Conditioning: 5 Signs You’re Being Conditioned

Al’Want to know the signs of conditioning so that you can protect yourself from it? These are the surefire signs to be aware of.

conditioning

Bullies and abusers have ways of conditioning you without you ever being aware that they’re doing it. In most cases you won’t notice it until it has totally changed you and ruined your life. As someone who has been there and overcome it, I’m giving you the signs you must know to stay safe.

You are going to learn about all the early signs of conditioning so that bullies can no longer play these mind games with you.

After learning about the signs of conditioning, you will be prepared and no longer easy to manipulate.

This post is all about the signs of conditioning that every victim and target of bullying should have knowledge of.

conditioning

What is it? In simplest terms, conditioning happens when others brainwash and train you to believe or accept something you wouldn’t normally believe nor accept. Therefore, unscrupulous people will psychologically condition you to believe many falsehoods and accept all kinds of abuse.

This is how people become brainwashed and extreme evil and terrible abuses get normalized.

Therefore, when you’re a target of bullying, bullies will very deceitfully try to condition you to roll over and take their abuse. Also, they will slyly and slowly, over time, “Pavlov” you to believe any lie they say until finally, they convince you to turn on yourself.

Realize that conditioning doesn’t happen overnight. It’s a slow, incremental, bit-by-tiny-bit process that can also be soft and subtle.

In other words, conditioning starts out small and is barely recognizable when it first begins.  It is at this stage when you must know how to recognize it because, the longer it goes on and the bigger the abuses get, the harder it is to defend yourself against it and put a stop to it.

he one thing that will help you to recognize it is that your body will feel it and you’ll sense it in the vibes the people you’re dealing with put out. Pay attention.

So, how do you know your bullies are conditioning you?

Here are the signs:

5 Signs You’re being Conditioned:

You’ll know by the feelings you have.

1. You begin Feeling guilty for defending yourself, speaking out about the bullying you suffer, and reporting the bullying to authority

This most commonly occurs with empaths. However, if you’re an empath and you aren’t careful, you will likely be used and abused by narcissists, bullies, and abusers.

Remember that sometimes you must put your needs first. Also, there will be times when you will need to stand up for yourself.

You have a right not to be abused and you are just as good as the next person. You wouldn’t inflict pain on anyone else and you should never allow others to inflict pain on you either.

Self-care is never selfish. It’s essential.

Therefore, continue to stand up yourself. Don’t stop taking care of yourself. Because, if you don’t,  no one else will either. Remember that you aren’t responsible for their feelings.

In a situation of bullying, all you have is you and your greatest weapon is your voice. Use it! Don’t lose it!

2. Another sign of conditioning is Feeling that the bullying you suffer is all your fault.

Anytime you blame yourself for the bullying you suffer, you can be sure that your bullies have conditioned you. Therefore, understand this right now! It’s not your fault!

You are not responsible for your bullies’ behavior. Their horrid actions are a reflection of their choices, not yours. Moreover, you cannot control the behavior of another person. The only person’s behavior you have control over is your own.

So, when you blame yourself for being bullied, you are taking responsibility for the behavior of others, which are things you have no control over.

Do not allow them to condition you to believe that anything beyond your control is your fault! It isn’t!

3. You start feeling like a heel for saying no.

Saying “no” can be difficult and at times, even downright scary. If you’re a decent human being who believes in being civil to your fellow man, the last thing you want is to let someone down. However, there are situations when saying yes to someone else is like saying no to yourself.

When you say no, it doesn’t mean that you’re a bad person, especially when bullies are trying to force you to do something you don’t want to do.

But what if your bullies threaten either physical harm or worse social exclusion if you do not comply with their wishes?

Nobody wants to get hurt. The natural human response is to submit and make the pain, torment, or the threat of, stop. In your mind, you’re thinking, “Alright, alright! I’ll do it if you’ll go away and leave me alone!”

Therefore you fall for the false promises that they will leave you be and stop hurting you. BUT!

Realize that bullies and abusers never make good on those promises. The harassment won’t stop. If anything, it will only get worse.

Why? Because your bullies have benefited from forcing you to say yes. And more than likely, they’ve been getting those benefits for a long time now.

Your bullies never stopped the harassment after all those times you said yes to them before. So, why would they stop now?

Saying no to a bully is never an easy option.

Bullies don’t take no for an answer, least of all from their targets! However, not only is it necessary, it’s essential for self-care!

Therefore, begin saying no, and do it often. However, realize that you can’t change a bully. And if the bullies resist (and they more than likely will), be ready for possible retaliation. And if they do act up, again, it isn’t your fault nor your responsibility.

The only time you should say yes to bullies is if they pull a gun. Otherwise, stick to your answer.

I’ll grant you that saying no is risky. It always has been. Your bullies may threaten you with the business end of their fists and you may come out of it with a shiner and a fat lip.

However, those wounds will heal. But the psychological injury of wishing you hadn’t let yourself down will last for years.

Again, you must say no, even if it makes others angry.

4. another hallmark of conditioning is when You feel like the biggest wuss on the planet.

You know the feeling. When you know you allowed someone else force you into something you neither wanted to nor agreed to. It left a psychological injury that took a long time to recover from.

You ended up asking yourself, “Now, why didn’t I tell those creeps to take a flying leap off the highest cliff head first?” That feeling of powerlessness can be worse than any physical pain you ever suffered.

 In other words, you blame yourself for not standing up to your bullies or abusers. You think that maybe you’re not strong enough, or this enough, or that enough. This is another sign of conditioning.

However, you must know that your bullies act up not because you aren’t firm enough. And don’t think it was because you aren’t any good at defending yourself.

It’s because your bullies are a bunch of pathetic, self-entitled turds. Bullies are abusers and abusers have a talent for conditioning their victims. Therefore, abusers expect the rest of the world to bow down and kiss their behinds and none of that is your fault.

Understand that their behavior isn’t your guilt to carry. Then, begin standing up for yourself and refuse to believe the lies your bullies try to drum into your head.

REPEAT!

Don’t fall for their power plays. Stand up, stand tall, and stand firm no matter what.

5. Your body will feel those icky vibes your bullies are putting out.

In other words. you’ll sense it by feeling that something is “off.” Moreover, you’ll feel it in the pit of your stomach. And sometimes, you’ll feel it before the first words are exchanged.

This is, perhaps, the most important sign of all. Why? Because, as mentioned earlier in the post, conditioning is soft and subtle in the beginning. So much so that it isn’t noticeable.

However, here’s your first clue: Your body will tell you if you pay attention to it. Your body, particularly, your gut, will pick up on these sickening vibrations your bullies put out.

Many targets of bullying often mistake this feeling for “just being paranoid” and ignore the feeling. But this is the last thing you should do.

Understand that God gave us all that “sixth sense” or, as it is more commonly called, the “gut feeling” or “instinct”, for a reason.

Therefore, anytime you get a bad feeling in your gut about someone, you are not being paranoid and you are not over-reacting. What you’re doing is picking up on that person’s energy. As a result, your inner alarm is trying to warn you about the person and keep you safe.

You must pay close attention to your gut and to other people’s energy because energy doesn’t lie and neither does your gut instinct!

If ever you catch bad vibes off another person, have nothing to do with them. Instead, get as far away from them as you can and as fast as you can! You will save yourself a lot of trouble, I promise!

This post was all about the signs of conditioning to help you to recognize these indicators early on and protect yourself.

Related posts you’ll enjoy:

1. Signs of Gaslighting: The 7 Signs You Must Know

2. Signs of Toxic People: 5 Tell-Tale Indicators

3. Gaslighting Phrases: 7 Most Common Statements to be Aware of

4. Phrases to Shut Down a Gaslighter: 9 Power Statements to Use

phrases to shut down a gaslighter

Phrases to Shut Down a Gaslighter: 9 Powerful Statements to Use

Want to know the best phrases to shut down a gaslighter? The phrases that you’re about to read are the most powerful statements you need to make the next time a bully tries to gaslight you.

phrases to shut down a gaslighter

When people gaslight you, it can leave you confused and feeling unnecessary guilt. If you’re like I was, you probably wish you knew powerful phrases to shut down gaslighting. As one who’s had multiple bullies, I’m giving you the most powerful statements you can use to shut your bullies down for good.

