Beware the Spotlight Effect!

Many targets of bullying experience the spotlight effect after bullies have bullied them for so long. Why? Because bullying will conditions targets to think that everyone is watching closely. For example, the target will attend a social gathering and feel like a germ under a microscope. He will think that everyone is watching him.

When the target sees the people around him talking to each other, he’ll only assume that they’re discussing him. Therefore, he’ll think that they are judging him.

However, the people around him won’t be watching him because they’re worried more about themselves than they are him. Yet the target will still feel spotlighted- this is the spotlight effect at play.

Therefore, I want you to realize that this spotlight effect is born out of fear of judgment. You must be careful that you don’t spiral down this toxic hole.

Be Careful You Don’t Get Trapped by the Spotlight Effect!

Also, you can sometimes become victims of the spotlight effect while trying to make friends and allies.

Deliberately modifying your body language takes practice because it’s mostly a subconscious thing. Therefore, you will sometimes come off as awkward if you don’t practice in private. The spotlight effect happens when you deliberately modify your body language to make friends (or to ward off bullies).

Moreover, because you’re doing it on purpose to influence others’ behavior, you think that others can see through you. This will cause you to force the nonverbal signals and your suspicions will become a self-fulfilling prophesy. Why? Because it will make it difficult to make it appear natural and effortless.

Consequently, you won’t be able to display this body language convincingly. In other words, your nonverbals will look contrived, or worse, inappropriate. And you’ll do it even if others are unaware that you’re putting on. Therefore, you will look fake at best, inappropriate at worst.

The spotlight effect is the killer of many opportunities. However, there’s a bright side here.

Once you know that the spotlight effect is real, you will be able to avoid it’s entrapment.

With knowledge comes empowerment!

Things for Targets of Bullying to Consider

The thoughts and opinions of bullies are worthless to you, or they should be. This may sound strange to many targets, especially those whom bullies have brainwashed for so long. And that’s a terrible thing. Therefore, if you’re a target who has been conditioned, I’d like for you to ask yourself these questions:

Has it benefited me in any way to measure my value as a person by the opinions of bullies?

Would my bullies be able to hold up as well as I do if they themselves had to endure bullying?

Even on the off-chance that they could, does that give them license to judge me, a person who is enduring something that would break many others?

If we all worried about the opinions of our bullies and haters, the world wouldn’t have even a tenth of it’s population. Moreover, we wouldn’t have doctors, lawyers, writers, comedians, singers, actors, and other such great people.

They all would have collapsed under the crushing weight of anticipated judgements and personal attacks. Therefore, they never would have reached the heights of success that they have.

It’s Not What They Call You, It’s What You Answer to.

The truth is that your favorite rock star receives hate and vitriolic comments over a few lyrics in one of his songs. Even back in the pre-internet days, famous actors and musicians got bags of hate mail along with the fan mail.

Many targets of bullying have an intense fear of being judged and it’s exactly what holds them back in life. Why? Because it can cause you to hold back your feelings. Furthermore, you will allow this fear to stifle your talents and creativity.

Realize that  a bully’s judgement is only a reflection of their own fears and insecurities.

This is why you must never allow bullies or anyone else to make you believe that how they feel about you is more important than how you feel about yourself. Never take your bullies’ word over your own. Never allow their opinions to trump yours.

And once you realize how cheap your bullies’ thoughts and opinions of you really are, they will have less effect on you.

With knowledge comes empowerment.