2 Powerful Defense Strategies Targets Use

Being a target can be a lonely and terrifying existence. Because of the intense hatred people spew daily, you walk on eggshells because you don’t know what the bullies and their minions will do next. They could physically hurt you, or worse. Also, you feel desperate to correct what is wrong, but you have no clue what it is.

So many targets can relate. With that said, I want to tell you that if you are or have been a target of school bullies, you are not alone, and you will eventually overcome your tormentors just like I did.

So, what are two lesser-known defense strategies targets use?

1. They Dress up for school or work.

To keep their self-esteem from completely tanking, they may dress in flashy clothes, desiring to look like a million bucks for school or work. Clothes from Walmart just aren’t good enough for these targets. They feel they must shop at Maurice’s, or maybe even Nordstrom in order to feel good about themselves. And if they don’t dress to the nines at school, they feel less than. They also resort to this to alleviate some of the shame they feel.

Not that dressing snazzy is a bad thing. It isn’t. However, the reason these target do it is because they’re insecure inside and the clothes help to remedy that insecurity.

This has a lot to do with how poorly people have treated them. So, they then dress even better, only for the bullies and the rest of the student body or coworkers to label them “a poser.” However, the nice clothes and knowing that you look damn good has a way of buffering your self-esteem when bullies go on the attack..

Targets also feel that their attire provides them a sense of not only style but control.

2. They act stuck-up and conceited.

Put plainly, targets may think to themselves or even say out loud, “I don’t care what they say. I’m awesome. They’re just too jealous to admit it.”

Does this sound arrogant? Conceited? Maybe. Does this sound downright narcissistic? Perhaps. Is it the right attitude to have? Both yes and no. Sometimes, a good defense is for the target to act conceited and like they just don’t need any of them.

In other words, their holier-than-thou attitude, however unattractive it might be, helps targets to preserve what little self-esteem and dignity they have left. It helps them to keep going when things were at their worst. Most importantly, it helps them to keep from being totally brainwashed and reprogrammed by evil bullies who would love nothing more than to destroy not only their bodies, and prospects, but also their minds.

A defense Mechanism to keep people away.

Targets may walk around with their noses in the air and refused to speak. Also, they may have a sassy and smart-alicky attitude. Moreover, I say this from experience. I was extremely sarcastic and had a snotty disposition. I even laughed at and bullied others to grab back some power. My attitude stunk – period.

Again, it’s the only way some targets know to stay strong and and maintain a little bit of poise.

Although, it’s only a self-protective behavior, the downside to this is that this attitude can easily get targets hurt or worse. It can also drive away people who otherwise could and would be great friends and allies. Nobody wants to put themselves at risk of being rejected, even people who aren’t targets of bullying. I don’t recommend you bully others like I did. However, if people are bullying you, you have every right not to speak to them and to hold your head high. Just be aware of the circumstances first.

Some targets of bullying can be really sarcastic. This sarcasm gives them a sense of power. In fact, it’s how they survive. But understand that this reaction to others is only out of fear and it’s no way to live. Therefore, I cannot stress enough that, if you’re a target of bullying, don’t let it change your overall attitude for the worse.  Pick and choose the times and people you show your snarky attitude to. Sometimes, it can be socially powerful, but at other times, it can get you into serious trouble.

What are your thoughts? Please feel free to comment on your experiences and what you did to cope.

Bullying and the Fight or Flight Response

upshot of attacker with his foot raised to stomp you

Bullying and the fight or flight response go hand in hand.

According to the Psychology Tools website, “The fight or flight response is an automatic physiological reaction to an event that is perceived as stressful or frightening. The perception of threat activates the sympathetic nervous system and triggers an acute stress response that prepares the body to fight or flee. These responses are evolutionary adaptations to increase chances of survival in threatening situations.” ( https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/fight-or-flight-response/ )

Any time bullies target a person with relentless bullying at work or school over an extended period of time, they force that person into a constant state of high alert. Although useful in short, immediate circumstances, this hyper-vigilance is unhealthy if the person remains in this state for too long, causing stomach issues, headaches, and fatigue, among many other ailments.

Even worse, facing continuous danger can also cause the person to overreact in response to certain occurrences.

The Fight or Flight Response is Innate. Every Creature on earth has it.

Every living creature has an innate and perfectly natural physiological reaction in the event of a threat or attack. Called the Fight or Flight Response, it protects us from harm in dangerous situations through the release of adrenaline. When adrenaline is released into the blood, it’s next to impossible not to do either of two things- fight or flee.

Fight or Flight sign showing a man with fists raised and another running away

When others are consistently bullying and abusing you during school or anywhere, escape is usually not an option. Your bullies will corner, surround, or back you into a wall or some other large object. With flight cut off to you as an option, what do you have left? Fight! Long-term bullying can cause a person to live on this adrenaline every day, all day long. All your aggressors have to do is to come around you and they can put your body and mind on constant alert. It’s a horrible way to live.