You will learn about the top, most powerful phrases to shut down a gaslighter.

After learning about all these cool comebacks, you are going to be a pro and on the ready the next time your bullies even attempt to gaslight you.

This post is all about the most powerful phrases to shut down a gaslighter. This is information that every person with integrity should know.

9 most powerful phrases to shut down a gaslighter

Before we get to the phrases, here’s a quick question. Have you ever had a situation when a bully was gaslighting you and you were stuck without a good comeback? I have and it was pretty humiliating.

Gaslighting can make it’s victims feeling not only confused and bewildered, but also embarrassed. It’s extremely difficult to pull out a good comeback, on the fly, when you’re in the middle of a gaslighting session.

However, one thing you should never, ever say to a gaslighter is this:

“I’m sorry.”

“You were right, it’s my fault.”

To bullies, apologies are not only submissions, but admissions of guilt. Moreover, telling the bully that they were right and admitting fault is surrendering to them. This is just how bullies think.

Although, it may tempting to go ahead and accept blame just to avoid further conflict or to keep the peace, I implore you. DON’T! Not under any circumstances!

Never take responsibility for a bully’s behavior, or anyone else’s for that matter. You are only responsible for your own words and actions, no one else’s.

The reason you should never capitulate like this is because the bullies will only take it and run with it. In other words, they will only weaponize it against you from here on out. And they will do it for the next several years or decades even.

Here’s what you SHOULD say:

1. “The truth hurts sometimes.”

This phrase is brilliant because it does two things:

It infuriates gaslighters because it reverses the sting back onto the gaslighter by turning the tables on them.

Also, it exposes your bully’s inability to handle the truth.

Your bullies may become angry after hearing this comeback. However, it can only work in your favor because their emotions will only further give them away.

Why? Because bullies don’t get emotional unless they’re so afraid they’re losing control of the conversation that they begin feeling desperate. Always remember that.

2. “I don’t see it that way.”

This is a good comeback because you’re making it clear to the gaslighter that you don’t agree with them.

Keep in mind that gaslighters gaslight because they want you to feel crazy, or like their behavior is your fault. They want you to doubt yourself and think, “well, maybe she’s right. I probably did have it coming.”

No you didn’t. Remember that you aren’t responsible for anyone else’s behavior but yours. Your bullies’ behavior is a reflection of their choices, not yours.

3. one-word phrases to shut down a gaslighter:

“Whatever.”

This little one-word response is so potent and powerful. It’s short and sweet, and it’s the perfect blow-off to any gaslighter.

Why? Because it sends the message that you refuse to engage with them. Also, through that response alone, you communicate to your bullies that they’re a waste of your time. And really, they are!

Therefore, you end up taking the wind right out of the gaslighter’s sail. Why? Because, your bullies are excepting a big reaction from you and when you blow them off with a “whatever,” you stun them.

 Any time you calmly use this comeback, you send the message to bullies that they don’t hurt nor intimidate you, they only bore you. Ouch!

It’s very difficult to counter a response of, “Whatever.”

Moreover, another reason this little beauty of a response infuriates bullies so much is that there’s no way to counter it. It stops them dead in their tracks and leaves them looking dumb.

Bullies may verbally retaliate with a “whatever” of their own. However, it will only make them look like they’re not very creative. Additionally, the bully will also look childish and stupid.

Therefore, the trick with this little one-worded bomb is to draw first blood. In other words, he who says it first automatically wins the day!

Do it this way and you look calm, cool, and collected while making your bullies look defeated. Most importantly, you preserve your own sanity by refusing to argue or to agree with their drivel.

So, keep this on your list of comebacks because with it, you can’t go wrong! Just remember to say it calmly and coolly. Then watch your bullies’ reactions as they search and stumble to find a comeback without repeating you and looking utterly ridiculous.

However, whether they comeback with a childish response or not, your “whatever” has already shut down the toxic conversation. So, the only reason they respond is because they know they’re beat. Your bullies are only having to scramble to find a comeback, which is why they usually fail miserably.

This is definitely to your advantage.

4. I’m sorry you feel that way.”

This really ticks off bullies and gaslighters because, just like number 1, it turns the tables on the gaslighter. You send the unpoken message that you refuse to apologize for something you didn’t do or something that isn’t your fault.

Using this sarcastic comeback isn’t an apology. It’s a dig. It shows bullies and gaslighters that you could care less about their feelings. Also, it communicates to them that nothing they have to say to you is worth the effort you must put in to argue.

Again, this is how you respond to a gaslighter.  Gaslighters get no respect because they don’t give any.

5. “that’s your opinion, not mine.”

This comeback also turns the tables on gaslighters in that it boomerangs their initial words back to them. Also, it lets them know that you could care less about what they think of you or what they have to say.

Bullies will seethe when you use this gem of a comback. I guarantee it!

6. “You have your reality and I have mine.”

Gaslighters are notorious for trying to undermine your reality and call your perception into question. Anytime you give your bullies this response, you tackle the problem up front.

Moreover, they get the message that you’re not one to be swayed from your perception, which will shut them down completely. In other words, they’ll know instantly that you’re immune to any manipulative mind games they try to play.

And this is what you want so they’ll leave you alone and go find some other sucker to jerk around

7. Phrases to shut down a gaslighter can also be questions.

“How?” or “Like WhO (what, when, where)?”

What you are doing here is asking for details. You’re responding to the gaslighter with questions and they will absolutely hate that. Gaslighters always avoid details because when you ask questions, you change the focus from opinions and emotions to hard facts.

In essence, you force them to come up with hard evidence to back up their argument. Most gaslighting bullies can’t do that simply because they only speak from emotions rather than facts.

Ask a bully questions referring to context and evidence. Then, laugh as you watch them stutter and stammer, trying to come up with an intelligent-sounding answer.

8. “You’ll get over it.”

This is the perfect response in lieu of a direct apology.

Now, this may seem callous, unfeeling, and cold. However, the “you’ll get over it” response allows you to respond without accepting blame and

Always remember that bullies lack integrity and a conscience. Any of the two shown in the presence of those who don’t have it will be shot down.

Moreover, this comment will more than likely rile your bullies’ emotions up because they’ll get the message that you don’t take them seriously. And you shouldn’t. Therefore, they will expose themselves through their outbursts of anger and indignation.

Respond without taking responsibility for their bad behavior and do it with power!

9. The Softer version of one of the phrases to shut down gaslighters:

“Don’t worry. You’ll be alright.”

This response is the same as number 8 but with a softer touch. Again, this deflects the gaslighting away from you and back to the bully. The “Don’t worry” part highlights the bully’s anger or upset emotional state while buffering you from the bully’s initial attack.

It’s one of the perfect verbal boomerangs that can force bullies to expose themselves because most bullies will explode at this comeback even if it is a softer one. Why? Because they will get the message that you take their frantic gaslighting with a grain of salt.

So, what bully wouldn’t flip out at a response like this? Remember that bullies want you to get emotional. Or, they want you to hang your head low and walk away, feeling like you wronged them somehow.

Don’t do either of these things. Use these responses and pretty soon, no one will bully or gaslight you. These responses worked for me and they can work for you too.

the post was all about the most powerful phrases to shut down a gaslighter to help you stand up to gaslighting and preserve your self-esteem and overall mental health.

Related posts you’ll enjoy:

1. How to Respond to DARVO: 7 Powerful Ways to Shut It Down

2. Signs of Toxic People: 5 Tell-Tale Indicators

3. Signs of Gaslighting: The 7 Signs You Must Know

gaslighting phrases

Gaslighting Phrases: 7 Most Common Statements to Be Aware of

Would you like to know gaslighting phrases so that you can see and hear gaslighting as it happens? These are the most common statements bullies will use to make you doubt yourself.

gaslighting phrases

When bullies hurl gaslighting statements your way, it can be twice as hurtful. Why? Because they victimize you a second time after you call out the initial abuse. As one who’s personally experienced this kind of behavior, I’m giving you the top gaslighting phrases to keep an ear out for.

