Bullies and Their Victims

If you are attracting bullies (predators and less than desirable people who may be predisposed to victimizing you), it might be a good idea to take a look at what you might be doing to attract the attention of a bully and ultimately become a potential target.

Actually, when you think of bullying, your mind takes you back to the school yard, and media attention is being given to bullying among our youth today and its effect on our society. The truth is, it’s been going on for a very long time before all this media attention and the bullies of our youth, are now up to their same old tricks in adulthood.

Among adults, bullies are likely to most commonly rear their ugly heads in the workplace. Their attention is piqued by the same things as adults as they were in their youth, their radar is seeking out people who they do not like (for whatever reason) or are threatened in some way by.

Predators often look for good people who they feel compelled to take down a notch. They might feel threatened by your peace, cheerfulness and/or success and after noticing you think, “Oh, they think they’re so blessed, or better than anyone else, someone needs to teach them a lesson.” And they take it upon themselves to deliver your reality check.

From the point of view of the predator, this is their purpose in life, levelling the playing field and knocking well-doers off their pedestals, Even though the rest of us don’t see ourselves that way, this is how we are viewed by predatory bullies, as they are seeking out those who they could victimize or destroy next.

They are never satisfied by bullying one person. If you’ve been bullied and the bullying has come to an end, it’s not because the bully has stopped bullying, it only means his attention has been focused on a new potential victim, and if bored, the bully may come back to you, if you’re beginning to regain your composure and they feel you’re in need for another attitude adjustment.

So, you might be a potential target if you’re good at what you do, and may be better than them. They may see you as a potential threat to their success, or you may be what stands between him or her and their next promotion. Bullying coworkers is how they basically eliminate the competition. If they can discredit you by sabotaging you and/or your work to make you look bad, makes them shine in comparison. Taking out the competent competition at any cost is an effective tactic for the workplace bully. New hires at work always get the once-over by the workplace bully who can quickly evaluate the new employee’s potential to offer real value to the company organization. The newbies are easier to take out prior to establishing themselves and creating relationships. Inexperienced or older employees are also potential workplace prey.

If you are popular, successful and are well liked, you will find yourself a potential target, especially if the bully is lacking in self esteem or social status. Anyone who is more attractive, talented, has a natural inclination to be respected or celebrated by peers is seen as a potential threat and must be “taught a lesson.” If you’re getting attention – attention that the bully feels he or she is more entitled to – then, you may be at risk of becoming his or her next victim. They feel as though, if they cannot be the recipient of such attention, no one else will either… Not for long, anyway.

Intolerance fuels the fire of the predatory bully who sets out to humiliate anyone who does not share similar values or lifestyles as the bully. Folks that maintain high moral values and integrity are likely to become targets. Why? Because the bully cannot accomplish such feats or live an integrous life. The only way to make themselves look better is to force the perceived, “better than thou” target to fail (or at least to make them look the fool or failure to anyone that might be appreciative of their authentic integrity). These “goody goodies” also make outstanding targets because they are less likely to defend themselves, retaliate or fight back if attacked.

Let’s face it, these predators are small-minded and poor examples of being anything to aspire to become, but they are very effective at what they do best: decimating their victims. They harbor deep-seated inadequacies and jealousy that create their need to destroy others as the only means they know of to make themselves feel (or look) better.

More often than not, bullies do possess the talent and skills to be massively successful without aggressively laying waste to anyone or anything that stands in their way, if they could only use their powers for good, but their ego, insecurity and envious nature overrides the thought of doing the work necessary with their integrity intact.

Want to be a Victim?

You’ve been victimized. There’s no doubt that you have suffered at the hands of another. You have been hurt and the fallout was devastating. Clearly you are the victim.

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Once you’ve been victimized, you find your place within the Victim’s Spectrum.

On the left side of the spectrum is the full-on victim and on the right side of the spectrum is the fully-free victim.

In my work with victims I can find the victim at any place along the victim’s spectrum. Ideally, I would like to see all victims make their way to being fully-free but it is a process and some victims progress very far along the spectrum and some stay at the point they entered the spectrum.

There are advantages to being a full-on victim. You can easily gain the interest of anyone who is sorry you were victimized, but thankful they were not the victim in your story. You can garner their undivided attention while you tell your story and they pay close attention in the hopes that by doing so, they may be able to avoid falling victim to a similar circumstance.

People who love and care about you will offer their support, encouragement and empathetic concern as they try to comfort you while in the throes of pain and anguish and their support does help to decrease the pain from being victimized.

The full-on end of the spectrum is based in fear; fear of being further victimized and the fear can be debilitating, preventing you from being able to make any positive movement along the spectrum and may overflow into other areas of your life. Left unattended the full-in victim may be completely consumed by the fear, in the most catastrophic of circumstances may be catatonic.

Also, as the full-on victim, there is little responsibility on the part of the victim. Reduced to its simplest terms, the victim is right or good and the victimizer is wrong or bad (possibly even evil). Even though being a victim is embarrassing, and represents loss, shame and suffering, the affirmation of the victim’s goodness or rightness has some redeeming value and may be seen as comforting to the victim.

There is no condemnation for being the full-on victim and just as in dealing with grief (as in the loss of a loved one), only the sufferer can determine when is the right time to make any movement toward healthy healing and freedom.

In terms of spiritual enlightenment, the more advanced life traveler will more quickly firmly position him or herself at fully-free.

What does the fully-free victim look like?

1. Decides not to be a victim

You may not be able to reverse your victimization, but you can choose to not act or feel like one. Be aware that this is a process and its different for everyone.

2. Take full responsibility

That means you stop blaming someone or something else for your victimization. In taking full responsibility, you assume that you caused the events that led to your victimization and the actual victimization to happen.

3. Retain the Learning

Review the process of the victimization. What did you do to make yourself vulnerable? What could you have done better to protect yourself. When reviewing, try not to do so from a viewpoint of fear or anger, instead attempt to look through the eyes of tolerance and love. The learning is the purpose behind the victimization.

4. Be Thankful

Adopt an attitude of gracious thankfulness for the entire affair. You have survived and earned your master’s degree in how not to be victimized, like this, again. You have paid dearly for the training and experience, and you are thankful for the opportunity.

Speaking of opportunity, I have realized in my life, any time something goes tragically wrong, there is something better coming… I start looking around for something amazing that is on its way as soon as possible.

5. Forgive and Let Go

This means to forgive yourself for the part you played in attracting or allowing the victimization to happen. Also forgive all other participants in the victimization, remember you are thankful for their participation in your learning process.

Letting go means holding no grudges and not feeling bad. If you are able to authentically and honestly forgive and accept all the good that has arisen from this tragedy, you can let it go. That means: No complaining, only recalling the treasure hidden within the process and celebration of your survival.

6. Accept Your Calling

Your experience may have great value to others. This may have been the purpose behind the whole affair. You have been through it, you survived and are better for it. You now can offer understanding, empathetic compassion, hope and assistance to others who may be involved in a similar situation.

This is likely why you were chosen to have this experience, to help others. I know that was the blessing in my experience with a psychopath. It opened my eyes to something I didn’t believe existed prior to surviving the experience, as well as any other less than desirable (or tragic) experiences I have survived along the way.

7. Accept the Process

Realize that moving along the victim’s spectrum is a process. As you are in search of recovery, your progress may vary, but it does get better the longer you work on the process.

Remember, you are not a bad person, neither are any of the other players. Love yourself, love others and keep moving toward love and in doing so you will be the recipient of increased peace and harmony.