Getting on the school bus and walking through the entrance to the school can feel like a death march. Moreover, horrible headaches and violent nausea will plague many targets.

Here is an excerpt on the subject from my book:

“I recall an afternoon in English class when my mouth and eyes began to water. I swallowed hard to control my gag reflexes as I approached the teacher’s desk to ask to be excused to the bathroom.

‘What do you want?’ Mrs. Caraway asked rudely.
‘I don’t feel good.’ I replied.

Without a word, she gave me the hall pass, and I scurried my way to the girls’ room, I barely made it to the first stall before launching a stream of the bitterest, most horrible tasting green liquid into the toilet.

man balled up in a corner with the words, claustrophobia, stress, panic, depression, anxiety, and fear on the wall behind him

A long series of dry heaves followed, which were quite painful. Instead of making me feel better, the vomiting only did the opposite, and my headache became next to unbearable.

I’ll never forget the sound of the bathroom door as it flung open and the teacher stormed in, demanding to know why I was taking so long. I began to cry and, in between gags and wretches, pleaded with her to let me go to the office and call my grandmother….”

She accused me of making myself vomit so that I could go home early.

targets live in a constant state of survival mode.

Even teachers can join the other kids against you once they hear enough rumors and falsehoods bullies spread about you. This can place you in a very lonely and heartbreaking position.

As time goes on, the fear of going to school and having to face their megalomaniac classmates grows. It’d like an infected tumor that grows bigger with each passing day. A target’s stomach draws up every morning when they set foot on a school bus.

The next eight hours are like walking through a minefield, never knowing when your next step could mean BOOM! Others begin hitting, shoving, kicking, or bombarding the target with a torrent of taunts, insults, and names. It is a situation they see no end to, and to say that they are afraid is an understatement. Targets are petrified.

Fenced off field with sign on fence warning of mines

Most never think of the magnitude of fear the target must live with. Also, they don’t think of the health consequences of living in that perpetual state of fight or flight. The impact on the target’s physical health may not show up right away. However, it may rear its ugly head later in life.

But this doesn’t only happen in school; it happens in the workplace also. What people once believed to only happen to school-aged people also happens to adults in the workplace. Bullying knows no age group.

authority figures usually blame targets for defending themselves.

Many targets get into serious trouble when the bullying finally escalates and becomes physical. Every day, school staff unjustly suspend or expel innocent targets are unjustly from school for exercising their rights to self-defense.  Moreover, managers in the workplace terminate bullying targets from work because bullies force them into fight mode to defend themselves.

Bullies have a real flair for charming and seducing supervisors, managers, teachers, and staff. They lie very convincingly and making the target look like the aggressor. Targets are often severely punished for nothing more than trying to protect themselves. Whereas, bullies are either given a slap on the wrist or escape with complete impunity. In short, the target has no support whatsoever!

School staff and workplace management should know well that, just like all God’s creatures, bullying targets have this fight or flight instinct. Therefore, they have the right to defend themselves if running is not an option.

Cornered dog feeling threatened and getting ready to bite you

And when bullies are attacking the target left and right and you have no support, it’s left solely up to them to take care of themselves in bullying situations.

It’s only natural that if you corner a dog and kick it enough times, sooner or later, you’ll get bit!

With knowledge comes empowerment!

The Empowering Feeling of Saying No

Quote, "Saying no means yes to your rights"

Saying “no” can be difficult and at times, even downright scary. Like when bullies are trying to force you to do something you don’t want to do.  You know the feeling when they threaten either physical harm or worse social exclusion if you don’t do what they want you to do. I know the feeling because I’ve been there.

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!” I get that because it’s what I did. Sadly, I submitted to my bullies many times, too many times. I fell for the false promises that they would let me be and stop hurting me. But-

Saying yes to them meant saying no to myself.

They never made good on those promises. The harassment didn’t stop. If anything, it only got worse! Anytime I did say no, they would threaten me and yes, even physically attack me.

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, but it feels darn good sometimes!
If I knew then what I know now, I would’ve said the word “no” a lot more than I did. I wouldn’t have cared about the retaliation I might have faced. Unless one of my bullies had done something drastic, like pulled a gun, I’d have stood firm.

In no way would I advice anyone to risk their life. If someone pulls a gun on me, I will do what I must do to stay alive! I’ll do what he wants and tell him what he wants to hear. Moreover, I’ll dance a jig wearing fluorescent orange and white polka-dotted bell bottoms if it keeps me from dying!

I’ll grant you, saying no is risky.