You are going to learn the most common gaslighting phrases bullies use against their targets.

After you learn about all these statements, you will be better prepared with the proper comebacks to shut these creeps down. Moreover, you will have a greater chance of taking back control of your life.

This post is all about the most common gaslighting phrases that every target of bullying should watch for.

Gaslighting phrases:

Before we begin with the seven most common phrases used by gaslighters, I will mention the definition and goal of gaslighting for anyone who is new to this topic.

So, what is gaslighting?

Gaslighting comes from the 1940s film, “Gaslight,” in which an abusive husband exploits his wife by trying to convince her that she is going crazy. Another word for this type of abuse is “crazymaking.”

Gaslighting is a form of abuse that bullies and abusers inflict by saying things to cause their victims to doubt themselves and their own personal experiences. Moreover, the goal of gaslighting is for bullies to wield more power over the victim while diminishing their account of the abuse they suffer.

It is a sick and perverse mind game abusers play with their targets. So, what are the most common gaslighting phases bullies use and what do they sound like?

1. “You’re only imagining things.”

Bullies and abusers use this phrase to get you to doubt your own reality and question your own sanity. Furthermore, they aim to discredit you and to prompt bystanders and witnesses to question you as well. It’s so easy, it shouldn’t work.

But it does work, perhaps, a little too well!

By using this phrase (usually in front of an audience) the gaslighter attacks your ability to remember things accurately. Just as they do with the first statement, they discredit you by making you seem paranoid to others around them.

Moreover, they use this phrase to humiliate and silence you. Bullies hope that by doing this, they can silence you by making you so afraid of looking crazy that you’ll keep your mouth shut.

In short, this phrase has many goals: To discredit, embarrass, intimidate, and silence you.

This is why so many victims of this tactic eventually stop talking, while bullies and abusers only continue and escalate the abuse.

2. “That Didn’t happen.”

This is another deceitful response bullies and abusers quote to discredit you. This statement is also designed to make you look as if you have a faulty memory and can’t keep your story straight.

Moreover, when bullies make this statement, they make sure to look confident when they say it. They also say it with conviction. Here’s one thing you should know right now!

Abusers know that confidence (even false confidence) and conviction are THE two ingredients that will make any lie believable to bystanders.

So, be sure to keep this last bold sentence in the back of your mind! Always!

3. “You’re crazy!”

This is, perhaps, the worst of all gaslighting phrases.

Yep. There’s that crazy label again. Attacking your mental stability is the worst thing your bullies and abusers could ever do to you. The reason is that society believes those with mental illness the least, discredits them the most, and treats them the worst.

Moreover, hardened criminals and former prison inmates get better treatment than people who are believed to be mentally unstable. The reality is that people will take the word of a bank robber, rapist, or even a murderer over that of someone society has labelled mentally ill.

Bullies and abusers instinctively know this. And when they attack your sanity, they immediately shove you down to the bottom of the societal hierarchy. Furthermore, tearing off this label is the most difficult thing to do.

It’s much easier to exonerate yourself from accusations of a heinous crime than it is from the label of insanity or mental defect.

Additionally, your abusers only set you up to face a plethora of hate, discrimination, and prejudice in the future. Why? Because society, as a whole, even today, fosters an intense hatred of the mentally ill.

those perceived to be mentally ill are treated worse than hardened criminals.

And the hatred is so much so that even the mere perception that you are imbalanced can bring hatred to your doorstep. In fact, you may very well be the most sane and stable person on the face of the earth.

However, all it takes is for one person to paint you as “crazy,” spread the word to enough people, then kick back and let the court of public opinion take it from there. It’s that easy.

 As a result, your reputation will fall like a meteor. ‘You see? The sad thing is this:

Although it’s true that no one can ever prove that you are, in fact, crazy, there’s also no way that you can prove that you’re not. Mental defect OR fitness is, pretty much, impossible to prove.

Again, bullies and abusers are fully aware of these things, which is what makes the crazy label itself especially brutal. It has totally ruined the lives of many good, honest, and hardworking people.

4. “this is why nobody likes you.”

Bullies and abusers are masters at isolating their victims. They very skillfully use smear campaigns to turn friends, and yes, even family members against their targets. Bullies do this by reversing the roles and claiming to everyone that they are the one who has long suffered from your abuse.

The reason your bullies slander you to anyone who’ll listen is because it gives them the confirmation they so desperately need that you are a bad person.

Moreover, it breaks down the support system you once had, which gives your attackers a green light to continue and intensify the bullying and abuse. Bullies can now abuse you more freely without fear of anyone butting in and trying to interfere.

In other words, they don’t have to worry about any of your friends/family trying to rescue you.

This is why bullies despise it when you have friends and people who love and care about you. It undermines their power and control over you.

With that said, once your controller has succeeded in isolating you, this is one of the main gaslighting phrases you will hear them say. You bullies will say this to make you feel devalued and to drive the point into your head that you aren’t lovable, wanted, worthy of friendship… take your pick.

The goal here is to break your confidence and lower your self-esteem. Understand that this, or any other gaslighting statements are meant to condition your mind over time.

The process of gaslighting is gradual and slowly wears you down until you feel totally powerless.

5. “You Bring It all On Yourself,” Is another one of the most obvious of gaslighting phrases.

This evil and self-serving statement is meant to take responsibility off the bully/abuser and place it onto the victim. In other words, bullies refuse to take accountability for their bad behavior and, instead, blame the target.

In doing this, they re-victimize the target and blame them for being bullied and abused. Other such gaslighting phrases abusers may use are:

“It’s your own fault.”

“You got what was coming to you.”

“You made me hurt you.”

NOTE: “You made me” statements are especially obvious gaslighting phrases. You should see them as such and cut ties with the gaslighter immediately if possible. If this isn’t possible right away, you may need to plan your exit slowly and carefully while waiting and watching for the opportunity to get out.

6. You’re over-reacting” or “You’re being too sensitive”

Gaslighting statements like these are used to trivialize reality, your feelings, and your response. Understand that bullies are experts at trivializing their bad behavior along with your feelings and responses to it.

The goal here is to undermine your voice and your word in front of an audience and convince others not to take you seriously. If your bullies can cause others to call you into question and perceive you as paranoid, they can bleed you of any outside support.

7. “Everyone is on my side!” or “Everyone Agrees with me!”

This is also one of the top 3 worst gaslighting phrases. The reason it’s so bad is because it makes you feel outnumbered and out-voted. In other words, by making this statement, the bullies want you to feel as if everyone is ganging up on you.

Therefore, the more people you think side with the bullies, the more likely you are to doubt and question your own judgement. Abusers hope you do because if you doubt yourself, it’s easier for the people around you to doubt you too.

In conclusion, if you want to preserve your self-esteem and mental health, it is imperative that you know who you are and what you experience. Stay strong and never doubt what you see, hear, and experience no matter what mind games and tricks your bullies play.

Also, if possible, you must leave the environment (the company, the school, the relationship) if you expect to begin healing and take back control of your life.

Remember that people have left their home countries to escape oppression. That’s what gaslighting is, it’s a form of oppression as is other kinds of bullying and abuse.

It won’t be easy. In fact, it will be tough for a while. But it will be worth it in the end! I promise!

This post is all about the most common gaslighting phrases to help you see gaslighting for what it is and find a way out of any bullying environment!

Related posts you’ll enjoy:

1. Signs of Gaslighting: The 7 Signs You Must Know

2. How to Respond to DARVO: 7 Powerful Ways to Shut it Down

3. Gaslighting at Work: 5 Surefire Indicators to Watch Out for

how to respond to DARVO

How to Respond to Darvo: 7 Powerful Ways to Shut it Down

Would you like to know how to respond to darvo that bullies use to discredit you when you report their bullying or speak out against it? Here are the most powerful ways you must know.

how to respond to DARVO

The DARVO method that bullies use is tricky. Many victims of bullying are at a loss as to how to respond to it. As one who has had this method used on me, I am giving you the most powerful ways to respond.

