Bullies and Bystanders

The excellent description holds true for cyberabusers. It might not be too off to say that abusers operate in the same manner, regardless of the platform or venue that they use.

Salem Witch Hunt


Bullies cannot operate alone. To gain supporters, they exploit the ignorance of unsuspecting bystanders. They seek control of communication to prevent others from learning the truth about their malevolence and to restrict information to what serves their interests. They don’t want people to interact with each other, and typically, they will try to intimidate the victim from speaking with anyone. Threats, blackmail, and stonewalling are stankard methods of control.

stopbullyingWherever bullying occurs, the people who are aware of it and don’t object or intervene may believe that they are being neutral. In reality, they are actually helping the bully. Fear that they, too, will be subjected to mistreatment is one reason why bystanders look the other way when someone else is being targeted. A “culture of fear” develops easily, affecting everyone in an organization. People become intimidated from raising concerns, voicing opinions, sharing ideas, and afraid to be seen as “stepping out of line” while the more brazen personalities have their way without being questioned. Do we want this kind of…

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8 Responses to Bullies and Bystanders

  1. Amen. Schoolyard bullies often turn into workplace bullies. I’ve also experienced cyberbullying which caused me to block, delete, unfriend and unsubscribe the trolls. I’ve always been blunt and outspoken. Because of what I went through I tend to stick up for the underdog. Especially when I was working. I understand that people are afraid but then report the bullying anonymously. We must stand together and get involved. I feel bad for these poor kids who are forced into suicide by cyberbullying. I’m glad that cellphones, computers, internet didn’t exist when I was growing up in the 1960s and 1970s.

    • Xena says:

      So true! I’ve learned that abusers first want to know who you know. That’s true whether in your personal or online life. From there, they either work to isolate their target victim by turning friends and acquaintances against their target victim. Then they build the “culture of fear”. You hit the proverbial nail on the head regarding kids with cellphones and the internet. Just having landline phones with kids using them to spread rumors was bad enough.

      • True. Being bullied is an attack on one physically and emotionally.
        I was wimpy as a kid and was always getting picked on but those four years in the U.S. Army gave me self confidence to defend myself especially physically. Which I had to do at my previous job. Sometimes you gotta be your own hero. Either you allow them to beat you up or apply street justice. Once I let certain workplace bullies know who I am and what I’m capable of doing they left me alone. I’m not a pacifist and if a person gets in my face well they are asking to get hurt. Everyone has that other side. Sometimes bullies regret their actions when the tables are turned. I have the power to make people back up off me. As a Black woman in a racist sexist society you must be prepared to defend yourself.

        • Xena says:

          Thank you for your service.

          As a kid, I was so small that kids teased me saying that if I turned to the side and stuck out my tongue, I would look like a zipper. LOL! I only remember being confronted by a bully twice as a kid. My advantage is that I was teacher’s pet all through school, so my teachers always stopped the bullies.

          Being a Pacifist means that I don’t return evil for evil, but it doesn’t mean that I lay down and allow people to walk on me. I can quietly gather evidence and line up my legal options. I will also defend myself against physical threats, although in non-lethal ways. With some bullies, we can’t give them power by going tit for tat because they love the attention and more words that they can twist around and lie about. Some ways of handling it depend on the environment or venue.

          • True. I was also laughed at for being skinny.
            No I wouldn’t want to be in a position where I’d have to kill someone but if it’s a choice between my life and theirs I choose me over them. The armed forces teaches you to take that person your enemy out by any means necessary. I wouldn’t have any regrets, shame, guilt or remorse. We live in a violent society so you have to be prepared to defend yourself and protect your family. The authorities especially the police are not interested in protecting certain groups of people. You’re on your own.
            As for the workplace I let the bullies know that I was prepared to meet them outside. Fortunately they knew that I meant business and had the good sense not to challenge me. The way I figure that if someone is trying to kill me they are going with me. We both gonna die.

          • I’ve been in situations where I had no time to gather any evidence. Also evidence means nothing in violent situations. While you’re gathering they’ve already choked you or slit your throat. Several years ago I was physically attacked at work. Nobody came to my assistance. So I learned that nobody cares plus a man’s word especially a white man carries more weight. I can probably say that I got the guy off me.

            None of those laws mean anything. Because they are not enforced. Nor will the government or courts find in your favor.

          • Xena says:

            That is true for physical situations. Thankfully, I’ve not had that experience. In fact, I lived an adult life without bullying until I opened a blog in 2012. I’m sorry to hear about you being physically attacked at work, but glad to hear that you handled it.

          • Yup! Handled it like a boss. Those cyber bullies are cowards because they hide behind their avatars. If I caught them on a dark street after midnight bet they wouldn’t be so cocky.

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