But if they only threaten me with the business end of their fists, I know I’m only going to come out of it with a shiner and a fat lip. In a situation like that, it’s much safer to say no. Those wounds will heal. But the psychological injury of wishing I hadn’t let myself down will last for years.

However, if you do choose physical safety first, I want you to know that you’re not wrong for that. In no way will I ever think less of you if you submit to your bullies’ demands. As I mentioned earlier, a natural reaction is to obey to keep from being harmed.

And the winner is...

Today, I say that little two-letter word a lot more and will continue to say it in the future. It doesn’t matter what people say, how they feel about it or what they do. I would much rather get the crap kicked out of me and still feel good about myself for taking a stand. Today, I’d rather take a beating than to cave under pressure.  I’m funny about letting myself down by doing something I didn’t want to do. To me, that’s worse than getting my butt kicked! But that’s just me.

Many times, I let myself down by saying yes.

My physical wounds healed. But knowing I let someone else force me to do something I neither wanted to nor agreed to, left a psychological injury that took a long time to recover from. I ended up asking myself, “Now, why didn’t I tell those creeps to take a flying leap off the highest cliff head first?” That feeling of powerlessness was worse than the physical pain I would have suffered.

So, permit yourself to say that tiny little word because it can be so empowering! You may indeed get your tail kicked, but at least you’ll feel good knowing you got hurt because you stood for something! Those psychological benefits will significantly outweigh the embarrassment of any beat down! Besides, you forced a bully to do something foolish and which will likely get him in trouble with an adult or the law! So, I ask you! Who’s the real winner here?

With knowledge comes empowerment!

Be Careful What You Put Up With

Quote, "I deserve the best in life."

It’s best to begin standing up for yourself in the early stages or you’ll come across as a doormat to others. You will teach them how to treat you based on what they see. Sadly, many targets of bullying do not realize this until the bullying gets so out of control that their lives are in danger. By then, it’s usually too late to change anything and the only option left is for target to remove him/herself from the environment.

Furthermore, bullying always escalates and the more you ignore it, deny it, and tolerate it, the more emboldened, brazen, and full of themselves the bullies become until they become drunk on their own power. As a result, the abuse will get out of control and you’re most likely to end of getting severely hurt or worse.

Quote, "Be good to yourself today."

bullying is addictive because its all about power.

Bullying is like a drug. As we know, it takes one smoke, one drink, or one snort or two for a person to become hooked. Afterwards, they always want more. Likewise, it’s the same with bullying. All it takes is one backhanded compliment, one offhand comment, or one insult or two to get the target to react.  When the bullies get the reaction they want, they get that initial power high. Then, they always come back for more.

Also, drug addicts slowly build a tolerance to the drug, and, as time goes on, they need a bigger dose. First, they need one milligram, then two, then four, then eight, and on it goes. It’s no different with bullies. Just as it is with drug addicts with their drugs, bullies escalate the bullying, then escalate it further to keep getting that rush of power.

Quote, "Be real, be true, be yourself."

Bullying only escalates because, with time, bullies need bigger and bigger doses of power.

First, they start with offhand comments, backhanded compliments, and petty insults. Also, they may smear you to others and give you the silent treatment. When these lose their thrill, they escalate to yelling, cursing, and severe name-calling. Therefore, the verbal assaults become more blatant and hurtful.

Next, when blatant verbal abuse loses its luster, the bullying progresses to borderline physical abuse. Bullies will (accidentally on purpose) trip the target, lightly shove him, or run into him in the hallway.

Later, when bullies can no longer get their power rush from light physical bullying, they take it up, yet, another notch. They’ll progress to more obvious physical beatings- slapping, punching, choking, kicking, etc.

Once they get bored with this, they’ll begin using weapons. Bullies will hit with textbooks, slam heads against lockers or the sides of vehicles. Afterwards, they’ll use sticks, bottles, pipes, baseball bats, and so on.

Quote, "A lack of boundaries invites a lack of respect."

boundaries, respect yourself

So, understand that bullying and abuse always- always…escalates! In other words, it always gets worse and more severe. It also becomes more frequent!

The best time to stand up to bullying is during its earliest stages.

I’ve said it before, bullying is best countered and quashed in the earliest stages of it. The best time to stand up for yourself is during the “testing phrase”- when bullies are testing you to see what how you will react and what you’ll allow them to get away with.

You must stand up to bullies and abusers before they’ve had time to grow accustomed to abusing you.

Treat yourself better by not allowing others to abuse you, because how you treat yourself shows in how you allow others to treat you. Remember that you deserve better and you don’t have to put up with abuse from anyone.

With knowledge comes empowerment!

Physical Bullying: Should You Hit Back?

It seems to be the question on everyone’s mind these days, especially in the notoriously politically correct climate in which we live. The media and politicians vehemently discourage fighting violence with violence. You’ll hear statements from others, such as:

“Two wrongs don’t make a right.”
“Turn the other cheek.”
“Don’t stoop to the bully’s level.”
And the all-time favorite,
“Be the bigger person and walk away.”