You will learn about how to respond to DARVO properly and the the best responses that will shut this method down for good.

After learning these points, you will be extra prepared the next time a bully uses this evil technique against you.

This post is all about how to respond to DARVO tactics that bullies use. This is important information every victim of bullying, even narcissistic bullying, should know.

How to respond to darvo:

1. learn what darvo is and how bullies use it.

The first step in learning how to properly defend yourself against any bullying tactics is to learn exactly what each of those tactics is.

What is DARVO?

DARVO is an acronym which stands for Deny, Attack, and Reverse Victim and Offender.

Realize that this is a classic reaction bullies make any time the victim calls out their bad behavior.

If you are a victim of such tactics, it is imperative that you educate yourself on them.

Additionally, you need not only memorize the definition and textbook description of it. You must also know what DARVO looks like as it is happening.

For instance, a narcissistic bully may attack you and you may call them out on their rotten behavior. The bully reacts by telling you, “it’s no big deal.” Or, he may say something to the tune of, “you’re making something out of nothing.”

Understand that these are classic DARVO comebacks because they invalidate reality and make you out to have over-reacted. Don’t fall for it. You know what they did and that it was wrong. Therefore, continue to stand strong and stick to your guns.

the bully will project.

Moreover, the bully will become extremely aggressive and attacks your character and credibility. They may even attack your motives and intentions.

The bully may also dissolve into a puddle of tears or begin yelling in anger while attacking you. Bullies are expert at turning on emotions to achieve a desired result, which is to make it look like you instigated their abuse. In other words, they make it look as if they were only reacting to what you did to them.

Also, the bully may use insults, threats, and gaslighting to discredit your description of their abuse. Moreover, they will swear up and down that they’re being unfairly accused and that you are making false accusations against them to cover your bad behavior.

Put simpler, they will accuse you of doing to them the very same things they, in fact, did to you. This is classic projection and you should call it out as such.

As another attempt to deflect, bullies will also try to justify their evil behavior by shifting blame to you.

Understand that bullies do all this to reverse the roles and in hopes that others will see them in a more positive light. Bullies hope that others will see their abuse of you as a reaction to something you must have done to them first. All the while, they are continuing to inflict more abuse onto you.

2. whatever you do, stay calm.

This is an absolute must because your bully is hoping and praying that you will lose your cool. But don’t!

Why? Because bullies will use your emotions as confirmation that you are either cuckoo or a bad person. And, believe you me, they’re masters at this!

Also, they will misconstrue your emotions (crying, etc.) as a sign of guilt. Instead, remain calm and the bully is more likely to be the one flipping out because they can’t shake you.

I have found that by remaining calm and cool, you will drive them completely insane with anger. Therefore, you force your bullies to expose themselves.

Remember the quote in Sun Tzu’s “The Art of War.”

“Let the enemy destroy themselves.”

Again, your calm demeanor will arouse not only the bully’s anger, but also their fear. Your bully will be flabbergasted as to why you’re so calm. This will throw them off balance.

Moreover, they’ll flip out and begin yelling, shouting, and cursing. Don’t let this behavior intimidate you because his is what you want them to do to expose and embarrass themselves.

Remember that bullies have big egos and an image to protect. Also, they have an intense need for control. And they will do everything they possibly can to preserve their egos and maintain not only control, but also the image they have long ago crafted for themselves.

Although staying calm can be difficult when bullies abuse you, it can also be most effective in getting your bullies riled and bringing their true natures out in the open. The calmer you are, the crazier your bullies will get until they unwittingly expose themselves through their own behavior.

3. How to Respond to DARVO: Call the behavior out by name.

This is why you must first know what DARVO is, as well as the names of all the behavior that goes with it. This way, you can call it out by name and won’t sound as though you’re rambling.

Rambling makes you sound crazy and less believable. But naming the behavior and stating your case in a clear and concise manner makes you look more credible and makes the bully look unhinged. This is what you want.

For example, if the bully is projecting and accusing you of the very behavior they directed at you, Call it by name. Tell the bully in front of an audience that they’re clearly projecting to try and make themselves look like the good guy and that you are onto them.

If they are trying to justify their behavior, again, call it out. Say to the bully, “Don’t try to justify your behavior because there is no justification for it. Be an adult (or if it’s a child, you can say, ‘be a big girl/boy’) and take responsibility for your actions.”

4. Document, document, document!

This cannot be stressed enough! You absolutely must document everything in detail. Keeping a bullying journal is of the utmost importance, not only if you have a bullying partner at home but also if people bully and harass you at work or school.

Keeping documentation helps you to keep a record of bullying in a more clear, concise, and organized manner. Moreover, it is admissible in court and during tribunal at work or school board meetings.

When you document, always use the 5W Method (What? Who? When? Where? and Why? Also, if possible, How?) This allows your story to make more sense. Also, it effectively calls out any perpetrators and produces possible witnesses.

In other words, write down what happened, who was involved, who was around to see what happened (the names of any bystanders and witnesses). Also, write down when it happened (the exact date and time of occurrence).

Additionally, include where it happened (did it happen in the school locker room? The workplace parking lot?) and if you know, why it happened (was it because you reported your bullies’ abuse of you?) Be as detailed as humanly possible when you document!

How to Respond to Darvo: do your own investigation!

This is how you gather your own evidence. How to respond to DARVO doesn’t include waiting for anyone else to do anything you can just as easily do for yourself.

Never rely on the school or your workplace to conduct their own investigation. This is where many victims get screwed because when entities do their own investigations (if they do them at all) it will only be to their advantage and your detriment.

The reality is that schools, workplaces, or any entities for that matter, usually side with bullies. Why? Because not only are bullies expert at covering their behinds, but also, they are usually stars in the who’s who at school or higher-up in the workplace or organization.

Therefore, always do your own investigation. Documenting is the most effective way to gather your own evidence.

Also, depending on the laws in your state or jurisdiction, you could secretly record the bullying you suffer. Again, make sure the laws in your state allow recordings.

In other words, If you live in a two-party consent state, you must also have the permission of anyone you record. However, if you live in a one-party consent state, you only need your own permission. Therefore, you are FREE to record!

Again, make sure you know the laws in your state before you do this. The last thing you want is for your bullies to have grounds to sue you for invasion of privacy. And you just know they would salivate over that opportunity. So, don’t give it to them.

5. practice self-care

In other words, be kind and compassionate to yourself. Make daily affirmations to yourself. Make I AM statements, “I AM a good person,” “I AM not wrong for standing up for myself,” “I AM lovable,” “I AM deserving of friends, family, and people who love me,” ” I AM worthy of God’s love because He loves me anyway, regardless of what I’ve done in the past,” etc.

And when you make these affirmations, believe them with all your heart.

Practicing self-care also means spending time with the people who love you and who want what’s best for you. Keep company only with those who lift you up and avoid people who bring you down. This is how you nurture your self-esteem and mental health.

Indulge in a good soak in the bathtub with bath bombs or treat yourself to a day at the spa.

Self-care is essential when dealing with this form of abuse.

this post was all about how to respond to darvo so that you can better protect yourself against this insidious form of abuse.

Related posts you will enjoy:

1. Setting Boundaries: 3 Powerful Practices to Hold Your Ground

2. Signs of Gaslighting: The 7 Signs You Must Know

3. Defending Yourself from Bullies: 11 Best Defenses

signs of gaslighting

Signs of Gaslighting: The 7 Signs You Must Know

Would you like to know the signs of gaslighting so that you can better protect yourself against it the next time it occurs? Here are the most common indicators and examples you need to know.

signs of gaslighting

People can gaslight you without your even knowing it’s happening, which is not only harmful, but also confusing. As a former target of it myself, I’m giving you the sure-fire signs of gaslighting you must know so that you’ll recognize it and be prepared.

You are going to learn about the signs of gaslighting and examples of it as well.

After learning about all these tactics and what they look and sound like, you will better be able to defend yourself against them.

