on their own.

“Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities.”

Voltaire

2. Repetition -bullies will bully, defame, insult, even physically attack the target repeatedly, over long periods to solidify the target’s fear, along with their low self-esteem and confidence to ensure that he doesn’t protect himself or rebel against the abuse.

3. Gaslighting – if the bullies can make the target question his own sanity and believe that he must have done or said something to deserve the cruel treatment, all the better! Then he’ll surely keep quiet then.

4. To control everyone else– bullies also use fear to control peers and bystanders. They send the messages that if anyone else dares to help or befriend the target, they’ll suffer the bullies’ wrath as well.

But there’s hope!

Unnecessary fear has a cure. And that cure is knowledge!

That’s right! You must acquire knowledge of bullies and bullying, and lots of it! It pays huge social and psychological dividends to know the psychology of bullying.

1. why bullies bully (for social status, to keep from being bullied themselves, etc.)

2. where their abuse comes from (insecurity, low self-esteem, arrogance, superiority, etc.)

3. intentions and motivations for bullying (domination and control over another person, power, social status, to keep from being bullied, etc.)

4. tactics bullies use and the effects of bullying on victims.

And so much more.

In short, you must be knowledgeable of human nature, tactics of warfare, the ways people attain power, psychology, and dark psychology. I would also recommend reading about the Dark Triad- Narcissism, Psychopathy, and Machiavellianism. Then read about how to counter bullying.

Only then will you be able firmly and confidently stand up for and protect yourself- then ultimately free yourself from your bullies’ grip. Knowledge is the only thing that can defeat your fear. If nothing else, know this!

With knowledge comes empowerment!