I’ve heard them all.

self defense

Yes, you should try more peaceful ways first, like walking away from the bully or reporting it to someone in power. However, what if the more peaceful solutions don’t work?

If you don’t stand up for yourself, the bully will only continue to come after you and hurt you. Also, everyone who knows you will see you as a punching bag at school and everywhere else. Because when word gets around that one person can hit you and get away with it, everyone else will think they can too. They’ll peg you as the school or the community whipping boy. That’s no way to live.

In the middle of a physical attack, the last resort is the only option you take.

So, here it is:

When a bully physically attacks you, you have a God-given, primal, animal right to defend yourself from being harmed. I state this with full conviction!

Therefore, if a bully hits you first, haul off and knock his block off! And when you do, don’t just give him a love pat. Deck the creep with the strength of your entire body- hit so hard that the bully has difficulty getting back up. Then unleash a hail of hard licks so that he doesn’t get up. Because once the bully gets up, he will charge you!

Yeah. I know it isn’t the “politically correct” thing to do. But when someone is harming you, all that jazz about political correctness and being the bigger person goes out the window, and the gloves are off.

Make them Not want to put their hands on you ever again!

The only thing you should think of at this point is how to disable the bully. Additionally, you want to give him such a bad memory that he’ll never even think about coming for you again. You aren’t a troublemaker or a brute for this, folks! It’s called self-defense!

However, this doesn’t mean that you bring a gun or other deadly weapon. Lethal weapons will only kill someone, and put you behind bars for the rest of your life. Never EVER carry a gun to school! It’s much better to put up your dukes and throw down when you must.

Again, punch the bully’s lights out! School stuff may suspend you from school, and managers may fire you from work. You may even go to jail for a night or two. However, people are much more vicious with physical attacks nowadays. Furthermore,  if you just let someone smack you around, they’ll only intensify the beatings until they hurt you bad enough to send you to the hospital or worse! And I’d much rather them suspend me, fire me, or take me to jail than to spend a month in the hospital or end up six feet under.

You may not condone fighting but sometimes there’s no other option.

Nevertheless, you may not condone fighting. Although you may need to fight many times in school, you may hate it each time you have to. However, when you’re a 5’4″, 120-pound girl being jumped and most of the time by multiple assailants, it may be your only option. If you are a small-built male and the attacker is much bigger than you, it’s not the time to play patty-cake. There will be times when you’re boxed in and cannot go anywhere.

When there’s no other choice, it’s either fight or risk your bullies possibly maiming or killing you. Sometimes the last resort is the only way to protect yourself. You must let the bully know that you’re not the one to mess with and that you aren’t afraid to fight back if necessary.

There will be others who may disagree with this post, and that’s okay. I am very thick-skinned now and rarely do I get offended. I can agree to disagree. But I will do what I have to do to protect my well-being and my life if ever I’m in physical danger.

So, if all else fails, go ahead and whoop that ***!

I’d love to hear your thoughts on the subject. Feel free to comment below.

It’s Up to You to Protect Yourself

If you’re a target of bullying, can you truly and totally rely on people in authority to help you? Can you rely on them to do something about the bullying you suffer and hold those who are bullying you to account for their horrible behavior? Can you rely on others to bring you justice?

I used to be all about laws against bullying and yes, the idea sounds great. I won’t pretend it doesn’t. However, I’m beginning to gravitate away from making bullying a crime. Why? Because most people aren’t going to protect targets until it happens to them or one of theirs. And even then, that’s still debatable.

Let’s Stop Relying too Much on Others

We cannot rely too much on laws and policies because they’re not worth the paper they’re written on. Entities, such as schools and workplaces, can write all the rules and policies against bullying they want. But until they enforce those policies, they’re only as cheap as the ink and paper administrators use to make them.

What good are laws and policies if these entities don’t enforce them? At what point do we stop relying on the system to protect us and begin protecting ourselves?

Understand that, no matter what anyone says, you don’t have to put up with anyone else’s crap. Therefore, it’s up to you to stand up to bullies and do it properly. And if defending yourself doesn’t work, you have the option to remove yourself from the situation and environment.

We Must Learn to Take Care of Ourselves

Here’s another reason I’m gravitating away from making bullying a crime: It’s because most seasoned bullies have ways of making innocent targets look like the bullies. Therefore, if lawmakers make bullying an imprisonable crime, many innocent targets would end up behind bars. Because, again, bullies, especially narcissistic bullies have a flare for flipping the script and, very convincingly, painting the target as the bad guy.