This post is all about the most common signs of gaslighting in both your abusers AND yourself you should be aware of.

The Most Common Signs of gaslighting

1. Bullies deny their behavior.

Denial is one of the most obvious forms of gaslighting.

Often, when a bully or abuser says something to insult you and you call them on it, they will flat out say, “I didn’t say that,” when you know doggone well they did. Understand that this is their way of covering up their behavior by making you look unstable.

Moreover, the bully has the chutzpah to lie and deny even when you present clear evidence of the truth. That’s what makes this form of gaslighting so astonishing.

The goal of this tactic is to cause the people around you to think that maybe you’re hearing things. Also, bullies do this deliberately to cause you to doubt yourself. The bully wants you to wonder if you heard them correctly.

In other words, their goal is to convince you that what happened didn’t really happen. Therefore, they plant seeds of doubt in your mind to trick you into thinking that it is all in your head.

Furthermore, there’s another thing bullies like to say when you call them on their behavior. “You’re only imagining things.”

Additionally, they might say that the bullying you report “is only in your imagination.”

Again, this is denial and it’s designed to make you doubt yourself and to make you look paranoid to any bystanders. And if you doubt yourself, it will inspire others to doubt you too.

Don’t fall for it. Chances are that you heard them correctly or actually saw what you saw. Counter the gaslighting by telling them, “You did say that,” or “I know you did because I saw you with my own two eyes. Don’t even try to gaslight me, buddy.”

Yes, call out the gaslighting. Then walk away and limit any future engagement with them.

2. Bullies questioning your memory IS ALSO ONE OF THE SIGNS OF GASLIGHTING.

Questioning your memory is another slick tactic bullies use to shirk responsibility for their questionable behavior. Bullies mostly pull this number on older adults. However, anyone at any age can be a target of this kind of gaslighting.

For example, when you confront an abuser on something they did in the past, the bully may ask you, “Are you sure that’s the way it happened?”

Just as it is with denial, bullies use this method to make you doubt and question yourself. Consequently, it’s so easy it shouldn’t work. But it does.

Again, don’t fall for this trick. Tell them right away and up front that your memory is just fine and that they’re only gaslighting you to cover their own butts. Also, when you tell them, do it with conviction. Then, again, walk away and have no further association with them.

3. They trivialize the way you feel or what you experienced

This is yet another tactic designed to make you look immature or mentally imbalanced.

For instance, you may report a bully for bullying you at school or a perverted boss at work for making a sexually suggestive comment to you. As a result, they may counter your complaint by making statements like:

“You’re just being a crybaby”

“You’re too sensitive. You need to toughen up a little.”

“Oh, shut up!”

“Awww, stop whining.”

or

“You need to lighten up.”

Bullies do this to embarrass and shame you into silence while, at the same time, covering themselves by minimizing their own behavior. In other words, they use shame and embarrassment, hoping you’ll shut up and allow them to keep abusing you.

They employ this tactic to cause others to doubt you too. When others don’t believe you and choose to side with your bullies, it’s even tougher to know when someone is gaslighting you.

Moreover, when others agree with them, you’ll feel even more compelled to keep your mouth shut and go along with it. The reason for this compulsion is fear.

Bullies and abusers hope you’re afraid that if you don’t clam up, you’ll only suffer more abuse as punishment for daring to open your mouth.

However, don’t stay silent. Keep speaking out and do it calmly but with a strong voice.

Never apologize for feeling hurt or angry at someone else’s abuse! Never! In these situations, you have a right to feel the way you do! Let no one tell you how you should feel when you know with utmost certainty that you’re being abused!

Just tell them to shove it, walk away, and have nothing more to do with them.

4. you constantly second-guess yourself

The signs of gaslighting doesn’t only show up in your bullies, they show up in you too.

Notice that you’re hyper-self-aware, self-conscious, and always on guard. You self-monitor to make sure you do and say the right thing.

Furthermore, you say something, make a judgement call,  or make a choice, then turn right around and begin wondering if you said the right thing or made the right decision. You’re confused all the time.

Should I do this or should I do that? Should I say it like this or like that? Do I make this choice or that?

Gaslighting does this to it’s victims. Understand that this is no way to live.

You can only solve this problem when you stop worrying about what others think and know that your first instinct is usually the correct one. Also, cut the toxic people out of your life.

5. One of the main signs of gaslighting: you constantly bend knee to keep from being further gaslighted

When bullies gaslight you on the daily, it can be tempting to apologize way too much. Again, understand that when bullies gaslight you they re-victimize you by countering you for calling them out or reporting them. In a sense, they re-victimize you a second time.

 Gaslighting is the main reason why targets are often programmed to apologize for things that don’t need an apology. And calling someone out on their evil actions is one of those things that doesn’t warrant one.

I understand that the apologies that victims make are often knee-jerk reactions that come from extreme fear of gaslighting. Moreover, the incessant apologies are ways to appease the bullies and make them go away and leave them alone.

However, bullies know this and that’s why they gaslight you and use it to their advantage. They also know that such an apology isn’t heartfelt and that you’re only trying to pacify them and keep them from harming you again.

never give an unwarranted apology.

As tempting as it is, you should never apologize for confronting anyone over their abuse because, when you do, you only take away your own power and hand it over to your bullies.

On the other hand, when you refuse to apologize where an apology isn’t needed, it’s a sign of greater self-esteem and increased feelings of power. It also shows that you have more dignity and integrity.

It pays to know when you should and shouldn’t apologize. So, do it only when you should. Not when others think you should.

This only gives the bullies an ego boost and makes you look like a simp.

Doing other things to appease the bullies, such as staying silent and doing what they want at your own expense is also bending knee to them. Because bullies don’t only gaslight you for speaking out about their abuse and reporting them to authority members, they also gaslight you for refusing to give in to their demands.

Therefore, never apologize for calling a bully out nor refusing to do what they want. Also, never cave in and obey if the bully demands that you do what they want. The only chances you have to end the gaslighting is to stand up to it, then ditch the gaslighters.

6. your bullies label you as “crazy.”

This is, perhaps, the cruelest form of gaslighting.

There is nothing that discredits victims like the “crazy” label. Even bank-robbers and former prison inmates get more believed by others than someone whom others have labeled mentally ill.

Labeling another person crazy is too easy because people have a strong tendency to see the worst in others, especially today. The label of crazy also has lots of staying power.

Moreover, mental instability is the most difficult to disprove. Why? Because although your abusers can never prove that you are, in fact, crazy; there’s also no way you can prove that you’re not.

Another reason it’s so hard to disprove is that any victim of bullying will more than likely be an emotional wreck because of the chronic abuse they suffer. And if your bullies can make you look loony, then who’s going to believe you when you speak out about the abuse?

The burden of proof falls on you.

However, know this. Any time bullies and abusers pull the “crazy” card, they do it as a last option. The crazy label is used when there’s nothing else they can pin on you. Bullies use this tactic out of desperation when they know you’re onto them and their true natures are about to be discovered.

Here’s something else you should think about.

when bullies label you crazy, they actually know you’re not.

When bullies label you as crazy, it doesn’t mean they actually think you are.

Remember that bullies are big cowards and if they really and truly thought you were crazy, they they wouldn’t come near you.

In other words, if a person with any common sense knows someone who is factually and legitimately bats*** crazy, their first instinct is to either stay away from the person or walk lightly around them and do their due diligence to keep from setting them off!

Why? Because a crazy person has no filter and no sense of right and wrong. Therefore, they have no reservations about seriously hurting someone or worse.

So, though they may label you as such, they know that you aren’t. What your bullies really think is that you’re weak. They only play the “crazy” card to discredit you.

Always remember that.

To counter this, you must point out exactly what they’re doing and why they do it. Reject the label, and continue to speak out no matter what they may call you. The key to doing this is not to care what people think and eighty-six anyone who sticks you with the label, or any label for that matter.

7. you feel you can’t do anything right.

In other words, you’re damned if you do and damned if you don’t. If you stay silent and take it, they call you a wuss. If you report the abuse or stand against it, you’re either a bad person or you’re mentally ill.

