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!

Toxic Shame in Targets Resulting from Bullying

Bullies ritually beat their victims down to the point that the poor targets have come to view themselves through the eyes of their bullies. Toxic shame is, perhaps, the worst type of shame a person can have. Because once you begin to view yourself through the eyes of your abusers, that’s when you know you’ve hit rock bottom.

Their contempt, disgust, and aversion toward you have rubbed off on you, and you began to hate yourself. But I want you to understand that this is what your bullies want. They want you to hate yourself. Because the bullies know that if they can work on you and finally get you to hate yourself, they know they’ve won.

Your bullies aren’t stupid. They know that you’ll submit to the abuse because when a person hates themselves, they think they deserve abuse.

When a target of bullying suffers from toxic shame, they accuse themselves of sins of which they aren’t guilty. They apologize incessantly over things that aren’t their fault. Ultimately, targets feel guilty for merely existing!

Toxic shame causes one to lose trust in himself and their decisions and judgments, and become afraid to make them. Ultimately, it makes for a miserable life.

The points mentioned above are why we must guard our self-esteem and confidence. But before we can do that, we must educate ourselves on where bullying comes from, the mindsets of bullies, how to spot them before they strike, ways for targets to minimize the effects of bullying, and the damage bullying can do. Only then will we have the knowledge to empower, protect, and take care of ourselves.

This is what this blog is all about, and it’s my wish that targets and potential targets learn these things to defend themselves. Because if we can reduce the number of victims, we can then reduce bullying.

With knowledge comes power!