Too many targets have been conditioned to think that self-defense is wrong and it isn’t. And the people who condition these targets are often bullies themselves. Therefore, if bullies target you for bullying, you must know your enemies. You must do a lot of study and research on bullies, then use the knowledge you gain to outmaneuver them.

Also, yiu must do your own investigation and gather your own evidence. That means detailed documentation. Moreover, you may need to use the last resort and bust the bully in the mouth if all else fails and the bully tries to physically attack you. It’s the only way you can effectively defend yourself. Remember!

With knowledge comes empowerment!

Forgiveness Doesn’t Mean Foolishness

Although healthy, forgiveness doesn’t mean you think what they did to you was okay. Far from it. What it means is that you refuse to let those who transgressed against you set up camp in your mind. It means that you refuse to hold onto grudges that may block you from your rightful blessings. In this, you make room for growth and success.

Sadly, too may people think that forgiveness means that you must become buddy-buddy with the person and have something to do with them. They then wonder why they keep getting hurt. Realize that bullies only see forgiveness as a weakness and stupidity. They view forgiveness as a green light to continue their abuse because they take for granted that you’ll always be okay with it.

Understand that forgiveness doesn’t obligate you to interact with the person who did you wrong. It doesn’t mean you continue to be someone’s fool. You can forgive someone and still realize that they’re no good. Toxic people are dead weight and though you may forgive them, you realize that it’s still best to keep them at arm’s length.

You’re strong enough to forgive but wise enough to avoid toxic people.

You avoid them because you realize that these people will only take your forgiveness for foolishness. Because these people have a history of pushing your boundaries, you’re forgiving, yet assertive.

Forgiveness is great because it gives you peace of mind. However, if you continue to allow these people to have a place in your life, they will only continue to take advantage of you. You don’t have to be mean to or mistreat them but there’s no law that says you have to trust them again. It’s better that you don’t trust them.

Some people you must forgive from afar.

With knowledge comes empowerment!

What Bullies Want You to Believe & What You Should Believe

Understand that bullies thrive on power and control. If they can’t control you, they’ll control how others view you. Also, they’ll use redundancy and repetition to make you believe their lies too. Here’s what they’re most likely to try and get you to think of yourself and what you should believe:

1.What bullies want you to believe

Apart from us, you can do nothing, you are nothing, and you never will be.

What you should believe

Apart from you, I’m better off. I can do anything I set my mind to do, I’m somebody, and later down the line, I’m going to be great and do great things.

2. What bullies want you to believe

You’ll never find happiness without our permission.

What you should believe

I don’t need your permission to be happy. I’m much happier without losers like you in my life.

3. What bullies want you to believe

Nobody will ever like or love you.

What you should believe

Maybe you never will, but I don’t mind because you don’t matter. There will be others who’ll love me for me. I’ll find my tribe.

4. What bullies want you to believe

You’re nothing without our approval.

What you should believe

I’m nothing with it because you are nothing. I don’t need your “approval” because it will never define me. Your opinion matters not because, for something to matter, you must first value it.

Therefore, always counter the statements, including the unspoken ones. You’ll be surprised at what it will do for your self-esteem and your spirit!

With knowledge comes empowerment!

3 Reasons Targets Fear Setting Boundaries

All too often, targets of bullying have a hard time setting boundaries. Many just keep their mouths shut, grin and bear it while others wipe their feet all over them. They suffer in silence and obscurity, which only further damages their mental health. If being used as a rug hurts so much, why do they allow it to continue?

There are several reasons:

1. They don’t have the confidence.

Many targets of bullying feel helpless and simply think it wouldn’t do them any good. So, they see no point in speaking up because they know that they’ll likely get bullied worse for it. It takes confidence to set boundaries, which, sadly, is something a few bullying targets have.

Also, as we know, bullies don’t respect boundaries because they don’t acknowledge them. In their minds, you’re a target and, to them, a target has no rights and deserves no human dignity. Bullies don’t see targets as human beings deserving of the same human rights as everyone else. That’s a fact.

2. They feel powerless to stop the abuse.

Again, setting boundaries is anything but easy- it’s one of the hardest things to do after people bully you for so long and brainwash you into thinking you’re to blame for their horrid behavior.

Many targets have been abused for so long that they’ve “gotten used to it.” In other words, bullies and their sycophants have conditioned the targets to take the abuse and allow them to ride roughshod over them. Many times, targets have been fooled into believing that setting boundaries is selfish.

This is why many targets cave in to the bullies’ demands. They feel it’s safer just to give them what they want and pacify them.

3. They fear the bullies will retaliate.

If you’re a target of bullying, you may badly want to tell your abusers to knock it off. You may want to tell them to get the hell away from you and stay away. You may even want to fight back, but you don’t know how they may react.

Another thing you don’t know is whether they’ll accept your boundaries, nor if they’ll want to accept them. You know that there’s a chance the bullies may act violently toward you for having the chutzpah to speak against their abuse.