This is a form of gaslighting because it’s designed to confuse you and leave you filled with doubt. That’s what gaslighting does.

The way to combat this type of gaslighting is to stand strong and never give relevance to your bullies or their tactics. Stand your ground and stick to your guns. Remember the trick is to not to care less what they say or think. Don’t give it any oxygen and put some distance between yourself and your abusers. That’s how you win against gaslighters.

Your bullies may not change their attitudes toward you but they’ll eventually disappear from your life if they can’t manipulate and gaslight you. Why? Because they prefer easy prey rather than someone who makes them work at it.

Also, you’ll feel much better about yourself knowing that you were wise to their games and stood up to them.

this post was all about the 7 most common signs of gaslighting to help you wise up to the mind games and gather the confidence to stand against it and put a stop to it.

Related posts you will enjoy:

  1. Defending Yourself from Bullies: 11 Best Defenses
  2. Important Facts About Bullying: 3 Truths You Must Learn

  3. Reasons Why People Bully – 7 Most Common Motives

7 Reasons People Blame Targets for Bullying

One thing I’m certain of is that every target of bullying, has at some point asked either themselves or another person these questions: “Why am I always to blame?” and “Why do my tormentors often get away with tormenting me?”

Here are the answers, and there are many:

1. Bullies are very convincing liars.

Bullies have been lying and covering up bad behavior all of their lives. They have been doing this for long enough that they have learned what works and what does not work. They are master manipulators who acquire great skill in the arts of deception.

Bullies are also very good at rationalizing and justifying their unacceptable behavior. They are wordsmiths and con artists, who often use charm to deceive those in authority.

2. Bullies often use projection.

They project all their faults and shortcomings onto their targets, making the target look like the bully and themselves look like the victim. When they face possible accountability for their evil actions, they often cry and feign victimhood. This tactic is usually employed by female bullies.

3. Bullies are very charming to the right people.

Consequently, people can use this as another weapon against a target. Bullies seem to emit an oozing charm. Because of this, they have a way of winning people over and making them their allies.

The reason charming bullies use their good reputations as a weapon against any target is because, with this good name, the bully has everyone (except the target) fooled. Others cannot believe that “this sweet, innocent, pretty little girl” would harm anyone. Take a look at the outgoing guy that everyone loves.

No one is going to believe that this “fine young man” would ever beat up a smaller boy unless he was provoked.

4. Because this person has so many friends who cherish them.

Even if these friends did witness them undertake any wrongdoing, they will still more than likely cover-up for the bully out of loyalty and place the blame on the target.

5. There is strength in numbers.

Most bullies have a large number of friends behind them. And people in large numbers wield a cumulative power that can be overwhelming even for the greatest, toughest, strongest, most intelligent individuals. To put it plainly, if enough people actively hate a certain person, that person is powerless, no matter how strong, smart, beautiful, or easy-going they may be.

6. Bullies use gaslighting.

In other words, they add their own spin to make you look and feel like the villain or by laying guilt trips- trying to convince you that it’s your own fault or that the abuse is just your imagination. Bullies are masters at this, especially female bullies who use feminine charm to deceive bystanders and authority figures.

7. Bullies malign you to others to destroy your good name and credibility:

Moreover, they recruit followers and start a campaign of hate and viciousness against you by way of rumors, lies, and trying to turn your friends against you. This occurred to me regularly in school. My bullies would do this for my having the gall to stand up to them and refuse to take their abuse.

There were several different benefits from the execution of this strategy.

1. It could be used to protect one another from being labeled by a teacher and getting a bad reputation. Most who have been in school have a least gotten into two fights, which sounds perfectly normal.

2. Destroying the target’s name with the staff would lessen any chances of him being listened to, should the target run and “tattle” to members of the authority. Again, protecting them from discipline at school and allowing them the freedom to do whatever they want to the target whenever they feel like it.

3. It’s used to silence the target and make him/her afraid to report the bullying or speak out about it.

Schoolboy angel with wings and halo concept for being clever, good, successful in education or smug

Targets get the blame because, sadly, the attitudes of most bystanders and members of authority are these:

“Why would so many kids have it in for her if she’s not provoking them somehow?”

“Nobody likes him, so there has to be a reason that justifies it.”

After all, who will look any further than the child with the worst reputation anytime a confrontation arises? If people expect trouble to come from a certain place, that is where they’re going to look. Therefore, the target is under suspicion and the bully gets off scot-free.

It is all designed to manipulate school staff and save the bullies’ behinds from having to face repercussions and, therefore, leaves an opening for further bullying later on.

Targets not only need the confidence to fight to bully but also the knowledge of bullies. The first step of defense is knowing the mindsets and intentions of bullies and the tactics they use. Fortunately, there is a way for those in authority to find out who the real target is. However, they must know what to look for and the target also needs this knowledge in case they have to point it out to them.

With knowledge comes empowerment!

4 Easy Ways to Avoid Being Gaslighted

Gaslighting is the worst form of abuse. It is the worst form of manipulation and psycho/emotional control and it happens when bullies and abusers consistently feed their targets lies that cause them (the target) to doubt their own experiences and what they know to be true. In other words, it undermines your perception of reality. Consequently, if bullies gaslight you often enough and for long enough, it can make you think that you must be going crazy.

Nowadays, narcissists, abusers, users, and psychopaths (BKA, bullies) are everywhere, and they will gaslight you. That is, if you don’t know how to avoid it. Sadly, many targets don’t have this knowledge and, therefore, end up brainwashed once the gaslighting has gone on for so long.

One this happens, targets will then become victims. Gaslighters and brainwashers can be anyone- bullies in school or at work, abusive parents and spouses, satanic cult leaders, and crooked politicians and dictators. Although these categories of people are different kinds of bullies from different walks of life, know this! They all pull the same tactics and play the same game.

Moreover, they all have the same goal- power!

Therefore, it’s imperative that you learn how to avoid it to overcome it and protect yourself from any future gaslighting.

Here are three easy ways to avoid this evil tactic:

  1. First and Foremost, Know yourself!

This is the most important thing to do. It means knowing who you are, what you want out of life, and what you absolutely will not accept. You must yourself inside and out and be secure with who you are. Once you know yourself completely, you’ll have the courage to set firm boundaries. Additionally, you’ll feel even better about yourself for doing it.

  1. Recognize gaslighting tactics when bullies use them!

So, what are the tactics used in gaslighting?

  • Doing something abusive and then denying it when you call it out.
  • Attacking your self-esteem when you defend yourself against abuse, such as name-calling, minimizing the abuse, and ridicule.
  • Projection- when the bully projects all their shortcomings onto you.
  • Distraction- when the bully calls attention to your flaws to keep people from noticing theirs.
  • Victim-blaming- blaming you for their abuse of you. Saying things like, “You made me do it,” “You had it coming,” “You deserve it.”

bye, talk to the hand

  1. Distance yourself from the bully (if possible)

This means having as little to do with the bullies as possible. Avoid the places they may gather. Put your hand up and walk away from them if they approach you. Do everything you can to put distance between you and them. If they start running their mouths, don’t respond unless you see an opportunity for a good burn that will embarrass the bejeebers out of them.

  1. See the bullies for the pathetic chumps they are.

When you realize that bullies are really a bunch of cowardly blowhards and on a lower lever than you, their words will no longer carry any weight and their gaslighting is least likely to affect you.

I can’t stress this enough! Confidence is the number one deterrent of bullies and bullying. The more confidence you have, the less likely you are to fall victim to gaslighting. You may be a target of bullies and their gaslighting, but you will never be a victim. Therefore, after so long of gaslighting you and not getting the reaction they want, the bullies will more than likely get bored and move on to someone else.

With knowledge comes empowerment!

You Know Bullying When You Feel It

dreamstime_s_93685680

One of the saddest things about bullying is the confusion it often brings. Many targets of bullying are confused and misled as to whether or not they are legitimately being bullied or only being paranoid.