Bullies despise even a hint of opposition because they see it as your challenging their power and perceived authority. And they’ll do whatever they can to tighten their grip if they suspect you’re defying them. And sometimes, things get dangerous, and you must do it scared.

But what they don’t realize is this. When you set boundaries, you enact your autonomy and speak from a place of self-care and self-love. You decide what you will and won’t tolerate. You take your power back.

However!

Before you’re able to do that, you must be clear of what you will not accept.

It takes uber-confidence to stand up to a bully. It would be best if you also gave up your old self-protective behaviors – those you tried in the past that failed, which are ways your bullies and a few other abusers in your life probably conditioned you to respond.

1. You must stop over-apologizing.

2. You must stop trying to explain yourself to anyone.

3. You must stop trying to figure out what made the bullies so hostile.

4. You must stop wondering what you did wrong.

5. You must stop wondering if something’s wrong with you.

6. You must stop asking, “why me.”

Before you can stand up to abuse, you must squash the mentality that compels you to do any of the above mentioned.

You must understand that all the why me, why this, why that, gets you nowhere. And all the wracking your brains wondering and trying to figure out what’s wrong also serves no purpose. It’s a complete waste of time and only makes you feel worse.

Instead, be real with yourself and conclude that your bullies are just a bunch of ignorant, moronic jackasses who lack character and live fake existences. You must also learn to trust yourself, which includes trusting your body and how it feels. Trust everything you see, hear, feel, sense, and the vibes you pick up from the people around you. And finally, trust your decisions.

It also takes dogged determination:

1. Even if your bullies rationalize and justify their behavior, you won’t take their crap.

2. Even if they blame you for their despicable behavior, you won’t take it.

3. Even if they tell you that you’re crazy or mentally imbalanced, you won’t take it.

4. Even if they call you a bitch, an asshole, or any other degrading name, you won’t take it.

5. Even if you made a mistake and your bullies call it out in an abusive manner, you won’t take it.

6. And, for the love of Pete! If the bullies commit physical violence, you definitely won’t take that! Get the police involved, file charges, and sue for any damages! Or, put up those dukes and throw down if you need to!

And it’ll take calling your bullies out every single time they cross the line.

You can say:

“Stop it!”

“Cut it out!”

“Knock it off!”

“Get away from me!”

“Get out!”

positive bullied victim says NO

You get power just by loudly giving either one of these commands. And who knows? I’m not making any guarantees here, but you might shock your bullies back to reality and make them leave you alone. There were times when I was pleasantly surprised, and it worked for me.

You do not have to walk on eggshells around anyone! Know that you do have a choice and a voice. You can choose not to accept the bullies’ behavior. You have more power than you know.

With knowledge comes empowerment!

Here Are 7 Ways to Expose Your Bullies and Protect Yourself

Here’s a list of several things you can do to rip the mask off and keep yourself safe.

1. Know your enemy.

How you do this is to stand back and always OBSERVE the people around you, but without looking like you are watching them. Pay close attention to body language, facial expressions, and tone of voice. I can’t stress enough the importance of this. This is how you find out who the trouble makers are.

If you see another student or coworker gossip and make trouble for others, you can be sure that in time, they will do the same to you. This is how I now know who to avoid at all costs. However, be advised that avoidance will not work if you have a determined bully after you. If a person wants to get to you badly enough, they will seek you out until they find you.

2. Document everything!

As it has been said, “if it isn’t documented, it never happened”. Keep a journal and write down everything. I did this in junior high and high school just in case one of my bullies either hurt me bad enough to hospitalize me or worse…killed me.

You must write down the names of your bullies, the names of any bystanders or authority (teachers, principal, or any member of authority) present at the time the altercation took place, the date, time, place it happened, what happened and if possible, why it happened. Also, record what is said and by whom. Document every… single… detail!!

3. Do not reveal any information about yourself that you would not want to be told to anyone.

Including your friends! If you do, you’re asking for trouble because if you are the target of a bully, you can be sure that your bullies will, at some point, either try to pry information about you out of your friends or they will turn your friends against you altogether.

4. Keep a low profile.

Don’t do anything that may draw attention to yourself. And stay away from places the bullies may gather. Think, “Out of sight, out of mind.” Just don’t make it obvious to your bullies that you are ducking and dodging them. I avoided several confrontations by simply laying low.

5. Save any threatening texts, emails, and/or voice mails for evidence.

And if possible, set your cellphone to record during any altercation brought on by a bully, provided it is hidden in your pocket. You certainly do not want the bully to know what you are doing. keep your composure and be sure not to tarnish the recording by yelling or using foul language.

Schools are now becoming more aware of the issue of bullying. If you happen not to have a cellphone, keep a digital recorder handy (if possible) and be ready to record as soon as the torment starts.