Oftentimes, when an individual defends themselves against a bully, others may gaslight the person by either trivializing the bullying or dismissing it. They tell the target that “it’s only in your mind” or “you’re just being paranoid”. Half the time, people convince the target of the above statements, which only forces him to endure the torment in silence. Bullying cannot thrive without silence.

Bullying Cannot Thrive Without Silence

Therefore, the bully is let off the hook and is free to target the same individual again in the future. The bully gets the message loud and clear that it’s okay to target this person simply because they can – and with impunity.

After so long, the target begins to feel as if it is somehow wrong to report and stand up to bullies. the person then questions their own sanity, thinking, “Maybe it really is only in my mind.” and often grows silent for fear of being gaslighted and seen as “paranoid”, “crazy”, “overly sensitive” or other labels that undermine and steal their voice.

Bullying is Not Only In YOur Mind.

If you’re a target of these mind games, let me assure you: It’s NOT only in your imagination. You are not being overly sensitive. You are not being a wimp, wuss, crybaby, crazy or whatever else unsavory people may call you.

Always remember that bullies are very skilled and convincing liars. You always know when something does not feel good. Your brain and your gut always let you know when something isn’t right!

You can see it in the way certain people cut their eyes at you.

You can see and hear them talking through their teeth.

Also, you can hear the short and cold tone in their voices.

You can feel, deep down in your gut, the nasty vibes they exude.

This is why you should always listen to your gut feeling because it is never wrong. Eighty-six those people, pronto!

Defending their rights concept

Anyone who causes you to feel bad does not deserve the time of day from you.

It does not matter if they are rich, smart, good looking, popular, successful, cool or tough. If they cause you to feel less than, ditch them! Weed. Them. Out! They are not worthy of even being in your presence. Never allow anyone to violate your boundaries, whether physical or psychological. Also, never allow anyone to silence you. Speak out! Refuse their gaslighting.

Self awareness is key, as is awareness of everyone and everything around you. Setting boundaries is equally important. You must get to know yourself. Listen to your body and the sensations you feel.

It is imperative that you get absolutely clear on what you will and will not accept. Only then will you be able to tell the difference and send your bullies packing.

With knowledge comes empowerment!

Know Who the Real Target of Bullying Is

When you witness bullying, it can be difficult to know which person is the bully and which is the target. Why? Because most bullies are cunning, clever, and covert. Therefore, not all bullies resort in physical violence, where they leave bruises, cuts, and broken bones that are easy to see. Many bullies use psychological tactics and emotional manipulation to bully and abuse their targets.

Also, they many use psycho/emotional methods to set the target up for physical violence or to get into trouble with authority. Remember that bullies have ways of slyly provoking the target and setting them up to look like the aggressor.

Additionally, bullies have ways of gaslighting you and making you doubt your own sanity. They have a knack for manipulating your emotions and making you feel guilty for things you aren’t guilty of. These people also have ways of brainwashing you over time and turning you against yourself. They know how to make you feel as if you did something to justify their mistreatment and abuse.

And sadly, once they do, you won’t know how to save yourself from those who accuse you of perpetuating the bullying, label you, and penalize you unjustly. You’ll have difficulty identifying and naming the tactics bullies are using against you. Therefore, you won’t know how to explain what is happening to you or report the bullying without sounding like you’re rambling.

And worst, your bullies and the circumstances they force on you will convince you and those in power that you are the culprit. If you happen to be the person who witnesses someone else being bullied, you’re likely to point a finger at the wrong person.

Therefore, if you want to know who the real target of bullying is,

ask yourself who has the least power.

Ask yourself who has the least social capital.

Other questions you should ask are as follows:

Who has the least influence?

Who has the least friends?

Which of these individuals is liked or loved the least.

Which of these people is most hated.

Ask yourself which person people can openly abuse and get away with it.

Once you know the answers to these questions, the answer will be crystal clear.

 

With knowledge comes empowerment!

Othello’s Error: Why Targets Take the Blame

William Shakespeare

William Shakespeare (1564-1616) on engraving from the 1800s. English poet and playwright, widely regarded as the greatest writer in the English language. Published in London by L.Tallis.

Othello’s Error often happens in police interrogation rooms and principal’s offices.

It comes from Shakespeare’s play, “Othello.”  In the play, the main character, Othello, assumes that his wife, Desdemona, is having an affair. The reason he believes this is because of her nervous response when he questions her.

In reality, Desdemona is innocent.

However, Othello  questions her in a aggressive and volatile manner. And this makes the poor wife nervous. Even worse, Othello takes her nervousness as a sign of guilt.

Sadly, his often occurs in real life.

many fingers pointed at scapegoated employee, concept of accusation

Often, targets become nervous when someone questions them aggressively. The questioner then misreads the response. taking it as a sign that the person is lying or hiding something. It’s how so many people have gotten blamed for something they didn’t do.

Just as nervousness is mistaken for deception, the show of confidence is mistaken for honesty and trustworthiness. As we all know, bullies are well-known for feigned confidence and false bravado.

Targets of bullying are always nervous, and rightfully so. Who wouldn’t be if they were constantly abused, smeared, shamed, threatened, and attacked?

Victim Blaming word cloud

People tend to rush to the first possible explanation that fits what they want to see. Should it be any wonder why people blame targets and let bullies go scot-free?

After the abuse goes on for so long, targets learn to expect more of the same. And they usually get it. In other words, the expectation of such treatment brings more of the same. As a result, the target grows more nervous with each occurrence.

As the target grows more nervous, bystanders and authorities grow more and more suspicious of him.

The fact is that nervousness has several reasons, and the mistake often occurs in the decoding of it and not the observation!

With knowledge comes empowerment!

Why Bullies Sometimes Call You “Uppity”

Snobby group of cliquey girls with their ringleader pointing at you

Ever wonder why bullies sometimes call you “uppity?”

First, let’s examine the word, “uppity.” Uppity means arrogant, haughty, or pompous. It’s used to describe a person who thinks they are better than everyone else. However, a bully may label you “uppity, even though it isn’t who you are.

Understand that a bully’s definition of the word goes much deeper. You must look at the context in which the term is being used. Also, look at the circumstances which prompted the bully to make such a judgement of you. What would motivate a bully to refer to you as “uppity?”

Here are 3 reasons why bullies often accuse targets of being uppity:

Woman screaming and pointing an accusing finger at you

  1. The target displays confidence.

Confidence is power. When a person is confident and knows who they are, they’re least likely to allow others to control them. This is a huge threat to the bully’s power. Therefore, bullies will give targets the “uppity” label in hopes that the target will question themselves or worse, believe it, then feel guilty for it.

If the target falls for this BS and believes it, he will automatically “tone it down.” Consequently, he will unwittingly give the bullies the green light to gradually heap on more and more abuse.

Remember that a bully’s opinion of you means nothing unless you allow it to. Never buy into it! Keep your confidence no matter what!

Marginalized man putting out hands to block the fingers that are pointed at him

  1. The target refuses to comply with the bullies’ demands.

 Defiance is a huge threat to the bullies’ power. When a target refuses to comply with the bullies’ demands, mandates, or orders, he, in essence, gives the bully the middle finger. Then, he goes on doing what he wants and not what the bullies want him to do.

Ouch! This is painful to bullies. Why? Because, if the target doesn’t comply, then others just might feel emboldened not to comply. Defiance has a way of spreading and, once it spreads, the bully loses power. Bullies know this and, therefore, double down by labelling the target as uppity (among other labels).

Kids fighting with the quote, "Never fight until you have to. But when it's time to fight, you fight like you're the third monkey on the ramp to Noah's Ark... and brother, it's startin' to rain."

  1. The target defends himself.

When the target stands up for himself, this is also a threat to the bullies’ power. Why? Because the target just might put them in their place and make them look like punks. Therefore, the target takes back his power, leaving the bullies looking slack jawed and stupid. As a result, some bullies will retaliate to reinforce their dominance.

Therefore, you must keep your power. Resist the urge to comply. Push back when bullies attempt to abuse you. They may retaliate, but in you dig your heels in and continue to stand your ground, you keep your personal power, and with it, your self-esteem.

With knowledge comes empowerment!

Bullies Can Hide In Plain Site

If you’ve ever been a target of bullying, have you noticed how bullies, their followers, and cohorts consistently brag and boast to others and among themselves about how they abuse you. They gloat to anyone who will listen to them, and people seem to get personal entertainment from it. And they’re not afraid to do it right in front of you.

You’ll hear statements such as:

“I beat the breaks off that *****!”

“That little punk got owned!”

“We sure put that wimp in her place!”

“When we see him, we’re going to cut him down to size!”

“We sure shut her down when she tried to open her mouth, didn’t we?”

And they do it while laughing and high fiving one another. In doing this, they openly admit that you’re their target and that they abuse you.

Yet, if anyone outside their group brings it up and, especially if you do, they will sneer, ridicule, and do their due diligence to silence you? They even deny that it’s happening, or they try and justify themselves.

So, prepare to be gaslighted

Have you even wondered why these people do this- openly brag about the abuse they inflict on you, then turn around and, depending on the person bringing it up or the overall circumstances and environment, try to cover up the abuse?

It’s because this is the best way for the bullies to hide the abuse in plain sight and sadly, it works like a charm and it’s hard to combat. But don’t lose hope. Know that these types of people always get a little too cocky and then get stupid. They’ve been getting away with stuff for so long that they push a little further, a little further. They keep pushing until they finally push over the line and end up hanging themselves. And the best part is that you’ll get to see it!

With knowledge comes empowerment!

Bullies and Self-Victimization

To put it in simplest terms, bullies target someone less powerful, then claim the opposite, that the target is bullying them. It’s a classic move and, gladly, it’s easy to expose if you know the playbook and know what to look for.

Therefore, any time a bully targets you and you call them out for it, you must expect this to happen and prepare for it. Expect them to cry “bully” when you dare to stand up for yourself or to speak out.

Realize that bullies despise resistance to their abuse, and, even worse, they hate it when you expose them. Any time bullies meet resistance to their evil, deceptive manipulations, voila! They suddenly claim that you are bullying them!

Conveniently Reversing the Roles

Bullies very convincingly cast themselves as so marginalized, so fragile, and so oppressed. Moreover, they label anyone who dares to call them out on their shit as “bullies.” They call any criticisms or even questions of their actions and behavior as “bullying.” Convenient, no?

Bullies do this by crying crocodile tears, using trending tropes of the day, and rationalizing their behavior. Therefore, they make everyone believe that they were only defending themselves or reacting to your bullying. And trust me, they’re good at it.

Bullies instinctively know that the best way to silence criticisms and reports of their ugly ways is to self-victimize. And sadly, it works like a charm!

blame point fingers

Fortunately, society is just now catching on to this and it’s long overdue. Also, there are names for this that didn’t exist thirty years ago. If they did exist then, they weren’t well-known. So, targets can now call these tactics by name and better describe what’s happening to them.

Every day, society is learning more and more about the bully-target dynamic. This, in itself, is promising to targets.

With knowledge comes empowerment!

The Three B’s of Bullying

bullying charlie brown lucy

Believe it or not, there is a method to the bully’s madness. Bullies are master life-chess players. They put a lot of forethought into their attacks against their targets. Always. Here’s how bullies can bully and get away with it.

Baiting

First, a bully slyly baits her intended target by provoking her for a reaction. If the target blows it off and fails to react, the bully meticulously and subtly intensifies the taunts. They will wear her down, over time, until they achieve the desired reaction. And they often do this in the presence of bystanders and witnesses. A bully is very much aware that everyone has a breaking point.

gossip rumors lies bitches

Bashing

Once the target reaches his limit and reacts (yelling, telling the bully off, cursing the bully out, punching the bully in the face, etc.), the bully weasels his way into the hearts of bystanders and authority, using superficial charm and charisma to feign victimhood.

The bully bashes the target by using her perfectly normal reaction as proof of the target’s “mental illness” or “meanness.” They very meticulously make it look as though the target is at fault. And bullies do this to distract others from their own evil actions, projecting guilt onto the target.

victim blame It's your fault

Blaming

Once the bully has succeeded in turning everyone against the target, she entices others to join her in shaming the target. Everyone may gang up on the victim, making statements such as, “Aww! You just need to toughen up!” or “Can’t you take a joke?”

Others may accuse the target of “bringing it all on herself” when in reality, the opposite is true. It is the bully who has harassed the target for months, even years. It reality, the target has tried to handle the abuse calmly and objectively. However, after so long, she only succumbs to exhaustion and reach her limit.

Moreover, when the target reports the abuse, the guilt is placed on the her and the bully goes unpunished. Then the bully takes the impunity as a green light for future torment. All the while, others see the target in a very negative light, with no other choice but to endure the torment in silence. The target will often clam up because they know they will only further tarnish her already damaged reputation. And why not? By this point, there’s a strong chance that no one will believe her anyway.

bullied victim blame blaming burned at the stake effigy

Each time the target makes a report, others who are often in a position to help, blow her off, thinking that the torment is justified. The bully then becomes more emboldened and the victim becomes more devastated and damaged.

The more brazen the bully becomes, the higher the degree to which the harassment escalates. Therefore, the more frequent and intense the attacks become. And it continues until the targete is maimed, is killed, is removed, or transfers schools to escape the torment or commits suicide.

Widening the Imbalance of Power

The bully benefits from the feeling of power and control she gets from mistreating her target and getting away with it.  Moreover, this gives the bully a sense that she is invincible and untouchable. The bully also enjoys the sympathy and petting others give her.

This strategy is also used as a means of striking fear into and silencing the target. It discourages any future attempts at speaking out and exposing the bully for what they truly are. And what they are, are cowardly, sniveling pieces of human filth.

bullying baiting

If bullies target you for abuse, you already know too well how it feels to be mistreated and then blamed for your own torment. It’s horrible enough to be constantly harassed, but to be blamed for that harassment is downright devastating. It leaves you feeling completely powerless!

Understand that this is just another weapon the bully uses and how she tricks people into allowing her to continue her bad behavior with impunity. And it is nothing new! Bullies have always used this method.

So, remember the 3 ‘B’s- Bait, Bash, and Blame and I believe that you will be better able to explain your situation when you report the harassment. At the same time, be expectant of what bullies are likely to do.

With knowledge comes empowerment!

What is DARVO and How do You Spot It?

DARVO is just another term for gaslighting but is more in-depth. Bullies will discredit the victim by discrediting the claims.

DARVO is an acronym that stands for:

D – Deny – Anytime the target calls out their bullies’ abuse, the bullies will first deny the behavior. Bullies will counter with things like,

“That’s not what I said.”

“That never happened.”

“That’s not what I did.”

Or, they may not necessarily deny it, but may minimize their behavior by saying things like:

“It wasn’t that serious.”

“I didn’t hit you that hard. That was a love-pat compared to what I could’ve done to you.”

“If I was mad, you’d know it.”

A – Attack – Next, the bullies will attack you. They will discredit you by discrediting your claims. Also, bullies will use gaslighting to make you question or doubt yourself. And they will say to you, things like:

“You’re overreacting.”

“You’re crazy.”

“But you’re just looking for a fight.”

“You’re a drama queen.”

“You’re being paranoid.”

“But you’re being difficult.”

“You’re making a mountain out of a molehill.”

“You just won’t leave well enough alone.”

R – Reverse

V – Victim

and

O – Offender – The bullies will blame you for their behavior. They’ll claim that you did something to them to make them act the way they acted. Therefore, your bullies will make statements such as:

“It’s your fault.”

“You asked for it.”

“But you had it coming.”

“You made me hurt you.”

“You’re the bully, not me!”

I want you to know that DARVO has been around since the beginning of time, only today, it has a name. Down through history, it’s been the most common manipulation tactic of psychological abusers. Only 24 years ago did someone put a name to it! DARVO came from the work of psychologist Jennifer Freyd, PhD, who first introduced the term in late 1997.

You can read more about Dr. Freyd and DARVO here:

https://dynamic.uoregon.edu/jjf/defineDARVO.html

With knowledge comes empowerment!