6. NEVER brag about any evidence you have against a bully.

Not even to your best friend…PERIOD! Again, bullies have a knack for prying information out of people, even your friends. They can also turn your friends against you, making them more than happy to volunteer the information. Don’t do it! Anytime you are a target of bullies, you are in no position to trust anyone!

7. Call the bully out in front of an audience.

This is risky and could bring retaliation. However, the bully will also know that you are on to him/her and you just might intimidate them enough that they will leave you alone. It happened for me on a few occasions.

But keep in mind that this doesn’t happen for everyone. Calling the bully out in front of people can also humiliate the bully and make that person more determined to get you. So access the bully’s personality and the situation carefully before you decide to do this.

With knowledge comes empowerment!

How to Stay off The “Hadar”

Many times, I would pit a few of my classmates against each other. If I knew of a few who disliked or hated each other, I’d very quietly and secretly pit them against each other. An offhand comment here, another there, and I’d have them fighting among themselves. Yeah, I know, it was a shady thing to do. However, if I could keep them fighting among themselves, then I could distract their attention and hostility away from me and, thus, keep the spotlight away!

And when people chronically bully you as they did me, you’ll do anything, and I mean anything to get a nice, albeit short, a reprieve from all the drama. And sometimes, “ya gotta do what ya gotta do” to keep yourself safe.

If you can find a few bullies who hate each other as much as they hate you, then perfect! Or, you can find classmates or coworkers who are mad at each other, stoke the fires a little, and take advantage of it! Stir the pot between them because if you can keep them busy fighting each other, they’ll leave you alone. And let me tell you! It worked wonders!

Understand that your goal is not to cause trouble. Your goal is to take the “hadar” (hate radar) off you and to protect yourself.

The only thing I’d advise is that you should use this sparingly. Save this little technique until you’ve exhausted all other options.

So, if you must, keep them too busy to even think about you. It’s not that you’re trying to hurt anyone; your only goal is to keep yourself safe!

With knowledge comes power!

You Should Always Address Bullying in The Early Stages. Here’s Why:

My grandmother once told me this: “Never. And I mean never let anyone get comfortable with abusing and mistreating you.”

She was right. By the time she gave me that little gold nugget of wisdom, it was already too late. I was in high school and had been a target of bullying since moving to *Oakley School District in the sixth grade. But right then, I understood what my very wise grandmother meant and why she gave me that advice.

Here’s what Uma (what I called my maternal grandmother) had already known by being a people-watcher and very good at people-reading:

Once the mistreatment of a person has gone on for so long, the people around them get comfortable with mistreating that person. They grow so accustomed to being cruel to the person that they don’t even think about, nor do they care about how they hurt that person. Even worse, they come to expect the target the take the abuse without question, without talking back, speaking about it, and without defending themselves.

Put another way, if a target firmly stands up to bad treatment in the early stages of being targeted, it’s more likely that others will respect his right to be treated well and either leave him alone or began treating him better.

Whereas, if the target lets the bullying go on for a long time, then begins to stand up for himself after getting fed up with being everyone’s doormat, others will more than likely be only angry and resentful of the person for daring to open his mouth about it. They will then double down in their abuse or eliminate him somehow.

Once a person gets comfortable in mistreating you, it’s much more difficult to fight. Therefore, always speak out the moment the bullying begins. Never let it go on for any length of time. The sooner you do, the easier it will be to assert your rights and avoid retaliation.

With knowledge comes empowerment!

Bullying- When Emotions Are High

Bullies are known for being highly emotional when they don’t get their way. They scream, they curse, they act out and they don’t care who’s around to see it because they use fear and intimidation to keep people from speaking out against them. Or, if they’re sneaky, they may hold it in until they get to a place that’s private and with people they trust, then fly into a rage.

Yikes!

Just as hell hath no fury like a woman scorned, it can also be said that hell hath no fury like a bully disappointed.

Here are 3 safety measures you must carry out when your bully begins to rage at you. Things can get dangerous quickly when a bully becomes enraged.

1. Turn and walk away right then! You must get away from the raging bull(y) fast. Think, out of sight, out of mind.

2. Watch Your Back. The bully is postal. Even scarier, he’s outraged at you! So, you must cover your six until you’re either out of the environment or things have cooled off. Just don’t look like you’re watching your back.

3. Whatever you do, don’t mirror the bully. You’ll only look just as nuts as the bully. Also, the last thing you want to do is scream and curse back because things will likely become fisty, or worse, the bully might pull out a knife or gun.

4. No sarcasm or witticisms. This will prompt the bully to throw fists or pull a weapon faster than yelling and cursing back because, in your sarcasm and funny remarks, you’re making the bully look like a basket case and he knows it. Save the witticisms for when the bully is attacking in a calmer state.

Remember that bullies, especially narcissist bullies, have a sadistic nature and have absolutely no moral compass. Many bullies of the narcissistic variety become murderers. So, get away from the person, stay away, and make sure they aren’t stalking you.

No contact is the best way to stay safe.

With knowledge comes empowerment!

7 Ways to Expose a Bully and Keep Yourself Safe

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The best defense is to know bullying when it happens to you, and to know how to unveil a bully’s deplorable behavior. Here’s a list of several things you can do to rip the mask off and keep yourself safe.

1. Know your enemy. How you do this is to stand back and observe the people around you, but without looking like you are watching them. Pay close attention to body language, facial expressions, and tone of voice. I can’t stress enough the importance of this.

This is how you find out who the trouble makers are. If you see another student or coworker gossip and make trouble for others, you can be sure that in time, they will do the same to you.

2. Document everything! As it has been said, “if it isn’t documented, it never happened”. Keep a journal and write down everything. I did this in junior high and high school just in case one of my bullies either hurt me bad enough to hospitalize me, or worse- killed me.

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You must write down the names of your bullies, the names of any bystanders or authority (teachers, principal, or any member of authority) present at the time the altercation took place, the date, time, place it happened, what happened and if possible, why it happened. Also, record what is said and by whom. Document every… single… detail!

3. Do not reveal any information about yourself that you would not want to be told to anyone. Including your friends! If you do, you’re asking for trouble because if you are the target of a bully, you can be sure that your bullies will, at some point, either try to pry information out of your friends or they will turn your friends against you altogether.

4. Keep a low profile. Don’t do anything that may draw attention to yourself. And stay away from places the bullies may gather. Think, “Out of sight, out of mind.” Just don’t make it obvious to your bullies that you are ducking and dodging them. I avoided several confrontations by simply laying low.

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However, be advised that avoidance will not work if you have a determined bully after you. If a person wants to get to you badly enough, they will seek you out until they find you.

5. Save any threatening texts, emails, social media messages/posts, and/or voice mails for evidence. And if possible, hide a digital recorder on you or ease your hand down into your purse and set your cellphone to video during any altercations. Do it covertly so that the bully doesn’t know what you are doing. Just make sure you live in a one-party consent jurisdiction. Screenshot any nasty emails, messages, comments, and posts on social media.

Keep your composure and be sure not to tarnish the recording by yelling or using foul language.

6. NEVER brag about any evidence you have against a bully. Not even to your best friend! Again, bullies have a knack for prying information out of people, even your friends. They can also turn your friends against you, making them more than happy to volunteer the information.

gavel and soundblock of justice law and lawyer working on wooden

gavel and soundblock of justice law and lawyer working on wooden desk background

Don’t do it! Anytime you are a target of bullies, you are in no position to trust anyone!

7. Call the bully out in front of an audience. This is risky and could bring retaliation. However, the bully will also know that you are on to them and you just might intimidate them enough that they will leave you alone. It happened to me on a few occasions.

But keep in mind that this doesn’t happen for everyone. Calling the bully out in front of people can also humiliate the bully and make that person more determined to get you. So access the bully’s personality and the situation carefully before you decide to do this.

With knowledge comes empowerment!

Always Mirror the Bully to Disarm and Intimidate Them into Leaving You Alone

If a bully cuts their eyes at you, return the gesture. If she tries to stare you down, never look away because she will only take that as fear, and from then on, you’ll be her new source of power. Always glare back without blinking and stand with your feet apart and arms akimbo to take up some space. This is known as a “power pose.”

You may have to stand that way and stare for a while if she sees your response as a challenge, but if you hold your position long enough, she’ll finally get tired and move on.

Understand that any time a person uses this type of body language toward you without provocation, they are clearly saying that they’re superior to you and attempting to dominate you. So always, always reciprocate any dirty looks and dominate or intimidating body language. Assert your power this way, and soon, the bully will get the message that you’re confident, fearless, and not one she should mess with.

independent 20s girl with threatening body language

It’s not what you say. It’s what you do. Nonverbal communication is over eighty percent of communication. Talk is cheap, and if your words don’t match your body language, bullies will pick up on it, and they will eat you alive!

If you’re the timid type, there are plenty of books you can read to learn confident body language and power pose. Once you read, practice, and learn what nonverbal cues convey power, you must practice those poses until they become comfortable to you.

Remember that bullies always target someone they perceive to be lacking in confidence, timid, and insecure because that person is least likely to fight back. To look confident, fearless, and secure, practice open body language.

Stand with your feet apart and arms uncrossed (crossed arms are closed body language and make you look insecure and untrustworthy). When a bully confronts you, never look down or away. Always look the bully in the eye, and she will see that you aren’t afraid and likely move on to someone else.

With knowledge comes empowerment!